Farewell, Pan. Carpe Diem.
I had a very real struggle with depression for a long time. It began at 8 years old. Every time I would get to the place of deciding I was going to cut a major vein or down a bunch of pills, someone would walk in. I would cover up what I was doing and I would feign “normalcy”. I would get so frustrated, because I was convinced that everything would be better if I were no longer on this earth. I would blame the cuts on my arms on my cats. When I was older, it would sometimes take everything in me to literally scream, “Jesus help me” over and over again as I began to turn my car’s steering wheel into a ditch, tears streaming down my face, wanting with half of my being to end everything and with the other half wanting to try to make things better. In those moments, when I could muster no words other than, “Jesus help me”, He would. I am alive today because over and over again, I cried out to God from the depths of depression and He answered.
There are days when I am only working one job, where after work I will bury myself in my room and take a reprieve. Sometimes, I’ll read (my Bible, a nonfiction book-like Undaunted by Christine Caine or The Honor Key by Russell Evans, or a fiction book by Frank Peretti or some others). Sometimes, I’ll pray. Sometimes, I’ll turn on some music and sing along at the top of my lungs (sometimes it’s worship music, sometimes it’s not). Sometimes, I’ll binge watch a tv show that I haven’t seen in a while. Often times, it’s a combination of the first three things. Occasionally, it’ll be a combination of all four. Whatever it is, I’m doing it alone because I need to reset. Yesterday was one of those days.
Yesterday afternoon, I saw the news about Robin Williams. My heart broke. I cried, I prayed for his family, friends and others who deal with depression, and I cried a little more. Robin Williams was in so many movies that are easily some of my favorites: Dead Poets Society, Good Will Hunting, Good Morning Vietnam, Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, Jumanji, Aladdin, August Rush…he portrayed each character with authenticity and truthfulness. His comedic genius backed by the depth of his heart will be sorely missed.
He dealt with depression. And he chose to say goodbye to a world that loved him, a family that needed him and a life that was not meant to end yet. My heart grieves for this loss. Not simply because he was “Robin Williams”, but because he was a human being who couldn’t feel how fully he was loved, how much he was valued and that there is always Hope. For any of my friends out there struggling with depression, please know that you are not alone. You are loved beyond belief and there is Hope. Choose life, it’s not perfect, but it’s worth it. If you ever need prayer or help, reach out!
“You’ll have bad times, but it will always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” (Good Will Hunting)
“No matter what anyone tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” (Dead Poets Society)