For this post I am going off the wall. How can I not? I am saddened beyond words at the passing of the awesome and wonderful Robin Williams. I have not been this affected by a celebrity’s death since Princess Diana died in 1997. Robin was not just an actor and comedian, he was like family. No matter how down in the dumps, anxious or otherwise off kilter I feel, I could see any movie he was in or any of his stand up acts or even an appearance on a talk show and my stomach would hurt with laughter. He truly was in a class all his own. He was perhaps the funniest man in history but more than that, he could turn on a dime and steal the show in a drama. There is no doubt about it, Robin was born to perform. I keep going over and over in my head what exactly lead up to the events that tortured him to the point that he felt the only way out was to exit this world. So perhaps I am really not venturing that far off the wall because many comparisons I make could be said for those of us living with Fibromyalgia. As one who lives in physical pain each and every waking minute of the day, battles depression and anxiety myself as well as some complicated ‘family situations’, I would be truly lying if I said the thought has not crossed my mind on more than one occasion.
So what will I miss most about Robin Williams besides everything?
- Humor I think it is safe to say, Robin was the funniest man on earth. Some people compared his humor to others, however I would say Robin was in a league all his own. Between his ability to ad-lib and his manic, free-fall with sheer genius timing, no one did comedy like he did. He truly invented manic comedy and I dare say it would take someone extraordinary to even come close to him. No one in our lifetime will ever fill his shoes.
- Drama On a turn of the dime he was just as amazing in dramatic parts. Gentle, caring, insightful: he created his dramatic persona on the other end of the spectrum from his comic personality. Some might say it was because he was bi-polar. I choose to think it is because the man was simply talented beyond what words can even describe. Either way, Robin was just as good in dramatic rolls as he was in comedy.
- EGO: OR LACK THEREOF So many of Hollywood’s biggest and finest grow an ego. It is easy enough. Fame, fortune and people throwing themselves at them makes it awfully hard to maintain rational focus. However, Robin did and he did it well. Not only did he maintain, but he carried demons that would take his very life; forces he could not reckon with that even those closest to him did not see until it was too late. Nothing turns me off faster than an ego. I would go as far to say that Robin was about as far removed from an ego as one could be.
- HE WAS HUMAN: FAULTS AND ALL Other than internet trolls…which I consider to be bottom feeding maggot pond scums…I have not seen one bad thing about Robin that anyone (ex wives included) has had to say about him. He was an amazing actor, comedian, spouse, father, friend, humanitarian and loved by all who knew and appreciated him. But beyond that, he was not without fault. He openly had an affair which ended his first marriage. The nanny of his first son was his 2nd wife and pregnant with his 2nd child when they married. He battled addiction with numerous set backs along the way. He battled bipolar disorder….. especially depression. In other words, he was human like the rest of us. These things did not make him weak, they made him like us! Real, tangible. And he didn’t hide it like some trumped up, egotistical, overbearing Hollywood star. He handled it with dignity, pride and even humility. In fact in the end, it was the very thing that cut him off from those he could reach out to and made him feel there was no other way out than to end his life.
What do you say to a man that could make you laugh when nothing else could? What do you say to a man who did so much for others including chartering his own jet to fly across country to be with a dying little girl… no press, no reporters… in fact no one knew until after his own death. He brought that little girl happiness in her last few weeks and even planted a tree in her name after her death. What do you say about a man that everyone in San Francisco said was kind, down to earth and never stuck up or unreachable? What do you say about a man that gave oh, so much but failed to reserve enough for himself?
If anything we must raise the awareness higher than ever that there is no shame in having any kind of mental issue. Whether it is depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc. Whatever it is, there is nothing to be shamed about. I have both General Anxiety Disorder…. crippling and have wrestled with depression for 21+ years. I was misdiagnosed as having another mental issue by a biased and I would find out later, very unethical ‘psychologist’. Four mental health care professionals; two Psychiatrists and two counselors; one with a PHD and one with a Masters refuted his diagnosis and all concur; GAD and Depression (well maintained most of the time). I am not ashamed saying this. It is part of my disability and it is also physiological in nature. The serotonin and other chemicals in my brain need help. It is no different than my thyroid needing help for my Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Calling people mentally ill like it is a plague is very counter productive and will only serve to increase the suicide rate, not lower it.
Many, if not most, people with Fibromyalgia suffer with Anxiety and/or Depression. So please, if either of these issues is not being well cared for, get the help that is needed. Do not make someone ask, “Why?” We have lost a beloved ‘friend’. We can’t have this keep happening. If you need help and are thinking about suicide, please call (U.S.) 1-800-273-8255. Suicide is the one mistake you will not live to regret.
Here is the link to the video I made some time ago on Fibro and suicide:
Thank you Robin. Thank you for the laughs, the movies, the life lessons. Thank you for the humanity. I look forward to partying in Heaven someday. Godspeed my friend. The Genie is free. Until next time, K.