Yesterday evening as I crawled into bed to rest as I haven’t been feeling well, I of course opened my phone to see a Facebook status that quickly turned into 100s of Facebook statuses.
Rest in Peace Robin Williams
I quickly sprung up to tell the boyfriend as I rushed to see if this was just one of the latest celebrity death hoaxes. When I began to hear the word suicide, the news struck deeper.
I grew up with a slew of Robin Williams movies and of course, it became a household name for me at a young age. Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Aladdin, Flubber. Someone who brought so much laughter to the world was now gone, in one of the saddest moments of despair.
Mental illness has unfortunately been something I’ve been aware of since I was a little girl as well. The stigma and taboo have depression, anxiety, any of it, becomes something we all hide, in shame.
While we think of all the laughter Robin Williams brought us, it reminds of the saying of “Those that smile the hardest, are crying inside the hardest.” From the outside looking in, we knew of small signs of the depression Robin Williams faced but ultimately, it was hidden by his work and someone we all adored.
I recently shared my own struggles with Stigma Fighters, writing some of my story not once, but twice. I wanted people to know that they are not alone, no matter what the struggle might be. Mental illness is just that-illness. A cancer patient would not feel shame for needing medical treatment, a patient with depression should not feel embarrassed in needing the help to make them better.
We will never know the hurt inside Robin Williams faced, but we can only know that, in that moment, it overwhelmed him to a point he felt he could not face anymore. It is not our place to judge the decision he made as in such darkness, sometimes, there is no light. Depression doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, single, married, young, or old.
We must face the stigmas and say enough is enough.
I’m going to miss you Genie. We all will.
If you don’t know who to turn to:
In the U.S. – Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the National Hopeline Network at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433). These toll-free crisis hotlines offer 24-hour suicide prevention and support. Your call is free and confidential.