I really didn’t plan on this post today. I got the news later than most, as I was (mostly) disconnected from news, television, and social media. One of my childhood icons, Robin Williams, took his own life. It was a bit of a gut punch. His jokes, often floating through my memory, made me laugh nearly daily, but the idea that there would be no more hurts. It was hard to believe that a man who brought joy to so many people, shared his love with so many people, had a hard time finding it in and for himself. It seemed like he had it all, and I realized what a dangerous thought I was thinking.
We have a pension for believing that success, money, fame, houses, cars, toys, and other material things will make us happy. People like Kurt Cobain and Tony Scott were scrutinized when their lives became more than they felt they could handle, and they ended their lives. Now some of the comments about Robin Williams’ suicide join that list. Comments like “Robin Williams had EVERYTHING… and could afford ANY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE. HE DIDN”T WANT HELP.. He wanted to take the selfish way out. Suicide.” or “if your depressed enough to kill yourself with millions of dollars in the bank then you must really be sick!”[SIC] are evidence that we as a society live with the dangerous notion that things equal happiness.
However, as Williams has reminded us, things don’t equal happiness. And as we chase our dreams we have to remember that. Mental health is a serious thing, and a huge problem in this country. We each have demons. We can never escape them. Sometimes, like in the case of Mr. Williams, they become too much to bear, and we lose our fight. It’s important to make sure we deal with these demons. Don’t spend your time believing you can rid yourself of them with the superficial. Take care of yourself and your mind. Remember that happiness comes from within and is shared outward. Your happiness can never come from outside of you. The things won’t make you happy, you have to.
…the entire world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter…”
– Zelda Williams
I will miss the genius that was Robin Williams. He was a man who apparently had a heart and kindness as big as his personality. The loss of his manic energy will forever leave a void where laughter should be. May he finally have peace. Take care of yourselves. Tend to your emotions. Care for those around you. And have another smile today courtesy of Mr. Williams, as he loved nothing more than to make people laugh (Warning – Foul Language).