Mental Illness Knows No Boundaries.

The Grand Optimist

“You are only given a little spark of madness. You musn’t lose it.”

– Robin Williams

Recently the news  broke that Robin Williams had been found dead from a suspected suicide. An amazingly talented man who like many of us, struggled with depression and addiction. Not only has this devastated his family and friends, but the whole world has felt this loss. I think the hardest part to comprehend is that how can someone so funny and what seemed to be so full of life kill themselves? His movies were a massive part of my childhood. Mrs Doubtfire reminds me of my dad and my brothers and is still one of my favourites  It just goes to show that mental illness does not discriminate and that you can have all the money and fame in the and it doesn’t bring happiness.  I think it just goes to show that people may be…

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feel, don’t conceal.

Like many people, I was stunned to find out that Robin Williams passed away on Monday, August 11, 2014. I was at Madison Square Park with my boyfriend when I read the news on Facebook. My stomach turned and I began to feel nauseous. I couldn’t believe it. Robin Williams was gone; he committed suicide. Williams reminded me of the awesome uncle everyone loved and the father everyone wanted to have. I remember watching Mrs. Doubtfire at seven years old; I wanted a father like him.

So I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram reading people’s comments regarding Robin Williams’ passing. Many people expressed their sympathy to his family. But I couldn’t help but notice and read some of the heartless, mean, and cruel comments others posted. What bothered me the most was that some called Williams a coward. I couldn’t believe that! Like how dare they? Of course Robin Williams never knew me, but I felt some need to defend him.

Robin Williams is a coward because he committed suicide?!? That has to be one of the most insensitive, stupidest comments I have ever read! Who knows what was playing through Williams’ minds at those final moments. When I think about it, I feel that he felt he had no recourse, no other way to escape.

Williams’ struggled with depression and drug/alcohol abuse throughout his life. I can’t imagine being in his shoes. To have to perform for thousands of people and make movies where I know people are going to judge me no matter what… I don’t think that I would have been able to handle that kind of burden. Williams’ appeared to be happy in front of the camera, but his smile concealed so much more.

I am not a Hollywood starlet, but to some extent, I can relate to Williams’ struggle. There were periods in my life where getting out of bed was a challenge. I would just stare at the ceiling, feeling hopeless, not looking forward to anything in life. I know most of my struggles came from being bullied and teased as a child and in my early teens. People say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” But guess what…words really do hurt! When people called me fat, ugly, blubber, flubber, fat thing… that hurt! I hated going to school… I hated anything that had to do with physical activity. That hatred and bitterness carried over for years, even into my adulthood.

I became so bitter and angry at everything around me, I knew it was time to get counseling. I hung out with my friends and family, but I wasn’t happy. I smiled, but it masked my sadness. It was hard admitting that I had negative feelings and that I needed help. To carry the negative feelings seemed much easier than telling someone how I felt. I thought that by telling someone my feelings and struggles, that person would pretend to help me and then judge me behind my back. I knew that in order to accept help, I had to open my heart, but more importantly, I had to trust- that was the most challenging part. I don’t regret going out of my comfort zone and getting counseling; it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

If you or someone you know is depressed and struggling, please do not be afraid to seek help. You are not a coward if you seek help; you will be saving your life and will be making yourself healthier and stronger in the process.

I dedicate this post to Robin Williams. Thank you for making me laugh and smile. You will always be Genie.

 

Until Next Time…

 

—Stelly

 

atlantic city sky.

IMG_3120

I took this picture with my I-phone while I was at Atlantic City with my boyfriend. We were at the beach and it wasn’t too hot, but definitely far from chilly. We laid in the sand, jumped with the waves and talked.

At that moment, I was just me. And we were two people, a loving a couple spending their first vacation together. The sky looked so beautiful, so peaceful… l had to capture a picture that can almost show how happy we were.  

sundays of summer.

Hello Everyone!

I hope the summer has been kind to all of you as it has been to me. This summer has been great for the most part; I have spent time with my friends, family, and boyfriend. In fact, my boyfriend and I celebrated our 3rd year anniversary by taking a mini-vacation to Atlantic City and also by seeing Aladdin on Broadway.

I made a list of goals to achieve by the end of the summer. Although I may not achieve all of the goals by the end of the summer, there is a greater lesson that I am learning. This lesson is to let go and just live. I took some time and reflected; honestly, I knew that things had to change. I sat back and thought to myself, “What am I doing?” I knew that I could do much better in many aspects. The problem with this thought and reflection is that by putting myself through this unnecessary guilt, I am not living. I am literally sitting there, wondering what I could have done, instead of bettering myself in the process.

I read a quote on Instagram that really spoke to me, “I stopped looking for the light. I decided to become it instead.” To me, the quote means I stopped looking for a way out, a solution to the problem. The solution to my life’s issues lies within myself. And I am determined to succeed and prosper.

Summer 2014 has a deeper meaning for me for another reason. August 8th marked the 20th anniversary of my grandfather’s passing. There isn’t a day where I don’t think about him. My grandfather was truly a gem in my world, a symbol of fatherly love at its finest. When he passed away, I felt a part of myself die as well, even at seven years old. Overtime, I grew not to trust many people, out of fear that they would leave. Would someone leave just because I trusted them, or would they leave because they didn’t like me; these were some of the questions I asked myself on a constant basis.

However, it was not until I met my boyfriend that I grew to love and trust. And I thank him everyday for coming into my life and helping me become a better person.

I made a goal to live- I want to do things that I have never done before, that both excite me and scare me. And this is exactly what I have been doing. When Tyrone and I went to Atlantic City, there was a sense of tranquility and happiness that I had never possessed up until that moment. Going to Coney Island, being with my friends, spending more time with my loved ones… this is what living is about.

Now we are in August- this is known as the Sunday of summer. I want to spend the rest of my summer doing what I love to do most- writing and being with my loved ones, exploring new and exciting places in New York City.

I hope that you all are doing what makes you happiest. We all deserve the chance to be happy and to smile.

Thank you for your support and for reading.

Until next time!