Like many last night, I heard the shocking and sad news of Robin Williams’ death. Like a punch to the gut, it came out of nowhere and it stole my breath away. And like many, I’m left with a jumbled mess of emotion about this, unsure how to properly feel or react.
Logically, I know that all too often the creative, funny types suffer from the darkest depression and self loathing of all. And that the funny persona is usually just a mask to hide those inner demons. Make fun of yourself before someone does it to you; make them laugh so they can’t see the pain within. I get it.
But I guess I thought Robin Williams was one of the rare escapees who had battled hard, fought long and overcome his personal demons. I’ve heard him talk openly about his addictions and his past and I thought he was in a better place emotionally, having come through the other side of it.
So to hear that not only did he die, but that he took his own life…shocking.
I feel so bad for anyone who feels that there is literally nothing worth living for; nothing worth fighting for. The fact that he had to reach the point in which suicide was the “only” option for him and the “only” way past the pain he must have been feeling is just so sad and upsetting. I deeply sympathize with people who reach that breaking point.
I’ve battled depression in my life and I’m no innocent to thoughts of permanently escaping that inner pain. As a child, I grew up terrorized by my biological father; a hell that left me traumatized and it was during those early years I often fantasized and daydreamed about suicide as if it were a magic elixir or potion. When other little girls daydreamed about Prince Charming, I did so about the poisoned apple that represented relief and freedom from the torment that was my daily life.
I also find myself feeling so bad for the family left behind. The most difficult, personal and private time of their life is international news; the topic of discussion on lips the world ’round. (And here I am talking about it too so I am no less guilty. Though in my case, the prompt was his actions, I truly just felt the need to talk about how the topic made me feel personally.)
I’m just at a loss what to say. Or how to process this. I know that I did not know him personally, yet I was a fan of him and his work for years and like many, greatly enjoyed the gift of humor he gave to the world. It pains me so much to know how the same time he made us all laugh, he was dying inside.
Like many, I’m going to link to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They provide resources both for those battling depression and suicidal thoughts, but also resources to help others.
You can also call 1-800-273-8255 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get help or even just to talk to someone.
So I have no clever wrap up for this entry. Nothing witty or poignant to finish it off with. I just find myself thinking a lot about the topic today and wanted to put some of my feelings down in words.
I truly hope those of you who are also battling your own personal demons continue the fight and push on for another day. The sadness many of us feel at the loss of someone we don’t even know personally is hard enough, so imagine how much worse for the loved ones left behind. Please keep fighting. And know you don’t have to do it alone.
Rest in Peace, Robin. Thank you for the laughter. I’m so sorry you didn’t get to laugh with us too.