With the sad news of Robin William’s passing, I’m reflecting today on what makes each person’s happily ever after ending, and why, when it seems like someone has everything, they still have despair in their hearts.
I know he suffered from deep depression. My background, as some of you may know, is in psychiatric nursing. I’ve been around deeply depressed people for most of my life both professionally and personally, and I know the real horror when someone feels there is no hope left and suicide is the only option to end the pain and suffering.
Mr. Williams was a man who, on the outside, appeared to everything his heart could desire. An icon status career, multiple professional accolades and awards, three beautiful, loving children and a spouse who adored him. His talent was beyond description. He was the end goal every comedian wanted for themselves: talented, rich, respected, successful.
Why then, wasn’t this enough?
Or, was it too much?
Was it, in fact, too much to deal with? Having a stellar career, constantly being in the public eye, never knowing who really likes you for you and not because you’re famous? I tend to think when people have achieved such a pinnacle of success the only place they feel for them to go now is downward. That thought alone can spark a depression that is biting.
Actors aren’t the only people who are held to levels the average mortal isn’t.The list of iconic writers who have killed themselves because of depression is a long one. It includes, but isn’t limited to, John Kennedy Toole, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, This is a short list of 20th century writers who found the path to death easier than dealing with life. Unfortunately, a Google search will give you many – too many – more.
We never really know what goes on in another person’s mind. We can try to walk in their shoes and attempt to understand what they are going through, but we will never know the true sense of what they feel, experience, and fear.
Happily ever afters occur in books, Romances,in particular. But in real life, the ever after is fraught with sometimes insurmountable life situations and concerns.
If you know someone who is depressed or suffering from depression-like symptoms, extend a hand, mentally and physically. Sometimes, the time frame between a person acting on their thoughts and being helped is a millisecond.
Everyone deserves their HEA, in fiction and real life.