I have been quitely contemplating the death of Robin Williams. A man whom held in his orbit an abundance of genius, channeled nothing short of ectasy and held the gaze of love in his eyes for all to witness. His depth of character is something I have been sinking into the last couple of days as he has always reminded me of my father. My dad has suffered from depression since I have been on this earth. I recall when he was not around for days only to emerge like a bear from his cave dis shelved from the heavy hibernation he was held in. He felt fuzzy and out of it not at all capable of being active in the present moment. I did not trust him during these spurts as he felt unsafe and sloppy in his sluggish ways.
Other times he was the life of any party. His energy was something you wanted to be around so it could rub off on you. His magnetic charm and his equivalent full hearted exuberance was intoxicating. It felt as though if you were with him he could protect you from anything with his shear strength. My parents often refer to finding him the proper medication as a life saving and instrumental moment. He always tried to self medicate with dangerous consequences. As of most recent he has found a sweet spot in life. At 66 he is completely sober and now humbled and grounded. He is one of the wisest most compassionate loving people I know. Growing into his potential nearly killed him though.
I have always been told to watch out as if my genes were coded to self destruct as they have for my father.. his mother.. my brother.. my mother's mother.. I could go on as depression colors in whole branches in my family tree. As high as you go as low as you go my father reminds me to this day.
On one side of the coin you can feel interconnected to everything in this world. Then the coin flips and you are completely alone channeling the collective suffering of the whole world in your black hole where meaninglessness, shame, and inadequacy all meet you at your numbest core. I have yet needed to medicate for my bouts with depression however I strive daily to live a healthy life and am mindful when I need to tweak my life to find balance. There is no secret formula for being human.
I would like to figuratively light a candle for each one of us who have the ability to rise or sink. It is the same. In Buddhism they say without knowing suffering you cannot truly know joy. However we are not intended to suffer relentlessly on our own. We have to remember this ebb and flow and find space for the tides to change. As that is the natural way of things. My friend has a saying for her loved ones when she is not feeling emotionally well. She says the tide is out. What I love about this is the acknowledgment things are not feeling ok right now and the reminder that tides change and on another day, or perhaps another minute of the same day the tide may be in again.
It gives me hope.
May we all remind each other of this before we get caught up in the tide and forget we will be pulled back in. We are such sweet complex brilliant beings full of light darkness tears bursting hearts and everything in between. I bow down to each of you full faceted human beings. It is sometimes hard being human and that is o.k.