Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pioneers of Television PBS - Robin Williams Remembered

Where do I begin?  I've heard people talk about 'triggers' before, while I believe they are real, watching this show tonight made me feel how real they are. I still cry at the thought of knowing that Robin Williams lived with a terminal illness that ultimately cost him his life, and yet very few knew of the darkness that he battled. Maybe it hits a nerve in me because I know what it feels like to battle that darkness on the inside and yet carry on doing whatever I can on the outside to make people happy. While this illness effects everybody differently, there are glaring similarities at the center of the struggle. Robin Williams is described as a 'gentle, caring soul' who would 'go out of his way to bring comfort and happiness to others,'  and all the while he couldn't find that comfort and happiness that he passed on to everybody else.
 There are so many days where that is exactly how I feel, and yet from the outside it wouldn't appear that I was struggling to find something, anything worth fighting for. They talked about how he couldn't be still and that he was moving from one project to the next, they talked about the fact that he was the only celebrity to spend so much time overseas when there were troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He described it as, 'very humbling.'  In some odd way, those of us who struggle with anxiety and depression have this ability to feel things so much deeper. They talked about how he constantly searched for affirmation, that he would go from one project or comedy show or movie to the next, all in search of affirmation.  At this point my husband turned and looked at me and said that sounds awfully familiar. I do seek affirmation in everything that I do, and its a constant search that never seems to be fulfilled.  In as much as depression affects everybody differently I can't help but notice the similarities.  I know others who have struggled, and I wonder, is the search for affirmation a big part of the struggle?  For a man such as Robin Williams who literally spent his life making others laugh, comforting them, and bringing them peace; I wonder, did he ever feel that he found somebody who gave to him what he gave to so many others? 

I would encourage everybody to watch this, simply because its an amazing special on Robin Williams.  BUT, I would encourage anybody who struggles to watch it even more, the way this special ends, is really directed at anybody and everybody who struggles. 

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