If there is anything that we can learn from the death of Robin Williams, it is this:
Mental illness is a serious problem. Those of us who suffer with it will never, ever really be free of it. It is a beast that waits until your smile fades and the door closes before it strikes. No matter how many people love and care for you, it will wait them all out. It will wait in the corner until you return to your room alone. It will creep in the dark and dank places of your mind until a tragedy or moment of stress stirs it into action. It doesn’t matter how many movies you make, or how many laughs you share, it is there, lurking in the corner, waiting until everyone is gone and no one is looking.
I don’t want to say he committed suicide, because he was running away from a monster his entire life. When a construction worker is killed on a construction site, we do not say it was suicide, even though the man knew the risk and danger when he chose that job. That is what living with mental illness and depression is like; it is the risk and danger we have to live with to entertain others, to tell our stories and survive the constant attacks on our minds by our own emotions. When someone you know suffers from mental illness you need to be constantly vigilant, if you even blink the darkness can overtake them.
I am sorry Robin Williams, that we all blinked when you needed us.