It’s been a sad few days on the internet this week.
As you all know, tragedy has struck Hollywood once again and the world is left shocked as the news of Robin Williams’ suicide spread like wildfire.
Blogs, news articles, and various media streams have tried to process the unanswered mystery as to why someone who held the hearts of so many would take their own life.
Didn’t he know how loved he was?
What did he have to run from?
What was there to be so unhappy about?
Why didn’t he talk to someone?
It was a known fact that Mr. Williams struggled with depression and addiction. A deadly combination that has claimed the lives of so many. The problem with depression is that it never makes sense. Sure sometimes it can be situational but generally, there is no rhyme or reason to it.
As someone who once was diagnosed with severe depression and addiction, I know that feeling all too well.
I was only 19 and I sat across from my therapist and doctor in a small, cold nursing office with my mind in a fog as they tried to convince me that I needed to go on anti-depressants.
I couldn’t go on anti-depressants. I refused to be classified as “depressed.” Only the sad, pitiful, and deadbeats of our society were on anti-depressants. Or so I thought because you see, no one really talked about it.
After a few days of their pleading, I finally relented and there began my process of trying every mix of whatever pill cocktail they thought would help me.
I lived in a deep state of shame because of it. For years, only my close friends and family knew my secret. I was depressed.
If someone caught me taking one of my pills, I would lie and claim that it was for some other ailment. Anxiety. Stress. Antibiotic. I couldn’t care less what they thought it was as long as they didn’t know it was an anti-depressant.
There were many nights where I felt helpless and at a loss. Although I cannot say that I was suicidal, there were times where I did feel like that would be my only way out. I was afraid that if the darkness I felt within got any darker that I would someday be led to that point.
You see, what people who have never experienced depression don’t understand is that it makes you feel powerless. It robs you of the ability to see the people and love around you. It isolates you and makes you feel like sinking and disappearing within yourself. For some, it paralyzes you to the point of being afraid of your own self.
You become a stranger.
Depression isn’t always situational, as we can see from those who suffer from it in Hollywood. Money, fame, recognition, and a world-wide outpouring of love can’t fix it because the root runs so much deeper.
It comes from not being connected to the one who created and gave you life in the first place. We were designed to be in connection with God. The human race first began it’s journey on earth by walking side by side with God. When that connection gets polluted, we hide just as Adam and Eve did.
Depression makes you hide. Depression makes you think you’re alone when in fact someone has been looking and in pursuit of you from the beginning. Depression makes you cover yourself with something that was never meant to be your covering.
Sadly, Robin Williams represents thousands upon thousands of others who have battled the same demons. The ones who had been lied to by the spirit of depression into thinking that death was their only way out. What breaks my heart is that they will never know on this side of life that there is freedom. There is hope.
If you battle with depression, please do not lose hope. Do not allow fear and shame to lie to you and trick you into staying silent.
There is hope.
There is a way out.
There is freedom.
My prayers are with Robin Williams’ family and friends during this time and also with the countless others who have been left behind by someone they loved.
If you or someone you love is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please contact The Suicide Prevention Hotline.