Encountering judgemental and insensitive people is the bane of social media. I really don’t care your religious or personal beliefs but when someone dies, you keep quiet as a mark of respect. It is called social decorum.
The irony that THE Mr Funny Man, Robin Williams, was suffering from depression can’t be lost on anyone who has heard the news. You think how? But he was so funny. He made us all laugh. I watched his films and felt better after. That was the magic of Robin Williams – the actor. For very few of us were privy to the life of Robin Williams – the man. So I truly wonder on what basis we choose to pass judgement on his committing suicide.
It is an inimitable tragedy when someone is so overwhelmed and shrouded in despair that the only option they see available to them is taking their own life. It must be the lowest and dimmest point of such a person’s life. We can be shocked, distraught, angered, upset, dumbfounded but judgemental? I don’t think so. If such news doesn’t elicit compassion within you then I am speechless.
Depression is not as distant a reality as many would like to think. Something that happens to ‘certain’ people. It is a clear and present danger in the daily reality of many of our friends and family. I too, remember when after having my first child, the pressures of being the ‘perfect’ mother who instinctively knew what to do began to cave in around me. I remember the moment clearly. I hadn’t eaten that morning. I had not had my bath. Having decided to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months, I had an interrupted night’s sleep as I had had the night before. My mother and I were giving my son a bath earlier and she made a suggestion which I interpreted as criticism. My husband was at work and I felt alone. As I placed another set of soiled baby clothes in the washing machine, I felt a cloud of darkness begin to seduce me. It was not a literal cloud, more like an invitation to dance with a masked dancer whose true nature would only be revealed once caught in his clutches. I am grateful that I had the clarity of mind to say no thank you to that dance. And I know without a shadow of doubt, if I had entertained that sinister dancer, I would be telling a different story today. Post-natal depression is simply what I would have been told. I was able to derive strength from my faith that day and escaped the clutches of depression but not many are so lucky.
I Corinthians 10:12-13
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
My faith was my way of escape. It is a faith that I wish for all but such is life; not all will believe it. However, I also strongly believe that we can all offer one another a way of escape from the burdening issues we may face and make it easier to bear burdens. I’ve blogged about this before in Too Busy to Care. And I think it requires mentioning again. Let’s be attentive to one another, particularly people you know who are suffering from depression or going through a tough time. Let’s just care a bit more and not forget that it could have been you in their position. You never know, you might save a life!