I’m sorry, Robin Williams

Photo by Charles Haynes. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic.

Photo by Charles Haynes. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic.

Someday, when we are fighting suicidal depression, we are going to be able to get a blood test and the doctor will say, “ok. This is why you are feeling this way. Here is the precise concoction that is going to get your brain chemistry back to normal, lickety-split.” You are going to feel instant relief and no side effects because your body won’t be fighting against drugs you don’t need and you won’t be a human guinea pig. You won’t need to abuse drugs or alcohol in vain attempts to silence the voice in your head. There will be no stigma associated with getting help, no question that your doctor knows what to do. No helpful family and friends telling you to cheer up, suggesting to go do something or asking what caused you to be “down.” People will understand. “Oh, it’s just broken brain disease. But now she is on the mend.”


For now, fight.

I can tell you it is possible to get better. That voice saying you have no other options, that you are too exhausted to try, that you just can’t do this any more … It’s wrong. It’s a voice that comes from a chemical imbalance in your brain. It’s not you. It’s not your soul or you mind. As much as it feels like it’s you, it’s not. As soon as you get the right treatment for your disease, that voice begins to dissolve until you don’t hear it any longer. And one day, you look back and think, “who was that?”

Will the voice come back? I don’t know. It has before. It’s a scary thought. But right now, with my brain in balance, it is not the kind of scary that cripples me, discourages me, makes me feel as if the pain won’t end. If the voice comes back, I have people to call. I will try not to suffer alone, try not to believe the voice.

And I will keep hoping for that blood test. It has to be possible. It has to happen.

I’m sorry, Robin Williams, that it wasn’t ready for you. I’m sorry the fighting went on too long. I’m sorry you didn’t have the help you need. And I’m sorry for myself and the world that you are gone.

(I’m adding this post to The Daily Post writing challenge, “Manifesto,” as it is a manifesto toward better mental health care.)

Author: rosie

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  1. Oddly enough I wrote along similar lines yesterday. You might like to check out my post http://wp.me/p4Fvr2-gw I would so dearly love people to be able to understand depression, but unless they have lived with it it is so difficult to understand. Maybe one day 🙂

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    • It is hard. I’m sorry, too, that you struggle with depression. One day, yes. Not maybe. Yes. 😉

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  2. I can’t help but wonder, if he could have heard all this radiant affection, all these voices who can empathize with his despair, would it have made a difference?
    Beautiful post.

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    • I can say for my experience, it’s hard to hear “radiant affection.” You don’t believe it. At all. I think the best thing people could say to me was, “don’t hurt yourself. If you do, it is going to cause pain to me and everyone around you. A lot of pain. Let me help you.” And then for them to do anything. My friends who would call me constantly to check on me were a reminder over and over that anything I would do to myself would affect them. That was bad news for my dark plans. A disruption to the incorrect thoughts that killing myself would simply end the pain. The thoughts that always stopped me were about my daughter. I didn’t want to leave her with the legacy of a parent committing suicide. However, I have often wondered where my thoughts would go if she were an adult? I think reminding individuals always that lots and lots of people would be hurt by their suicide is important. It even damages people you do not know. That is significant. Of course, I am healthy right now. This is all very easy for me to say. Now. But I think it’s important. I never even wanted the attention – I wanted to be alone and dead. But the constant “checking up on me” just kept reminding me that others had a stake in this life of mine. It annoyed me and kept me here at the same time until I could get the help I needed.

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  3. I agree and hope for this for so many who suffer as well! I wrote about the importance of Emotional Intelligence for my manifesto. I feel like we are taught to hide our feelings (which are totally normal) and that depression often comes from repression. Here’s to a future of acceptance of mental health care and treatment.

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