august 12. 2014 – robin williams

what i have heard the most in the last 24 hours is astonishment – both that he had passed away, and even more at how he had passed away. it just made no sense – a man who had spent nearly his entire life providing so many laughs to the world. how could somebody so funny and seemingly full of life take his own? he didn’t seem like the kind of man who would ever do such a thing? it’s unbelievable! how could that happen?

and the answer is so easy.

it can happen to anybody.

and it does. every single day. to children, teenagers, and adults. to the homeless, to middle class mothers and fathers, and to famous artists. when it comes to suicide, it doesn’t discriminate. earlier i was thinking about what people will probably be discussing in the days and weeks to come. i’m sure at some point in a conversation somebody is going to blurt out that ‘if i had that much money there is no way i could be depressed. and i certainly would never kill myself! how stupid!’

(if that sounds cheesy and unbelievable, trust me. people actually say that shit)

and it’s so fucking easy to say that when you’ve never been in the situation. and i don’t mean the situation of being a depressed famous actor. i mean the situation of being so alone and shattered inside your own head that every single other option melts away and you are left with this one last thing. it’s ignorant to believe that if the roles were reversed that you would easily find a way to dig yourself out of it, paste a smile on your face, and live a wonderful rich life, dying naturally in your bed when you were 90 or 95.

i cannot pretend to know exactly what he was going through. we were pretty different, him being a 63 year old movie star, and me being a 33 year old not a movie star.  but when it comes to the end, there are minutes – maybe even seconds – where we are so much alike that it is eerie to think about. i can sympathize with how hard it was to make that decision – as i have written before, it is never an easy decision to make – how hard it was for him to put that belt around his neck, and how hard it was to finally leave.

if you looked past his talent, his awards, and his millions of dollars, you would have seen a person. a person just like any of us. a person who struggled with depression, addiction, etc. he was a person who felt, who hurt, and who had reached a point where he couldn’t fight any longer. i don’t know if this is something he had planned, or if the moment came out of nowhere and insisted that it was time. if that was the case, there was nothing anybody could have done. once you find yourself in that spot there is only one thing left for you to do, and nothing or nobody is going to stop it.

and maybe this can help give people a glimpse of just how serious and sad mental fucking illness can be.

how could this happen?

the answer is so easy.

the reason somebody like him can take his own life is because once you have made it to that ugly place the fame, the money, and even the love of your friends and family is not enough to keep you here.

i hurt right now not only as a fan of his work – his performance in good will hunting is easily one of my favorite performances by anybody ever – but as somebody who has been in a similar position in my life on more than one occasion.

i again feel the need to argue against calling him a ‘selfish’ man – as there have already been news anchors and other celebrities that have done so. he was the complete opposite of a selfish man. all it takes is to read a couple of articles and you’ll learn about what a huge heart he had and how much he did for other people while he was alive. he gave and gave and gave. and eventually, he couldn’t give any more. the masks that he wore – and how there were so many masks – became more difficult and eventually impossible to put on.

so many people – myself included – had no idea he suffered from depression. and i have a feeling that is exactly what he wanted.

some of us work so hard to keep the rest of the world from knowing – when i started this blog i was sent quite a few messages from people i had known for years, telling me they had no idea. and that is how i wanted it for so long. there is a shitty stigma attached to it, and it can ruin your life in many different ways.  it’s a lonely life with a lonely disease and suicide is a lonely end.

i can’t blame him for what he did. he was an intelligent and troubled man, but he made a decision. it wasn’t selfish, and it wasn’t stupid.

it was the only thing left to do.

i’m just sorry he found himself there – it is the scariest and saddest place in the world.

and i hope he has found his peace.

 

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~ by alltheavenueslookugly on 2014/08/12.

14 Responses to “august 12. 2014 – robin williams”

  1. I absolutely agree! I wrote a similar opinion post about Robin Williams and his death, and though not many agree with me, I’m so happy to have come across your posting. I say the same thing, whether people agree or not, it can happen to ANYONE! It’s easier to be judgemental when one doesn’t know the ongoing battle sufferers of depression and mental illness live with daily, and in the same token, it is easier to have a better understanding of why he did it when one can relate. I can relate, therefore I do not judge him. It’s sad that we live in such a cold, cold world that people continue to be judgemental, rather than make an attempt to understand what it’s like to be a sufferer of mental illness or depression. It’s a disease that is felt not seen. It does exist regardless of how many people don’t understand it. Great post! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂 The change starts with us!

  2. The “selfish” and “but what did he have to be depressed about?!” comments are a nasty, vicious indictment on society’s attitudes to mental illness, and this so needs to change. Now.

    So well said, Sean. Everyone needs to read this.

    RIP Robin. And (((hugs))) to you, Sean. x

    (PS. I know I rarely comment, but I do always read and often think of you. Take care).

    • you’re right. for some reason celebrities are exempt in people’s minds from those who are capable of having such horrible illnesses. until they realize that this is a disease that can and does affect everybody, the ignorance will always be there.

      i am the same way. i rarely comment, but i try to read as much as i can. thank you for staying with me. 🙂

  3. It so can happen to anyone… There’s nothing we can seek out for in life that will mean we have no chances of us ending our lives. It can happen to anyone and we need to remember that. Nobody is ‘immune’ to this. We have to all put in our own efforts in order to ‘spot’ these people that seem to be showing signs of wanting to end their lives and try to help them or take action in order to save their lives like by calling for an ambulance or ideally speak with the person and tell them things don’t need to go this way and that you will support them through this and that you want to help them as they are so important to you…

    Even us ‘messed up’ people can help others. We’ve got to be there for each other.

    • i absolutely agree. it’s difficult at times because we are trying to deal with our own pain and sometimes that makes it harder to notice just how bad it has gotten for others. but if anybody can understand somebody going through it, it is us. that’s why i think these blogs that we write are so important. it allows others who may not have otherwise reached out for help the chance to explore and learn from us. and my hope is that after reading they are able to realize how serious their own illness is – and maybe that is what they need to get themselves into treatment.
      i think us ‘messed up’ people are doing a good job. we aren’t being selfish in our suffering. 🙂

  4. I’m so glad you addressed this, because it’s the absolute true – raw and emotional. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, your station in life; it affects all kinds. And it is insidious and we need a national dialogue. Not just today, tomorrow, but every day!

    Good to hear from you.

  5. In reading your blog I’m near to tears. I couldn’t have put it any better myself. The loneliness,hurt feeling of failure ,struggling just to get each day in does a lot of the time totaly an slowly destroy you from inside out. An no matter how hard you try to stay positive it always seems to have that grip an power over you to pull you back down. It dosent bear thinking about the pain an turmol this lovely man went through for years,months ,weeks ,days an the final hours before he came to the final decision he felt he could no longer avoid. Sleep with peace Robbie

  6. You know what I think? We know the battles of “battling the black- always”. Imagine having Oscars and awards and millions of people telling you how great you are on top of “battling the black pit of nothingness”. It would probably be that much worse, don’t you think? I understand him- way too easily.

    And the first person I thought about when I heard about what R. Williams did was you. I want you to know that I have a great amount of respect and awe for you for NOT taking the “easy way out” as they say. Dying is easy. It only takes a few minutes and it’s all over- but living is the real challenge. You’re still here. You’re still with us. You continue to make a difference in others people’s lives- present tense. I’m glad for that. ;0)

    • i can’t even begin to imagine how hard it must have been for him to fight for as long as he did.
      thank you. i mean it. there’s so many of us still here, just doing what we can. i’m glad that we all can make a difference – taking something awful and squeezing whatever good we can out of it. i appreciate you so much for hanging in there with me. 🙂

      • Hey, no problem! I’ve seen you in your blackest days and man, if anybody gets you- I DO. What I’m learning is that it gets better after a while. Not easier- but “better” still.

        I hope you’re doing well with your sobriety, etc.! If you fall off the wagon, don’t kick your teeth out, you know? Hop back on and keep on chipping away at that stone.There have been many days that you’ve helped me to put my own life into its proper perspective: I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. You help lots of people with your honesty.

        Anywho- off to bed. Talk to you later. ;0) x

  7. Sean, a wonderful tribute to an incredible man. I have been reeling ever since I heard the news. I have no illusions as so many do regarding just how someone like him could do this. I once tried to explain to my mother that being depressed was like gee you just won millions of dollars and I’d be like who gives a shit, give it away. Still this has been a hard hit for me, cried a thousand tears while laughing at his standup I can’t stop watching. It’s like if he could do this, what hope is there for me? But I know we are all individuals blah blah blah but it haunts me, I’ve been talking to him in the garage when I sneak a smoke with tears running down my face until I can’t breathe because I’m so stuffed up. I hope, if nothing else, the stupid world will open their stupid eyes and maybe see just a little bit how it is to be depressed. Stupid world 😦

    • exactly. maybe people will begin to realize just how serious it is when somebody who seems to have everything and enjoy life so much can do this. if you have never seen his performance in ‘world’s greatest dad,’ i suggest you check it out. it is incredibly dark and the first thing i thought of when i heard about this.

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