I honestly do not know where to start. I am devastated. I was having a hard time deciding what my next post would be about, and then he was gone… As I wrestle and fight to come to terms with this emotional tornado, I stand my ground as the high winds smack the cold tears running down my face. I scream into the unforgiving truth and it just continues to spin more violently out of control. Inside I am dying, but my adrenaline forces me to fight. My muscles burn hot like 1,000 volcanoes and my clenched fists swing illogically at the twisted cold truth. I hit nothing. The tornado runs me over and back again. I jump up when I can, and continue to scream and swing. If it had a mouth it would laugh at me as it pushed me further down into the dirt. The tornado has grown tired of me, and moves on to destroy bigger and better people… just because it can. I lay with my face in the muck, and as I lift my head, I see the vultures and parasites coming right at me. If this was Hollywood, they would already be drawing a chalk outline around my body. It hasn’t even been 24 hours since I heard the news and the ignorant vultures are coming for his legacy and my sanity. Usually, they are innocuous goons in their highly coveted prime time slots, but now they smell the fear and sadness like a shark smells blood in the water and they become apex predators in their own minds. Even though they can’t maintain the momentum for very long, it is an opportunistic feeding on the weak that their ignorance and general hatred fuels because the time is right.
This is the battle that mentally ill people fight every day. As they live, and even after they die. Usually, the misconceptions are mere chicken feed to me. But not this time. This time my brother has succumbed to the tornado. It finally bested him after 63 years. The bastards come to devour whatever is left of his legacy. They hypocritically feed from his achievements. They forget all the times he made them laugh and cry. They just see an opportunity to prey… to be illogically controversial to further their own agendas and get their own names in the spotlight at his expense. I am helpless. My brother who was cut from the very same spiritual cloth as myself is over 2,000 miles away. I never got to meet him or to thank him… I never got to try to save him by letting him know HE was not alone. This is the hardest part for me to deal with.
Although I suffer from Bipolar depression, and although I have been addicted to every drug, whore, and social poison imaginable, I want to say something to you right now. You may not be mentally ill. You may have no appreciation for what I have said thus far. You may lack the comprehension skills to even understand the metaphors and similes you have just glanced over as you go about your day. There is however, something we have in common. I was a fan of his too. I laughed and I cried. I paid money for him to entertain me just like you did. It wasn’t until I found that meme I placed above that I realized who he really was. He was me. I was him. I will explain this in great detail now.
All a mentally ill person does is battle with themselves. It is a battle that goes on for every minute, of every hour, of every day, of every month, of every year… for their entire life. That meme speaks VOLUMES on so many different levels… when I read it, I felt that I finally had a brother… or maybe I finally had a father somewhere that understood me.
People abandon you when you have mental illness. The sad truth is because when you have mental illness, you abandon yourself. It is so nonchalant how a person can make you feel worthless… it is so terrifying to walk amongst false prophets and hollow statues as you so desperately want to find understanding of yourself, and from others. No amount of money, fame, sex, alcohol, or drugs can fill that void inside. Family and friends can’t even do it. It is an emotional singularity… a black hole that is constantly sucking everything into itself for emotional satisfaction, hoping that if it just indiscriminately digests everything and everyone, even ourselves, it will strike upon the one thing that can stop the madness… reverse the immense gravitational pull that is eating us away on the inside… but nothing does… at least not permanently.
I was a fan of the celebrity Robin Williams…as were millions… but as I look through the tears in my eyes as I type this, I wonder if anyone ever told him they were a fan of him… just him… him as a flawed person. I was, as soon as I saw that meme. I knew we were connected. But I am not a celebrity, so how could I ever tell him that I understand his emptiness that causes him pain… how could I hug him and tell him that I know the alcohol and the drugs numb the awful sensations and make him funnier and more creative at times… and help him forget who he truly is…
Depression is not a choice you ignorant predators. My sanguine humor boils at the thought of such blatant stupidity. Famous millionaire celebrities in their right minds, would never choose to end their own lives… they end their own lives because they are not in their right minds…
I believe his exceptional creativity was spawned and entertained us for many a reason… Maybe he felt so terrible on the inside he was a true Bodhisattva and made us feel good so that we would never have to suffer the way he did… of course there were times it was pure mania as well I imagine… maybe he forced himself to perform and be funny to forget his own pain… all of these reasons are valid and acceptable in my eyes and mind. I have done, and continue to do the same things…
Madness is a wonderful yet slippery beast… if you can let it out a little at a time, it will fascinate the masses and pay your way through life…become careless, and it will slither right by you and explode into a uncontrollable hoard of eels that will devour all that you hold sacred… even yourself. These brutes have no manners. They will electrocute and burn everything in sight until the light fades away like a sunset in the dessert… and just leave you stranded among the cold faceless sand dunes.
The mentally ill person walks alone. The rocks crumble beneath our feet, marking the tempo for our morose themes. Our bodies weaken without the confidence all of the others seem to have. As my hair fades grey, I am reminded of the younger and stronger version of myself, only to realize now that the journey is taking its toll. I believe that after 63 years, he was simply exhausted from fighting the tornado. I mean he gave it his best. He did better than most of us ever could. Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG awards, the list goes on and on… his empathy was even more impressive… donations of his time…money… helping families and friends and even total strangers…just because he knew how painful life truly could be… so he made it better for people… this is the Robin Williams I mourn for today. The one I am crying for as I type. The one I want to kill all the vultures for. I swear that in this moment, and only this moment, I could raise Thor’s hammer and smash those leeches into juice… even if it killed me to do so.
So I beg now, as the pauper begs in the streets…please find us.
Rekindle our strength and allow us to cut through the mud and the stone,
for we need you to be our beacons, and lead us home. How can you do this? Just love us…understand us… imagine yourselves as us…it is all we want. To be understood. We do not want money or fame… those are fools errands… we want internal peace… acceptance, and love… we want you to be understanding and open so that we have somewhere to go when our own minds work against us and throw us out… together we can shatter these hollow statues and make the stigma disappear…
We are crying inside…we are crying out… we are our own worst enemies at times, and we are your best friends. We are your mothers and fathers. We are your brothers and sisters. We are your sons and daughters. We are your boyfriends, girlfriends, fiances, and spouses… and we are artists that paint the Sistine Chapel and sculpt the statues that you look at with wonder. We are the scientists that harness electricity and invent the light bulb. We are the musicians that make you laugh and cry… we are actors and writers and convenience store clerks that bag your groceries. At the best of times, we are inspiration, at the worst of times we are destructive incoherent slobs, but at all times, we are people. Robin Williams I will miss you as a brother, as a celebrity, as a friend I never had the chance to meet, and as a valid flawed human being that deserved love and understanding. Thank you for everything, but most of all, thanks for being you, and letting me know I am not alone.