A piece from here http://www.therockbottomzine.com/, edited by my friend Charles.
DEAR ROBIN WILLIAMS
by Sam A.
What can I say? I cried when I heard about you. Mainly for you, or mainly for me? I’ve struggled with suicidal ideations in the past. I came close twice, and that pain is still with me as is the decision to stay and not hurt my family. I’m sure you had the same feeling because you were such a loving person. From what people have reported in the past and what we all saw in your movies, you had depression.
I wonder if you had trouble believing it, or if the pain was so much that you just couldn’t take it anymore.
I’m sorry. I’m watching a Joseph Campbell video, and that drives me to the Campbell Foundation’s YouTube page. I want to know what he says about pain, intense, searing pain that makes you want to kill yourself, but I’m also scared. What I see is that the transition to adulthood is marked by trials.
Immediately I put on The God of Angel Armies by Chris Tomlin. I’m not ready for that video yet. What I think about my trial is that I survived. Did I triumph?
I almost killed myself…
Once like you, by tying my beloved scarf around my neck.
But….man, it hurt so much, physically. And my thoughts of my family and my best friend came rushing into me. Plus, I didn’t want my mom to find me like that, while she was making us lunch.
It was a trial if I failed that trial it would have meant death.
And did I win? I don’t know. I think of Frodo from the Lord of the Rings saga. How he’s still got the wound that the Nazgul inflicted on him with his psychic sword. How it’s invisible, but still hurts…that’s me.
It still hurts
I have trans* friends who’ve struggled with suicidal thoughts.
It’s so complicated, isn’t it? It is never just one issue, it is more like a whole-body hurting. It has changed me.
Like you, I’m more compassionate to people in need. I stop and listen. I tell them, order them, that they are LOVED and that I will miss them. It is because we relate to one another and find comfort and solace while walking through the pain, suffering, and every day problems.
The results are not a weekly or monthly report of people who were saved by talking, writing, and sharing/expresing pain. The results are in the kid in the hallway no longer scared of that bully. The results are in the choice to put down the bottle or the drug and find help insted of slowly committing suicide. The results are in that one boy or girl you either knew as a friend or only as a stranger on the street. Did you make them smile, laugh, relate to them about how you have been in their same shoes? It could have meant the difference between life or death.
There is no gurantee that what we said helped them or that one word made the difference a noose, a raxorblade, a pill, a drug, a drink…but when you see that one person smile again in a new life they never would have had…without your help…without your ROCK BOTTOM message…and the promise of hope.
I have been there too. It’s kind of selfish of me.
I don’t want my friends to hurt themselves because I want them in my life, no matter how painful it is for the other person.
I don’t have a moral stance against taking your life either, because I’ve been there.
Genie … you are indeed free.