Good-bye, Robin. I’m Sorry.

I’m sure people will be posting ad nauseam on here about Robin William’s apparent suicide…and that’s okay.  It has occurred to me more than once how Facebook and other social media have come to play a big part in our grieving process, from sharing memories, to revelling in our loved one’s presence for just a bit longer, to sharing our grief with others…

But I just want to say one thing, and it’s about mental illness…depression….anxiety.

It’s amazing how many people do not have a full understanding of what true clinical depression and anxiety are like.  These illnesses are diagnosed now more than ever before, and I’m sure their inevitable over-diagnosis leads some people to believe they are not that serious.  True clinical depression and anxiety are not situational.  “Why are you sad?  Why are you anxious? Did something happen? Are you unhappy?” or by extension “What reason do you have to be depressed?”

As someone who suffers from both anxiety and depression since early childhood, I don’t mind answering honest questions, but I am tired of the stereotypes, and especially tired of the use of the term “mental illness” as a buzz word or scapegoat for every dirtbag that would walk into a school with a gun and blow through a clip before shooting himself, thus putting us out of his misery.

This, what happened to Robin Williams, is the true face of mental illness in this country.  For me personally, having grown up always with this man in the periphery, his voice talents, his acting, always with good cheer and humor, (not to mention the fact that he reminds me of my Dad in some ways,) the idea that someone so warm and (by all accounts) genuine and caring, felt low enough to take his own life is unutterably sad.

Yes, he left behind a wife and grown children who will grieve him, but he didn’t take it to a public place with the intent to harm others or to garner attention or fifteen minutes more in the spot light.  He went quietly, and in the end the person who suffered the most was him.

Not with a bang but a whimper. 

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Of Sleeping and Waking Thoughts

I had some very strange dreams last night.  Some were interesting, some were kind of funny, and at least one was pretty scary.

Some of the highlights include:

–being in a very strange stage production, where I got to dance with Kevin Bacon…except Kevin was sort of uppity, and had strict rules about being touched.  Somehow I doubt he’s really like that.  I see him as having more of a sense of humor, as perhaps evidenced by his Footloose entrance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show or his even earlier dance-capades on Will and Grace.

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–hiding in dark and semi-underground school with other “kids,” in a video game-like battle against zombies, where found objects (even aerosol cans of air freshener) can be used as weapons.

And finally… a sort of terrifying nightmare where I was being put under (anesthesia) to undergo open heart surgery.  I could feel myself succumbing to the effects of the anesthesia, trying to talk but having a hard time being heard, and then at the last moment, panicking at the prospect of having my chest cracked open and the pain I’d experience upon waking.  Wanting to tell them to stop but feeling like it was too late.

That last one has to mean something, right?

In case you are wondering, I’ve known a couple of people who have had open heart surgery.  My mom in particular has a rough time with the pain and healing.  Oddly enough, some of the older people I knew who had the same procedure who had an easier time healing, but I can only guess how traumatic it can really be.

But, then there are cool people like Robin Williams, who can always somehow seem to make the best of just about anything.

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I’m sure at least some of the dreams are stress related (the place that has had my wedding ring for repair for almost a month still hasn’t done anything with it, and my old bank is trying to screw me with undeserved overdraft fees–they tack on an additional $12 every three days I refuse to bring the account up to a zero balance by paying the fees they keep adding.) Maybe I need to try to be more like Robin Williams.  Nothing gets that guy down!