Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Be kind....for Robin Williams.

I haven’t felt the need or even wanted to write in a really long time.  Until Robin Williams took his own life.  And now my fingers can’t seem to type fast enough.

What do I plan to say about it that – let’s face it – every magazine, newspaper and blog – hasn’t already said?  Nothing.  I mean nothing new at least.  I honestly have no idea what I want to say about it other than to say please be kind.  None of us really knows who is dealing with mental illness.
When I was 15, I lost the only man that mattered to me to suicide.  I swear to you that up until that point, I was a na├»ve enough kid to not even know that taking one’s own life was something that people could or would do.  Least of all this man that I loved.

I had never known such grief and then anger in all of my life.  I didn’t go one single day without crying for him.  I thought it would never end.  The pain.  The fury.  The questions.
But as my life went on, the pain subsided.  There were many months that I didn’t even think of him or the pain I felt over his death.  But then there are family get-togethers and too much alcohol – which then comes with usually thick walls coming down and emotions coming out and the topic of this man’s suicide always comes up. 

Nearly thirty f*cking years later and his siblings and loved ones still can’t get past it.  30 years later and some of them are still not sad.  They are still just pissed.  I myself, literally just learned more about his letter he left behind.  His state of mind.  The fact that he indeed planned it ahead of time.  And on and on. 
I think it hurts worse now than it did at 15 because now I understand it more.

People can be pissed instead of sad or understanding or empathetic – when never, ever in your life have you suffered from anxiety or depression.  You can judge and say insensitive things like, “Why didn’t he just ask me for help?” or “How could he leave me like this?”
You’ll never get it.  Hell – I didn’t get it.  I asked all those questions and more – every damn day.  I accused, hated, and judged until I was blue in the face.  Had I known that one day – I’d be in the exact same spot as my Uncle – I’d have shut up real quick.

It is inexplicable.  I have never, ever found a way to describe what severe depression feels like.  Had I been battling a drug or alcohol addiction in addition to severe depression….well…I wouldn’t be here today.  As it is – I am amazed I survived.
That’s the thing about addiction and mental illness.  You survive it, tolerate it, treat it and deal with it – but you never, ever cure it or get rid of it.  You can go months and years without a single symptom and then one day – find yourself literally bed-ridden.  Unable to shower.  Or comb your hair.  Or drink water.  Or eat.  Or even open your eyes.

And you spend every single second of your life begging God to kill you – because you don’t even have the energy or fight inside of you to take your own life – so you find yourself pleading with God to do it for you.
The pain is unbearable.  Excruciating.  And you can’t see a way out of the darkness – no matter how many flashlights people keep handing you.  It is worse than any physical pain I have ever felt and it is something I’m not even sure I’d wish on Satan.

Crazy pills and Xanax have become as normal as the word “the” in our society and we laugh about missing a dose or needing a straight jacket….and it’s funny – except it’s not.  Without “crazy pills” I am dead.  No longer breathing.  No longer a mother, sister, or wife.  I am gone from this world.  My own f*cking body will not let me live. 
The job I love, the house I love, the children, husband and family I’d give anything for – cease to exist.  Depression takes away the feeling I have for anyone else.  It turns me into a selfish asshole who literally can only thing of the next minute and how on Earth I’ll ever make it through it.  I can’t remember why I should eat.  What my passions are in life.  Who I love.  Bills I pay.  The car I drive.

Nothing.  Depression wipes it all out – in one swipe.  The next thing I know I’m laying in bed – unable to sleep, eat, move and sometimes even talk – and my mind cannot process anything but dying.  No matter how much you try to get me to eat, sleep, talk or drink – the only thing my mind can feel and say over and over is “PLEASE GOD – let me DIE.  Please.”
You know you’re hurting everyone who has ever loved you and you can’t do a damn thing about it – which only intensifies the need and want to die.

It is indescribable. All-consuming and life-altering.  To feel it and to watch someone else feel it.
So please – be kind.  Don’t ask questions about why he felt the need to end his life – because even Robin Williams doesn’t know the answer.  It only adds to the family’s pain.  I have always said and still believe that the grieving and after effects of suicide are worse than almost most kinds of death.  You go to your own grave still asking why – and that’s a heavy burden to carry.  It’s downright exhausting.

When people say what my Uncle did was selfish or he’ll got to Hell for taking his own life which wasn’t his to take….I have to walk away.  I know right then that the person mouthing those words has never been where my Uncle was.  Where I’ve been.  Where Robin Williams was.
Be kind to people.  And pray to any and every God out there that you never ever have to eat your misdirected words about suicide or mental illness because you suddenly find yourself in the depths of your own mind hell with no way out.

Robin Williams didn’t take his own life.  Depression stole his life.  If you want to be pissed at someone - be pissed at depression.  It took away his very breath and will to breathe.  Imagine such a pain.  And then remember to be kind.  You never know who is dealing with this.
RIP Robin Williams.  My heart aches for you and your family.