Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Still Reeling

I have been treated for suicidal depression since I was in high school - that's forty years of counseling and medication.  I am still reeling from the suicide of Robin Williams.  I have been as deeply affected by despair as he apparently was.  And I have to admit that it was never a person who kept me from killing myself.  It was my animals that stopped me.  Animals.  Cats, dogs, horses, rabbits.  Not one single person, except myself,could stop me.  But I always had a fur-covered child that I found I could not abandon.  I write, I draw, I paint, and I sew for my creative release.  I read books avidly for learning, and as a type of escape.  I have decided many times to take my own life - but them I've met the eyes of my furry family and realize  that I need to be here, alive, to take care of them.
  I am devastated that Robin Williams, a truly great actor and comedian, reached such depths of despair himself.  I know that he had both an alcohol and drug problems;  I know that a few years ago, he suffered a heart attack.  Perhaps he felt over-whelmed - perhaps he felt that the public wanted him to give more and more of himself - perhaps he felt that his ensemble comedy show's failure was his, personally - there are so many reasons that a gifted entertainer might do away with himself….  I am just very sad that a man who had such a gift for giving laughter ended his life, alone, and by his own hands.
  The Mork & Mindy house here in Boulder, at 1619 Pine Street, became a memorial to the genius of Robin Williams as soon as his death was announced.  I was in school while the show was on, and my parents and I enjoyed it immensely - especially since my sister was living in Boulder at the same time.  I have seen photos of all the gifts left at his gate in Tiburon, California, and at his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
   Depression and mental health will probably be "buzz words" for the next few months, and then will be hidden away in the closet or swept under the carpet again.  I have had so many people - including family - tell me, to "just shake it off," "go out and do something," or "it's all in your mind…"  Hell, yes, it is all in my mind.  You can't just shake it off like a dirty dust mop; you are so depressed that it's a great accomplishment just to get dressed - go out and do something? - you don't have the energy to even feed yourself…  I was usually identified as the quiet one, or the shy one, or the one who didn't want to participate; few realized that it was all I could do just to be in a room full of people - let alone go in front of a class and deliver a speech.
   There are so many kinds of mental illness in the world.  Please don't judge others harshly; they are probably doing the very best that they can.

And, then, Lauren Bacall passed away at the age of 89 yesterday.  It's reported she died from a stroke, at home.  She lived so much longer than Bogey - and I dearly loved her in Key West.

Rest in peace, Robin and Betty.

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