The first time I saw him I was about 19 years of age. I was watching ‘Happy Days’.
Ritchie Cunningham had, what he thought was a really wacked out dream about an alien.
It wasn’t an alien. It was Robin Williams (a.k.a. Mork).
At times I felt exhausted after watching him perform. His comedic genius sometimes bordered on something that was almost tragically desperate.
I’ve watched pretty much everything he’s put out. I’ve spent time in front of the computer screen watching You Tube videos of his performances gone by.
Sometimes Robin would just continue to wind up. The pace frenetic, he’d be drinking water with a ferocity while the sweat streamed down his body. Then he’d dance on that edge and I would wonder if he was going to snap.
Over the years, like many, I heard of his struggles with depression and addiction. The two have a way of going hand over fist, don’t they?
It is heartbreaking that Robin could never defeat the demons that plagued him or minimize them enough to afford a truly happy and peaceful life.
I am very familiar with depression having dealt with it for the majority of my life, however, for me it has become manageable. Still, there are so many degrees and variations of this insipid illness.
If you have depression then you likely know the key is to learning to live with it. And that you see is the toughest part of this illness.
There was a time when I really didn’t want to accept it. In a way I was trying to cut that part of me out, destroy it. Indeed, my entire person suffered as a result.
In the last five years, despite the other health issues that I’ve faced, I can say with all honesty that I have been the most content and happy that I’ve ever been.
And if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, then you’ll know I’ve done a great deal of soul searching. It is a daily thing, a mantra and acknowledgement of what I want in my life and who I want to be and what I don’t. Sometimes I’m really successful, at other times not so much, but more often than not I usually find a delicate balance between the two.
And this I can live with.
Robin lived in extremes. Extreme highs and extreme lows and I think that is the toughest type of depression to try and manage. I can’t imagine his pain and torment.
One thing I would like to bring to attention to is that in our health care system quite often the treatments that are available for mental health issues tend to have a very narrow vein in order to be covered by MSP. If you don’t have extended health benefits through your place of employment then it will come out of your pocket.
This needs to change.
Far too many people are waiting until they are in critical need before seeking the assistance that they need.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again. We need to change how we do business and we really need to change how we treat each other.
A little more kindness and a lot more love.
Many blessings to Robin William’s family and I hope that Robin has found some measure of peace. Nanoo! Nanoo!