On Robin Williams, Depression,You & I (Attention – Long Rant)

“We are members of the human race, and the human race is filled with passion.  Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits, and necessary to sustain life, but Poetry, beauty, romance, love … these are what we stay alive for.” – Robin Williams (in the film Dead Poet´s Society).

 

As the world reels from the schock of Robin Williams death, the above quote amost seems ironic. Coming from a man who made others laugh, its sad that he found nothing to stay alive for and chose a lonely route of despair to exit life. But whether we are entertainers, cooks, doctors, preachers or stay at home mums, truth is depression can and does affect all of us. There are different causes and triggers of depression. From chemical imbalances, substance abuse – like alcohol, drugs, prescribed medicines. Bereavement, crushed dreams, trauma, loss, extreme stress, lonliness etc…Am not a Doctor so if you want to  argue about cause and effect please move on…But just because Robin Williams was a comedian doesn´t mean he was immune to depression. Are doctors immune to sicknesses?! In this fallen World no one is immune to feelings of doubt and despair. Even Elijah a prophet who called down fire, who prayed and it didn´t rain had his moments. He prayed for God to take him home…

 

Any one alive on this beautiful Planet we call Earth can either be affected directly by depression or know someone close who is…Rich, poor, black, white, young, old, women or men, Aethist, Christian etc. We all go through those dark seasons in our lives that can go from bad to worse. From a temporary setback, to feeling low, too tired to get out of bed. Then slowly depression creeps up on you and before you know it you are oppressed by despair. Feeling cornered and fatigued – for some suicide seems like the only way out…But It Is Not.

 

So why am I writing this? Simple; Id like to address two groups of people. Those (A) Affected Directly  (B) Affected Indirectly/Spectators

 

A) TO THOSE AFFECTED; prone to lengthy melanchonic moments and struggling with feelings of despair that can dangerously spiral downwards; You are not alone. Like many others on planet Earth (who don´t pretend everythings perfect), I too know what it feels like to be in a dark seemingly hopeless situation that can lead to despair. Am not talking down at you, but am coming from a place where I can relate. You don´t have to feel guilty and ashamed when it seems you are unable to cope. There is ALWAYS a way out and you are not in a final place, cornered with no choice but to take your own life. This season can and WILL come to pass. If you hold on. Here´s how to not quit…

 

Before the situation goes from bad to worse where we believe the lies of the devil and it seems there is zero light at the end of that dark tunnel, there is something we can DO. I know the last thing a depressed person wants to hear is one more thing TO DO. Depression literally sucks the life out of one, leaving you feeling exhausted from putting up a front, too tired to care or get out of bed, and overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness. BUT before things spiral dangerously downwards to a place where you quit on yourself, on life and on others – there is  one very important thing that WILL HELP…

 

PLEASE DO NOT ISOLATE  YOURSELF.

 

Rememeber in that dark place that you are not alone in your pain. There are people who love you and need you to be alive. The devil would like to isolate you, lying to you that your loved ones and the World will be better off without you. BUT thats his tactic: lies, isolate, more lies, then destroy you. Life is a precious gift from God, what we do with it is our gift back to Him and the World. Is the World a better place today without Robin Williams? No. He blessed the World with his great talent, made us laugh and inspired us. Even though we never knew him personally, we will miss him and his gift to the World. Likewise the World is a better place with you and your special gifts and talents. And no you don´t have to be a famous actor. Your life alone is a gift to your family and friends. Its sad that Robin lost that battle in a lonely moment of hopelessness…

 

No situation is hopeless if there is even ONE single person on the planet that cares about you. And if you feel no human being cares, Jesus does…So when you feel hoplessness and despair threatening to close in on and choke the very life out of you, reach out to someone. Don´t be ashamed of how you are feeling. Remember no one is exempt from the ups and downs of life. Yet we often go through life pretending we have it all together. Because its supposed to be a sign of weakness to show vulnerability and ask for help. NO its a sign of  STRENGTH to reach out and share with someone that you need support…I know from personal experience it takes more strength to be vulnerable than to pretend alls perfect. At a time where many people measure their self-worth with the number of  Social Media Followers/Likes/Fans/Friends  there is the danger of pretending that life is perfect. Its not. Never was and never will be. But the challenging moments in life make the wonderful moments so precious. Don´t let pride and pretending to keep up the perfect front literally kill you.

 

Reach out to family who love you dearly, friends, a Pastor, Counsellors. Call a hot line or reach out to someone you feel will understand and cares… Remember like Robin Williams, the World DOES need YOU, your talents and gifts. Please don´t take them to the grave too early. We need you to finish your race because you are a beautiful piece thats part of a bigger, beautiful picture. Don´t leave us before your ordained time…DO NOT ISOLATE YOURSELF when the challenges of life overwhelm you. Reach out and get support. Its ok to stay home one day if you are not feeling well. But if symptoms persist, get help. Afterall if your leg was hurting wouldn´t you tell someone and seek further help? Life is like a marathon and sometimes we get serious muscle cramps. Thats normal ask any athlete. Its ok to slow down, but stay in the race. Limp along with the support of people who care and love you. Family, friends, professionals, God and yes even Facebook strangers like me :-) And I promise you if you keep limping along, slowly but surely you will begin to walk again without the pain and the support. Doubt, despair and depression are ONLY seasons. They come and go…

 

B) TO THE SPECTATORS and ALL those giving insensitive comments about Robin not finding peace, drug abuse bla blah! I  will spare you my thoughts on your lack of empathy. Could your insenstive comments be your way of deflecting from a situation you personaly deal or have dealt with? Often what annoys us in others could be a clue about something in us that we may not even be aware of. When the truth is too close for comfort we over-react and put on defensive “masks”  A subtle form of denial?  BUT all of us are subject to the highs and lows of life. EVEN you or someone you love. How would you feel if Robin Williams was your family and people commented so insensitivly about his death?! STYLE UP!

 

All you judgmental, self-righteous and insensitive folks, and MY fellow christians who want to argue and carry on about how depression is lack of faith, suicide is sin, going to hell…blah blah, go talk to Pastor Rick Warren, the author of bestselling book The Purpose Driven Life. His own son committed suicide last year. His opinion may interest you. Because what the World needs in a hurting fallen World from Christians is compassion, understanding and supporting those affected. Both in spiritual and practical ways. I know Jesus is the answer but when someone shares their weak moments quoting Bible verses, telling them to “get over it” “have faith,” “Pray more” may seem the easy Christian thing to do. But is it practical and authentic? Am all for having faith and I believe in the power of positive thinking and prayer. But ask God for wisdom 1st before offering that spiritually-sounding advice. Ask yourself; “What would Jesus Do/Say”? Am tired of the faces we Christians put on trying to impress each other and the World. Acting so over-spiritual people with problems can´t relate. No point in us being so Heavenly minded we are of no Earthly good  to the hurting. Yes I said it! So again fellow Christians, read about Elijah and google abour Pastor Rick Warrens son for pointers about God, depression, suicide, heaven, hell etc…Your welcome to share your thoughts on this post BUT don´t come trolling on my wall!

 

I said all that to say this, if you are not directly affected by depression, but know or perceive someone who is going through a difficult time, a tougher than normal season, reach out with compassion. If someone you know is withdrawing in an unusual way, isolating themselves and acting disconnected, offer your support, time and love  Allow them to be vulnerable and talk about whats going on without feeling judged by you. They are already struggling with feeling like they can´t cope. They don´t need you to tell them to “get over it” or “have faith”. Pray with and for them, point them to professional help where needed and let them know its OK and a sign of strength to seek help. Afterall if  they broke their leg wouldn´t you help them get operated, wear a caste and walk on crutches for a season? Depression and despair can also be just that. A season. But the depressed person feels the season will never end. So please be supportive to the people battling with despair, depression and hopelessness. Whether its addiction related or not show them unconditional love, acceptance and let them know they are not alone and this too shall come to pass.

 

Instead of kicking them when they are down with insensitive, harsh comments, a judgmental attitude, or pulling away from them till they “get over it” because you are uncomfortable with their pain, be there for them while they are alive! Visit them, invite them out of their dark hole (even if its just for a walk), hug, sit in silence with them, call them etc. Show compassion, (NOT PITY) be empathetic remind them of the poetry, beauty, romance and love that are worth living for. Unless you are an alien or angel, remember you are not immune to the difficult seasons of life, so be a considerate member of the human race to those going through challenging seasons…#IEndMyRantWithThisGreatVerse: (Matthew 11:28-30)

 

God bless you.

© Nancy Gathecha

www.setgoalsforsuccess.com

 

P.S If you feel I can be support  to you in ANY way don´t hesitate to reach out. You are not alone…

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