I am a member of a writer’s group here where I live, and the topic from a week ago was “Pain”. I may not be going to the meeting on Friday, so I thought that today of all days I can share this on my new blog. Do you know what today is?
I have chosen to write about emotional pain. I’d rather think about the opposite of it, like joy and laughter. We can avoid pain by making light of it, by covering it up. No one has to know. We might as well think of our favorite things as the song goes.
If I am in any pain, all I need to do is write in my journal and work things out in my head. Or I can go and engage in conversation with someone and the pain might subside. I am extroverted that way so it gives me a lot of energy. I love energy! It feels great. I make it sound easy, don’t I? It hasn’t always worked well for me that way. Quite often, in the past and even still, it is very difficult to deal with despair and the feelings of death and dying.
Sometimes pain can’t be masked. Sometimes it needs to be talked about. It might not be pleasant; but it can often be resolved by reasoning it out with a loved one or a friend, or with a therapist or a psychiatrist. Yes, sometimes we need to hire someone to talk to. And then there’s medication. There’s nothing wrong with any of that, right? Right? Some of you might have trouble with it. There’s the stigma, after all. What if I go see a shrink and someone finds out? Think about this for a minute. What’s worse, seeking help to resolve the pain or being dead? The time to act is now. This stuff is serious.
What it is Today
So have you guessed yet what today is? It’s the two-week anniversary of Robin Williams’ death. We lost him and now he is gone. It’s really been painful for me, and for many of you, too, I am sure. This is the first time I’ve written about it, be it privately or publicly. Has it really only been two weeks? It feels like months. It was late on a Monday around 5 or 6 in the evening when I received an alert on my phone. The alert said Robin Williams was found dead at 63. How inconceivable is that? I felt like I just lost a good friend. This can’t be. How can this be real? I went straight to my laptop. When I got on my computer, I discovered the whole world was talking about it. So yes, Robin is gone.
I had just been thinking about him a few weeks before, while he was still living. I didn’t know about his show, “The Crazy Ones”, until it had already been canceled. How could I not know? I really wanted to see it once I found out about it. I love Robin, I thought to myself, in a platonic sort of way. Then I began following him on Twitter. This was all while he was still living. I don’t remember how many followers he had at the time, but I expected there to be more than what he had. CBS isn’t showing reruns of “The Crazy Ones”. It’s not even on Comcast’s Video on Demand. Why not? Now that he’s gone, don’t you think people would be interested in watching the show?
Suicide happens because the desire to die becomes greater than the desire to live with an unbearable pain only to be endured.
We know from reliable sources in the news that Robin was being treated for depression. I have also heard from other sources that he was bipolar. Regardless, he died of a mental illness. It wasn’t his fault, and it wasn’t anybody else’s fault for that matter, either. It never is. It is what it is. And it is quite painful for all. Yes, pain. There’s that word again. Treatment works, then it doesn’t. The pain can become too great. Days later after his death, there was also the announcement of his being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease; so perhaps that also affected his mental health.
For us, maybe there is no hope after all. There’s nothing left. Hey, wait a minute! Don’t listen to that stinkin’ thinkin’! We can develop this negative self-talk that can be counterproductive. There’s always hope! When all hope appears lost, what’s left is hope. We just need to be open to it, to be aware of it. I remember many times in my life where I thought the pain would never subside. How much longer must I endure this? We’ve all been there. None of us are immune to emotional pain. I remember as a kid my mother telling me, “This too shall pass.” And things did get resolved and I’d move on to some other pain.
Farewell to Robin Williams
What if we could have known each other personally? We would have been friends I imagine, good friends. It would be nice to know if you are still around, lingering between our world and another. By now you know the mysteries of it all, don’t you? Yes, if only you could be lingering, at least for a little while. Whisper in my ear the secrets of the universe. Instead I am told I’ll know soon enough. So Robin, I wish you a great peace, wherever you might be, and wherever you might go. This world is missing you already.
July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014