Monday, August 11, 2014

RIP #robinwilliams

This is my 700th blog post, and it really is too bad I have to commemorate it with such depressing news:

I take mental health very seriously, so when someone I know or know of takes their own life, it still hurts, even if I didn't like them very much.

I am so sorry that Robin was in that much pain.  I've been there, and it's the reason I never allowed myself to succumb to genetics and become an alcoholic.  I became a "pill popper" instead.  Never to kill myself, but because of a deep desperation to be NUMB, to repress, to black out, to censor the agony.  Occasionally I most certainly abused alcohol (binge drinking at parties, drinking to get drunk), but my body and mind just never became addicted to alcohol, and I haven't had one alcoholic beverage in almost three years.

Hopelessness is the cause of a lot of deaths due to suicide.  It isn't depression: it's the fact that for some people no matter what they do to alleviate their depression and/or self-loathing, nothing works for them.

 Substance abuse magnifies hopelessness.  It tricks you into thinking it is keeping "the Big Sadness" at bay.  Robin knew this and checked himself into rehab just a month ago.  He tried, he TRIED, and I guess it was 63 years of trying and trying and trying only to end up back at square one, and he just had no hope, and his addiction, his demons convinced him that there wasn't even any residue of hope at the bottom of the pot that he could fight to keep.  That's the conclusion that can mean the end of the line, "game over" for some people.  No amount of talking will get them to step away from the ledge and back into the world, when the world is what is torturing them in the first place.

All I can say is that history is written only by survivors, so when a survivor settles in to tell you a story at your next AA meeting, listen.  Take that story, and every story told by a survivor with you.  Let the stories strengthen you and let the serenity prayer remind you of that strength:

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference."

Repeat it week by week, day by day, hour by hour if you must.  To change your life, sometimes you have to change your friends.  To change your life, sometimes you have to change your entire location.  There is absolutely no shame and it is never too late when it comes to turning your life around and allowing yourself to be happy, all on your own, naturally high on life, because when the moment of realization hits you, that moment when you realize that you are happy, is worth 1,000 prayers. 

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