As everyone has heard by now, the beloved and comedic genius, Robin Williams has passed. This news has brought so much sadness to his fans across the world. I know for myself growing up he was this energetic and caring voice that helped us learn that even a street urchin could become a prince. He has been in so many movies through out the years and has brought us so many cherished characters. But, it just goes to show us that we can be one of the most famously hilarious individuals and still suffer inside.
Unfortunately, Robin Williams took his own life. He has suffered for years with addictions and other struggles that we know nothing about. As a person that has battled with depression and suicidal thoughts since I was 14, I could relate to this news in a profound way. Nearly two years ago now, I was in a place in my life where I felt hopeless. It's a scary place to be. Hearing details of his death had me wondering what exactly drove him to the point where he felt there was no better way.
I also struggled for years because within certain faiths suicide is considered a sin and then you are told that your soul will be punished, or whatever other nonsense. While I can understand how this has been interpreted, to help save people, I know this just isn't true. I think that it was interpreted this way so that people would "fight the good fight" and not want to leave this world because of how the world has caused such pain and suffering. I totally get it!
What I have learned is that our souls are here for a purpose. God is unconditional love, and it just doesn't make any sense that He would ever punish us for wanted to escape from our suffering here. I felt a cool sense of relief once I read this (There's More to Life Than This) and while I still battle with thoughts, I know that my soul is here for a purpose and I don't want to let God down. I certainly don't want to have to go through the battles I have gone through in this lifetime again - that's for sure!
Then again, I know, it's easier said than done. Depression is a serious illness, and if I remember correctly from my psychology classes, it's nearly 80+% of people that are afflicted with some form of depression. I am part of that percentage. I have been there, and what kept me from going through with it were the thoughts of how it would impact those that I love. Granted, it's well expected with everything I have endured through out my life. But, I know that our life's are given to us as a means to enjoy and as a gift. It is that much more saddening when people take their lives and we have the delusion that their lives are a much better means than ours, that they feel there is no other way or they are too exhausted to continue to fight with their struggles.
Since then, I have received extensive therapy. While I still have thought patterns that I have to contend with, I learned that it is and will continue to be a daily battle. As an example - someone that works out everyday, they are working their muscles to perform a certain way. Much like our brains (that are dealing with depression) we have to work at the delusional thought patterns and such, in order to flex those muscles and keep on track with training. It's a marathon, it will be a daily event for the rest of our lives. Some days will be better than others and I have learned to not beat myself up either. Just take it one day at a time... and on those bad days, reach out if you feel that there is no better way. Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean there isn't something better there.