Thursday, 14 August 2014

Stop all the clocks…

So, I think it suffices to say that we are all rather shocked and traumatised by the passing of comedy's, no, life's greatest and brightest stars.

I normally don’t care for celebrity deaths, people live, people die.  Some are influential, like Madiba and Dr Angelou, who I've spoken of before.  We pay our tributes, we give our thoughts, we remember them, we get that nice glow of fondness and gratitude, we move on.

But this felt like a punch in the gut.  A small hole dropping out from beneath you because your Genie; the one who made you laugh with innumerable impressions and goddamn, some of the dirtiest and most salacious jokes you've ever seen or heard, thought that his existence was so hopeless and desperate, that he could no longer feel like he belonged here, alive, breathing, with his family, with his friends or his fans.

The one thing people have been baffled over is how someone who brings so much happiness could have had so little for himself.

Easy, that's what depression does.  Its such an awful son of a bitch and it doesn't care how kind you are, how generous and bright your are, how willing you are to share your light with the world and how happy you are to make others happy.

It says to you; 'Yeah, its all fine and dandy that everyone thinks you're the bees knees and its all sort of nice that you're so good to the people around you, but guess what, I'm here to tell you that no matter how wonderful you really are, you're never going to feel it.  All that happiness you give other people, all that love that you're so eager to share with the world? I'm taking that away from you, I wont let you have a single ounce of it.'

Depression claims you, in a similar way that drug addiction slowly claims every aspect of your life, this does it too.  It steals your happiness and keeps it for itself, a self-indulgence hurt machine that digs its little claws in you and croons the most cruel and hateful and hurtful things into your ear and worse, it does it because it believes it loves you, it believes it and is making you believe it too.

The most horrible thing about this, because Robin Williams was a total stranger to me, is that there is no way in the seven hells that I would have even had an ounce of presence or influence in his life and yet I still feel guilt; guilt at not having been able to somehow reach out for this famous and wonderful stranger.
I can only imagine what his family is going through, my heart bleeds, it is unimaginable.

I am so sorry Mr Williams that your despair led you down the darkest roads, that sometimes drink and drugs eased the loneliness, but ultimately they only led you further into the dark.  I'm so sorry that this cruel, monstrous illness figuratively cock-blocked you from having all that wonder and joy and love from properly settling into your heart.  I am sorry we didn't notice sooner, I'm sure your family and friends were the greatest shields you had against this evil, but ultimately, you couldn't go on.

It almost makes a person really mad, that this nameless, faceless thing thinks it has the right to steal everything that is good from you, fuck it, fuck depression.

And yes, I feel strongly about this, too much maybe.  Because it hits far too close to home. 

And no, suicide isn't selfish, its desperate, its lonely, its misguided but it isn't selfish.  It’s the last resort of people whose minds are so arduously tortured that silence and nothingness becomes the only promise of respite.  That's the true evil of depression, it makes you think that silence, not love, or warmth is the only answer. 

Seriously, fuck that bastard.  That lying selfish cruel bastard.

Anyway, I have no idea what to say in the face of this tragedy.  I loved Robin Williams like one loves a favourite uncle.

He set the tone and timbre of my own personal sense of humor.  Everyone who knows me has seen my constant and really, really bad attempts at voice impersonation.  A trick I learnt from Robin from Aladdin (Fabulous Darling, I love the feathers).

He brightened every dark day with the Birdcage.  A story that at heart, is about the deep and abiding love one has for family. (Fossey, fossey fossey!!!!)

He had depth and talent coming out of his hoo-hah like no other actor.  I remember watching his interviews and knowing without a doubt I would end up in stitches. 

There was never a time when this man wasn't shining. 

And he seemed for a time, a success story.  He overcame his addictions and his demons, named a daughter after one of the coolest video games ever (maybe not the coolest character, but that is slowly changing) and damnit how can this guy not be awesome in every single way?

And to see that maybe those demons were maybe a little stronger is disheartening and tragic, maybe he just needed more time.  Or maybe he had run out.

We can only mourn for so long.  After all, at the core of all this tragedy is the face that someone lost a father, a husband, a friend.  He may not have been a personal friend but the loss is real, just maybe not that personal.

But what am I saying? I am talking like there is no hope.  Like this is all too much a sad reality of the effects of depression and the aftermath of suicide. 

It isn't. 

Sometimes, some people lose the fight, or are too exhausted to go on.  Sometimes it happens, but its not a fixed fact.

To everyone else who may relate, who may feel this breathless pain, who can relate all too well:
Its so fucking hard, I know, but damnit, keep fighting.

And when the fight gets overwhelming always remember that you do have more weapons in your arsenal than you are aware of even having.  If you ever need a happy grenade, I'mma toss you as many as you need.

If not me, someone else.  Find your wingman, hell, find a fucking platoon.

Reach out and find someone who deserves your friendship and your love, even if it is just one person.  Although, you'd be surprised (like I often am) how many people actually care for you in return.  Love and friendship aren’t just easy motifs for My Little Pony episodes, they're genuine armour reinforcements for your heart and mind.

O Captain, my captain, rest well.  Your battle is over and wherever you are, you're free. 

You won't be forgotten and your legacy will keep us strong and happy and grateful that we were ever privileged to witness you shine.  You're my hero and my hairiest dad, my best playmate and funniest laugh.  I won't forget you and you will be remembered for all the things worth remembering you for. 

For all of us left behind, let's be genies and mad scientists, peter pans and super hairy gay men, wear your rainbow suspenders and your red noses.  We have inherited his joy and his talent so lets put it to good use.

For us in Oz who may need someone to talk to, the occasional pat on the shoulder of just something to help ease the noise, we have:

And if you can, or have the physical ability to do so (I can, I think, just give me time and maybe surgery) – participate in the upcoming event Movember, which focuses on men's health and men's mental health issues.

If all else fails, even as I make my way down my own occasionally dark, cockblocky thorn riddled road; know that I love you all like Robin Williams loved to drink excessive amounts of water at a standup (most of which was used as a prop to simulate his dirty jokes, good times, good, sloppy, times).  

I'm not always around but I think about you guys fondly and even those of you I do not know at all, I think about you too and I want nothing but happiness for you because really, the world only needs happiness (and internet) and nothing much beats that.

So remember that you're gaining XP every mother fucking day.  That coffee you drank in the morning was another achievement unlocked.  You're blasting paperclips like locust in Gears of War and goddamn you are a badass, look at your Level 50 Demon Hunter armor, that shit is sparkling, and every dent and every scratch is just another battle scar anecdote you can tell to impress everyone.

Be free and happy in the here and now.  Thanks for putting up with this rant and peace out.

Nanu Nanu.