It’s been a week now since the shocking news of Robin Williams’ apparent suicide. My first reaction when hearing of it was denial .. It can’t be true! Not Robin Williams. When realizing it was not a mistake, contrary to conflicting reports being posted online, I went from denial to shock to sorrow to a level of depression.
Depression. Anger and disappointment combined. That’s what it was for me. In light of that along with some other things going on in my life it’s been a tough week during which I struggled to appear okay. Yes, I withdrew a little more; I tried to keep the emotion under control; I spent some time reading, tearily looking at YouTube clips about Robin Williams, but also listening to the music I enjoy to keep myself from going under.
What again was emphasized to me was the agony of soul a person experiences when in such depths of despair there is no way out to be found. It’s a lie, of course, but not to the blinded mind in the throes of it. What grieved me so much about Robin’s choice of remedy is many-faceted.
1. It was Robin Williams – the man whose crazy, spontaneous humour brought laughter and cheer; the brilliant quick mind that could respond to anything in half a moment while everyone else was still thinking up a reply.
You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it. – Robin Williams
2. Robin’s pain was so deep that no one seemingly even suspected how severe it was. At least, not to the point they feared for his own actions nor did what they could to prevent it. How did they not know? Or maybe they did but couldn’t yet reach that deep.
3. If Robin could suffer so greatly without raising suspicion, how many others are in that same place of torment, also going unnoticed? Robin Williams’ act gave more proof that depression can happen to anyone. Anyone. Most successful suicides are unrecognized issues until it’s too late.
4. I worried if Robin Williams resorted to that decision for his end of life, how great an influence would that be to others in the despair of depression?
5. Personally, I know that kind of pain. I know those thoughts. Thankfully, I recognized the lie. I was so saddened that Robin didn’t pay attention to what he knew and even warned others against. His words linger on …
“Remember, suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems.”
6. In that same week following Robin’s suicide, there were two others I heard about – one not far from the home of one of my daughters, the other my husband saw – while driving from one work location to another – shortly after the fact of its happening, emergency vehicles just arriving.
7. No matter how bad it seems there is always a better choice. There is help in some form, help that will make each dark day easier to bear until the light is reached. No matter the anguish of soul suicide is not the answer.
8. There is hope, there is life after depression, there is reason to live, there are people who care. The affect a person’s death has on another is beyond description. And when that death is self-inflicted by choice there is no way to explain the guilt, the pain, the anger, the lasting impact the survivors suffer because of it.
I have been guilty of saying suicide is the cowardly way out. Not that the person was a coward, but that they lacked the strength to carry on the fight for life. Perhaps it is simply harsh desperation – unheeded, unheard, unrecognized. I believe it takes a lot of courage to stand against the warring voices in one’s head – the voice to give up versus the voice to hang in there – and choosing to live.
Suicide is not because someone wants to die. Suicide is an escape from the pain of living. And I firmly believe that suicide is not the end.
If you are toying with the idea of suicide — DON’T DO IT. PLEASE. Don’t give up. There is a saying, Don’t give up on the brink of a miracle. If I had given up I would have missed out on SO MUCH that God has for me. The impact would have been horrendous on my family. I know that now although it was extremely hard to see the truth of it then.
Depression. Is. Not. The. Answer.
Choose to live. Seek help. Talk to someone.
If you suspect someone in your life is struggling with harmful thoughts, if they’re despondent, sad, withdrawing, maybe using anger to keep people away … do your best to draw him/her out. Love them unconditionally. Do little things to show you care. Encourage them to get help. Pray for them.
But do not .. DO NOT .. feel guilty if you miss the signs.
I will miss Robin Williams, his manic crazy humour, his brilliance. There are four more movies (one is a voice-over) coming out that Robin starred in – two later this year, one in 2015, and one with no set date as yet. I’ll be watching for them.
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂