Last night, as i laid in bed, I looked up into the sky, and saw a single twinkling star. I immediately thought of Peter Pan, probably because I'm still reeling from the death of one of my favorite actors, but honestly, every time I stop long enough to actually LOOK at a star, the first thing i think is, "second star to the right.." in his voice.
I am sad, so terribly sad that he is gone, his genius, his light, his honesty. I will work hard to be sure my kids see his work, and hear his messages in his movies. I want my kids to be able to laugh at themselves, Robin Williams taught me how to do that, I hope I can teach them as well.
The part that makes me the saddest, is that he was in pain. This disease he battled, of depression, it is an evil bitch. It chews up it's victims, and it is so very hard to get out unscathed.
Two comments on Facebook made me think long and hard, and I just wanted to say some words, from my own experience.
The first was, "Why do the truly brilliant ones have so many demons?"
the second was, something about how this death should bring to light the number of "ordinary or, un-famous people who battle the same thing every day, and end the same way, and lets try to help.
I was thinking about the first one alot. I have dealt with depression most of my life. I didn't know what it was in my childhood, it didn't stem from some terrible home life, or tragic events, or any of that. This is probably why it took so long for me to realize WHAT I was dealing with. I have demons. I call them voices, a very good friend said maybe I should find another word so i don't sound quite so nutty. I suppose you could call it an inner dialogue. It is constant, it is loud, sometimes its quiet, but always there, always questioning me, and telling me every thing i did wrong, or could have done better. It sits and waits with baited breath while people say nice things, and shoots them down, like darts to balloons. it's painful, and exhausting, and some days, it wins. Actually, it wins alot.
I wonder, if the reason people who are so talented at humor, or acting, or imagining, do it because their brain is already on overdrive. It already goes to places you cant imagine. Deep, dark, sad places that "normal people" can't even fathom going to. Its a coping mechanism, it's almost necessary, to create other worlds, other ways of seeing things. Our brain is different, we need to laugh, we need to go somewhere that isn't real. Reality sucks, and our brains are quite adept at shooting down every good thing that exists, but if we create other worlds, by reading Gone with the wind, the hobbit, CS Lewis, Tom Clancy, Hunger Games, these are all epic worlds we can hide in. Neverland, disney, Jumamji, mary poppins, anne of green gables, little women. All places I have spent much time lost in. Us everyday people just watch and get lost in it. I can't imagine the joy of creating these kinds of places, or being part of bringing them to life for other people. Almost like a clean slate, here is a life you can live for a little while, and you are free, for that time, of the demons, you are free to use your brain in new ways, until it's over, then you are back in the real world, where the voices are waiting to tell you how lame that whole thing was, and how no one will probably even like it, or see it, and don't get your hopes up, it'll flop. I'm pretty sure that was a constant thread in this Actors mind. It's so sad isn't it? All the lovely memories we have of his life. All the characters we love, the things we saw him do with the troops, and St judes, and Sesame Street! He just couldn't really grasp the love, or respect, or gratitude, the voices sucked it all away.
Which, brings us to the second comment. It's true, so many people suffer from depression, or some form of mental disorder. It really is a disease, it really does cripple it's victims. I know, I've dealt with it. Ive had some pretty low points in my life, made lower, and deeper and so much more painful by this disease. It makes it harder to climb out. The social stigma is damning, the way people react is painful sometimes, we have so much pain inside already, reaching out to us just seems like way to much work, much too risky, no need to cause myself more pain if I get rejected. We can feel rejected by people who don't even know what we are going through. Many times, its a case of "Its not you, it's me".
I think people need to spend more time listening, and less time judging. Less time talking about the things the people do to cope, and more time asking how they can help. Less time feeling sad, more laughing. If Robin Williams did one thing well, it was making us laugh. Yes it was a coping mechanism, yes it stemmed from insecurity, but it was a gift, even if he didn't know it. let's laugh more. I like laughing, i like to get people laughing, it is a good thing.
I don't know how much sense this makes to anyone, my demons just told me to erase the whole thing and go back to bed with an advil cuz I'm a crazy chick with nothing to say. Such downers those guys are, geeez!
R.I.P Robin William, and thanks :) " .... second start to the right, and straight on till morning..."