Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Please Don't Call Us Cowards--Rest now, Robin. Rest.

"Robin Williams was a coward."  "Robin Williams is going straight to hell!"  "Who cares.....just another dead celebrity."

I bristle at all of these because part of me is Robin Williams and part of Robin is me.

I suffer from Bipolar II disorder as well as Generalized Anxiety and although I am currently thriving by the grace of God and successfully managing my illnesses with medication, I have been at the same crossroads as Robin at least twice in my life where I was so tired and so tormented that the thought of suicide did cross my mind.

To those people who say, "There isn't anything that's so bad it would cause you to consider ending your life."  I say it's not that such a circumstance doesn't exist, it's that you have never lived hell on earth.

Instead of damning one who finally folds under the pressure, thank God that your load isn't that heavy and see what you can do to take a little of the load off of somebody else.

Robin Williams visiting 2nd Battalion,
9th Marines in Afghanistan.
The idea that Robin was a coward could not be further from the truth.  I challenge you to walk a while in my shoes or any of our shoes and then tell me how cowardly he was.

High functioning or just plain old functioning folks with mental illness are some of the bravest people I know.  We don't live our lives for ourselves--living successfully with mental illness requires a certain selflessness.

We drag ourselves through every seemingly simple aspect of life for the ones we love.

We show up for our kids when we'd rather be in bed without bathing for days, self medicating with God knows what, shutting everyone out because that's what our brain is telling us to do.

July 21,1951 - August 11, 2014
We sort through all of our destructive thoughts and urges trying to latch on to the healthiest choices for our relationships with spouses, friends, family and coworkers and pray we get it right.

Robin fought for 63 years and that's a heck of a fight.  He did a lot of good, brought a lot of joy to a lot of people and is one of the legends of his craft.  A coward?--I think not.

Some of us just get tired.  We get tired of fighting and when we stop fighting we become highly susceptible to the point of no return and then.....

Instead of calling us cowards, please encourage us--remind us to fight like hell to stay away from that point of no return.

"There were so many ways and so many
things he did for so many people.  He really
had just a giant heart and that's what
makes me so sad." Jeffrey Katzenberg
People say, "Who cares...it's just another dead celebrity."

You know why this brings so many of us to tears?  It's because we know that struggle.  Those of us who are doing awesome at this moment weep with gratefulness for how far we've come.

We weep with sorrow upon learning the degree of his suffering and we weep with devastation that our fellow human being didn't make it through to the other side of that episode.

It pains us that we didn't know because if we had known we could have done something.  And, we ache for the all the others who are suffering alone and in silence.

This wave of emotion you are witnessing on social media is us trying to tell all the others:

"You are not alone in this fight.  And, when you are weary and tempted to give up the fight--don't you give up!  Don't you dare inch toward that point of no return.  You are precious and your life was ordained by the Most High.  Lean on me a little while and I will help you carry this load until the worst has passed."

If you don't get it, if you've never walked in our shoes, please just step aside--please take a seat and let us handle this.  Your lack of understanding is a blessing that you may never comprehend.  You are one of the lucky ones.

Instead of spewing unkind, insensitive chastisement, have a little compassion and leave what you don't understand alone.  Won't you please just leave it be?

I'm not a professional but I have two eyes and two ears.  If you are going through a rough patch and you want to contact me, please email nylacjames@gmail.com.  You are not alone. 

"Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love." 
1 Corinthians 13:13
Until next time, all my crazy crazy love.......


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