Monday, August 11, 2014

“But HE looked so Happy!”

“But HE looked so Happy.....
and he WAS soooooo Funny, and talented...."

Many tears have been shed today once hearing word of the great loss of the great talent and human that was and remains Robin Williams.

We are all blessed by the poinent moments of evidence, of his light on this world that can stay with us even though he is not. I am not only sad to hear of his death, but more the loneliness and great battle to depression and bipolar disorder he lost his life to.

Mental illness remains such a silent killer of young and old, male and female alike.
Soul Cancer.
Except the cure is hard and often not easily found because the symptoms are so easily masked.
The issues not prioritized among medical corporations, and the stigma attached creating the ultimate handicap of things becoming easier and better for the millions that ever day walk the road of mental illness.

Robin Williams possessed talent and humor, until today I had not ever heard of his battle with depression. We often hear of celebrities that travel in and out of different rehabs for different “Substance abuse problems”...but how often have we heard, “So and so has entered a facility to help them gain tools or cope with their, depression, bipolar or borderline personality disorder," how often is it mentions WHY the person was in rehab in the first place? So often substance abusers are self medicating something they can not fix with out the help of trained, educated, involved mental health professionals...and believe me finding those involved individuals that “truly get it” are few and hard to find.

Lets talk about the Root of the 'WHY'!

I today have read “But he was SO FUNNY”, “He SEEMED SO HAPPY!”, “He was rich and famous, he had EVERYTHING, I just don't get it?” Many of us Mama bears who are constantly seeking help for our hurting and healing little people would like to think that he of all people had access to the best, could he have gotten the help he really needed?

This proves one thing.
Mental illness is not a respecter of gender, religion, occupation, race or bank accounts. It doesn’t care if you are young or old, attractive or if the whole ugly tree fell on you. Being famous may have created more hardship,MORE judgement, because of the lack of privacy so many people in the spot light face....we forget how very human they, how very human we ALL are.

Today I spent the entire morning speaking with and leaving messages for my children's Principle, District Special Education Directors, Receptionists, School Councilors and many more.
The most difficult conversation was with one of the educators vocalizing “ Well I guess I struggle to understand all of these so called much needed boundaries you say your children need. I understand they have been through stuff...but haven't we all? I mean I have watched them on the play ground and they look SO HAPPY, like Happy, nice normal kids.”

Me calmly, as I could feel my ears getting red, “Yes...but then again you can't walk around a grocery store and guess who has lost a child, is recently divorced, or dying of cancer...nope they just smile at you while you pass them in the frozen aisle, or bump hands while picking out bananas.

No one wears a t-shirt that says “ Hey I feel like killing myself today.”

I am sad that Robin Williams will be remembered for his lost battle with such a debilitating disease.
But then again, if such an incredible man had to leave us in such a sad dark way...
Let this also be his legacy.
Talent and torture are not far from each-other, nor is addiction and depression.
None of us are exempt from pain.
Trust others with that pain, you will be surprised how much they want to help, and understand more than you know.
Vocalize in your Dr. Offices, with your politicians, in open conversation TALK, about the need and importance for better mental health care.
Watch your loved ones, listen to their words and actions.
Always remember mental illness does not define the whole of a person,
and, happiness can hide a multitude of pain.
Let his loss break down this wall of stigma that serves nothing and no one....

I quote the perfect sentiment given by Rachel Evan Wood today.

“Genie. You're free. “