Laughing in the Face of Depression

Goodnight O Captain, My Captain; A Salute to Robin Williams

Robin Williams Facebook Profile Photo

Robin Williams Facebook Profile Photo

“Carpe diem…He seized the day and made his life extraordinary.”

It is said that laughter is the best medicine. Even fake laughing can release endorphins in the body, our natural feel good chemicals.

So what happened with our beloved actor and comedian, Robin Williams? One the funniest men of our time, succumbed to apparent suicide.

The media have reported that he wrestled with the depression beast for many years, in addition to alcohol and substance abuse. He sought help throughout his entire career, in and out of rehab. So, if a man who has everything, success, fame, fortune, talent, the admiration of millions, laughter and love in his personal life, if that man can succumb to the darkness of depression, what hope is there for the rest of us who struggle daily with our own demons of darkness?

In my opinion, as someone who has lived with depression my entire life, Robin Williams did not lose his battle. He gave a great fight, and eventually he got tired and tagged out.  That is by no means losing.  He lived many good years. With the time that he had on Earth, he touched countless lives with his work, his words, and his gift of laughter.  He has left, yes, but while he was here, his presence was truly noted, his footprints clearly embedded in the sands of time.

He was here and he left his mark.  He lived, he loved, he most certainly laughed, he gave his best, brought someone some happiness, and left this world a little better place because he was here. (Adapted from Beyoncé’s 2011 song, I was Here).

We, the masses, can only dream to accomplish as much.

Many will say, “Such a shame to lose someone so talented to depression.”

But I choose to say, “Look at how much he accomplished despite his depression”.

What an inspiration, to see how high his star soared, even as the darkness threatened.

So, we must continue to fight the fight, continue to beat back our own beast of darkness to the best of our ability. We each have much to give before the darkness overwhelms us, and must do our best on the days that we can. Because God knows there will days that we can’t.

Robin Williams in Dead Poet's Society as he encourages his students to constantly look at things from a new perspective.

Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society as he encourages his students to constantly look at things from a new perspective.

Robin Williams’ voice echos in my mind, from his 1989 movie Dead Poet’s Society, as he encourages his students to always look at things from a new perspective and change the world with words and ideas. But what resounds most of all is this line:

“Carpe Diem. Seize the day… Make your lives extraordinary.” (Dead Poet’s Society, 1989).  He seized the day and made his life extraordinary.

I challenge you to do the same.

Dedicated to Robin Williams 1951 -2014

Original Publication: August 27, 2014 SandiYee.Hubpages.com

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