Sweet, funny, kind, hysterical, soft, insightful Robin Williams has died. It seems that the Monster That Is Depression got him.
I remember one night when I was in college. I was at a friend's house; she had just gotten engaged. My roommate was graduating, another friend had decided to leave school, and my boyfriend was already done with school. It was a festive evening, lots of celebration and laughter.
And one point, I left the group in the living room, and stood looking out the darkened dining room window. I felt a sadness I had no words for, and could not express. It wasn't just that I was feeling the weight of my best friends being gone; it was the weight of the entire world. There was no logical reason for the pain I felt. I didn't know it at the time, but it was the first entrance of The Monster That Is Depression into my life.
Recently, I checked myself into a mental hospital. I was in the belly of the beast, and I could no longer cope on my own. I envisioned lining up all my pill bottles and getting that bottle of vodka from the fridge. I thought I could drive my car into a bridge abutment. Somehow, someway, the pain would stop. Nothing else seemed to be working.
My time in the hospital was the best thing I've ever done for myself. It not only gave me coping skills that I need to stay healthy, I heard - for the first time - others speaking openly and with raw honesty about the same thoughts I had: I'm a failure, I want to die, I want the pain to stop, no one cares, the world would be better off without me. You have no idea what a relief it was to know that I was among others fighting the same Monster, and we all had - until that point, at least - been winning.
The Monster has backed away from me now, but I never let my guard down. The cost is too high. I am a warrior, as are others who fight the Monster. Unfortunately, some warriors fall, despite the most valiant efforts.
I hope Robin Williams finds peace and joy and rest eternal in the hands of a God who has also fought monsters, and understands the battle.
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