Stop yelling at Robin Williams!
There are lots of people yelling at Robin Williams.
I don’t get it. I really don’t. The guy suffered Depression, which is horribly sad, and it pushed him to commit suicide, which is tragic on so many levels.
And most people have been talking about how awful it is.
Because most people in my media streams aren’t ass-hats.
Even so, I have seen a few crap-tastic responses slip through.
After the first couple negative comments, I attributed it to the fact that people just generally suck, and of course you will always be reminded of that on Facebook.
By the fifth negative statement, I started getting annoyed, edging toward mildly pissed.
Now that it’s been a week, and people are still saying shitty things, I’m a screaming tea kettle of boiling, hissing steam.
So now I’m going to spew.
Reason #1 people are yelling at Robin Williams:
“Suicide is selfish.”
Oh, really? It is? Because that’s exactly the opposite of what a person in the throes of Depression is thinking.
As someone who has been at the bottom – who has contemplated suicide – who has attempted it and lived to tell the tale – I’m here to tell you that Depression is exactly NOT selfish.
Making it about YOU? That’s selfish. That’s shitty and ugly and is pretty much a good way to push someone even closer to the edge.
“Hello there, sad person. You seem to be suffering. Let me stick this needle in your eye and see if that makes things better. Oh, now you’re crying because you say the needle hurts you? Huh. I never saw THAT coming.”
You never saw that coming because you were so caught up in your own feelings that you never thought for a second to examine what the Depressed person is going through.
You never saw that coming because you have your own opinions and ideas and have not stopped to think that the Depressed person might have some opinions and ideas, too.
You never saw that coming because you lack empathy and pretty much have no fucking clue what you’re talking about and therefore should really just STFU and leave Depressed people alone.
Once I teetered on the edge of a cliff. My hubz talked me down and he is awesome for extending a hand and an ear and not letting me push him away.
You know what other people were saying to me at the time?
“Grow up and get over it.”
Whatever “it” was supposed to be, I was apparently foolish to let “it” bother me. And childish, too.
Great – so now on top of feeling worthless, someone I love is in essence calling me childish and dumb. I feel so much better.
Wait – nope. Still wanna jump, and you just walked me closer to the edge.
“I’m hurt that you chose to talk to HIM about it instead of to me.”
I’m so sorry my potentially impending suicide was not a topic I felt comfortable discussing with you. Maybe the fact that you are making friendship a contest made me feel like I wasn’t really a priority, and thus I didn’t want to dump serious stuff in your lap since you appear to be a bit self-centered.
How about celebrating the fact that I chose to talk to SOMEONE – ANYONE AT ALL – instead of whining about who that someone was?
Oh, I forgot – you’re more worried about your own place in my Depression than mine.
Which, you know, is why I didn’t come to you about it.
“Just cheer up. This, too, shall pass.”
Oh, thank you for that hint of logic. However, since I’m suffering Depression, my ability to think clearly is out to lunch. So, you know, your instructions aren’t really helpful.
Additionally, what you describe is a mood, such as sadness or disappointment – things that one actually has control over – whereas Depression is a state of mental health, a disease, a hormonal imbalance, or some other situation which renders it beyond my control.
So no dice.
Robin Williams wasn’t selfish to commit suicide.
He was Depressed.
And the worst part of it is that no one was able to talk him off the cliff.
Because WE are the selfish ones.
Reason #2 people are yelling at Robin Williams:
“He could have led so many others to salvation.”
“Except, you know, he was selfish.”
We forget that, while he was a terrific comedian and an excellent actor, he was still merely a human being – celebrity status be damned. For the most part he kept his face off the rag-mags and the public knew very little of his struggle. I would call that a large feat for any well-known entity in this country, and a particularly extraordinary achievement for someone who apparently engaged in drug and alcohol abuse as well, thanks to his condition.
We Americans hold our celebrities to such ridiculous standards.
Someone gets famous and we suddenly expect them to stop farting.
The fact of the matter is, while Robin Williams was in the position of being a role model, we are each responsible for our own choices, when we are capable of making them.
He wasn’t capable of taking care of himself – obviously – much less anyone else.
It wasn’t up to him to save the rest of us. It’s up to us to save each other, to mourn the losses, and to celebrate the wins.
We lost someone dear to many of our hearts. He was afflicted and that is sad. Let’s just cry over it and hope we catch the next victim in time. We won’t – there will always be more people suffering Depression – but we can keep trying.
That’s called being a decent person.
Reason #3 people are yelling at Robin Williams:
He was a Democrat.
So apparently the more extreme of the Conservative party – who are, very generally speaking, Christian – think all those on the Left should just go out and kill themselves.
Because that’s clearly a Jesus-like way of thinking.
Liberals should just die.
Um, okay. You’re psycho and scary and I am now slowly creeping away from you and your guns and your murderous tendencies.
Can you really not see the WRONG in this way of thinking? I can’t even argue against this without laughing maniacally because clearly there is something wrong with anyone who subscribes to this ideology.
Wishing death onto others is not right. It’s not. To gleefully rub one’s hands together in joy because someone else has died is horrible.
To say that Robin Williams had it coming is cruel beyond words.
Reason #4 people are yelling at Robin Williams:
He was an atheist.
Although, the fact of the matter is, he never really came out and said one way or the other which way he went on this issue.
Not with a straight face, at any rate. Because, you know, comedian.
And also because, you know, it’s personal.
One’s relationship with one’s god is personal. But there’s this whole group of nut-sacks who want godly relationships flaunted. Because then they can argue over the TYPE of relationship – which branch – church practices – prayer methods. It’s ridiculous.
I’m not so much a believer in god, but as long as people aren’t assholes at me about it, I’m not going to attack anyone who does proclaim to have faith.
If Robin Williams was an atheist, so be it. If he was a Christian – or some other religion – that’s fine, too. Bemoaning his personal relationship with a higher power is silly. The guy is dead, you guys. And you can guess what is happening to his soul, but you don’t know for a fact what’s happening. At least, no insofar as “fact” is used in science.
If you really have to worry on it, just hope for the best and leave it alone. He is where he is, and no amount of moaning and whaling is going to change that.
Furthermore, to say that non-believers deserve to die is absolutely opposite the ideas of destiny and fate and god’s will. If you take away a person’s freedom to choose god, what you’re left with isn’t faith. That’s brainwashing or fear-induced promises.
And the god you might believe in is supposed to be smart enough to know the difference.
Stop yelling at Robin Williams.
He committed suicide and that is horribly sad and let’s just come together in this time of mourning to comfort each other.
And let’s talk about ways to increase awareness for the invisible killers like Depression.
And let’s try not to be jerks.
- Have you ever suffered Depression?
- Are you surrounded by supportive friends or by ass-hats?
- Is it sinful to say I didn’t really like Mrs. Doubtfire that much?
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