By now, everyone has heard of Robin Williams’ death. Most were probably shocked to hear that he killed himself. How could someone who appeared so happy be sad enough to want to die? Isn’t ironic that someone who brought us so much laughter in our lives felt so much pain in his life? I was very sad to hear of his death but I did not ask myself how he could do such a thing. Sure, I could ask myself that question but I have some insight into his possible answer. My step dad killed himself 6 years ago. I will never, ever forget that phone call. I will never forget the heartache and pain it caused my family. At the same time, I will never forget HIS pain.
I saw this photo on Facebook. It is a cool image and a nice tribute to Robin but I find it very tragic. Going away means forgetting. People that commit suicide forget that they are loved. It pains me to think people decide they have no other choice. They are so completely broken that suicide appears to be their only answer. Depression and suicide have a stigma attached to them. Shame is associated with struggle. Suicide does not end the pain. It only transfers the pain to those left behind. The tragedy of suicide is that people who commit the act do not realize they will be causing pain. They think they are doing their family and friends a favor by leaving.
How does this post fit into a fitness blog? Your mental health is just as important as your physical health! We have joked here and there that exercise is our therapy. It is true. I love nothing better than a good boxing class or a lifting session to alleviate some stress. If you suffer from depression, PLEASE seek help. There is no shame in asking for help. Take the steps necessary to take care of yourself AND your loved ones. They need you here with them.
There is no face of suicide. Someone who appears to be so happy (like Robin) may be suffering on the inside. Remember that people can have a completely separate, private life that contradicts their public life. Depression is easily masked. If you know of someone who is hurting, please encourage them to seek help. Remember that a little kindness can go a long way. Treat people with love and respect.
Again, take care of your mental/emotional health. If you have ever had thoughts of suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). They can direct you to a crisis center near you. Everyone is loved by someone. Never forget.