I feel compelled to write something about the recent tragedy in the death of Robin Williams. Although the cause of death has not been determined, most accounts point to suicide.
My first reaction to the news was that of complete and utter sadness. Obviously I’d never met the man, but I had always enjoyed his comedy as well as acting. He’d always seemed on top of the world. But then again looks are deceiving, aren’t they?
It’s hard to believe with all the money and possible opportunities for therapeutic intervention that somebody as well known as Robin could still fall prey to the evils of severe depression. But yet we now know it’s sadly very believable.
Having gone through severe depression myself, I feel like I have a kind of compassion for his struggles, maybe more so than someone who has never experienced depression. I’ve spoken with people who have had a loved one commit suicide and they were mad that the person who died didn’t think of anyone but themselves. But what they don’t understand is that depression makes you go inside yourself. It takes you to a place where you CAN’T think of anyone or anything else. It’s not a choice.
IT’S NOT A CHOICE.
Who would choose to feel such sadness and pain that it becomes unbearable? My guess would be very few. Sometimes you get so deep inside yourself that you’ve reached the point of no return. And nobody knows it but you. You truly won’t know how deep someone has gone unless they ask for help. Honestly, depression has no sympathy for the cause. Depression will stop you from asking anyone for anything. It sets up walls and those walls are made up of all the hurt and frustration and sadness that you’ve felt in your life. They get thicker and thicker until they’re almost unbreakable. Those of us who were able to find a way to break down the barriers don’t consider ourselves out of the woods. We realize that at any given time, if we feed into our depression, the walls will come back up even faster than before. We are cognizant of the fact that it’s an everyday struggle, but we’ve seen the worst and we’ve seen it get better, and we strive for happiness, or our interpretation of what happiness can look like for us.
You never really know what goes on in somebody’s brain. Their life appears to be perfect, or our interpretation of what perfect might look like. Robin Williams appeared to have everything, but in the end he wasn’t able to find what he needed.
Something good always comes from something bad, and if his death brings more insight into severe depression, I’m guessing he would be pleased, if nothing else.
To Robin Williams, wherever you may be: