Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Honoring and Remembering Robin Williams

Robin Williams brought us great laughter and joy, but perhaps at his own expense. Some of the most talented people use humor to mask the pain engrained so deeply with their torment. As a substance abuse counselor, being present during the unveiling of their anguish is always heartrending, powerful and overwhelming.  Those who love Robin might want to blame themselves but his work here was over. It’s nobody’s fault. I once heard, “You didn’t cause it, you couldn’t control it and you couldn’t cure it.” Substance abuse is not the problem, it’s the symptom and in many cases addiction is a coping strategy to survive. He was always up. He was always on. That’s not how the human body works. It needs respite. It needs calm. Frankly, I am impressed with how long he was able to stay here. My guess is that his death would have been so much sooner had he not had his lovely wife and children. They are the reason, in my humble opinion, that he made it this long. Their love made him want to live and I hope they can someday embrace his desire to be with them. In multiple interviews I heard people stating that suicide is a selfish act. It’s only selfish if people interpret, rationalize or decide their feelings are more important [which is selfish] than the person actually suffering. If Robin had cancer, was in excruciating pain and chose to stop taking chemotherapy, nobody would blink an eye. They would bless and support his decision. Nobody would blame him for wanting to stop the pain; nobody would judge him or second-guess him because they would know that he gave it his darnedest to stay here as long as he could. Depression is like a malignant cancer and is very real. Please join me in a moment of silence and find it in your hearts to thank Robin for his amazing contribution to this world, his strength to carry on as long as he did and his courage to understand his limitations. In my opinion, Robin was a gallant knight who conquered what he set out to achieve and his time to let someone else carry the torch has arrived. God bless you Robin Williams, you are now the angel in heaven that you were here on earth.

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