Tonight I sit here in stunned sadness at the news of the passing of Robin Williams. The news of his death took my breath away, but when I read that his death was the result of an apparent suicide - I couldn't help but cry.
I grew up watching Robin Williams. When I was only eight years old, ABC's hit sitcom Mork and Mindy captured my attention and funny bone. I remember more than once rolling on the floor laughing my brains out.
No matter the role Robin Williams tackled, he always seemed to seize a part of humanity and bring the character he was playing to life. Whether it was his role as Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning, Vietnem or John Keating in Dead Poets Society or the voice of the Genie in Disney's Aladdin, the roles drew me in and made the story hit my heart.
Years ago, when I learned that Mr. Williams battled alcohol and drug addiction, my heart sank. It wasn't until I really became an adult did I realize the reasons so many turn to those vises. With depression, I have battled anorexia/bulimia and other destructive behavior. I hate it and I am embarrassed to even mention it.
For the first time in my life I can relate to someone I had grown up watching on television and on the Big Screen. According to Mr. Williams' publicist, Mara Buxbaum, Mr. Williams had suffered from and had been battling severe depression lately. When I read this this evening, I instantly I knew the space he had been in.
Depression is something no one ever really wants to admit and that is probably the most destructive part about it. So many people suffer in silence. They suffer through mind numbing emotions and put on a face of normalcy for the world to see.
Depression sucks the life force from your being. I hate, truly hate with every ounce of my soul, that I understand the mind set that leads someone to take the steps to end their life. To see no other alternative is one of the darkest places the mind can go.
In fact, just about a year and a half ago, I attempted suicide myself. The last few days, the dark cloud of depression has hung over me again. I have struggled the last few hours after I heard the news of Robin Williams death. I have shed tears like I never have before for a celebrity.
We mourn our idols when they pass from this life. But his time, this one hurts deeply. Such a talented light extinguished because of the demons that haunted this man were just too much for me tonight.
I STRONGLY encourage you to seek help if the darkness just seems to be too much. I can not put too fine a point on the fact that depression sucks and is not something to be ignored.
If that darkness is over whelming you, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). There are trained, compassionate people willing to listen and help you through this time. They are available 24 hours a day/ seven days a week.
Please, PLEASE take the time to talk. Ending it all is never the answer. I speak from experience.