8/13/2014
If only it was that easy

Yesterday we were all speculating about Robin Williams' death, but the few things we did know - his publicist saying he battled "severe" depression, the coroners saying he died of asphyxia - pretty much turned all the assumptions to fact. Robin took his own life.

Everybody was retweeting everybody. Quotes from his films, that shot of Aladdin hugging an emancipated Genie, that Walt Whitman poem. And then there was, again, a discussion on depression, or what seemed like it. That little understood thing - I wouldn't call it illness; I wouldn't know what to call it - has reared its ugly head again, taking away a man who generations loved dearly even if all they know of him is what they see on their screens.

Is it safe to call depression "extreme sadness, verging on suicidal thoughts"? I don't think so. I've been extremely sad before. I've had suicidal thoughts before. I don't know if what I had is depression or a young person's tendency to exaggerate everything to get noticed. That also means I'd get dismissed for, well, exaggerating what I really feel. "Get over it," people would usually say. "You're being too dramatic."

Fact is, we do know little about it, so I can't blame anyone if the discussion ends up going along the lines of, merely, "if you're sad, talk to someone."

Well, yes, by all means, tell someone. The worst thing about feeling extreme sadness (I'll use that term lest I risk of, well, exaggerating what I really feel) is the sense that nobody is there to listen to you, that nobody is willing to share your load. You're only told to keep your head up. You're only told that things will be better someday, but then you do wait, and things just get worse, and all you want is escape this madness, because fuck it, why do I fucking have to sit here and wait for something that will not fucking arrive?

If only it was that easy to tell someone. If only it was that easy to go to someone and say, "hey, I feel really sad today." If only it was that easy to take the time to sit down and listen.

Chances are, we're too ashamed to admit that we are feeling quite down.

Chances are, we're too unwilling to listen to someone's troubles. Why should it be my problem? Why can't you keep it to yourself?

We live in a world where happy endings are preferred, where anything contrary to positive is a liability, where sadness is unwanted, unneeded. Sure, it happens, and you can't help but feel sad if you, say, lose your girlfriend or your mother or whatever, but you can always move on and be a better person, right? Catch is, not everybody can move on, and it's the one thing we refuse to understand, much more approach. You're too sad? Get off of my cloud. I don't want you ruining my day.

Catch is, it's that easy to be dismissive.

And your responses...

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