This Isn’t About Robin Williams

08/19/2014 · 3 comments

in Abby Heugel, Fuck It

“Many who try to bring joy to the world are often the same people who fight a great war within themselves. Every fight lost is a tragedy.”

LOFB - AbbyThe death of comic genius Robin Williams spawned thousands and thousands of (well-deserved) tributes and blog posts about not only his career and his life, but also his mental health struggles.

I don’t want to read them.

I don’t want to watch them.

I don’t want to hear about depression and opinions from people who just have no clue.

That’s selfish, but I don’t want to deal with it because I live it every day of my life, a life that I’ve questioned the value of more often than I care to admit. While I would like to think that I would never go to that extreme, I’ve thought about what the world would be like if I were no longer in it, if I could never get “better.”

Because of that, Robin Williams’ death wasn’t surprising to me. Tragic? Yes. Surprising? No. Addiction and depression are equal-opportunity destroyers, regardless of age, sex or class. And the thing about addictions are that they’re all just a slow suicide, no matter your weapon of choice.

So why do some people make it while others lose the fight? I don’t think anyone knows.

What I do know is that for me, it’s not about lack of resources, because if I want to get help there are a million places to get it.

It’s not about people not doing enough to help, because I know you have to want and accept that  support in order to pull yourself out.

It’s also not about attention. My dark thoughts aren’t about death but rather the fantasy of finding some peace—any peace—to quiet the storms in my head.

That probably doesn’t make sense, but I wrote a piece for Huffington Postabout my OCD that I never shared on this blog because I didn’t want to be misunderstood. Plus, sometimes I just don’t want to deal with that reality.

But it is reality, and so are suicide and depression and all those things I don’t want to read, hear or talk about a lot of the time—all those things I am forced to think about all the time anyway.

Yet that’s probably part of the problem.

After Williams’ death I posted that quote above on Facebook and linked back to a post I wrote on depression.

The response was huge, both on that older post and to the simple quote. People sent me emails sharing their stories, and someone commented, “Thank you for things that you write. You have a medium where you can reach out to other people and truly help them with your own experiences.”

Whether he liked it or not, Robin Williams had a platform to talk about mental health, and maybe in some tiny miniscule way, so do I–whether through humor or sharing my struggles. If nothing else, I need the support myself on most days.

Of course, there’s no magic cure or easy answers. But what there is is support if you accept it, people who care and a dialogue about mental health that has been reopened up with another loss of life.

This time it wasn’t you.

It wasn’t me.

And if it was, it’s safe to say the whole world wouldn’t be mourning our passing. But somebody would. Somebody cares. And every fight lost is a tragedy.

Keep up the fight.

Eric August 20, 2014 at 2:03 pm

I would miss you, and I fight the same struggles on a daily basis. And my therapist claims I have some type of OCD because I’m never 100% happy with anything I do. My friends tell me it’s great. My family tell me it’s great. People I don’t even know tell me it’s great.

It doesn’t matter. I’ll scratch the whole damn thing and start over. There’s a reason my blog has gone through 7,000 theme changes.

You are not alone, my friend.
Eric recently posted..This is the NEW new Opticynicism

Cerebral Milkshake August 20, 2014 at 2:41 pm

If anyone reading this is interested, you should check out Paul Gilmartin’s podcast called “The Mental Illness Happy Hour”. He interviews a variety of people (mostly comedians, but also listeners and writers and doctor’s and so on), and they discuss their experiences with mental disorders and addictions and such. It is comforting, in a way, to hear other people talk about what they go through. It’s informative, heavy at times, and often funny, but mostly it’s comforting, because it’s a reminder that “you’re not alone”. There’s also a forum on his website and a spot to fill out surveys and such. I highly recommend checking it out.
I commend you (and anyone else) for sharing your experiences. It takes a hefty pair to be open and vulnerable about these sorts of things.
Cerebral Milkshake recently posted..Life Is So Damn Silly

Valerie August 20, 2014 at 7:40 pm

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