HEADS UP – This is a heavy post, but an important one. Please be aware of that before you read on, but know that that what you’re reading is important.
Robin. Mork. Adrian Cronauer. John Keating. Peter Banning. Genie. Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire. Sean Maguire. And on, and on.
Robin Williams was the voice of my childhood, and the comedic light that shone on the dark places of my youth.
His self titled biography ROBIN, authored by Dave Itzkoff and recently released is absolutely phenomenal.
As someone who spent a large part of my early childhood years standing in front of a mirror imitating his vocal play and rapid fire stand-up timing reading this book was like reliving some of my very formative years.
I think this book is great for a myriad of reasons. Robin Williams was a generational talent, and deserves to be chronicled like this. His characters – those listed above, and the rest of his roles as well – shaped my generation, and it’s great to be able to pull back the curtain and see some details from some very beloved movies. Reading this book was like getting on a time machine and traveling back. And it was great!
It was also a bit like looking in a mirror.
It’s stated multiple times in the book that Robin felt such a need to please people that it drove his manic and frenetic pace on stage. Similarly, what’s the name of my blog? It’s Which Me is Me? I named it that to signify the struggles that I feel on a day to day basis – that need to be whatever, and/or whoever is needed in the situation I’m in. My mania has driven me to be so chameleon-like over the years that I truly sometimes don’t feel like I know who I really am. Which me is (the real) me?
This book also brought out feelings and emotions around Robin’s suicide.
As someone who has attempted to harm myself several times, but thankfully hasn’t succeeded – reading about the death of someone whose career I followed very closely was tough. David Letterman is quoted in the book as saying, “Robin could freaking fly man – he was magic on stage. To go the way he did, the pain – it must have been insufferable.” I have suffered mental anguish such that I felt the only way out was the permanent one, and I get it. Bipolar has driven me to the edge of the end, but thankfully I’ve been able to pull back you know? I’m not saying that Robin Williams’ situation is 100% identical to mine – I’m just saying that I’m understand being in a place where the pain of the situation is too much to bear.
My situation diverges from Robin’s though in this way – I was able to pull back from the edge, and got safe, and got help to stay safe.
Please, I encourage you – if you read this and find yourself in a place where you’re battling suicidal ideation, or if you’re progressing to making plans … get help.
800-273-8255 is the number for the Suicide Prevention Hotline. They’re a great place to turn, when you feel like you’re out of places to go.
I’m here to help in any way as well – whether through direct contact, or just by reading these words and knowing that overcoming the difficulty can be done.
The world has lost too many bright lights. Find help, and make sure you keep your light shining.