Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robin Williams Bandwagon

If you are at all active on facebook, pinterest, or twitter, you've been swamped with posts about the death of Robin Williams. And yes, this is going to be one of them, but for different reasons. So many people are baffled by him taking his own life. Some are calling it a cowards way out. Suicide is NOT cowardly. It takes so much will at a point when you have no willpower to go through with it. As someone who is close to more than one person who has attempted to die, I can tell you it is a hellish spiral. They are so trapped in their own mind that they can't find any way to escape BUT death. Is it right? No. But at that point things are so unbelievably bleak that it starts to look right.
So many people are used to accidental overdoses with celebrities. They get the RIP memes shared around for a day or two, then it's gone. But with Mr Williams, it went further. He did this deliberately. The man who made so many laugh, created so many smiles, inspired so many people, ended his own laughter. It's hard for people to gasp that the biggest smiles often hide the most pain. To hide that awful darkness inside, people shunt it aside and concentrate on making everyone else happy instead. Why? Because it's easier. It's easier to think about someone else than yourself. Depression makes it seem like perfect logic. And people can talk about "ohhh depression is bad, but it isn't that bad". That person has never been depressed. Until you have been to those depths, you don't know how bad it can be. Everyone has sad days, people have bad weeks even. But that is not the same as looking at subway lines and wondering which one you should touch. It isn't the same as looking at that bottle of bleach and wondering how much you can drink before your stomach heaves. It isn't the same as taking a bottle of sleeping pills in the bathtub. Depression makes all of that make perfect sense. You start thinking people will be better off with you gone, they'll be happier, they'll be able to do some activity without you hanging like a millstone around their necks. Even if you are getting help, it is still an uphill battle. One misstep and you are back at the bottom. After a few slides, people get tired of helping out. They get tired of helping someone who obviously isnt interested. And even if they don't feel that way, the depressed person thinks they do. They don't want to be a burden, so they clam up. Paste on a happy face. Express glee that they can't feel anymore. Nobody WANTS to think their loved one is in the pit again so they usually buy it. Depressed people can be some of the best actors. Looking back, the warning signs are so clear, but in the moment? Doesn't raise a hint of an eyebrow.
I guess my point to all of this is don't give up. YOU matter. YOU is special. YOU are wanted, even if it doesn't seem that way to you. Keep reaching out. Folks, keep extending that hand. There is help, it may not be the right kind the first time, but keep trying different things. Different medications, different help groups, different activities until you find what is perfect FOR YOU. Everyone is different, so too is how you stand up to your depression. Doesn't matter where you are, US, Canada, France, Ireland. There are numbers to call and people to speak to. PLEASE CALL. (and pardon my excessive use of capslock there)

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