Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Robin Williams

I haven't written in this blog for a long time.  I've been busy between working full time, raising three teens (one who recently turned 21 and is no longer a teen) and living life there isn't much time to write a blog too.  Depression is part of my daily life, sometimes the pit is deeper than other times, but it has been manageable.

2014 is about to end and I'm so glad.  It was a year of endings for me.  Among other things my marriage ended and my grandmother died.  We lost a lot of wonderful celebrities too Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney, Casey Kasem, Ann B. Davis, Lauren Bacall, Joan Rivers.  But the big one was Robin Williams.  I've seen so many posts about Robin Williams.  So many people who claim to have all the answers...he should've reached out!  He should've known how many people loved him!  Committing suicide is the most selfish act!  People who say they've experienced depression but managed not to kill themselves, or that have considered suicide but didn't do it, are very self righteous right now.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say...maybe you don't really know what it was like.  You aren't Robin Williams.  In 1992-1993 I had the worst depression of my life.  I couldn't get out of bed most days.  Making it out in the late afternoon and getting to a doctor's appointment was a major accomplishment.  I had no life, no interests, no hobbies, nothing.  I wanted to be dead.  I thought that if I was dead then the pain would finally be over.

Some of my family and close friends noticed what was going on, and a few even asked me if I was thinking of harming myself.  Incredibly brave people they were!  I still thank God for them all the time.  I couldn't articulate my desire to be dead but that I didn't have any plans to do anything about it.  I remember distinctly driving on a windy road with trees along the side...wondering what speed I'd have to be going before I hit a tree to guarantee I'd die and not just be paralyzed.  I worried that my family would know it wasn't an accident and the fear of failure was probably all that kept me from trying.

I told them no, I wasn't thinking of harming myself.  It was a lie.  I didn't want to get into that discussion because I knew they'd never understand the difference between wanting to be dead and actually planning on doing it.  I was a chicken and afraid of all of the emotions that conversation would rile up.  Not in me, I didn't feel anything, but in my loved ones.  I was also afraid they might commit me against my will.  I wanted and needed help.  I didn't need to be locked up and medicated and electroshocked...okay, all I know about mental hospitals was from movies and books.

I managed to get out of the deep deep pit I was in.  Inch by slow inch.  It helped that I gave birth to an amazing baby boy (yes the 21 year old I talked about earlier) and he gave me a reason to keep trying.  I don't know what I would've done if I'd not been able to pull myself out.  At the time I didn't have medical insurance and I didn't have the wherewithal to even try to find those sliding scale places that are supposed to exist everywhere.  I did try and after three phone calls I hung up the phone and just sobbed.  It was too hard.

Suicide isn't a selfish act, not really.  It is an attempt to end the pain.