Been a while since I’ve paid a visit to the old blog site, I have to say that I’ve missed it. I miss writing and know I need to do it more but it seems like every time I plan on dusting off my keyboard something comes up and that plan goes out the window. But this post isn’t about me, (well not directly anyway). No, this post is about the loss of a man who I admired and respected. Robin Williams passed away today via an apparent suicide. I know a lot of people are posting memories and stories about him so this isn’t anything new but stick with me if you will.
Robin Williams was a big part of my childhood. I’m an old fart so I grew up with him watching Mork and Mindy, I watched him bring one of my (at the time anyway) favorite cartoon characters to life in Popeye. I heard years later he hated this movie, and watching it years later it’s understandable, it’s not a very good movie. It didn’t matter though, I watched it and loved it as a kid. Robin had so many great roles during his life. From Good Morning Vietnam to Dead Poet’s Society to What Dream’s May Come. Hell he even had his own Saturday morning cartoon!
So what would make a guy who had seemingly everything, money, fame, adoring fans and a family that loved him, take his own life? Depression. Supposedly Robin was severly depressed and was going into rehab for a drug relapse. I don’t know much about drugs aside from the occasional marijuana usage (What? I live in CO! It’s legal!) but I do know about depression. I’ve battled it for as long as I can remember and I’d be lying if I said I’d never thought about suicide. I’ve spent many a sleepless night laying in bed thinking about how to do it. The worst bout was after I lost my parents and wife, I figured no one would miss me, I wouldn’t be hurting anymore, why not? Who was gonna miss me? I thought of so many ways and came close so many times but never did it. Why? I don’t know. I remember someone, I can’t remember who, telling me that suicide was a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Makes sense if you think about it. Was I hurting? Immensely. Did I want to love in a world without my parents? Without my wife? No! So why didn’t I do it? As corny as it sounds I didn’t because of my dog.
Those of you who know me in real life know I have a pug named Bo. I got Bo for my wife Michelle. She was raised around pugs and loved them. Me? The only pug I’d ever really seen was Frank from Men in Black. They were cute little dogs sure but did I really want one? Not really but I knew she did so we got him. I’m so glad we did because that dog saved my life. After everything that happened to me Bo was my one constant companion. He was there by my through thick and thin and is laying here beside me as I type this. Bo was what kept me going. He was the one “person” I knew I could talk to, the one shoulder I knew I could cry on and the one who was there for me no matter what.
I know its silly to say that a dog save my life but it’s true. When I was so far down I would think “what’s gonna happen to Bo?” What happens if no one finds me for a day or a week or however long it takes for someone to notice I’m missing? I couldn’t stand to think of something happening to him. When I’d be driving down the road and thinking of crashing my car, I wouldn’t because I’d have him with me and couldn’t bear to think of him howling in pain if the crash didn’t kill us both.
I don’t mean to say that my family wasn’t a factor too because they were. To have to deal with the loss of me on top of the loss of our mom and dad and their sister-in-law in so short a time? How could I do that? The short answer is, I couldn’t. I’m glad now I didn’t. I’m not gonna lie and say things are perfect now because they aren’t, not by a long shot. But they are better now than they were four years ago. I’ve met an amazing woman who pulled me out of my hole and turned my life around. I’ve gotten re-married, something I never thought I’d do and I’ve made some amazing friends.
I know this post has gotten awfully dark, awfully fast so I’m gonna wrap it up. The point I’m trying to get across is this. Yes life can get you down. Yes things can get hard. But you know what? Suicide isn’t an answer. If you feel like no one cares for you, your wrong. Even if you don’t hear from your family, friends or whoever as often as you think you should doesn’t mean that they don’t care about you. Imagine what they would be feeling if they lost you, wondering why you didn’t reach out to them for help? I know how devastating suicide can be. Shortly after I started my current job a friend of mine from training killed himself. We were devastated that such a happy, carefree guy would do such a drastic thing!
So I guess what I’m saying is even when you’re at your lowest, and believe me I’ve been pretty damn low, things will get better. Don’t give up. Don’t EVER give up. Things will get better. I don’t know how or when but they will. Trust me on this. I’ve been about as low as a man can go and I’m still here. Don’t think you’re weak for seeking help. It takes more strength to admit that you need it than to suffer needlessly. Don’t be ashamed to talk, there are people out there willing to listen. A friend, a family member, your dog or cat, someone! You’d be surprised how much talking helps. So stay strong, keep your chin up and carry on. If I can do it, so can you.
Please, take care of yourself and each other.
Till next time kids,