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Robin Williams' suicide still haunts me.
On grieving the masterful artist who silently struggled.
I am sitting on my couch silently crying while watching Jack, one of my favorite movies from childhood.
I am still laughing at all the comedic moments, but there’s also an overwhelming cloud of sadness over me. Not just because of the main character’s situation, but mostly because I am still not over Robin Williams’ death. He was so beautifully gifted at making others laugh and feel joy, all while tremendously suffering himself.
Most of the world was stunned by his suicide. We didn’t know he struggled mentally, well, I know I didn’t. Whenever I thought about Robin Williams I thought only of his amazing acting abilities, his unique humor, and his gentle presence. I think that was what was most shocking about his death. He had the ability to lift our spirits in the roles he played, even if it wasn’t a comedic one; really making us believe he was happy and carefree. I can only imagine him going to his dressing room after a long day of shooting feel-good scenes on camera only to feel lost and empty and inside in reality.
Robin and I have that in common.
I know the pain of wearing a mask and being able to bring joy and comfort to everyone but myself. To walk through the world with a huge smile on my face, only to internally and silently struggle with the will to live. His death reminds me that it is probable that I will struggle with my mental health for the rest of my life and I often wonder if it will eventually be too much. I’ve experienced some dark moments where my will to live was fleeting. But, up until this point, something always brought me back and reminded me to live.
I’m sad that Robin didn’t have that moment.
I’m sad that his life was cut tragically short due to his suffering. I’m sad that this isn’t unique to just Robin and me. I’m sad that there are millions of people who share this often silent battle and many will lose that fight each day.
I often exhaust myself with the thought that no matter how many medications I try, how often I go to therapy, or how great I am at self-care, I’ll always find myself back in a dark place wrestling with my humanity.
I don’t know how to end this, I hadn’t even planned to write it. So for now I’ll just express gratitude for the fact I am still here to write out my thoughts and feelings, instead of being overtaken by them.