Robin Williams died on the 11th of August, 2014. I woke up to go the gym the following morning and read the tweets that followed. They said (and still maintain) that he killed himself because he was battling severe depression. 6 am is really too early to process death, more so the death of someone you remember as a comedian. I heard the same line over and over – “The saddest hearts laugh the hardest.”
I should have started with the disclaimer. I am not writing the man a eulogy. I am just confused. I have been Googling the symptoms for depression since I was 13, because I am quite the hypochondriac when the occasion suits me. I have counselled far too many people in my age group in my capacity as Community Agony Aunt. So, why am I surprised that he killed himself? I don’t know. My mood swings begin with “Why me?” and end with trivialities like “Can eyeliner really make me look like I haven’t cried as much as Nirupa Roy did in her entire career?” We’re an easily distractable generation. I can find joy in cat videos after having my heart broken by a boy. I swear, that has happened. But when, at the end of the day, I crawl back into my mother’s lap and still think it’s not enough to console an inexplicable sadness – I ponder over these things and these deaths. No amount of instrumental music can calm the overthinking heart. Sorry, Yann Tiersen.
So, I write. I write to God, I write to him, I write to my father, I write to my feisty alter ego, Lola, I write letters to friends in distant places who I might never see again. I fill the gaps and I write to you. This is your couch I am going to squat on and tell you how I really feel. And you’re going to listen. If you want to. I think that is where they found their solace too. In words. I dread the day I won’t have a story I haven’t heard or haven’t told before. I don’t want to feel empty. Dear God, no. We are all overflowing with stories and words we haven’t heard yet. We are the solutions to our own problems. I think. Maybe Lena Dunham has something to say about it.
My best friend is right. We will never be entirely happy with anything. The way I see it, we’re only seeking something better and that keeps us going. I know that because when I checked my phone on the way to work after what felt like a shitty morning, I found my reason to get through the day. The realisation was enough to fill this heart already overflowing with too much to say. So, I said thank you.
Maybe, that’s what they didn’t have. A reason to say thank you.
PS – Depression and dealing with it is something that I take very seriously. Next time your friend or anyone tells you they’re depressed, please listen. I have attached a link for the symptoms in the text, so that no one has to ever be alone.