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Robin Williams and the quest to save lives

Robin Williams and the quest to save lives

Robin Williams’ tragic death

ABOUT A MONTH ago, when I learned that Robin Williams had suffered for years with drug addiction, I understood the hell he was going through.

Having been there, on the terrifying carousel of addiction and recovery, I knew that Robin Williams was trying to find happiness outside himself.

That’s what drugs provide, after all—an escape from the hell of being oneself, and a crutch on which to lean while walking through artificial joy. Unfortunately, that crutch is not real. Because while drugs can give relief for one minute, or one hour, or for as long as one can stand living on the outskirts of reality, one thing is certain: The high can’t last forever. Eventually, you have to come down, and when you do, you are once again stuck with yourself.

While paying the character Lance Clayton in the 2009 film, “World’s Greatest Dad,” Robin Williams delivered a line that we would all do well to remember: “If you’re that depressed, reach out to someone. And remember: Suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems.”

Williams, 63, a comic genius whose work I greatly admired and enjoyed, was reportedly suffering from depression in the wake of two trips to rehab this year, and died in an apparent suicide on Monday evening. He was, like so many of us who are searching for external relief, a talented man who was dealing with his own demons. His presence will be missed, but his work lives on.

Robin Williams’ legacy

Williams, who played a variety of characters that brought laughter to millions, has left us a legacy that goes well beyond his work. He has shown us that depression has no income level, no color, and no geographic boundaries. He has shown us that depression, left untreated, can be fatal.

In fact, while paying the character Lance Clayton in the 2009 film, “World’s Greatest Dad,” Robin Williams delivered a line that we would all do well to remember: “If you’re that depressed, reach out to someone. And remember: Suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems.”

I join Robin Williams’ many fans in mourning his loss, and I extend my condolences to his family.

If you know of a suicide prevention center, a psychologist who specializes in depression, or other resources that can help those whose struggles are similar to that of Robin Williams, please list them in the comment section. You may help to save a life.

Photo Flickr Commons by Ron Henry (Modified – Click Ron Henry’s name for the original)


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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com. Click here to learn more about Solomon

 

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Written by Solomon