One time, a wise although vehemently opinionated woman I met while volunteering at EPL’s Human Library Project a few years ago said something to me that has stuck with me, whether correct or not, all this time: your world is dark, but it is not dark enough.
Maybe I haven’t seen the fullest extent of what darkness can be, despite how dark I know my world is. The fact of the matter though, is I know people who have seen that lowest point; I know so many people who have suffered greatly and fought all kinds of battles pertaining to mental illness: anxiety, depression, attempted suicide. They have seen that point of near-no return and have been fortunate enough in one way or another, in some way or another, to be pulled out of that hole.
What I’m grateful for isn’t that I haven’t seen the fullest extent of what darkness is or means. What I’m grateful for actually, is for the people in my life (and people who aren’t in my life!) who have come back from their own darkness and who have managed to find joy again in life. This is no easy feat: in the minimal capacity with which I have known depression, and yes, it is minimal, there feels like there is no way out. Waking up, seeing people, facing the day, looking in the mirror, are chores. Next to nothing feels exciting anymore. We go through the motions of life on auto-pilot only so we can return to sitting in a desolate and empty world alone, which is what we want because it’s easier. This is where that darkness begins, but never where it stops. The lucky ones are the ones who have only gotten this deep and even then, this depth is deep enough.
To everyone I know who have come out and admitted freely their depression in light of the passing of Robin Williams, I thank you, for in some small way you are helping others who have succumbed to depression and those currently suffering to have a voice. It’s your bravery that creates awareness and ensures that a hilarious, charming, touching and deeply influential actor and comedian’s tragic and untimely death did not happen quietly. I am grateful for each and every one of you.