Many days, I think that depression can’t be beaten, can’t be controlled, can barely be contained.
This is one of those days.
Robin Williams is reported to have committed suicide.
He was a crazy alien who always found something to love about humanity when I was a child.
He was the teacher who pushed his students though – and beyond – the breaking point of experiencing life.
He was the father that forgot, then remembered, he was the boy who wouldn’t grow up.
He was the man who said, “it’s not your fault,” and made me believe that maybe it wasn’t.
He was the stand-up comic who made me laugh at pain and drugs and alcoholism and sexuality and all those things that a young woman is trying to figure out in the world.
Whether it was good parenting on my folks’ part or good timing on mine, I couldn’t say, but I never saw a character that Robin Williams played that didn’t keep that spark of hope that we are good people who do the right thing alive.
His irreverence made me feel alive.
It is almost unthinkable that such a man would ever consider extinguishing his light.
And yet there are the dark days.
The demons are sitting on my chest, whispering in my ears that nothing is worth the effort, painting my eyes with blackened brushes.
The monsters in my heart are calling for me to bury my feelings in anything, food, drugs, sleep, anything that will stop my muscles from aching and my heart from shattering.
The bastard voices in my head are detailing everything that will go wrong, magnifying every fear and every pain.
On those days it’s a miracle that any one of us survives.
I accept my depression because I know it isn’t my fault. The chemicals in my brain aren’t balanced the way I would prefer.
I accept that my broken brain leads me to feel things differently, to approach them differently, to value them not the way that others do.
I prefer to take medication that helps my brain feel and do things more normally.
I understand that some may not.
I understand sometimes the medication doesn’t work.
I’ve learned both of those lessons during a dark spiral that tore my world apart.
Every day I have to accept my depression again, have to choose irreverence over darkness and life over silence.
By the time I’m 63, maybe I too will no longer want to fight.
I hope I will.
I hope I’ll continue to seize the day.
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
If you ever feel like suicide might be an option, please talk to someone. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline will talk to you online or over the phone. No matter what problems you are dealing with, they want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.