August 12, 2014

Please Let Robin Williams’ Depression Be His Real Legacy. ~ Ben Ralston

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Depression is a miserable f*cking thing.

It’s up there with tics and cancer on my list of “If there’s a God why did he make this?”

I’ve been depressed, quite seriously, twice in my life. Both times there was a fine line between sanity and mania, life and death. Both times I nearly didn’t make it.

Those who aren’t depressive simply cannot know what it feels like.

It feels like you’re not really alive—just a shadow of a shadow. The world loses all meaning, color, depth, purpose, light. All that’s left is a hollow monochrome shell and all around you people are living their lives in full glorious technicolor.

You feel like an aberration. You can’t help but feel that the world would be better off without you.

Robin Williams touched me deeply in two ways.

Countless moments of laugh-out-loud joy, always tinged with such a deep, rich humanity. He affirmed you even as he made you belly-laugh. That’s why we loved him so much.

As an artist, few will ever come close to him.

But I’m hoping that his legacy will be more than just his art. I’m hoping that in death his life means even more than that. I’m hoping that his impeccable artistic genius was just the warm up act—and that the punch-line of his life is to make mankind a little more compassionate.

Wouldn’t that be something? Wouldn’t that be fitting?

Last time I was depressed one of my closest friends told me something I’ll never forget. She said: “I don’t know why you can’t just pull yourself together.”  That moment highlighted for me the reality that people who are not depressive will never understand what it’s like.

But now the whole world understands that one of the funniest and most warm-hearted men felt so bad that he took his own life. With all his success, his family and kids, and his acclaim, he felt so bad, so low, so down, as to take his own life.

Everyone you meet is fighting a tough battle. But some of us walk the razor’s edge from time to time. Be kind, and don’t judge another’s pain. Because you never know how deep it can go.

And if you know someone that suffers from depression…

… love them.

Touch them, buy them gifts, call them, surprise them, stroke them, hug them, whisper to them, tell them jokes, watch a movie with them, take them out for dinner. Your reaching out is a bridge back to life.

You can break through that shell and let a little light in.

Reach out.

“At it’s worst (depression) is about being devoid of feeling altogether”:


Editor: Renée Picard

Image: Fanpop 

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Ben Ralston  |  Contribution: 13,555

author: Ben Ralston

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Editor: Renée Picard

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