So by now everyone knows about Robin Williams. Unless they live under a rock and have no access to social media, radio or television.
The news is reporting it was an apparent suicide. His rep says he has been battling depression as of late, likely stemming from his long history of Bipolar.It just goes to show you that anyone can be fighting a battle and not show signs. That depression and mental health affects everyone, from the ‘little guy’ right on up to a beloved star. That no matter how many people love, respect and admire you you can still be dragged down into the darkness that is depression. That no matter how many people you have surrounding you they still may not see how truly depressed you are inside.How, no matter how many people you have in your life you can still feel entirely alone.
Like most mental health disorders, Bipolar & depression aren’t just something you “get over” or “snap out of”. It’s not something a person can control. It’s much, much deeper. So when I see things being posted like that it was his fault because he didn’t seek help I see red. When I see comments like “didn’t he know how loved he was?” I cringe. How do you explain to people who don’t know what it’s like. Of course he knew he was loved, but when the darkness consumes you like that there’s no seeing the light or the love, there’s nothing but darkness. Imagine being so consumed with a feeling of darkness that you can’t think of any other way to end it but to end your own life.
This is the life many people live with, silently. A daily struggle they deal with. Fighting every day to find a hint of light in the darkness. Sure, some days there is more light than dark, but there is almost always some dark, and some days that darkness is overwhelming. You try to fight it because you know that the light is amazing, and that in it are people who love you, but it’s exhausting. Some days you believe that you can overcome the depression, that you can eliminate the darkness, and some days you honestly feel like you have, then it comes back full force and you realize it’s nearly impossible. Over time you learn to pretend there is more light than darkness because that’s what people would want. People don’t really want to hear about the darkness, or if they do they don’t really know what to say or how to help, so you pretend. You put on a smile and hide behind the tears of a clown. Fake it until you make it becomes your reality.
It works for a while too. Sometimes longer than others. Sometimes, unfortunately, the darkness wins,no matter how hard you fight.
I can only hope that as the world loses such an amazing human being we find a way to turn this into a positive. That this can open the door for more discussion on mental health. That this opens peoples eyes that this can & does happen to anyone, and that it’s ok to seek help.
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
-Robin Williams (Dead Poets Society)
If you are depressed, please reach out to someone – anyone.
Don’t let the darkness win, no matter how hard it seems to get out of it.