The Seeds of Doubt Fire Us All

Reading the Metro this morning, more details have emerged of the death of comedian Robin Williams, following his suspect suicide on Monday. The star apparently slashed his wrists before hanging himself with a belt, after suffering with severe depression.

Having experienced depression myself for many years, I know how it feels, and it has taken me to some dark places. One of the things that shocked me most was upon telling my doctor about these dark moments, they were dismissed as nothing. I guess nobody ever really listens until you turn up dead with a tag on your toe. By which point it is too late.

Before you get worried, I have never been tempted by these moments. There is a strength inside me, something that has always been there, and I hope will always remain. But that doesn’t mean that life is not so very difficult, because it is. Depression is a dilapidating illness which snatches your self confidence and makes you doubt yourself and your abilities to do even the smallest things in life. Sometimes I wonder how I can write a whole book when I can’t even be bothered to write a blog. Or something even simpler like brush my teeth.

Right now I am battling the seeds of doubt. I feel more lost in life than ever and I don’t know what to do or where to go. This gets me down, and frustrates me beyond belief.

One thing that Robin’s death has inspired me with is the fact that there are six films which will be released posthumously. Six. Wow. The papers report that he was taking film and TV roles he didn’t want to pay the bills, mainly caused by his two divorces. Whatever his reasons, I don’t doubt that they will display his talents and showcase what he was good at: making people laugh. He was still doing, to a degree, what he was passionate about, even during his most difficult times.

Because people do battle through depression, and many creative types suffered for their art. Virginia Woolf is considered one of the greatest women writers, although she ended her life by filling her coat pockets with stones and drowning herself, putting an end to not only that great talent but to her mental suffering.

I still need to learn to harness my depression for my creativity. This blog helps that, but occasionally it will draw out the worst in me, like the three-line blog Little Miss Grumpy that I wrote on Monday. But short blogs like that are not so much art; they are more like Facebook posts. They really do nothing to enhance my creative self. I want my writing to inspire people; to laugh, to cry, to feel brave.

Life is a journey, and depression is a travelling companion that never leaves your side. You may occasionally get a break from it, while it goes on an excursion that may take it days, weeks or years, but it will always leave its passport in you, a stamp that promises you it will be back one day. I dream of the day that I can purge that passport completely out of my life.

For now I take inspiration from those who provide their creativity for us all to enjoy, and hope that one day I can follow in their great footsteps, without my most persistent travelling companion following me.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rob
    Aug 13, 2014 @ 11:34:57

    I thought of you when I heard the news of Robin’s suicide. I’m glad to hear you say that you haven’t been at that point. As someone who suffers from depression as well, I know the dark places that your mind will go to, and how people really have no idea what’s going on in your head. You’re not alone. I’m not alone. There is some comfort in that, I think. Especially when there are times when we feel so very alone in the world.

    I hope that you continue living and dreaming and writing because it’s worth it. Because you’re worth it. 🙂

    Reply

    • 33andlostinlife
      Aug 13, 2014 @ 12:41:04

      It’s funny, it helps to talk about it, but I find it hard to talk to those I’m closest to at times. I’m usually quite open about talking about my depression, but sometimes opening up about it in the first place can be the hardest thing. I find it easier to write this blog than to actually pick up the phone at times. I guess that’s another thing that makes depression hard to deal with. But if writing this blog reminds people that they are not alone then it’s definitely a good thing and one I’ll continue with.

      Reply

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