Its a very sad day for countless fans, friends, fellow recovery members, those with the personal knowledge of the lifetime experience of mental disorder - mental illness - mental health that is is visits millions daily.
Robin Williams put a fun face, absurdity, that laugh out loud -before it become LOL - through all the trials we each faced. He made mental illness something that can be dealt with, managed, and successful. He showed us that having an alphabet of mental disorders, a salad bowl of drugs and alcohol could be a challenge that could be something that was miraculous, insightful, and show us true genius. He was brilliant beyond words. He did more for the face of mental illness - making it mental 'health' than anyone probably on the planet. He showed himself to the world - every ache - flaw and perverse mistake that comes with full blown addiction. He made us less afraid to laugh at ourselves, seek help, and disconnect from the shame that the judgmental want to throw at us.
His death will not go without notice. His celebrity and fame will bring a new side to his reality that we like to ignore and deny. His death will bring to light that heart surgeries change brain chemistry - that in my own career I recall a decade before physicians even connected the two events of surgery and depression and had to convince them to provide chemical assistance to alleviate the burden of a chemically depressed brain . He will help with finally understanding that depression and addictions can be rooted in brain chemistry - genetics and not a character 'issue' we can 'just get over.'
Hopefully the non-stop media coverage will give us quality information to take the blanket of shame that dealing with depression, bi-polar, attention-deficit disorder brings. We need to stop judging and shaming and embrace mental 'disorder' with the same care we give to those with cancer and chronic illnesses. He was surrounded by the best. He had more resources for help than most. The rooms of AA/NA probably saved him for the years he did understand his powerlessness. I am sure there are thousands who met him in his most personal way - in those 'rooms' - his other 'safe place'. I am sure millions have personal shares of how his humor lifted a heart and soul during troubled times. There's been too many lately.
My heart breaks because we needed Robin. The saturation of his life reviewed is helping distract us from the insanity of globalization - more 'wars' than we can count, increasing and obvious poverty in our communities, parents fearing how they will raise their children in a society that seems to reject healthcare, nutrition, confidence in education, where religious organizations are abusing our vulnerable and our financial experts are extracting our labor's profits for their own satisfaction. I can even question if like I did - watch the media this last week and wonder what have we as a WORLD done to ourselves? As a country we have become so divided - so angry - so hopeless - now powerless - as our trusted systems fail us every day.
We needed someone who could make us laugh AT it all - in the absence of George Carlin - who could say out loud what we were all thinking. He could get away with saying that completely over the top remark that summed up the absurdity of what those 'leaders' - 'smart people' were doing that was really stupid. . . We will miss his guts - his ability to just rant - spew - let it all go - and speak perfectly - manically - but exactly how we felt.
His energy - his empathy will be missed - even more as we move forward with the realization of his absence.
We need to live in his honor - in the shadow of his ability to make us laugh. He probably saved more lives - without report - than we will ever know - because laughter does affect our brain chemistry and makes it 'better' - but only for that short time - that we can reach constantly - consistently - even currently.
If you are struggling with how and why to keep going - reach out RIGHT NOW- there is at least ONE person you matter to. One person who will miss you - you touched in this life - reach out - let someone feel the satisfaction of being able to help you - please do it for you - your loved ones - or even so Robin's life is not in vain.
He would want us to see the laughter of his life - not the tragedy - depression can be treated - call a professional today. Please.
My office contact is 570.87.0808.
The National Suicide Hotline Number is 1-800-273-8255.
Peace - One Day at a Time.
Laughter is an Instant Vacation