I never thought I would write a post about a celebrity. As obsessed with pop culture as I have been, I just didn't want this blog to be about that subject. I saw my obsession as a shackle that I was trying to break.
If I ever did write one, I certainly never thought I would write one like this.
Being a kid in the 90's and early 2000's, I was privileged to know Robin Williams as the Genie, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jack, and as Alan in Jumanji among many others. He helped shaped my childhood.
As a child of divorced parents in the mid-90's, I really appreciated Mrs. Doubtfire. I realized that I may be the only person in my circle who had divorced parents, but somewhere else there were kids who were experiencing something similar to me. I was not alone in my journey.
I also always felt different. I could never explain why exactly, but something about me was different than other kids. The movie Jack helped me in so many ways. I loved it. I don't know that I really thought about why I loved it at the time, but now I can see that it too helped me feel like I was the only one like me.
When I read the headline Robin Williams died last night, my first thought was that it had to have been a heart attack. I was in shock when I read further and the story said the cause of death was an apparent suicide. If you follow me on twitter, it was quite possible you grew annoyed with me. I just couldn't process it.
How could someone who brought so much joy to so many people be so desperate?
So many lies that I can't even write them all on here.
There are two that stand out the most to me.
Fame & money bring you happiness.
Mental illness is something to be ashamed of.
Depression is a scary disease. That's what it is a disease.
According to WebMD:
When you have depression, it's more than feeling sad. Intense feelings of sadness and other symptoms, like losing interest in things you enjoy, may last for a while. Depression is a medical illness, not a sign of weakness. And it's treatable.
There a lot of things about which I don't think I should have an opinion. Not that I think my voice doesn't matter. I know everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just think there are quite a few issues I don't know enough about to form an educated one.
Mental illness is not one of those.
I may not know every sign or every symptom of every single mental illness there is. I know enough to know there is a stigma attached to it.
I’ve heard so many people say, “I just don’t know why they didn’t ask for help.”
A lot of times the answer to that question is: they were afraid.
When you are at the point of giving up, it’s not easy to say, “I need you.” You feel crazy because you know you should be happy. You don’t necessarily have something that’s making you sad so people think you should just get over it. I am so thankful I had people in my life you asked me when I needed them to ask.
I will admit to you that I am writing this for entirely selfish reasons. I am writing this so I can process and say goodbye to someone who truly affected my life. Maybe in someway I can be a part of opening the dialogue.
You may think the death of a celebrity is not something that should draw the focus of this country. Let me tell you why I think you’re wrong.
The death of Robin Williams brings to light an issue this country tries to sweep under the rug. The stigma of mental illness needs to be washed away. We need to talk about it like we would if we had cancer or a cold.
In my opinion, suicide is a cause of death that is 100% preventable.
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. -Robin Williams