AS many know, I take summers off – I rarely write and I am not online in any fashion – for those sending me notes (curious of the absence), I did mean to post, then suddenly found myself buried in landscape, gardening and my new home. I do, however, still answer those that either email or private message me. I’ve decided, though, to weigh in with a short post after hearing of the sad departure of Robin Williams. His loss (a great loss of such a talented, giving soul) has since opened conversations, and questions, on depression and mental illness – which was needed. It’s a platform I’ve tried for some time to open doors to myself – people need to become more aware, less afraid and much, much more comfortable speaking of depression. This is a prominent disease that even today, people still deny – they deny they have it – out of fear for themselves and how it will affect their lives and others around them – and there are even those who will still say they deny it exists. There are those that think it’s a plea for attention; that it’s a normal sadness indulged and simply nothing more than a made-up excuse to cradle people’s ego’s and sell more medications. It’s time this world wakes up – and at the very least, Robin Williams life legacy has drawn a spotlight to a much-needed disease that needs to be taken seriously and addressed. It is a battle that can be won, but not in the dark. Not alone. Not in hidden fear.
Chloe Gunn (novel, Induced Amnesia) describes this disease as trying to live “with a demon on your back”. It’s invasive, dark, suffocating and so, so exhausting. And I suppose, unless you’ve had to live with this demon it’s impossible to fathom why ending your life seems like the answer – but over time, the word exhausting is an understatement. It’s like fighting a surging undercurrent daily, hourly and even minute by minute at times. For some, it gets to a point – if it seems like the undertow will never cease or disappear – where exiting the fight altogether is the answer. This very real danger to ending this disease was the genesis of Induced Amnesia
But it’s important to be said that this fight can be won, the undercurrent can be tamed and joy can be illuminated again. The first key to this victory starts with being able to acknowledge the disease, being able to openly talk about it without judgment and then together, as a society, working to manage and heal with compassion and daily support and effort. Loved ones and precious souls do not need to drown in this disease.
Robin wanted to be open about the disease. And so, this post isn’t just about bringing awareness to those that are fighting this demon and feel alone – this is a plea to all of you out there who may not ‘get it’, who think you don’t know anyone suffering, who may suspect, but feel it’s taboo or weak to speak of – it’s a plea to everyone, every person – there are ways to overcome, but someone suffering cannot do it alone. Don’t let someone you know, and may even love, slip through your grasp………..learn the symptoms (they can start subtly), openly discuss this disease with compassion and understanding and please – everyone – educate yourselves on how to treat and manage depression successfully. Please.
As always, I’m here for any of you….. I wish personal power and consciousness for us all in whatever demons we have to fight. You can find your inner power – it’s our designed birthright.