“The ones who bring great joy often know great pain.” -Jamie Tworkowski, Founder of the non-profit To Write Love On Her Arms
If the tragic loss of Robin Williams hits close to home, you are not alone. One in three Americans struggles with mental illness and depression. I lost a high school friend, a close colleague lost his Dad, a friend at church lost her son and just last year Pastor Rick Warren shared his heartbreak after losing his son Matthew to suicide.
I can relate to that kind of pain. I too suffer from mild depression. It only strikes a couple times a year but when it does, it’s awful. I’ve had it for years and when I’m in it, I can understand what it may be like to live with this every day. It is such a lonely dark place that many either don’t want to talk about it or don’t know how. Talking publicly about mental illness today is what talking about breast cancer was 30 years ago. It’s still a taboo subject but maybe it doesn’t have to be. Maybe this can be the beginning of a conversation for thousands who struggle and those who care for them.
God has helped me through some tough times, but when I can’t hear from Him directly, I find that I can hear His love and support through my friends and family. I feel as though I need an army of people who care and love me to lift me up when I can’t lift myself. I find HOPE with my church ladies who pray for me, I find HOPE from a counselor who has known me and my family for years, I find HOPE from my husband who will take the kids off my hands when I’m feeling blue, I find HOPE in a friend who will just listen and hug me though it and I find HOPE with my Mom who loves me unconditionally.
I don’t know what kind of support team Robin Williams had but I do know he was a beautiful light that was loved and will be missed tremendously.
“Let us honor Robin by celebrating the joy he brought to our lives and promise to take more time to reflect on ours and our neighbors’ struggles. Let us pray that we may never again lose such a wonderful life in such a heart wrenching way.” ~ Dr. Ted Baehr
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness there is HOPE. Don’t go through it alone. Reach out and talk to a friend, a parent, co-worker or if nothing else, someone is standing by to take your call at National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and talk about whatever is on your heart.