Today, the world lost one of its funniest souls ever in Robin Williams. And sadly, if the reports concerning his method of departing this world are indeed true, it is another sign that sometimes the funniest souls contain the deepest sorrows and fears.
My best friend posted as a Facebook status: "Some of the funniest people I've known are also people who have battled depression. Don't assume that the jokesters and pranksters in your life don't battle their very own demons." Humor, that beautiful mask which hides so much pain, that deflects so much sorrow and serves as a way to shift the focus.
Some people learn to use humor to overcome shyness, or to make friends. Others use humor as a weapon, a defense -- make 'em laugh and maybe they won't pick on you or beat you up today (at least). I decided to try to become funny so people might forget I was fat.... at least for a little while. Of course, I had forgotten all about the dreaded Triple-F (Fat Funny Friend) but that's okay .... make 'em laugh, chica, make 'em laugh. I was never going to be as funny as Robin Williams, as my humor tends to be more like Daria Morgendorffer's, but hey, I could try.
But just like so many funny people, my heart contains much sorrow and fear. I already battle daily against a horrific monster myself, so I can understand how it feels to make the world laugh and have it ring hollow. And yes, I have felt so very empty that I pondered my absence in the world -- a very brief pondering, to be certain, but it did cross my mind. At that point, a fighter was born in me, and the fighter is still going. But I know what it's like to feel that sense of hopelessness, the sense that you have reached the end of your rope and there is nothing left with which to tie a knot and hang on.
But there is hope out there. There is help. There is no shame at all in reaching out for help. I was lucky that in my darkest moment, I had angels looking out for me who got me through my worst times. Find a friend, a neighbor, a trusted coworker, a clergyperson, or if you have no one, call one of these numbers:
*1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) -- Kristin Brooks Hope Center; you will be connected to a mental health agency closest to you.
*1-800-273-TALK (8255) -- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Find someone you trust. Talk to them. Find help. Get help. Reach out. Please. Please. Please.
The world has something only you can give. Please let us see it for as long as possible.
Rest in peace, Robin Williams. You gave me so much laughter from my childhood to the present day. You couldn't hide the shyness behind the blue eyes or the pain either, even through the humor. But oh, what gifts you had and shared with the world! You will be so sorely missed by a world that needs your humor. May the peace you sought in this life be yours in the world to come.