Robin Williams – Too Sad

I’m very sad again today. Yesterday I heard that Robin Williams had committed suicide. I’m having a hard time with this. He was my age and according to many observations he suffered from Bipolar Disorder like me, tho apparently he himself never said as much from what I’ve read. But he sure acted like it didn’t he? I was always amazed at his frenetic energy and classic manic behavior in his routines and films. He was a comic and dramatic genius as an actor and a kind and generous soul as a human being. I can’t even begin to say how much he gave to me and others throughout his life of such sorrow and joy. He did what so many of us do with this illness – he hid his struggles well, tho he was also very open about them, but he couldn’t hide it in the end. I already miss him so much.

This event is what is called a Trigger for many of us. It’s a situation that flips our emotions into a negative state that affects our ability to cope and stay OK. It pushes us towards whatever form of mental illness we carry with us and adds to our difficulties of staying well. Anytime I hear of someone who dies by their own hand due to the “push” of Bipolar it triggers me and affects me deeply, and this case is no different. In fact it’s a really hard one because of how he made me feel and how much I identified with him. Not that I’m a comic genius or anything. Far from it. But I related so well to his energy and compassion for the world. He did so much to make it a better place just by being himself. Like so many of us with Bipolar he used the impetus of the illness to fuel his comedy and dramatic turns on screen and TV. Like so many of us he also didn’t hide that energy from us, he reveled in it and I loved him for that.

Tho he never said he had Bipolar Disorder there are many who would look at his life and say it was obvious to us. I’m one of them I guess. Like his most famous mentor Johnathan Winters, who also suffered from Bipolar, he was a lightning rod for that incredible energy that made his work so real and so human. He embodied so many great character traits in his work and life and made the world so much better thru his presence. It’s being hard to write this as I keep crying, which I keep doing, and I can’t see thru the tears. It’s been like this ever since I heard about it. If I weren’t doing as well as I am right now myself this would push me into a depressive syndrome quite easily. Triggers do that. Just like what happened when my cousin’s wife died of Bipolar back in February. It really got me bad and I was so depressed for weeks after her death, tho she didn’t kill herself it turns out but mistakenly took the wrong meds and passed out and fell into a swimming pool and drowned. I feel the same way with hearing of Robin’s death. It’s triggering some bad emotions in me and I feel so sad and bereft.

You see I look at Robin’s life and how he was so very successful and how much money he had and the fame and acclaim that filled his life. And I wonder how if he lived with all that and more in his life and still couldn’t find a way to get thru it without killing himself, how will I ever do it myself? It scares the shit out of me. I look at him and see how easily it could be me there on the floor. I don’t have the resources he did, but I have good support, and tho he must have had it too, it wasn’t enough in the end. Will my support be enough for me? I wonder… Especially the fact that he and I are the same age and come from similar cultural backgrounds of coming up in the crazy 60’s and all affects me. It just feels too close to me and I fear for my well being. But as I said I’m doing well right now and am not prone to such depression at the moment so I think I’ll be OK. But it’s challenging and hard and I hate it. How will I be tomorrow? I really don’t know. Still sad I expect. Still filled with these difficult emotions.

I’m not going to write about all the films he was in or the things he did to help the world. You all know of most of those things and there are lots of articles out there now praising him and mourning his death. This is just a very personal response from me about his decision to end his life. I don’t blame him at all tho I’m so sorry he chose this path. But I’ve come too close to choosing it myself, in fact I have in the past and I still get close to it too often so it’s hard. What I have for him is compassion, and I’m tying to have it for myself too right now. I just wanted to say a few things about him and how he affected me and how triggers can come at us from out of nowhere at any moment and impair our ability to cope and live our lives. I hope this hasn’t triggered any of you because of my writing but if it has I hope you get thru it as I’m trying to do. Being grateful for Robin’s work in the world and his personality and his ways of being so real about his struggles is important for us to do.  He was a good model for us in how to live an amazing life with Bipolar dogging your steps, even tho he ended his own life in the end. I understand him I think. That’s why it’s so hard. I get it. I suspect many of you do too and I hope you do OK with this tragedy. I hope I do too. I guess only time will tell.

Missing his Manic Presence,


Note: photo as Mork by Everett Collection/REX

25 comments on “Robin Williams – Too Sad

  1. I am so, so sad Robin Williams is gone and that he suffered deep depression this year. Thank you for your personal tribute to him. Cedar


  2. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Sending bright light and healing energy …. to those who feel this incident as a trigger. Please, hang in there ….. get help, as cliche as this may sound. Missing him … and missing any others who make this decision! Hugs ….


    • Thank you for your comment. This is scary stuff for sure. I hope you have a good support network to help you cope with things like this. I’m glad you liked my post.


  3. Thank you Steve.
    A trigger. I was wondering why I have been so affected by this. An unexpected write off day.
    Your words and insight are, again, very much appreciated.
    Just wanted to let you know.
    Happy to have you around…..


    • You’re very welcome Dan. Nice to see you here. I’m sorry this has affected you so much. Triggers can be just like that tho. They get you without warning and you’re left to wonder what happened to you. It can be quite disconcerting. Thanks for your kind words to me. I’m glad to have you around too. 🙂


  4. Hi Steve, I totally agree with you. Robin Williams was the patron saint of Bipolars and his death a trigger for me, too. I wrote two tributes to him on my blog ( if you care to see. I loved him but in looking at some of the sketches and acting I see so much pain behind the smiles. Some sketches are heart wrenching but most are still maniacally funny. He was a genius and a good, good man. Thanks for posting your reaction to his suicide. Keep well, Namaste, Ellen


    • Hello Ellen,
      I read your tributes. They’re very lovely and sad. How could they be anything else? He was a brilliant star shining so brightly for so many of us. We were so proud of him for keeping it together but have no blame for him for not being able to do so in the end. I’ve been there and I can relate too well. I don’t judge. I always knew the price he paid for the joy he shared with so many others. He was a wonderful person and we’ll all miss him and his model of hope for us. It’s still there for me, even in his death. He will live on in his work forever…
      Be well,


  5. A highly public profile is extra stress on someone like Robin, and having to perform and share, like a barometer, can tip and trigger the edge. Thanks for this post, Steven. What a lot of love is flowing to him now.


    • I can’t imagine the kinds of stress he must have felt when he performed when he was really depressed. I know how hard it is to do that. He had extra difficulties with his substance abuse and the Bipolar. So many people miss him. It’s so heartwarming to read all the good stories about him.
      Thanks for visiting me Jane,


  6. Just beautiful, Steven. Especially this:

    “What I have for him is compassion, and I’m tying to have it for myself too right now.”

    May we all have it for each other.

    With heart,


Leave a Reply to stockdalewolfe Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s