in honor of one of the funniest comedians, i opted to share a different message today. i’ve picked a clip from one of the movies i love so much, “what dreams may come” with robin williams. please take a look and allow some of the messages to sink in from both this clip and my message.
as many of my readers may know by now, robin williams has passed away. i actually found out through a text message from a friend of mine, who said that he took his own life. i couldn’t believe it. i was stunned. i immediately sought out the internet, because that’s a reliable source, to figure out what happened. my heart ached. my heart still aches for the loss of someone who brought so much laughter into my own life, and i know many others.
on my facebook feed i’ve been seeing a lot about depression, numbers of hotlines to call, and various articles in honor of robin williams. some of my friends have talked about their personal battles with depression and suicidal thoughts or attempts. this makes me both excited and sad.
i’m excited because i’m hopeful that through this tragic loss more people will stop stereoptyping what it means to be depressed. the once thought picture of a person wrapped up in blankets in a dark room, eating ice cream and just crying all the time has now been transformed into a man who lit up the world when he was in the public eye. who caused people, myself included, to laugh until they cried. this picture of depression has been transformed into something we can all understand and relate to.
this picture has transformed into me and you.
i’m saddened because i wish we didn’t need to lose such an amazing person in order for us to stop stereotyping mental illness and provide help and healing for all those who need it.
we must, as a society, as a people, stop telling people to;
suck it up! get over it! let it go! move on. cheer up! just smile!
let’s face it, living in america has it’s perks, but the expectation we generally have about living the american dream, certainly does put pressure on us to perform, to be better, to do better, to work more or harder. we focus so much on getting more education, on earning more money, on having faster cars or wads of cash in our pockets that we forget the whole point of life.
when i went into the mental hospital to seek treatment for depression and suicidal ideations, i hadn’t a clue what to expect. and though i don’t feel my experience in a mental hospital was great, i do know that i learned one important thing by being in there.
for the first time i was with people who openly admitted to feeling sad, to wanting to die, to struggling with life and not one single person looked at me and said, “really? you’re depressed?” no one criticized me for the reasons i wanted to end my life, although many of the reasons i suspect i still don’t know. no one told me to pick myself up and move on. in fact, more people told me to slow down and take this time to really focus on myself and getting better.
growing up, people didn’t talk about feeling depressed. in fact, as a teenager i was almost expected to be depressed. my emotions, my feelings, and my experiences were all belittled. people just didn’t understand that what i was going through wasn’t teenage angst, but it was something more, something deeper, something much darker than any “comedy night” could fix.
i battled depression from the age of 12 until i was 25 years old. i still have my moments where those feelings creep back in, but i think what has helped me the most is finding people who i could talk freely to about my fears. i’m terrified to walk back down that dark road again, and before you say, or think to yourself, “well then don’t! think positively!”
let me remind you that depression isn’t a choice. it’s a disease that is invading the minds of our children, of our friends, our families and yes, even those who make it their life’s mission to make us laugh.
so, in honor of someone who made me laugh so much in life, and who i now realize has more of a connection to my spirit than i once would have thought, i am asking for my readers to join me in this prayer.
“Father, you said that you came here to bind up the broken hearted (isaiah 61), and i know that all things come in your time. i just ask that you give us ears to hear and eyes to see what you do, Lord. i ask that you would inspire us to love your children as you love them. i ask you to give us prophetic words to speak to those children desperate for you, for answers, and for healing. i ask that you give us courage to stand up against the enemy as he attacks us. give us the willpower to go to the darkest places and shine your light Father. thank you. amen!”
please, if you must show one characteristic of God, make it love.
RIP Robin Williams.