The suicide of comedy legend Robin Williams has hit a lot of people hard, apart from those who actually knew him. The shock of it is difficult to get over, but for me it is the knowledge that he was in such despair, in such a dark place, and couldn’t reach out is what gets me the most. I still really can’t wrap my mind around the fact he is gone, and every time I hear about or read something on him my eyes well up with tears. I know I am not alone in this.
There is such desperation in suicide. The idea that someone just can’t go on anymore is huge, and for some people, a difficult concept to understand. Depression is a silent killer, very misunderstood. Most people can’t “get it”. Unless you have been there it is hard to fathom being in that state.
I have been there. Suicide was something that I lived with every day for a very long time. I tried twice, but they were half-assed attempts, designed more to get someone to see me in that darkness. As much as I wanted the hell to be over, I wanted help. The bottom line for me was that I had a strong survival instinct, even though I wasn’t fully aware of it. I was an optimist in that I knew there could be something better for me even if I wasn’t conscious of it.
When you are depressed and suicidal you are swallowed by the darkness. There is no light, you see no way out, no respite. Nothing anyone says to you, no matter how loving and supportive, changes anything. Medications do make a difference, but some people cycle into depressive episodes in spite of them, and the depressed person feels like nothing will ever change, nothing can help. It seems to me that telling someone you are in the dark pit is essential. I wonder if Robin Williams said anything about where his head was on the day he killed himself, or if suicide had become an imperative for him.
I dreamt about Robin Williams last night – he has been so much on my mind. The world has lost one of its great lights and there is a hole in the hearts of millions. For me, his death reminded me how fragile human beings are, how fragile even I am, and of how much we need each other. It has brought mental illness into the consciousness of many who never gave it a thought before this, and that is a good thing. But how sad it is that it took this event to make people think.
There is a part of me that wishes I could have helped him, but sometimes the dark is too dense. It will take me a long time to come to terms with Robin Williams suicide, to stop crying every time I see his photograph on TV. And I know that I am only one of many who have been so touched by his death. For, at one time, it could have been me, and there but for my tenacity would I have gone. I miss you, Robin, and I didn’t even know you. I hope you have found some peace. Your legacy is huge, and will always remain. Thank you for having walked this earth for a time. You gave many people so much joy. RIP