I want to ask each and every one of you, where will you be in 45 yrs time?
If you take into account Robert Pattinson or Kristen Stewart's ages right now, it will put them both in their early 60's - but where will you be?
You see i have had some time to think over what i wanted to write. Sure i could have designed my post, giving off hell over the lunatics, the cyber trolls who waste valuable time in everyone's lives by posting up their bile and sanctimonious wit - to call attention to themselves. And let's face it, they believe anything that falls out of the mouth of the media...and spread it around like bad fungus - i will get to the media, paparazzi et al shortly.
But instead i want to call this a tribute and maybe open some people's eyes to the world that they live in, the fantasy world that they live in and hopefully someone will benefit from all of this.
We as therapists are obligated to 'listen without prejudice' 'offer comfort when needed' 'remain passive when challenged'
WE are not the fixers of a problem. We are the reserved silence, that allows you to reach the precipice of your life on your own. I have read the media's twist on a tale, their deep respect riddled with sanctimony when they are so willing to produce lies, fantasy filled reports about a man, his family, that deserved the utmost respect during such a difficult, public time of mourning. I read the emotional entries of Robin's daughter, Zelda and how she acknowledged she and her brothers shared their father with the rest of the world and took comfort from the outpouring of grief and support...
I have read every person's point of view about depression and suicide and how it's a 'cowards way out' until my blood boiled and i had to take some time away on my own to make sense of Hollywood and the cyber analysts, who feel they have the right to make the last moments of a person's life, like some really bad script on a movie.
I was a teenager when i first saw Robin Williams make a guest appearance on a US TV show 'Happy Days' and then not long after that, his character had a TV show of it's own 'Mork and Mindy'
I loved his zaniness, his comedic timing, his gentle eyes and his wide open smile. As a teen i thought there was no one like him in the way he made you feel happy any time you watched him. Of course, over the yrs i have seen many of his movies and his comedic brilliance just got better and better. Although he did some serious character work, that made you sit up and go 'whoa' but he always came back to his comic roots. Because that's how he felt he was best understood and it added a slice of laughter to his own life. It wasn't a secret, his battle with severe depression and his addiction to drugs and alcohol, but it's that for me, that made him more human. In the field that i work in, i empathised with his struggles, his 'demons' as he called them - for we all have that darkness, within us.
The misunderstanding of Depression i feel has gone on unnoticed and brushed under the carpet for too long. People assume through blind ignorance, not understanding as not enough is spoken about it. That all it is, a fleeting mood of feeling down, of a few days feeling sorry for yourself and it's over and done with. To 'give yourself a shake, life is not all that bad' the crowning dismissal of something so profoundly devastating. I believe JK. Rowling summed it up wonderfully, when she has made it public knowledge the yrs she suffered from severe or chronic depression, by creating in her Harry Potter books the Dementors; the light goes out in your world and a darkness so deep, so dark, so heavy, that it blankets you. Traps your limbs so tightly, that you can't move with it. It's like all the happiness you have ever had goes out of your life and you are left an empty shell, filled with nothing...
cold and alone.
Dementors = demons.
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." -JK Rowling
Robin struggled with that demon his entire 'personal' life, the darkness that wants to drown you with it's insidious need. He fought and won those battles many times. His work, he threw himself into, because it escaped the darkness, for a little while. Taking your life is not the coward's way out. It's seen as a solution to the problem...a permanent solution. To reason and come to terms with why you feel that is the only way out, not for yourself, but for those around you who love you. But you feel that the love you give them is not enough and it takes a courage born from despair to take the pain away.
I have experienced in my own life with my husband's career in the Armed Forces - PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) the struggle was enormous, the stress from it exhausting. But in the end my husband was the one going through the struggle to make sense of what he had experienced and the silence that came with it.
Some people say that Cancer is a silent killer, because it sweeps through you silently, taken over your body and owning it. Depression is also a silent killer, because it renders you incapable of making sense of how you feel. It makes you ashamed, it makes you weak and it makes you withdraw into a world of very loud silence. So loud it's deafening.
If one thing can be learned, of celebrities that have passed on from this world; their inner battles they face when they are loved by so many - is that depression isn't choosy. It doesn't matter who you are or where you came from. It doesn't care if you have money fit for a Kingdom or you are as penniless as a church mouse.
Mental Illness doesn't care, with the onset of Parkinson's Disease, it makes it even more a powerful loss.
I adored Robin Williams, because he was in my life most of my young adult and adult life. I didn't fawn over him, or have him on such a high pedestal. I didn't fantasize about him or have blogs dedicated to him. I didn't go around exploding my ovaries, that unfortunately is the result of today's young society. I simply watched his movies, enjoyed his characters and his wonderful wit he brought to the world, he gave so much of himself, to stay the darkness away.
I guess the darkness finally won...
I know most of you in 45 yrs time will have moved on from Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Eventually we all outgrow our idolising of only one actor/celebrity and entertainer. The media continues however, to spout and ridicule and capitalise on a celebrities life. How rich and famous they are, that they can afford the ridicule, the blood thirsty need to spread their pious opinion. The vile disgust i felt when the need to 'speculate' on the last hours of a man's life. A man that despite his celebrity status - deserved some medium of respect...
fuelled by the spectators sitting back and needing to know everything, we have created a monster in the form of social media, nothing is allowed to be kept private.
If there is anything you will take from this post, it's that life should never be taken for granted. If in 45 yrs time Robert Pattinson or Kristen Stewart have been fortunate to have successfully had a career that has spanned many generations, then they have been blessed. We can all feel that we deserve to be in their lives as fans but we are not. We are only on the outside looking in. When they close the door at night, slip off the mask they wear for the public to see. The performance is over and reality is sitting there, waiting for them in the wings. Might we afford them to make mistakes, to fall in love and try and hold onto it. To not take life so seriously and to not need the adoration of the applause to make them feel that this is the only reason they get up in the morning.
Might we empathise with their struggles that we each carry with us every day. Might we respect their right to privacy and not need to 'put on a show' the moment they step out the door?
Robin for me, i will remember him for his gift of making people laugh, even when he felt his own demons where mocking him. That he tried to make a good life out of the sticks and stones he was given. That with each movie he created another persona, another reason for everyone to love him. The love people had for Robin, was warm and encompassing. His love for making people laugh, for bringing joy to children, to adults and to the tireless work the Armed Forces of both men and women, who he felt deserved more of an accolade that he did.
With his twinkling eyes, his Mrs. Doubtfire spirit. For his need to soar freely like Peter Pan. For his cautious poetic take in Dead Poets Society - Carpe Diem Robin.
For his zany bursts of sporadic human understanding in Mork and Mindy, to breaking free with exuberance in Aladdin. His humble take of love in Happy Feet, to his forward leadership in the Night at the Museum - Robin Williams will live on in the hearts of everyone. For he truly was a brilliant, brilliant man and he should be remembered that way.
(the explanation of the age reference; 45 yrs is one person's life time, Robin was 63 when he passed on from this life. Both Rob and Kristen are in their 20's, in 45 yrs time they will be in their 60's)