I myself have fallen into depressions and have seen doctors for it. I am not sure how someone goes through a bullying experience, especially one which last for years and not be affected. Depression for me, has come and gone over the years and hits hard when I am reminded of a time in which my life was one of constant turmoil, of hiding and juggling life, trying to keep the bullying life from catching up with my life at home. I know we say we have to get our children talking to us about what they are experiencing at school, home, on the walk from home to school or wherever, but when you are the child being bullied, the last thing you want to do is talk about with your family. It is an embarrassing and often confusing time for the child, but keep trying to get through to them. Don't ever let them feel they are alone in this. As I have gotten older and have confronted some of my demons, through a lot of work and self reflection (I think it has made me more of a champion to end bullying than anything), my depression has eased up and gotten more manageable. I wish I could say the same for the millions of people affected by it. I have family members, past and present, who struggle with it and many friends who do as well. My heart goes out to them and all I can do is let them know I am here for them and try to be a beacon of advocacy for them and the illness.
One of the things that struck me the most from the blog titled Robin Williams Verdict on Life by Daniel Fincke is the way he summed up what happened to Robin on Monday. He writes, "Monday he had a bad day with depression. A lethally bad day." Fincke goes on to write that had Robin survived that day, he would have regretted his actions, as most survivors of suicide attempts do. Robin was a very talented and giving man. He made us laugh, cry, laugh again and want more. We knew him first as an alien, but we accepted him as friend, a household name, someone who touched us deeply and will continue to do so. I hope that if anything, we can turn this tragedy and so many like it into reasons to start discussing and keep the discussion going whether it be bullying or mental illness. Let's not loose another person to suicide. Let's demand better legislation, more affordable medicine and healthcare. Let's let all the people suffering know that we want change in our system so that we don't have to say goodbye to another person having a bad, lethal day with any type of depression. I thank my pastor for his braveness in dealing with this topic today and I thank Daniel Fincke for his compassionate writing on this very difficult subject.
To end this tonight I would like to close with another excerpt from Fincke's blog.
"In the end, an illness killed him. Just as illnesses will kill most of us. One day losing to depression can kill you. But it doesn't mean the entirety of his inner life was a loss. Nor that his ultimate judgment of life was that it was a lost cause. Quite the contrary."
Have a peaceful night!
Johnny Bryan Ward