Probably every single one of you has read at least a dozen if not more blogs or posts on the death of Robin Williams. Here’s another.
I’m one of the kids that grew up watching him in film. Mork and Mindy was before my time but I’ve had a chance to watch a few episodes that lived on in syndication. I loved every single movie he was in that I got the chance to see.
Typically, I’m not one to get emotional much over the death of someone that’s famous and I’ve never had a chance to get to know well enough to be invested. I find it silly when people weep and leave makeshift memorials outside their homes or other places. How can you possibly be upset over the death of someone you didn’t even know except through the TV or movie screens?
Robins death hit me differently. I think it was due to the tragedy of it all. Blogs and articles have argued back and forth about how it was either completely selfish of him to take his own life, or how it was what he felt was his only option. I guess everyone just wants to be heard.
The reason his death hit me so differently was because I’m someone who has to live daily with anxiety. For over 10 years now it’s been almost a constant thorn in my side. For years and years I never quite understood why doctors and psychologists and all the professionals referenced anxiety and depression as one. I had anxiety but I didn’t have depression. Robin’s death for some reason made me re-examine that.
Anxiety is one thing, depression another. But there is a very strong link. Anxiety can become such a burden on a person that it causes depression. I hate that I have to deal with anxiety. I’ve had panic attacks and they scare the shit out of me. I would do almost anything to avoid one. For years I fought taking medication. To me, I thought it was something I should be able to conquer. Mind over matter sort of thing. After dealing with several panic attacks in a row I realized I didn’t have control at all. It took a great deal of internal struggle to accept that I needed help. But, I’m a homesteader! And before that I had long been committed to a natural and organic lifestyle as much possible.
After finally seeing that the natural options I’d been trying weren’t quite cutting it, I agreed to try a prescription to help. I’m thankful that I did, though I do still feel like I’m cheating by doing so and only have a temporary band aid.
I’m rambling now, so back to the point. Robin’s death made me finally see that I also suffer from some minor depression. How can someone with anxiety not? It takes over your life, forces you to avoid things you used to enjoy because you don’t want to trigger an attack. It affects your relationships with everyone in your life. I’m open with my husband and close family about my struggles which helps but it still isolates me. I hate to feel like I’m always complaining to someone about a stressor in my life I can’t control but am trying to. Always being on guard about every situation in case you won’t have control to leave or you might get stuck in a crowd or weird random things is tough. And just knowing you have anxiety is a burden that causes some depression. I feel bad about having it, about how it affects those I know, and has changed my life. My husband and I love concerts, festivals, travel, but, now I am terrified of all those things! That is hard to live with. Knowing I’ve changed his life as well.
It scares the hell out of me to see someone famous, someone I loved as an actor, not be able to get help with something I also deal with. To see him have so many friends and loved ones that weren’t able to help him. To know he couldn’t help himself. That he got to a point in life where he felt his only choice and only option to end the pain was to end his life. That is heavy. You know it started some where with him. It was just suddenly one day he was depressed and the thought crossed his mind to do it and that was it. No, it was years of struggle, years of addiction which was likely due to his struggles with depression, and after all that time, it was his only way out.
My favorite post/blog about him was from the famous Kurt Sutter:
I’ve been moved by all the pictures and quotes about Robin Williams. As a recovering addict who suffers from anxiety and depression, I was equally saddened and terrified. Reminded how cunning, baffling and powerful the disease(s) can be. As self indulgent as this may sound, I couldn’t help thinking of my own demons and the dark places they take me. So as sad and tragic as it is to lose an uber-talent like Robin, I’ll take his death as an act of service to all of us that have felt the same way. And try to find the gratitude and love that keeps me away from the rope and beam. Today, I will look at this picture of one of the people I love most and say #thankyourobin. I encourage you to do the same. Take a picture of someone you love, hold that gratitude and thank Robin for reminding us how precious and fucking fragile life can be.
So I guess the moral of my post is summed up best by Kurt. His death made me look my own demons in the face and that scared the shit out of me. But I’ve got beautiful family and friends that I love and love me right back. Take some time to think about your own darkness if you have it. Honor it, it’s not going anywhere and then remind yourself what you live for! Those that deal with these things, they actually are blessed. We get to see the good and the bad in ourselves and that can make the good all that more beautiful. Maybe this will help me to see my suffering as a blessing and not such a curse all the time.
My hope is that anyone out there that is scared and living in the dark will reach out. Someone will be there to grab your hand. Or at least give you a hug.
My prayers go out to him and his family. Goodbye Robin, I hope your soul has found peace.