Reflections on a Terrible Disease

Well. Here we are. I know I usually try to keep this light-hearted, but something happened on Monday. And it’s honestly taken me this long to come to terms with… anything, really. I’m still not completely sure what to say.

In case you’ve been suck on a desert island, I’ll fill you in – Robin Williams committed suicide on Monday.

Yes, that’s the thing. He, one of the most brilliant comedians on the planet, and an inspiration to everyone I’ve ever met, felt like this world was no longer worth living in.

That’s a terrible thing, in and of itself. But a worse thing to consider is that his daughter, Zelda, has removed herself from social media because people were sending her cruel messages about the way her father died.

People seem to think that suicide is a choice that people make, that it is a selfish act, done only for attention, done without the consideration of others. Yes, that’s something that I KNOW people actively believe. That suicide makes a person’s life a waste.

You can ask every single person you know, and I can almost guarantee that they will tell you that Robin Williams’ life was not a waste. He meant so much to so many people, whether they actually knew him or not.

Robin Williams suffered from debilitating depression. It was well documented. He had some substance abuse problems during his life, and he spent some time in rehab for different reasons. Recently, he was relapsing. He was worse. He thought his life wasn’t worth living anymore.

There are two things that I know for a fact about depression, and I know them from personal experience.

  1. You can’t understand the thought process behind suicide unless you’ve felt it. I have. There was a point in my life where I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I would daydream about car accidents, about swerving over the center line on a two lane road, just to get it over with. It’s a dark place. It’s a feeling I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And, let me tell you, when you’re in that place, you’re not thinking about getting attention. You’re not trying to be selfish. You’re trying to end the pain. You’re trying to save the people around you from the vortex of darkness that is your life. You think it’s the only way out. IT’S NOT. Believe me, after making it to the other side of this, I can tell you that it’s not the answer. There isn’t one solution that works for everyone, but for me, it was friends. And it was love. And it was finding something worthy within myself.
  2. A person can’t be funny unless they have a dark side. That’s what people loved about Robin Williams, right? He was wickedly funny, completely original, and his goal in life was to make everyone else laugh. But he had this complexness to him. He had a side that was so dark. That is true to life. I’ve found that the funniest people are the ones who are hiding the most demons.

It’s been said before, and I know it will be said again. If you are in the dark place, talk to someone. You may think that no one cares about you, that you’re not worthy. I’m sure it’s what Robin Williams was thinking, in his final days. But look at the outpouring of love for him that came after. If only he could have seen it before he took his own life. If only he could have known what he meant to so many people. Maybe that could have saved him. Maybe. We’ll never know.

What I do know is that every single person has a life worth living. If you haven’t found your purpose yet, that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope. Everyone is here for a reason. Never forget that.

I love you all, dear readers.

Genie, you're free.
Genie, you’re free.

-A.

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