Through music I either tame my demons or unleash them and allow them to be what they are. I don't want the music to be about provocation, I want the music to bring you to a place where you feel at home. - Michael Franti
As the news of Robin Williams's passing came about, I was sitting in my car and completely shocked and saddened. When I looked the circumstances of his passing, I grew sadder and a little bit angry. I could not believe that he took his own life and committed suicide while leaving a loving and caring family along with millions of fans behind.
Robin Williams was a comic legend and well respected within the entertainment community. Chicago was his hometown. He studied at Julliard. He was able to turn cartoon characters like the Genie in the movie, "Aladdin, " and funny characters like Mrs. Doubtfire. As a child from the late 1970's and early 1980's, I grew up watching him with my family when he was on "Mork and Mindy."
At the same time, I understood what he had his personal demons. He dealt with drug and alcohol abuse issues. He dealt with the death of John Belushi after his drug accidental overdose in 1983 and was able to get himself into substance abuse treatment. He recently returned to Hazelton just north of my hometown about 18 months ago for additional rehab in order to stay sober and stay committed to being sober.
What many may not have known is that he had additional demons that he was fighting off. He was dealing with severe depression that can complicate someone who has a substance abuse history and has entered rehab previously. It can affect someone and place them into high risk of relapse. It also places someone at a higher risk for suicide.
Overall, Robin Williams' tragic passing opens up the conversation for everyone to start talking about depression and suicide. Everyone has their own demons including celebrities. Yes, they do.
If you claim that you do not have any demons, you are in DENIAL. Yes, you are.
I know that I have my own personal demons and am not perfect. I face these demons on a daily basis, but I embrace them and do not run away from them. I have forgiven myself for my past mistakes and have learned from them.
We live in a society where we spend so much time and money on pushing away and ignoring our demons. We use food, drugs, social media, sex and other vices to avoid our demons. There are times that we indulge too much on these vices and abuse them. We harm ourselves internally and externally when we do not take care of ourselves and allow demons to take over our lives. When take control of our vices and demons, our lives become more peaceful and happy. When we are afraid of our demons and run away from them, our demons will always find you.
If you are struggling with your demons and addictions, please seek help ASAP. If you are thinking about suicide, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline NOW. Life is too precious to give up quickly. Love yourself and ask for help. There is not shame in seeking treatment. You are not alone.