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If you have a problem with something, searching the Internet for fellowship in your suffering is a good idea — unless you are depressed.

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No, if you’re depressed, searching the Internet will make you even more so, especially if you happen upon the forums dedicated to the ailment.

Browse any forum for depression for a bit and you will understand what makes it so hard for sufferers to find support among friends and family for this very real condition.

It’s as if you lifted the lid on some fetid trough of contaminated water where insects and moulds have been allowed to grow unhindered. You see all the base panic of humanity: A supreme, Godly nature so badly spun around that it can only contemplate itself, and thus it consumes itself. The barbaric yawp of pain that rises will astound you, even represented through a computer screen. There is nowhere to hide as long as that expression — all that suffering — fills the screen before you.

So you shut off the computer and go for a run and hopefully you feel better. That’s the only right way to respond. Save yourself. You can’t do anything for what you just saw in the trough. It’s over. Just run.

So Robin Williams is dead and we’re all very sad. He killed himself. Some people are innocent enough to think that funny people are happy, and so they are very shocked that he could have been that depressed. Who knew?

Well, the rest of us — the people who know where the funny comes from — we knew.

I am never surprised when comedians or funny people check out — though it’s still sad.

It’s the same when I realize that comedians who are no longer funny have probably conquered their demons. Whatever made them shout and scream and tear themselves open on stage, revealing far too much about their own vulnerabilities just so you could say:

“Yeah, me too! He gets it! I would never admit that, but he just said what I think! HAHAHA!”

That: That power is gone. They’ve become normal people with private lives and something like dignity, and that’s just not very funny (ahem Jay Leno ahem).

I have thought much about life. I’ve shared a lot here and in other places online. I’ve wondered about what’s good and bad in the world. I’ve realized there’s good and there’s bad, and there’s just life, which seems to encompass both good and bad in a way that can only be described as a separate unity. Thus: Life.

Embrace life, no matter how you need to do it. All the good. All the bad. All the life. Then move out of yourself. Leave the trough. Breathe. Realize that depression is a pain, and pain tells you something is wrong. And to fix what’s wrong, you might need to make changes and confront things you don’t want to confront because none of us really wants to confront change. You might need to admit that you’re out of control and you need outside help, and almost all of us see that as “bad”, unfortunately.

You need to take the bad with the good, because life is bad and good. And that’s all you’ve got.