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…