When I heard the news about Robin Williams, I knew that it was going to hit me harder than other celebrity deaths. Almost immediately the lump formed him my throat and it has stuck with me for the days following. My heart aching, I tried to go to bed. My mind weighted knowing that a little piece of life died within me.
Perhaps this sounds silly, but it's true for me. I never met this man. I never got to hear his struggles. But, oh did he make me laugh. And he also made me cry. He's given me goosebumps, but also delivered a monologue that just makes my draw drop. He was the name thrown around over dinner conversations and he was also someone who was famous who struggled with some difficult depression. His life gave me some hope and I clung to that.
Two years ago I struggled with horribly unbearable anxiety. The smallest tasks seemed impossible. Time alone or idle was horrible. Time with people was even worse. And the love and pep-talks from those around me just sunk me deeper and deeper. I didn't deserve them. Couldn't believe them. They trickled off of me like rain on a metal roof. When you're so low it's devastating to those around you, but just so lonely for the person suffering. Even if they aren't alone, completely.
There are many in my life who struggle with mental illnesses, depression, and anxiety. IT'S HARD. Some are open about it, while others keep it carefully under wraps. There are more I'm sure I know nothing about.
Family members need support, need time, need love.
I challenge you to walk, truly walk with someone this year. To truly listen and hear what they have to say. Don't correct. Don't suggest. Listen. Ask questions that mean something and love on them, not nosy, gossipy ones. Trust needs to go both ways. And when you feel like you've reached a spot where you have no idea what to say and you feel at a loss for words, it's then that you might have reached them deeply.
Robin Williams was a light to so many. There have been people who have said things such as, "How can someone so funny be so sad?" It's totally possible. How can that even be a question? It pains me to think of him so desperate to escape. But I can remember... many can...