Hey y’all. Sorry I’ve been gone for so long. I’ve been crazy busy, writing up a storm. Passed 100,000 words a couple of weeks ago in my book and been struggling a bit lately with some things. Nothing I can’t handle, mind you, just a bit of depression that I’d somehow staved off for a couple of months.
I’m on the up and up these days, making my way back from sad to positive. I passed mopey this weekend, so I think I’m going to be alright. Now all I need to do is write and not stay up until midnight staring at my book and I should be okay.
This news about Robin Williams was completely unexpected and kinda caught me off guard. Most celebrity suicides aren’t actually suicides, but are “deaths” or “apparent suicide,” so it’s really interesting to see one that no one has tried to pretend that it was anything but suicide.
It’s also kind of hard for me to see in the media everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE. Most websites I visit are doing some kind of tribute to him. I can’t go through more than one or two images on Imgur without running into his pictures or quotes.
For those of you who have read through my archives, followed my blog for any length of time, or know me personally, I have struggled with depression for the majority of my life. What most people don’t know is that my OCD and depression combine in an interesting way that almost no one sees in popular depictions or descriptions of OCD.
Before you read any further, go read a clinical definition of what OCD ACTUALLY is. Seriously. If you don’t go read the definition (or already know because you suffer from a severe case), there is no point in you continuing to read because you won’t come even marginally close to understanding what I’m saying. Yes, I know its dry. I read it too.
It’s not all flicking light switches, washing your hands, germaphobia, and organizing things. It is about so much more than that. Those are simple compulsions. Yes, simple. They are far easier to deal with than obsessions.
Obsessions are so much worse. You can’t get away from them. They follow you everywhere and they never shut up. I have those much worse than compulsions. It’s why I listen to music all the time and tend to zone out a lot. I’m silencing the nagging thoughts in my head that just won’t go away.
I understand completely what happened to Robin Williams. I know what its like to be depressed and constantly haunted by thoughts of release. Not self-harm, release. Death. For almost as long as I can remember, thoughts of suicide have been on of my obsessions.
For all you worries and whatever of my family that reads this blog, I’ve never actually tried to take my life or even intentionally subjected myself to pain or harm for any reason.
So yeah, I understand what happened. I understand HOW it could happen. I can understand why it happened. I mean, there are days when all I can think about is how tired I am and how hard living can be. How long every day is and how difficult it is to find something to smile about every day. I can’t fault the guy because I know how hard it can be to fight it.
That’s one of the things that is bother me. I see all this news coverage, read all of those posts and comments, and all I can think is “there, but for my sheer stubbornness and indomitable willpower, go I.” Don’t think I’m saying I’m stronger that Robin Williams was, because I couldn’t claim that. I’ve only got 22 years behind me, long as they may have been, while he had 63. He’s fought longer than I have and, sometimes, you slip and never quite manage to make it to your feet again. It’s not weakness, its simple misfortune.
And no, it had nothing to do with “the grace of God.” Nothing at all.
I’ve seen a lot of people talking about suicide. Almost everyone says that, in memory of Robin Williams, we should putting more attention on suicide prevention. A lot of people are saying that what he did was selfish. Other people, for whatever fuck-headed reason, are saying things along the lines of “at least he picked his time and his place.”
Fuck all of you.
Yeah, I don’t normally use that word and I generally hate it because it exemplifies a complete lack of eloquence and ability to thoughtfully express yourself. Sure, you can use it as almost any part of speech, but there is no artistry in it. That being said, sometimes there is no other way to express just how upset and pissed off I am than to just cut loose with a long, long string of appropriately conjugated “fuck”s. And this is coming from a guy who yells or mutters “monkey nuggets” when he stubs his toe(s).
The only good thing I’ve read about Robin William’s suicide was that he had a disease like any other and he lost his battle against it. Like cancer. Like the plague. Like swine flu or avian flu, or even the regular old flu. Because depression is a disease and it kills more people a year than you would believe.
I’ve been fighting depression and thoughts of suicide for years. I’ve had more close calls than I care to mention. I’ve had nights I honestly thought I would never see through.
This isn’t a cry for help. My disease has gone into remission. I can get through months at a time without having to stare into the void and wonder if I should turn away this time or let it swallow me. I don’t have to fight as hard as I once did because I’m finally started to gain some kind of control over my life and stopped worrying quite so much about the parts I can’t control. I’m still lonely. I’m still tired. But nowhere near as badly as I can handle.
If anything, what I want to do here is open a dialogue. I want to remember Robin Williams, that funny man whose eyes always screamed at me that they knew what I felt, the man who showed the world how to laugh while you’re crying, by talking about getting people with depression help.
We don’t need to prevent suicide. That’s a band-aid. That’s chemo. We need to cure the disease instead of preventing it from killing people. Yes, preventing it from killing people is a good first step, but it’s not what we need to do.
So let’s talk about this. Let’s talk about my depression, your depression, depression in American culture. Let’s get rid of the stigma attached to it and actually start to see it as the black plague of the 21st century.
Talk to me and, more importantly than anything else you’ve read in the past week, listen. Because listening is the first step toward understanding and a cure.