This has truly been one of the saddest weeks of my life. Not completely soul-crushing, but certainly one that needs to be over quickly.
Some of the things that have me down are not my stories to share; it is not ABOUT me, but it affects me deeply. There is nothing I can do to fix it…I just sit by and watch and console or encourage where I can.
Of course, there is the matter of one of my lifelong heroes ending his own life. There have been countless tributes to Robin Williams by far more prolific writers than I try to be. While I do not try to call myself a “writer” by any means, I DO feel the need to express how I’m feeling.
Robin Williams made me laugh like you’re supposed to: with your whole soul. A laugh so strong you feel it for hours after. I cannot remember a time when he wasn’t in my life, lifting my spirits. And as much as I hate to be a fangirl about this, I can’t help it. We live in a world where Robin Williams is dead. By his own hand. Because of a whole lot of demons he battled for a lot of years. And then today I see that he also had early stages of Parkinson’s…how frightening that must have been for a man who used every inch of his frame in conveying his comedy to know he was going to have effects from a disease that robs victims of motor skills, sharpness, etc. I mean, he was lightening fast; something that would dull that certainly would be reason for fear, panic, and depression to take hold. My heart breaks at thinking about the blackness he had to be fighting. I’m so so sorry, like millions of other fans, that there was nothing we could do to help him realize how loved and admired he was. Or that we couldn’t do something so he would know that no matter what his fight with Parkinson’s was going to be, it didn’t matter what changes it might bring because we would STILL love him and support him through it all.
He’s gone. Game over.
So now, as if it hasn’t been touched on before, EVERYONE is sharing photos and memes about how depression kills and that if you need help, you should reach out and call the depression hotline. Apparently it takes something THIS colossal to snap the world out of self-absorption. Here’s the kicker, though: how long is it going to be before this philanthropic, “love one another” outreach fades away? I personally can’t see it lasting to the weekend, and that makes me sad. Sadder?
Depression kills, folks. It kills dreams, hopes, active achievement, mortal coils. You can have 409 Facebook friends, 253 Twitter followers, and 117 Instagram followers and yet feel completely alone. It is so easy to see how unimportant you are when you post something that you think is really cool, yet NOBODY likes it, comments on it, or validates it. For people with depression, it is very easy to seek your self worth in things as trivial as how many “friends” approve your social media posts.
You see, we no longer talk to our friends anymore. We spend all our time hiding behind our computers, tablets, and smartphones, scrolling through our imagined strong network of loved ones. We think that clicking that cute little “Like” link or double-tapping that photo keeps us indelibly connected to our lifelong BFF’s. Weeks go by and we realize we haven’t actually SPOKEN to said friend in…how long? This whole social media thing is the equivalent of being in the middle of the room of people you THINK like you, and finding out that they actually just invited you because it was the polite thing to do. They smile as they walk by, perhaps even pat you on the shoulder, but when you actually try to strike up a conversation, they practically run away. Social, it’s not. It’s just sad.
And very, very lonely.