It appears that just about everyone has an opinion about Robin Williams and the details around his death. Most, like myself, are incredibly sad that a man so full of life, humor and talent could not see all those things in himself. He had to have been one of my very favorite actors, and as far as celebrity he was one of the top few I respected and felt that he cared about others who weren't famous. A real person that if I ran into him somewhere I would feel comfortable speaking to him. I always felt he had a manic type of personality. An extremist in his comedic talent, which made me laugh so hard I cried and my cheeks hurt. He was also just as talented in his dramatic roles and very committed to his art.
When I think of him now I can see the pendulum effect that he couldn't manage to get under control, and that eventually sent him into a dark place where his only way to find peace was to take his own life. If I look at the mental state of someone like a swinging pendulum, it is easier to understand. Most of us stay in the short swing, left and right, happy and sad. We manage to keep it under control and maintain a middle ground only occasionally swinging to the right or left. And then there are those with the wide swing. The manic depressive folks. These are the people that can swing so far to the right, the equal and opposite reaction is the same extreme swing to the left. How do they survive in the extremes?
I don’t think I would have been nearly as upset if he had perished in a car accident. The way he decided to take his own life is devastating to me. He had to be in such a dire state of despair he chose a terrible way to go. Hanging? That is not a quick way die. Gunshot… easy. Hanging by a belt.. on door? Maybe all he had to do was stand up and decide to live. But the fact that he chose to die as an alternative to life, his mental pendulum had swung so far to the left that he couldn't find his way back. He couldn't use his humor and talent to heal his tormented soul. His gift of laughter and his talent to make the world smile was his extreme pendulum swing to the right, only to be answered by the mental depression that comes when that same pendulum swings left.
Unlike so many, he did seek help. He knew the dangerous swings to the dark side were going to consume him, and ultimately they did. Thankfully his legacy will live on and he will continue to make us laugh and smile.
My only hope is that his passing will shed some light on the mental illnesses that affect us all at different times of our lives. Sometimes we can shake it… sometimes we can’t. And for those that find themselves living longer on the extreme dark side… please seek help.
This is my favorite tribute to him … Genie, you are free.