I had a plan for what I was going to blog about for this page, but the plan has changed. Because unless you’ve been living under a rock since this past Sunday, you’ve probably heard that actor Robin Williams died on Monday, August 11 2014. At the time I’m writing this, it’s assumed that he committed suicide because he had been battling depression for a long time.
I have not been this upset about a celebrity death ever. I have actually been shedding tears tonight because of this. Robin Williams was one of my favorite actors. I grew up with his movies- Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, Patch Adams, Aladdin, Jumanji, Fern Gully, and I even watched re-runs of Mork & Mindy though the actual show was a little before my time. He was a brilliant actor, a brilliant comedian, and always seemed to me like he would be one of the nicest people in the world. Byron and I have watched Robin Williams Live On Broadway probably a hundred times.
And yet, he still had depression, and he lost a battle with it. Someone who was loved by millions. Someone who had touched so many lives over so many years, thought that he had nothing left to live for and apparently took his own life.
I have blogged a lot on this site, especially lately, about my own struggle with depression. Writing posts about myself, and about the cycle of bad feelings in my head, have been some of the hardest and most rewarding things I have ever done during my time of making this comic. Which is probably why this is hitting me so hard right now.
Many of my friends also battle with depression. My family members battle with depression too. My mother is my best friend and she has depression. I try so hard to help these people out, because I love them and I don’t want to lose them. So I think knowing that someone as loved and cherished as Robin Williams could end his life because of depression makes me very sad, and afraid.
We need to change the way we talk about mental illness and depression. People with depression are not “just sad” and do not need to “get over it and just be happy.” Having depression and admitting it leads to such a stigma, because so many think it’s just in our heads. It’s not. It’s an illness- an actual imbalance of chemicals in the brain. And it doesn’t just effect one sort of person. It can grip hold of anyone, no matter how much money they have or how many fans, or how much they’ve changed the world.
I want to put this out here right now- If you are reading this blog, I care about you. Whether it’s the first time you’ve been here or the 200th time, I love you. Even if you have never read a single page of this comic- If you are seeing these words that I’ve written, and you need someone to listen to you because you feel like no one cares, please contact me. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr a lot of the time during the day, but you can also email me by using dynamitecandy [@!] gmailDOTcom. If you just need to vent, and you feel like there is no one out there who will listen- I will.
If you need to talk to someone on the phone or you fear you’re a danger to yourself, I also urge you to call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the U.S. These people are trained to help those in need. They are trained to listen and to help you. If you are outside of the U.S. here is a list of International crisis centers. Just please, please, do not take your own life. There are people out there who do care about you, who love you and don’t want you to disappear from their lives.