Social media has been abuzz for the past 6 hours since the news of Robin William’s death and apparent suicide broke. When I logged onto Facebook and saw the article detailing this, I found it hard to believe. In fact, I still find it hard to believe. It’s hard to believe that a man who was always smiling and was a genius at making millions of people laugh could kill himself. And while the police are still investigating, that certainly looks like what happened. It’s made me incredibly sad and has had me thinking a lot.
It’s sometimes very hard for some people to talk about their feelings and emotions, and I’m most definitely one of them. I find comfort and happiness in making other people laugh; it’s something I pride myself on. I would love to be known as the person who could always put a smile on everyone else’s face. I imagine Robin Williams felt the same way.
His death was a tragedy that could’ve been avoided, and though I’m sure all day and in the coming days people will reference this, it’s true that if it was more publicly accepted to talk about depression, suicide and mental illness, he might still be alive today. The outpouring of support from friends, family and fans might have convinced him that life was worth living; that suicide really is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I know depression is an illness rooted in an imbalance in the brain, but if it wasn’t so damn “weird” for someone to admit that they’re struggling, maybe people could’ve helped.
I think about how I’ve struggled with my own emotions and issues for so long and how I continue to struggle every day. For the past 7 years my mind, emotions and feelings have been all over the place, and opening up to people about that has been one of the biggest barriers to my happiness in life. I’ve felt like, and still do feel like, opening up to people isn’t an option because suddenly you’re that person, and maybe if it wasn’t so weird for me to be that person, I could’ve received help long ago.
My emotions and issues aside, discussing depression and mental illness is serious. No one deserves to die like. So, to a man who made me laugh all throughout my childhood and into adulthood, I say thank you. Thank you for the laughs and the memories and the wonderful films. Thanks for being a bright spot for many in a dark world, and rest easy. “Genie, you’re free.”