I tried my best to stay off social media this weekend. And off my email. The result? Lots of emails to go through and lots of news missed. Primarily the death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO. I have little words for this right now and will speak more of it later because in truth, all that’s going to come out right now is something akin to why in the fuck can’t we stop our babies from being killed?!
But, Robin Williams caught my attention tonight. As I watched Jeopardy, I saw something on Facebook and didn’t believe it. Then, they broke Jeopardy to break the news.
It caught my attention because he’d been dealing with depression. It caught my attention because I’ve been there. It caught my attention when I saw Tweets by Terrell Star and his admission of being suicidal. It caught my attention because I still remember that Suicide and Depression course taught by the incomparable Dr. Farkash. The course specifically taken to see if I could be found within the pages of the text.
I had almost forgotten. That day. So long ago. A young woman in her very early twenties. With zero coping skills for life and no one around to save her. With someone manipulating her emotions and pushing her further over the edge. I remember her. I no longer see her in the mirror. She’s been absorbed in smiles and laughter. In prayers and healing. But tonight, I was forced to remember her. To acknowledge her. To honor her passing. That girl that thought of suicide.
I wrote about depression recently. And yes, my biggest fears were realized when someone I loved used that against me. But I won’t stop talking about it.
Because I know so many of us deal with it. And by dealing with it I mean, fold it and tuck it away in our underwear drawer right behind the vibrator. Because BAYBEE! The stigma of depression is more embarrassing than anything else you can talk about. Vibrators included (not that I have any). At least in my community. Is it in yours?
I’m making a plea tonight. See, I know what depression can do. How it can isolate you and bring you into a depth of hopelessness that you can’t even describe. I know how it feels. If you are feeling that too, reach out! Leave me a comment, email me, call the suicide helpline: 1-800-273-8255! I don’t care who you reach out to but, reach out! Don’t let the isolation eat away at you. Don’t let the stigma silence you. And if you know someone, don’t let the stigma paint you a picture of that person. Reach out. They need you and your understanding.
One of the most moving movies I’ve ever seen is What Dreams May Come. In the movie, Robin seeks answers after his wife kills herself. I can’t help but think of that movie tonight. I send my thoughts and prayers to all of those that have had their loved ones taken due to suicide.
And to all of those that have had their loved ones taken by violence, tragedy and unspeakable atrocities which I know we try to gloss over every day.
I recall Robin in Inside the Actors Studio:
Host: If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Robin Williams: There’s seating near the front. The concert begins at 5, there will be Mozart, Elvis and one of your choosing. Or just to hear there’s laughter… to hear God go “Two Jews walk into a bar”.
I know God has jokes even better than yours. Here’s hoping you’re laughing your ass off, Robin. Just like we have all these years thanks to you.