I have no idea if there is a better place to post this notice but I couldn't find anyone else discussing the sad passing of Robin Williams.
While he may not have been a 'great' actor when compared to Lawrence Olivier or countless other amazing actors, he was certainly a joy (for me) to watch. He did some dross but I always enjoy his performance.
But that isn't really why I want to post today.
I often find that I look up to celebrities (particularly actors as my preferred medium is film/tv) who have struggled with depression and self medication, I was kind of a class clown though with age my morose manner has come through these days to such an extent that I have little space left to make jokes. So people like Robin Williams or Stephen Fry really appeal to me as people who struggle with depression and survive.
I know that the suicide rate increases when a celebrity commits suicide. I can see why.
I have lived with depression for many years, I always felt that it is a terminal illness. That one day it would kill me. Every year I am simply amazed I have reached (whatever) age. This year I will be 28, I couldn't have imagined it possible I would survive 16! As such, I have been struggling with thoughts of suicide for many years, every day, some days more than others, so hearing the sad news of Williams' passing I have found myself in a bleaker mood. I often think of how I might kill myself, a variety of options leap into my imagination, how to protect those around me, weather I should bother to protect them?
I heard the news of Williams' death and I happened to be around some family and friends and felt the need to maintain the façade of a normal person, not a depressive who imagined (vividly) hanging myself out of my window. I can't shake the image.
He was a remarkable man, with great wit, who struggled with depression and alcohol/drug abuse. I read an article about how one plays the fool in order to distance oneself from others; along the lines of how you can be liked because you're a joker but if you're disliked then 'Hey, it doesn't matter, they doesn’t know the real me'. I have know idea how Williams himself felt but an event such as this which (whether you enjoyed his performances of not) it encourages the media (social, news etc.) to speculate/relate their experiences. I have no idea who Williams really was, or who those who chose to speculate really are, all I know is how I feel.
I don't know why but his death as one who I respected as a person who struggled with depression and alcohol/drugs, has effected me. like, 'Jesus if he can't survive it? what chance have I got?'
our lives were so different as to be almost unrecognisable. I never took cocaine (I enjoyed it the one time I tried it but its too expensive for me) I smoked weed and I drink more than is healthy but I don't often get so drunk that I have no control, though I might feel embarrassed I don't often behave 'shamefully' I wasn't (not)raised by distant parents (in his case a maid), just a hot/cold mother and a father to whom I was close but he moved to France when I was 12 after their divorce when I was 7. I was abused as a child, I have self – harmed on an off for many years, I fantasise my death. My depression is no story book, I'm not Robin Williams, Patch Adams, or him from 'What dreams may come' I am me, I'm gay I'm not funny, I'm awkward and ashamed.
So I hear the news of Williams' death and mourn in my own particular way. it resonates with me so profoundly because as I said 'if he can't survive, what chance do I have?'
I want to die. I sometimes feel that I just can't hold on any more. I wish I were as funny as Williams, I wish I could live to 63 and have 3 grown up kids, I wish my job were as enjoyable as some of his work. But I'm not and that's not all he was either, to his kids, or his wife, his ex-wives and the people he met where he touched their lives.
To me, he made me laugh and though I'm saddened by his suicide, I'm saddened because of the person I imagine, and the death and the sadness that caused it. Is it the same as my pain? or not? either way, his death touched me in a way I can't explain.
Rest in Peace Robin Williams, I really hope you can find the peace you deserve, that you can be yourself where you are and that one day I might find such a thing.