Okay, I think I’ve procrastinated (in some people’s eyes) long enough without posting on Robin Williams’ apparent suicide. There’s a good reason, too. As I’ve said before depression and suicide are topics I usually shy away from and for a very good reason: I am a depression survivor.
I’m not proud to admit I was suicidal and depressed, but it happened. I won’t launch into a long post about either one or how I felt (I think that’s pretty much a given), but what I will mention is what I now feel about how I was feeling then and how it’s shaped me into who I am today. (Lastly, before I start talking about this: let’s make a deal never to talk about this again; it’s very hard to talk about and I don’t like talking about it.)
I can say I felt that it was a sudden occurrence that took place over several months and finally took its toll on me by the middle of my junior year of high school. My great aunt had just passed away and my great uncle (no they were not married to one another; these were two separate relatives — one lived in Alaska and one lived in Kansas City) followed shortly after. Anyway, that’s when I realized that I was not as happy as I could have been and I started dreading every moment of the day and every day. I can only assume then things seemed bleak and hopeless. That’s how I feel now as I look back on it. I feel it was a smart move on my part to actually reach out to someone for help. The sad part was, it took me about a month to finally write to my mom (yes, you read that correctly — I wrote her a letter) and expressed how I wanted so badly to be me again and I needed help. In a few short days, Daddy came home with a book on therapists in our area that his healthcare plan (which I was a part of then) covered. I can honestly say looking back on this, I was very overwhelmed. At last we picked out someone and I started seeing them (I don’t remember his name, but I could point him out in a crowd). I feel he helped me for a few months and then didn’t quite know what to do with me or for me any more. I feel this was not his fault; more it was mine. I stopped knowing what I wanted out of this or couldn’t articulate what I wanted. Finally, I felt better and the following year I went on a retreat before school started. I feel this retreat helped me, too.
Now how it’s shaped me into who I am today…well, I can honestly say that I’m tired of hearing everyone relate some new depression drug or commercial to me and ask “Is that how you felt?” or “Do you think that would have worked for you?” Truthfully, I don’t know if any of them would have worked and I’m not really big into sharing how I felt completely with anyone because most people (dare I say it) are not strong enough to hear about how it really affects you. I also can sympathize with people more when I learn they’re “feeling blue” or “just don’t want to talk right now.” I just wait and listen when they do want to talk or need someone to lean on. I can understand how you just “want to get away from it all” but I also know it’s best to stay up all night if you have to in order to prevent someone from doing the unthinkable.
I cannot say I completely understand what was going on in Robin’s head, but I can say it always seems to be the ones you don’t expect. I was like him: the funny and outgoing one who everyone thought was so happy, but secretly suffering inside. I fooled everyone (myself included). I’ll leave you with this final thought: be kind to everyone you meet; you really have no idea what that person is going through — in other words, we’re all fighting a battle, some harder than others.
Love and prayers to all this evening!