I, with so many others, mourn the death of Robin Williams. I am sorry that his pain grew larger than an ability to keep looking for answers. Answers that would help him soothe himself. And comfort. Money means nothing. Everything important in life doesn’t cost money. His life and inspiration pushed out by unbearable pain.
There’s a little of that in all of us. I think back to the decades I felt sad and or numb. A few people tried to help me but I didn’t think I was worth the help. They offered a bowl of chicken soup but I didn’t have the flu. I had the opposite of inspiration. A spiritual and emotional hole that needed to be filled. An intensity that needed to be let go of. There were many more people I’ve reached out to in the past. Just wanting to connect. For my own benefit and to others that I knew were struggling. I wanted to share some time and care for each other. Most of the time, no one reached back. It felt impossible to keep going.
I wonder if that’s how Robin Williams felt. Or maybe, he felt a million miles away from the hands that were reaching out to him. We’ll never know. This kind of depression is a great mystery. Modern science may have a label for it. But that’s all it really is. The complexity of our humanity and physiology involves so many factors that no one can (or should) offer a pat explanation. Or prescription. And even with all of the science we do have, no one can dig us out. Especially from old traumas and wounds. That is always up to us. Always. It isn’t fair. And we don’t always have the strength. Why would that be a given after everything we’ve survived?
It’s not a straight or easy path out of the pain. I know this firsthand. I’ve had a lot of recovery, especially in the past few years. A physical illness took me down and my surrender is what led me to wellness. I had to start moment by moment. Every day I remind myself that these are my special needs. I have to make the time to tend to myself. I have to face and let out the bad. I have to carve out the time to initiate and embrace the good. I see friends and students struggling in their own lives. A lot of people have shared their contemplation of suicide. All I can do is listen, love them and let go. I pray that they find their way. Hopefully, I will be honored to be somewhere on their path.
Letting go doesn’t mean disappearing. Just because we can’t walk another person’s path of recovery for them, doesn’t mean we have to leave them. Though we can’t control the results, it is up to us to reach out. To say: I know there’s something big there that is taking you down, but I’m here. My couch is here. And I would be devastated if you left this ridiculous planet.
Please come over. Or I’ll come there. We’ll have some chicken soup.