"I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone." Robin Williams
I have written before about depression and the way it feels and the dark places it can take me. I am at the moment I am feeling ambivalent. I am neither up nor down. I am okay.
However, Robin Williams’ suicide is tragic and the media of course reports too much on what happened. I need to tune it out and stop watching tributes and reading sad stories about him because it is hard to do. It is hard to do because I feel a rush of emotions about it all. Like so many Robin Williams played a vast part in my life in terms of movies and television shows and comedy. I used to play tapes of his act in my car when I could finally drive and I would giggle at his fantastically amazing use of the word FUCK! I distinctly remember sitting on the ground watching Mork and Mindy. I know exactly where I was the first time I watched Popeye who was also a favorite, much watched cartoon character to me. I was awed by how amazingly well his movies matched up to my life dramas when those movies came out. There is more I could say – the many hours of watch Comedy Network and the lesser known movies that were shit panned by the critics that I went to see because he was in it and who cares how crappy the movie was, I was watching comedic genius!
This is not just about Mr. Williams because he was amazingly brilliant and funny and he could use the f-word in ways that quite frankly still astounds me! Honestly, depression is heinous. It is a deep dark wound. It is not like a broken arm or scar across one’s face. Depression often cannot be seen or heard or understood by those who have never had it. It is tragic and harsh and vile and unwitting. I can feel great, light and happy, and suddenly I won’t. Only that moment where I seem okay to feeling horrible happens on the inside – a chemical reaction, an emotional affliction, a tragedy in the comedy of life. I will find myself groping around in the dark looking for ways out and yet on the outside I appear to just be me. No one suspects otherwise. No one knows that I spent hours in the dark of night, pacing the hallway in my house, trying to calm the noise in my head, dealing with the dark feelings in the dark. No one knows that when I am alone I contemplate the darkest recesses of my brain much to the horror of emotional self, all of the fucked up stupidity I have ever claimed as my own making it much, much worse than it actually was. Sure I can keep depression at bay to some degree. I can read or screw around on the computer playing games, I can watch television and run miles on end but at the end of it, the depression lurks waiting to drag me back into the dark.
For someone who has spent years grappling with those demons, I get it. It is the years and years of fighting and losing and fighting again and the desire to not be like that which makes it increasing difficult in life. I see each failure in my life with intensity and if I allow myself to wallow in those failings, it drives home what an awful person I am. The thing about depression and the subsequent ways that we find to fight depression (alcohol, drugs, harmful relationships, etc…) is that it has no rhyme or reason. And only I can change how I am feeling. I could have “it all” and yet in the end I am my own worst enemy. I see all of the failure and all of the bright wonderful things in my life appear to be dull and blur in those moments. I may be laughing and cracking smart ass jokes on the outside but on the inside an enemy deeper and darker than I could ever explain is waiting to well up and crush me. I have often said that depression sits on my chest crushing the air out of me, devouring me, dividing me from me. Depression seems inescapable when I am in the midst of it. Eventually I get past it and when things become clear again and I look back on how I was feeling and the question is always why? Why did I feel that way? Why do I let myself get that way? Why me?
It is very hard to explain to most. It is very hard to explain here. I want to give more words, more thoughts to help people understand it. Depression hurts and I am left raw and guilty for being that way so I hide it. Again and again because I want to see the next day and the next but at what point does fighting get old, more difficult, and tiresome.
My one wish, the wish I have for humanity – reach out to those you love even if they are unreachable. Hug them however you need to. Give them what you can emotionally and do not stop doing it, do not give up on someone. Just know that someone you least suspect is suffering with this pain inside and even if it seems hopeless because you do not know it for sure, there is always hope. Keep giving out your love unconditionally because you just never know who that will help.
And for the love of god, ignore the media. Let this go. We should have been telling Mr. Williams how he changed our lives before he died and we did not. We need to grow our worlds, tell people what we are thinking before this happens. That is how we will change the world and those who are in it now.