I don’t generally write about topics other than my own life, but tonight I am so very sad about the death of Robin Williams I just had to find a place to put that sadness, this place is always the very best to lay my sorrows down. Of course I did not know him, but like everyone else I knew Mork, I quoted lines from “Good Will Hunting” and “Dead Poets Society” is in my top 10 of all time favorite movies. Every time “The Birdcage” is on television it instantly becomes a movie night on the couch for me and then there was the time I was about 13 and I broke a coat hanger in our ancient looking cable box trying to pick the lock my parents had flipped on because I was trying to watch “The World According to Garp”, after hearing my mom say it was an “adult” movie, which I always assumed meant a dirty movie!
I think what resonates for me is that the demons Robin fought, we all have them. Some just cling on tighter than others, their firey breath burns hotter and their persistence is unbreakable. I respect my demons, I acknowledge them but mostly I fear them when they raise their voice at me. I feel very lucky that I have not struggled with mental illness so far in my life, but I have certainly danced right up to the edge of darkness with my addictions. Those few times when I honestly found myself at the very bottom of the murky barrel with no way out in sight, were the worst times of my life, I can’t imagine trying to survive that on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Tonight my tears free fall when I think of all the people I pass on a daily basis who are silently, struggling in isolation. The judgement and shame that we put on mental illness and addiction is awful, I am ashamed of humanity in those moments, myself included, it’s so easy to judge, to excuse yourself from the table where the people who have thought about suicide sit.
I have sat at that table with my mouth stuffed full of my addictions and pain with no where to turn except the key of the car in a garage with the door down. No one is above it, immune to it and you can’t pray it away or fight it if only you were a little stronger, smarter or just wanted it more. All of this to simply say, you were not alone Robin. Sometimes the demons win, and the whole world is at a loss.
And that he did….