Meet Me: A Robin Williams

“Suicide is called the cowards way out, the most selfish act. Suicide is the irrational, desperate scream for help of a mind that does not know what it is doing. A mind that is so deep, deep down in the bottom of a pit that light cannot pierce the veil of deceit over the mind’s eye.”-Ronovan

Robin Williams is dead. Preliminary reports say self asphyxiation is the cause. Whether this be accidental or intentional has not been hinted at, but the overwhelming thought is intentional due to his history of instability and depression.

A man full of so much in his mind that it had nowhere to go with them. A man who was so full of emotions he could not express them all. A man who was brilliant in so many ways that few new.

Some will now label him coward and selfish. To all of you I would like to introduce you to . . .

Me: A Robin Williams

You don’t know me, even though you have read me. The kid beaten as a child with a belt so badly that he planned, even at the age of six to get away from his biological father, his parents divorced. The police and the man and woman in suits, showing up at the school and the biological father never to be seen again, proving his plan a success, the biological father now dead.

You don’t know me. The being shot at multiple times, the moving around never being able to make friends, the teasing as the new kid with the red hair and being chubby as the years passed.

You don’t know me. Years of solitude, supposedly happy with books. The happy one who made jokes about anything and everything, did impersonations of voices, a born mimic and entertainer.

You don’t know me. The guy who intentionally ran his Mustang off the road doing 90 in a 35 on a narrow dark stretch of road only to save it at the last minute.

You don’t know me. The guy who a few years ago made his family promise to never let him go off alone if he was depressed or even slightly down again after driving to a local park with eternal thoughts.

You don’t know me. The guy who now fights each day to get his cheer on after being alone and quiet too long . . . even with so much happiness and love out there for him.

You will say “But Ronovan, you never did anything, you’re still here, you’re not a coward.”

No. I’m lucky.

Those in depression go to a place you can never imagine. “But I’ve been in depression.” There are levels of it. You may think you have hit the bottom, and maybe you did, and you found a hand waiting to help pull you out. Some don’t have the hand there for them.

When you write articles demeaning those so depressed they are no longer in control of what they are doing, that they take their own life . . . don’t. You see, no one in their right mind takes their own life. The person is no longer there. They have been replaced by something else that looks and sounds like them.

Instead of talking about them . . . talk to them, talk with them.

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com

35 thoughts on “Meet Me: A Robin Williams

  1. Great, heart felt words. I remember working my way out of depression… I wouldn’t wish depression on my worst enemy. No one should have to go through something like that. This is why if I’m asked if I’ve experienced depression, I tell all I know in hopes of helping someone find an easier path. Another person who slipped through the cracks. Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know he was trying. He entered a place to deal with things knowing he was in trouble. He went to a ‘rehab’ place to keep from falling back into drugs. A true sign of awareness and intelligence. Some will say “Well why didn’t anyone notice that and help him?” You can’t be with someone every moment. And when the mind takes over it does what it does.
      Thank you
      Ronovan

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      • I remember that he had gone to rehab too and watching him talking with the person interviewing I felt sad. Rehab is not a cure, it is a constant battle and like you say, his depression took over…the pain is too much to bear. I don`t believe one truly shares their darkness until they are finally out of it. If they do share, the only power they have is that option to take their life…it is bleak but is an option they hold on and even that is empowering. Thanks, Cheryl-Lynn

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  2. I absolutely hate it when people say people who are depression or want to kill themselves or do are selfish. That is so insanely cruel and yet people do without a blip of a thought of how hurtful that is to someone who is already suffering so much as it is. It’s like, ‘do you even have a heart?’
    Thanks for your post, I learned a lot I didn’t know and you captured the point well I think. You’re a good writer.

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    • Thank you for those words. Some don’t get it and never will. But I think in part for some of those ‘some’ it’s a defense against something they can’t handle. Not a good defense though and does more harm than good for others.
      Much Respect
      Ronovan

      Liked by 1 person

  3. People who don’t suffer from depression, will just never know!

    I’m here you know! And like you, I know what depression feels like. My heart crys with you.

    Hold on,
    Cary on,
    give your pain to me,
    And I will give mine to thee.

    We will cry together
    And perhaps we can make it through the pain,
    And the endless forever.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is so true for a lot of us. I was helped out of my depression. All I wish is that someone would be there for those in need of ‘a hand’ to help them out.

    HOPE

    Like a graceful swan
    I’ll spread my wings
    And search for love
    And all the things
    That make a life worthwhile
    And give
    A hold on that
    desire to live.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Ronovan! This must have been so heart-tearing for you to write. You bravely walked us through the pain and situations that could lead someone to prefer ‘eternity’ to life.
    Thank you for sharing.
    I have experienced depression, and I have also had the ‘eternal thoughts’ you mention, but I wouldn’t be able to share my experience with anyone, at this moment.
    Your last words are very valuable: ‘Instead of talking about them . . . talk to them, talk with them’, I would add: ‘listen to them and hear them’.
    Some years ago, a close friend decided it was time to leave, far too soon, and I always felt guilty for not listening, or at least not ‘hearing’ what was going through her mind.
    It’s so sad when something like this happens that I’m lost for words of condolence…

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  6. Oh yes Ronovan, I feel your words and completely agree. I have always had some degree of depression and have tried to get off medications without good results. I talk with my daughter about these feelings often because she suffers with the same recurring depression. We talked about the feelings of hopelessness and futility and both feel that would be the ‘precursor’ to deep depression and possible suicidal thoughts. I plan to keep in mind your comments to not leave a person alone when they are in this deep area if at all possible. I very much appreciate your words.
    Cheryl

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  7. Thank you for being you, and as courageous as you are to share this with us = the world out there. Just because the outside is bright, doesn’t mean the inside is shiny too… Difficult for a lot of people to understand. Unfortunately!

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  8. Ronovan, this is a bit long, a somber chapter from my second book which is mostly tinged with humour. There might be something of worth here…

    An Utterly Unamusing Meditation
    (on Richard Cory, Bon Vivant and Suicide)

    “I couldn’t commit suicide if my life depended on it.” ~ George Carlin

    Most of my gentry codger-tations, though grounded in serious soil, weave languorously in and out of the loam of the preposterous and the paradoxical, or some cunning combination thereof. At the tail-end of March, a semi-soaked Saturday, whilst some Islanders were off the rock protesting the perils of pipelines and oil tankers and still others were hovering in Beethoven heaven at the Community Hall, I joined a wee cadre at the Arts Centre for a seminar to consider the subject of suicide. The intent was simple: explore how we think about the taking of one’s own life, how we talk or don’t talk about it.

    I wasn’t surprised that the turnout was low. Like most meagre mortals, I have my ‘limited perspective’ about certain subjects: for instance, the progression of what will surely be our humdinger of a Green Cemetery. While I have no doubt it may eventually be of some environmentally friendly benefit for my earthly remains, I have yet to build up a head of steam in planning for my expiry date. Others do, thankfully, and I may be eternally indebted for their grave efforts depending, I suppose, on the existence of the afterlife, another subject I avoid like the plague (which, oddly enough, is a subject – epidemics of all types – that I adore blethering on about). I imagine most of us have our pet turf themes, or quicksand taboo topics we shy away from or embrace whole hog.

    Suicide, for me, is another kettle of fish entirely. I am of at least two minds
    on the matter. Life, I believe, should always be affirmed, clung to with a
    gelatinous grip. The young in particular should be assisted to witness the contentment to be found in staying the course as one overcomes unpleasant, occasionally painful, temporary turbulences. Nevertheless, I also believe that when we adult humans have deduced that our time is at hand, and there is no other viable choice, we should have, under certain conditions, an unassailable right to exit, stage left.

    But whatever I might think about the politics of suicide, the goal of this afternoon engagement was to permit the free expression of talking about suicide, primarily as a preventative tool.

    “If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

    As I sat there that Saturday, listening attentively, opining at the appropriate time, I divulged that my earliest smack-in-the-face recollection about the certainty of suicide was in my teens when the older brother of a relatively new friend killed himself in his old Chevy by running a hose from the exhaust into the sufficiently sealed inner shell of the car. I had seen him around; the friend was new; his suicidal brother was a couple of years older; they had a sister I was fleetingly setting my pubescent sights on. In short though, I never really knew him. After his death, my new friend inherited his late brother’s wheels. On the night of our Graduation gala, six of us, three adolescent couples, drove up and down Vancouver Island, taxing the night, testing ourselves and, I suppose, experiencing the ephemeral numbness of unearthing juvenile thrills in what was, by some standards, a death car.

    Later, however, I recalled that suicide had also made an impression on me some time earlier. It had dangled its uncomfortable inclination before me in grade nine or grade ten in the form of a poem, Edward Arlington Robinson’s Richard Cory.

    “Suicide is man’s way of telling God, ‘You can’t fire me – I quit!”
    ~ Bill Maher. Richard Cory, the poem, if not the man, is reasonably accessible. Cory is a prosperous fellow, an affable chap. By all superficial appearances, he has life by the tail. The four-stanza poem ends with this stark summation:

    “So on we worked, and waited for the light,
    And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
    And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
    Went home and put a bullet through his head.”

    The impact, for me, on first reading, and on all subsequent readings, was, and remains, profound. The world can be a dark place. Affluence, admiration, all the trinkets one might covet, none will necessarily save you from your demons. To contemporize the point, Simon and Garfunkel, in the mid-sixties, were inspired to write a song about the life of Richard Cory. Van Morrison did a version of that same song. Both the poem, published in 1897, and the 60’s folk lyric, accentuate the point made by the poet: life is a mystery; our own certainly and certainly others. Be careful whom you envy!

    “You realize that suicide’s a criminal offense — In less enlightened times they’d have hung you for it.” ~ Peter Cook, Bedazzled

    I was advised by my principal editor not to compose a piece on suicide. “You write nonsense, for God’s sake. There’s nothing funny about suicide!” I could muster no argument against the supremacy of her observation. Still, my primary way of exploring ideas is to document them, to poke at them diligently. The seminar ended with the expectation that those attending would become Suicide Talkers, people who would not shun the subject. In that vein, I proceeded with this small homage. As I did, I gave additional thought to Richard Cory, the poem. Was it still part of a prescribed curriculum? A contact in the Ministry of Education clarified that, within the English Arts these days at least, there are no mandatory poems. There may be sweeps, or at least, pockets, of Richard Coryites out there but the poem is not required. Pity!

    “When you’re young and healthy you can plan on Monday to commit suicide, and by Wednesday you’re laughing again.” ~ Marilyn Monroe, My Story

    By happenstance, a film I was planning to show recently had a significant suicidal incident within the narrative. Though The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is fundamentally a poignant coming of age tale, a tale complimented by one man’s tender journey through the lives of others, it was not spared the subsidiary sorrow of suicide. For there is, alas, always the real world. A smash of teen suicides by train in the suburbs of Chicago; a rash trio of apparently impulsive departures in Brampton, Ontario over the past year; a crush of suicidal exits of first nations citizens in the Cowichan Valley; a battery of youth suicides in the Comox Valley; the possible “political statement” suicide, Richard Cory-like, by a seventy-seven year old retired Pharmacist in a town square in Athens, Greece recently, and always, for me, though the memory of it does skip out of sight every once in a while, Marilyn.

    Like almost all suicides, this article must end with no answers and nothing much to recommend it.

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  9. Heartfelt, with depth. You’re right, we lost so much when Robin Williams died. One cannot understand the depths until they’ve lived it. Thank you for sharing. Until it’s not longer taboo to speak about, there will be stigma.

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  10. Bless you Ron, so brave of you to open up when you first posted this and again now as you reblog this. You are so right there are so many layers of depression. Send you live and understanding.💜

    Like

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