Since Robin Williams death I have been quietly watching the world react. There has been an outpouring of grief over a great man who kept us all laughing. There has also been some negativity. Comments made directly to Robin’s daughter Zelda Williams, to a point where she has closed her twitter and Instagram accounts saying she does not know if she will ever return. Negative comments said by Gene Simmons (to the point where two Winnipeg Radio Stations have banned Kiss from their airwaves), the Toronto Star was slammed by its comments and quite a few others. All have since retracted and apologized. What were the comments about?
It has long been known Robin suffered from Depression and had to go into rehab for drinking. He was fairly open about his journey, including it in some comedy routines.
So what were the digs, the comments?
They revolved around the fact that Mr Williams had Depression AND commited suicide.
It is not a secret that I battle my own mental illnesses; Deep Depressive Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Depression I have battled since a teen, the PTSD for the last five years. Like many who battle Mental Illness I have had hurtful things said to me like;
“You are faking PTSD. It is easy to do”
“Because you have PTSD you should never be in a relationship with anyone.You are dangerous.”
“You should not be allowed to remarry because you have PTSD.”
“You wrap yourself in darkness.”
“You should get out more and experience life.”
“Just let it go.”
“Get over it and smile more.”
Each comment has hurt my heart, but I try not to carry it with me. These comments are often said in ignorance, if anything they make me angry. I nor anyone who has a mental illness wanted their illness. We didn’t ask for it, just like a cancer patient never asked for cancer, it is simply what life gave us. We don’t like it. We don’t enjoy it and no we can’t just get over it and smile more. That is like asking someone with a broken leg to get up and run a marathon. What we can do is learn to cope and manage the symptoms like patients with other chronic illnesses. We do our best and we shouldn’t be persecuted or shunned due to our illness, but often we are. Yes sometimes the darkness does take over and things end like they did with Mr Williams. This shouldn’t be rediculed. Moments like this should make the world stop and say “This man had it all and still the illness got him. What can we do to help people who fight mental illness. How can we help?”
Slowly I am seeing those talks starting and THAT actually does make me smile.
Rest in peace Robin Williams. Even in your death I see you continue to teach our world something valuable. Genie. You are free. (Twitter)
About Janet B
I am a Domestic Violence Survivor, who battles PTSD. I share what I know to help others on their journey and to help educate society. I also Supervise a Mentoring Program at Verbal Abuse Journals (http://verbalabusejournals.com/). This program matches Survivors who have been out of the abusive relationship for a few years, and are now Mentors, with Survivors who are either still in an abusive relationship or have just left. A mentoring relationship is set up via email where the Mentor offers guidance and support to the Survivor for as long as they need. Please feel free to sign up for this free service at http://ow.ly/LSii8
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