I gasped. Audibly gasped.
We were watching CNN before making dinner when it was announced Robin Williams died, by taking his own life.
I have a range of emotions; the one speaking the loudest is heartbreak. Heartbreak for his family, heartbreak for his craft, but most of all, heartbreak for his suffering.
Every time a brilliant artist takes their own life it’s a reminder that imagining greater happiness will come with achievements is misguided
— Joyce Wu (@oneandonlyjoyce) August 11, 2014
My friend, Joyce, nails it. She’s fantastic.
It seems incredibly cliché and very simplistic, but the saying is accurate: everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Even if they seem to have it all. Thinking happiness comes with success is a symptom of our society as a whole.
I realize I’ve written about depression before and it seems egocentric to link it here at this moment. Suffice to say, it’s an ugly disease that can slowly seep into every fiber of your being. It can take hold at unexpected times, tightly. Suffocating your personality, numbing your reactions. Even if you have checked all the boxes off to living the standard, lovely life, often there’s an empty unchecked box that leads to comfort in your mind and heart.
I’m sad today. Sad for the loss of life and sad that the stigma still exists for depression. So much so that people callously scoff that someone with seemingly so much wealth could take his own life. The key word in that sentence is “seemingly” and what your idea of wealth is.
What you deem as painful, what you deem as manageable circumstances, could be completely different for another person. I know there’s a bigger connotation there, but the sooner we realize that simple fact, the easier it will be to openly talk about depression.
If you’re dealing with depression and need help, please reach out. I, along with many others, would be more than willing to help. Honestly. Knowing you aren’t alone, is incredibly validating. If talking to a third party seems more comforting, please use this number: National Suicide Prevention Helpline – 1-800-273-8255
I was entirely too young to watch Dead Poets Society, but I’m thankful I did. As a child, I often thought my creativity was weird, but I knew even at that age it was a defining part of who I was. Now as an adult and writer, albeit an amateur one, those sentiments still hold true. I’ll forever love this scene because of that.
Thank you for your verse, Mr. Williams.