Personal Message: I wanted to post this sooner but I just couldn't find the words till now...
On the 12th August 2014 the news of Robin Williams death was a real blow for me and the rest of the world. I grieved for his family as I read the touching tweet, “Genie your Free” from the Academy. I thought long and hard about his, others and my own life journey whilst coping with depression. Social Media was alive with thoughts, messages and views from all angles and today I would like to share with my readers a few comments along with my own.
I am reminded of another great man who suffers daily with this condition. "Depression is as real as the weather…it’s all about a kind of mental umbrella. 'Hey-ho, it’s raining inside: it isn’t my fault and there’s nothing I can do about it, but sit it out. But the sun may well come out tomorrow and when it does, I shall take full advantage.'” Stephen Fry
It was amazing to see all the comments and people talking about their experiences with depression, (some the first time) it became almost comforting to know I was not alone and although the circumstances where tragic, I couldn't help but think it was a step in the right direction.
Yes there was still the odd comment of “this is just a distraction from what’s going on the the real world” (anon) and “suicide is a cowardly act” (anon). Trust me, I myself used to share these opinions and until you yourself or a loved one suffers this horrendous illness, you have no idea how one tiny event or circumstance shuts down the logical part of your mind and traps you in a darkened room from which there is no escape. So I ask you all, please hold your judgement's, listen with tolerance and understanding. For it is these kinds of options that stop people asking for the help they need. Jason Maford reminds us of the analogy from Watchmen:-
“Man goes to Doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life is harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says “But doctor... I am Pagliacco.”
The happiest person who greets you with a smile every day, who is full of fun and life maybe holding something back.
I have been trying to document my experiences on this issue since I began my journey with depression because "No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world." Robin Williams. I urge others to read them, if only to gain understand, insight or to discover you are not alone in your struggle. Links will be left below:-
Before I leave you with the important words from Jason Manford, let me just say again and again...
You are loved and important to this world. Even if you don't think so, you are!
If you feel alone and down, anxious and low. If you feel deep sadness but can't find a root cause. If people tell you to 'snap out of it' or 'things can only get better' or 'what doesn't kill you makes you strong', know that it's simply not always true. Sometimes it does kill you.
Please. Ask for help. If you have no one or if you don't want to tell them yet, then ring Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 for someone to talk to, or talk to your GP.
The world needs you even more then you think, it does. I promise, we need you here, now.
In memory of a wonderful man...