If what other people thought of us really mattered and was material to our sense of who we are then Robin Williams would still be alive today.
Why do I say that? Well today I woke up to the news of his suspected suicide. It was well known that he struggled with depression. But the reason for my opening statement is based on the response to his death. People are showing nothing but love, kindness, respect, sadness and understanding.
We feel a sense of loss for a person we feel connected with but never truly knew.
But even if we did know him – even if we shared a beer with him every week – would that mean that we would have more of an insight into how he was feeling? Unlikely.
Depression (if that’s what led to his death) is invisible. It happens inside of a person’s head. It happens in their version of reality that rarely bears any resemblance to the reality of the world around them. If it did, then they would be able to see the love and respect of the people around them. They would be able to see how much they would be missed.
But it’s invisible. So often even closest friends and relatives have no idea. And it makes you blind, so you can’t see a way out. You feel hopeless. You *feel* hopeless but that doesn’t mean things are hopeless.
There is one simple thing anyone who is stuck in that dark place in their heads can do.
Talk about it.
Just talk to someone. Tell them what is happening in your head.
It’s like opening thick curtains, just a crack, on a bright sunny day. By talking the light shines right in through that opening. Just by talking the darkness begins to disappear.
You are not alone. You are never alone. If you don’t feel you can talk to a friend or relative talk to The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 (UK).
Open that curtain, just a crack, and let the light in.