Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams was found today in his California home. He was aged 63. It appears likely he committed suicide.
As I learned the news and did the story on the death for IJ Review, I found that the story was having a deep emotional impact on me. I found it odd because although I realized that Robin Williams is a very talented comedian and a very good actor, he wasn’t a favorite actor of mine. Then I realized when I the likely suicide of Robin Williams hit home, because it reminds me so much of my own struggles with depression.
For those of us who are creative, we tend to feel emotions far more intensely than most normal people do. When we’re happy, we’re very happy and when we’re sad, we’re very sad. We can make others laugh and we can be there for them, but the sad irony is that we can’t help ourselves and pull back the dark veil that is depression. Although we have many fans, we feel all alone in the world.
I have been to the point where I prayed that I didn’t wake the next morning. I have been to the point where I was seriously contemplating to take my own life. Sometimes, the feelings of hopelessness, deep sadness, and the deep emotional loneliness just become overwhelming and all the reassurance in the world just won’t make it better. Some of us just become better at wearing the mask of happiness, or at the very least contentment, in public.
What I found was contributing to my depression was the fact that I was trapped in a dead end occupation and once I was fired from that and began writing full-time and professionally, things began to turn around emotionally. The only thing I worry about is that these good times can come crashing down in an instant. If those of us who were given the gift of creativity are not using to entertain others and make the world a better place, it hurts. In the case of Robin Williams, even being a successful actor and comedian was not enough to soothe the pain and fill the emptiness.
As for Robin Williams, I hope God will realize that he was a sick man and that He will provide him with eternal comfort and love. I also pray that his family finds some measure of peace.
As for those of you who are reading and maybe suffering from depression, please get help. Find someone to talk to, you are not alone. Talk to a trusted friend or a family member and let them help you find help. You are loved and never forget that.