Okay, so I actually have a serious blog post (not that any of my previous ones weren’t, but you know….)
Obviously, unless you’ve been completely in the dark, you have heard about Robin Williams suicide.
It’s hard to imagine that he actually did this to himself, but on the other hand, I can see how it happens. And it’s a bit scary that it is so sporadic and can occur without notice.
I’ve never been depressed – at least I don’t think so – but I have contemplated suicide a few times in my life. I think it’s called just feeling down – not depression. I mean, these thoughts happened even as far back as a kindergartner. Let’s be honest, I think a lot of people out there have, including maybe yourself. Would I do it? No. It’s just been a passing thought when things aren’t going well. And as a kid, I used to joke about it. I believe especially a lot of artistic people (actors, musicians, artist and cartoonist) go through this. It’s not easy. I have no clue what Mr. Williams went through, but I can understand it. I’ve had times where the whole cartooning career has felt utterly hopeless and thus life itself. And it’s tough when you have such a strong passion. Various situations come up like devoting 40 hours a week to a day job, all while thinking that my time would be much more valuable spent creating art. Bills aren’t paid, projects run dry and goals aren’t met. It can be brutal on the psyche. And sometimes it’s been further than career, like relationships, health, etc.
BUT, I’ve learned to press forward. It’s not always easy. For example, last night I was feeling extremely down. I had a goal in mind that I wanted to hit by the time I’m 35, and it didn’t happen. And I turn 35 tomorrow. I originally had this goal to be hit at age 30. So, it was a bit doomy and gloomy for me. I’ve got one day to accomplish this sucker and, well, it’s not looking likely unless a miracle happens.
The thing is, when you put stuff in perspective and realize things don’t always happen on schedule, you can feel better about things like not meeting a goal deadline. Hey, we’re all human and I think every person on earth – successful or not – goes through this (not getting things accomplished that you wanted). Giving up is the ultimate failure, and lots of projects of mine that didn’t land on schedule eventually came through.
Back to the ‘scary and sporadic’ part. It scares me because I know depression runs in my family and I like to say now that I would never get to the point of Robin Williams, but is there a moment when something like that just takes control and you end up doing? I’d like to think not, but easy for me to say since I haven’t been to that point. And it scares me not just for myself but everyone else I know. Everybody goes through bad times and it makes you wonder if it will be a breaking point.
Anyway, deep stuff….
I think a key part to dealing with a lot of this is to be honest and just put it out there. So, my way is – say, a blog (hey, you’re reading it, right). There’s a few tricks.
Hopefully anyone contemplating suicide – like, seriously – calls the help number and it doesn’t happen. Get help! I couldn’t imagine what a family and friends would go through. That would be the toughest part.
R.I.P. Robin Williams.