I felt like I grew up with this man, that he was a part of my family, and brought my family together through his movies (I have seen Birdcage more times than I care to admit). Here is a man who brought so much joy to the world and who secretly struggled with bringing that same joy into his own life. I relate to that on so many levels.
Part of being a counselor is about showing up. I have tried to show up more authentically in this past year in particular because I also hide behind a wall, a facade of put together, confident, happy, and thriving. When I was in Grad School in therapy, my therapist actually asked me to draw that wall. What did it look like? What was it made out of?
To my surprise the wall I drew was made out of glass. She responded when I was done that it was interesting my wall was made out glass because then couldn't people see me? I hide yet I want to be seen. I want to see and observe life but I fear participating. I have dealt with depression most of my life. I have seen members in my family deal with depression most of their life. I have gone to the depths of my soul mucked around, lied on the carpet of my room in my mother's house for two weeks straight before, and I always come back .
I have experienced how depression takes you away from other people, it puts you in a tiny black box where perspective is hard to be seen. I am lucky enough to have a few close individuals and a mother who were always there for long phone calls, crying, and telling me it is time to get out of bed. I have had to come to terms that the hole of depression never really goes away. Some try to fill that hole with medication, some use supplements, or food, or drugs, but it is still always there.
As part of being a nutritional counselor, I know I can use my experience with depression as a strength. I can sit with my clients in the muck, in the dark, in the depth of their soul and see the beauty and wisdom that is there. I see often in my work how so many are tying to fill this void, this hole with food. It unfortunately can't be filled with food, trust me I have also tried.
I share my experience with depression and that it still hovers around me from time to time to connect with you my reader. You are not alone in your struggles. I believe so many, including myself, were shocked about Robin William's death because we just had no idea the struggles and the depth of depression he went through on a daily basis. I believe it was a triumph that he lived for as long as he could with a secret dark cloud hanging over his head and a smile on his face.
I may not know you, but I welcome anyone to reach out. I have always found the thing that brings me out of my own darkness and into the light is connecting with others and lifting our spirits together.