I have not written in a while due to a sad case of writer’s block. However, I feel the need to chip in regarding the rather untimely and tragic death of quite a remarkable soul, Robin Williams.
The reports are flooded with stories about his generosity, willingness and eagerness to ‘pay it forward’, simply because he was a good person. So, I’d like to comment on two themes that were constantly brought up during the past week, suicide and depression.
I suffered with depression when I was 18-years-old. No, not the feeling low, moping around kind of depression but I was depressed to the point of where I needed to be hospitalised on suicide watch. About a year and a half later, I attempted suicide in the most foolish way but could not go through with it. In a nutshell, I know that feeling of helplessness. It’s almost a common occurrence for ill-informed individuals to class depressed people as pill-popping loons and crazy-cats! People who have suffered the same often feel that if they speak up about their heartache and pain, society will ostracize and stigmatize them. I’ve been in relationships where my exes would use my past battles with depression against me. The more depressed you feel, the more you train your mind to think that the world is against you- well, that’s how I felt during that torrid time. You feel like you’re stripped naked in a dark, cold, room without a chance of seeing the light of day again. It’s not a physical state of being but a mental state. Sure, you can have your support system of family and friends. Firstly, a support system is detrimental to ensure that the wheels are in motion towards a healthy recovery. Secondly, and most importantly, recovery comes from within. You need self-belief and self-love to overcome this monster known as depression.
It breaks my heart to think that someone that ineffable and loved, suffered such a lonely death. I do not believe that he was a coward to have done what he did. I believe that the world became crueler towards him; and by world, I mean the entertainment industry. This tragedy has little to do with money, fame or happiness. At the crux of this story is the vulnerability of the human spirit to fall and not quite get back up on time. It’s sad that only after his death have we all taken stock of the tremendous loss. It should never have reached that stage. People should always feel loved, learn to love themselves and believe that they can battle their inner demons. I’ve battled my inner demons and now aspire to lead a more clear-cut way of life. I do feel under the weather now and then but remind myself that I’ve also conquered Everest. Thus, any feelings of disdain or dissatisfaction are treated as momentary indiscretions.
I’d like to conclude by saying that if no one told you this already, repeat these lines everyday, “I am fearless. I am extraordinary.” It took me a while to believe these words. Now, I live and breathe these words knowing that good things await me. If I hit a brick wall and feel low, I know that it’s only temporary because I’ve already battled and slayed that monster known as full-blown depression years ago. There’s always a light at the end of a tunnel so have comfort in knowing that.