Today I am sad. Robin Williams reportedly took his own life. The sadness comes from many different places. First there is the fact that today the world lost a great actor and one of my all time favorite comedians. Second is the selfish desire to see him in more movies, movies that now will never be made. Third and most importantly, another person lost to the world because the fight against depression was too much to handle.
I have lived in the darkness that depression creates. I have wondered about easy ways out, and wished for some sort of magic to take it away. Unlike many, I was able to exit that darkness. It is still there. Sometimes it creeps up on me when I least expect it, but I am fortunate that I was able to find things that helped to turn the lights back on. This, what I am doing right now, is the single biggest of these things. I write. My thoughts and feelings are able to be purged in a way when I place them into written form. They are not gone. Like the darkness they are always there, but the ability to look at them and see them for what they are is important to me. Most of my darkness stems from loss. I have lost loved ones, some in tragic ways, and that leaves a hole in me that can not be filled. But I learned to express those thoughts here in this blog. Although I have not really had suicidal thoughts, I do think that writing saved my life. It allowed me to exit some of the darkness, and only then, in the light was I able to see what great things I still had going for me.
I know some of this just seems like I am rambling, but the fact is that Robin Williams could not find his light switch. The darkness overcame him and he felt there was no way out. This happens to so many. Rich, poor, popular, ostracized, white, black, christian, atheist, and any other type of person you want to list. They all have these demons inside telling them that for whatever reason they are not good enough, funny enough, rich enough, handsome enough. The problem is that many don’t get the chance to realize that it really doesn’t matter. You don’t have to live in a state of sadness unless you want to. I have this disease. I don’t take pills, though they do help some people, and I don’t see a shrink. I write. I hug my kids. When I am really down, I think of simple things. I think of the fact that my kids would not exist if I had let the demons win. How can I know what the world would miss if I lost now?
There are other ways. Reach out to the ones you love. Don’t think they will help? Then reach out to a shrink. Hate shrinks? Ask a priest, or anyone that might listen. If none of these, for whatever reason, are an option for you, then reach out within yourself. Sit down and write all of the things that make you sad on a piece of paper. Then on another piece write all the things you love or enjoy. Post the list of loves on your fridge and read it to yourself every day. Take the piece with the problems and burn it. It really is that easy. Convince yourself that the depression is nothing more than a list of crap you don’t want to read. Remind yourself every single day that there are things you would miss if you were gone. If none of this works, message me. I don’t know you and therefore can/will not judge you. I will talk to you until we find your light switch, because we all need to exit the dark. We all need to bask in the light, and there is NO problem so big that ending your life is worth it.
I still struggle. I have issues sleeping, I get into bad moods and I wonder why the world treats good people so bad. The thing that is different now, is that I recognize that the things that get me down are trivial. They don’t matter as much as I once believed they did. I am free from fear now because I convinced myself to be happy.