A few weeks ago, Robin Williams took his life. It was sad day and a tremendous loss. Of course, it was Robin Williams, so the media was full of stories. Most suicides or suicide attempts aren’t like that. Most aren’t so public.
I spoke to someone recently who struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts; they were saying how scarey it was to hear that someone like Robin Williams killed himself. They felt quite vulnerable since in their view he had so much and he still couldn’t stop himself.
All I kept think was how many times he had!
From what I have heard and read, Robin Williams fought those demons daily or quite regularly. Seems to me there were many, many more times he chooses to live than too die. And he did finally lose that battle.
When you lick cancer once it’s consider a remarkable win. Facing suicide over and over and choosing in – well that most count for something.
I told my friend this and they smiled. They hadn’t thought of it like that and reported feeling better. I’m not sure if they will kill themselves. I hope not.
Still I do get it. Life is unpredictable and sometimes painfully hard to endure. Depression is a dark lonely place and choice seems far, far away when you are in it.
Still there is a choice.
I have wrestled myself with despair. Not sure I’d call it is quite the same as depression. But when I bump myself into that space it isn’t easy to shake.
I’ve run many miles and eaten a few too many bags of chips trying to numb my monster. Sometimes the numbing helps and the pain passes. Sometimes I can take a wild ride and wonder if it wouldn’t be better to quit.
Under all that pain there seems to be a little girl who simply doesn’t always like how we as humans treat each other. She doesn’t like playing the game just simply to win and often doesn’t really even get why that is so important.
It can be as simple as being accused of cheating at Ladies Golf League and suddenly I find myself spiraling. Probably that seems so small. But I joined the League to have fun and when it seems like the game is more about winning than relating, I can lose my faith.
I’ll get it back. I generally rise after I fall.
But I get it.
When faith is lost – faith meaning the felt sense of the continuity of life or a knowing that I matter, we matter and we are connected. When that is totally lost, it is hard to choose. Hard to find a good enough reason to go on.
Until someone reminders me that some little words of wisdom I might offer made a difference – like how many times Robin Williams said yes to life instead of no – and that helps.
It restores my faith.
My demon, despair, settles and I carry one.