Saturday, May 16, 2015

Robin Williams - Laughter and yet...not so much

A little explanation is needed here....I wrote this the day after Robin Williams passed away. I was getting ready to write something else and reread this. It's sad, but still relevant. I note where I began writing today to finish it up.
As I say at the end...Be kind to each other.

Yesterday we lost Robin Williams, but he didn't just commit suicide...he hanged himself.

I don't mean to bum you out with the news, but it was delivered by the Sheriff from his town.

Hanged. Himself.

That takes some serious thought. That's not a passing thought of "hey, I've got a lot of pills here and a few bottles of Jack...". Hanging yourself takes planning. It takes thought.

It means he probably didn't come up with that plan yesterday. He may have, but it's more likely that he thought about it before.

I could spend the next two blogs filled with funny things Robin said, how he made me almost pee in my pants when he said things off the top of his head. How, the Genie from Aladdin was Genie-ous but also that Patch Adams was one of the most amazing things I ever saw him do.

But what I want to get out there is that he didn't become unhappy on Monday. Or Sunday. Or the week before. He was unhappy for a long time. Depression is like that. It hangs out. It waits until you're feeling better and then sneaks in. Sometimes it doesn't sneak in, sometimes it barges in and makes you remember who/what it is. Like a bully.

I was teased in elementary school for a variety of seriously stupid reasons, but depression is more of a bully then those girls were.

By a long shot.

My depression looks like the Dementors from Harry Potter. When it comes, it comes over me like a wave - those Dementors come near me like they did Harry and Dudley in the tunnel in the HP book. They don't talk to me, they sweep in and unless I'm in a good place, they simply put their cloak around me and before I know it, it's as dark as dark can be. Life feels hopeless, empty and truly like it's never going to get better.

The key words there are "it's never going to get better". That's what depression feels like - it's never going to get better.

If you've never felt that feeling - "it's never going to get better" then I'm ecstatic for you. Cuz that feeling stinks on ice. (credit to Mel Brooks for that line)

There truly is nothing worse than thinking to oneself, "I wonder if this hotel room in Denver is high enough to..." or "I wonder if I could just walk in front of that...."

The difference between Robin and me?

He was able to go through with it.

For whatever reason that is out there, I couldn't/can't pull it off. Call it guilt, call it being too responsible, call it knowing my Mother wouldn't recover - call it whatever you want. But Robin was able to go through with it, but I and many thousands of people out there weren't able to.

Please be clear - I don't think this makes me "better" than Robin Williams - or "better" than the father of a dear friend of mine who took his life - or "better" than anyone else who has done this. I'm not "better"; I'm me, just different.

But let's get back to what's important here - what's important is that the world (now it's 5/16/15...finishing this up) doesn't seem to be ready to discuss mental illness in a way that is productive yet.

And that's a shame.

Since Robin passed away, I've heard words like, "selfish" and "self centered" and "narcissistic" used to describe suicide.

To those of you who use those words I have two things to say to you:

1. I'm thrilled you haven't felt the way Robin must have and tens of thousands of people, including me, have; that this is the only way out.
2. Please top talking about things You. Have. No. Fucking. Clue. about.

I started this post the day after Robin Williams died. I was, and am, very sad about it. I'm less sad today (mostly because time has gone by) but I still work with, deal with, and am now in a new phase of depression - more on that in another post.

Be kind to one another (thank you Ellen DeGeneres) but more importantly, watch out for each other. People are hurting and they could be right next to you.

And to Robin, I hope you have been able to, "Fly, be free..." as you hoped the egg would.