Processing Another Loss – Robin Williams

As so many people around the world, I am also trying to process the sudden death of the amazingly talented Robin Williams. It is so absolutely heartbreaking, and confusing, and so very hard to believe, that on that day he had decided to end his life.

I don’t have the words to describe the way I feel. I am not even sure I know how I feel. I’ve gone through utter sadness, to laughter, to rage, and all back around again. And all of this, swirling inside of me and all while I am just going about my day at work and at home.

I have lost two friends to suicide this year, both also suffering from depression and addiction/alcoholism. I also know that countless others will continue dying each day from suicide and this disease.

All this has made me question my own mortality and ability to stay sober, and if I need to be doing more, or maybe I am just doomed no matter what. I don’t know. In the end it seems no matter how much we know, and have learned, and work on getting better, in the end it’s all up to the individual, I think. At least from my experience, I have learned that no amount of support, love or money, can help someone stay clean and sober. In the end THEY have to be diligent enough to keep the fight going.

Although I didn’t know Robin any more than most of us, I held him dear to my heart as an example of one of the most successful people in long-term recovery. After all, Williams had been sober for 20 years! But then, he started drinking again. He decided to seek help in August, his publicist said. Williams said that falling back into alcohol abuse was “very gradual.” — This of course happens all the time to people in recovery, and it can happen to any of us, and at any time.

Robin often spoke about his addiction/alcoholism, sometimes he was quite serious and sometimes very funny. Here are some quotes that I have pulled out from the GMA interview back in 2006, as well as a hilarious skit on drugs and alcohol from the late 80’s — of course all of this, for certain, I can definitely relate to!

Robin Williams Comes Clean on GMA – ABC News

“It’s the same voice thought that … you’re standing at a precipice and you look down, there’s a voice and it’s a little quiet voice that goes, Jump!”

“The same voice that goes, ‘Just one.’ … And the idea of just one for someone who has no tolerance for it, that’s not the possibility.”

“It’s [addiction] — not caused by anything, it’s just there,” Williams said. “It waits. It lays in wait for the time when you think, ‘It’s fine now, I’m OK.’ Then, the next thing you know, it’s not OK. Then you realize, ‘Where am I? I didn’t realize I was in Cleveland.'”

“You think people don’t notice. Then you find out later, ‘We knew. … You went outside naked.’ No, I didn’t. But even the dog was like, ‘What’s wrong, boy?’ Humiliation gives you humility.”

“It’s hard admitting it, then once you’ve done that, it’s real easy,” Williams told Sawyer.

“But you can’t. That’s the bottom line,” he said. “You really think you can, then you regalize, I need help, and that’s the word.”

Robin Williams – Live At The Met – Alcohol/Marijuana

 

I am going to end here with this awesome quite from Rob Daley’s blog post which he wrote after the death of his friend Cory Monteith.

Let’s all of us go over our battle plans the five-hundredth time! Keep moving forward my friends, keep fighting!

“So when someone ODs or kills themselves or crashes a car and dies due to their alcohol/drug use, I don’t say “C’est la vie…,” I say “Fuck that shit,” and I circle the wagons with my other survivor friends and we go over the battle plans a FIVE-HUNDREDTH time, figure out where our dead friend that we love and mourn deviated, and we prepare to greet the coming day in a manner that will give something other than our addictions a fair shot at killing us.”

You can read the entire post at Rob Delaney‘s tumbler page.

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime at sobercourage@gmail.com.

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19 Comments Add yours

  1. mishedup says:

    beautifully said maggie…
    and i remember rob delay’s quote…he has another great blog he wrote about depression.
    Just so sad.
    and we are not doomed, no, no, no.
    xo

    Like

    1. Hi Mishedup! Thank you! I love what you said, this is sad and we are not doomed! To me, it’s like despite all the crap going wrong in my life, I am not doomed! And I read Rob’s quote over and over and I feel the energy in me, and we just got it keep fighting!

      Hugs.

      Like

  2. DawnSeeker says:

    Thanks for posting the clip — I laughed until I cried :)) :))

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    1. Hi! Oh me too! What he talks about is just so funny, and so very, very true at the same time, right?! I’ve been there, it wasn’t funny at the time at all, But it’s good to be able to laugh at the craziness of it all.

      Thanks for stopping by. Hugs.

      Like

      1. DawnSeeker says:

        Yes! And hugs to you, too. Hugs really do help! Funny, I travel with my work and I’m always asking for hugs in the midst of tense situations — at the airport or rental car counter when I see an agent I’ve known through the years, a familiar barista . . .

        I think what we all need right now in light of the loss of Robin Williams, is a bunch of random, heart-felt hugs. Thanks so much for that!!!

        Btw, you might enjoy the following posts: http://journalofdawn.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/deep-philosophical-three-minute-conversations/

        http://journalofdawn.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/alone-self-kindness-i-bring-my-own-party-to-life/

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  3. I always enjoy reading your posts Maggie – even though I can’t deny that this one’s full of sadness. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Love to you from The Sober Garden x.

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    1. Hi Sober Garden! Thank you so much! Love to you too.
      Even though I consider myself the constant cheerleader, sometimes I get sad, but the sadness often turns to more understanding and accepting. AND gratitude! I am still here, you’re still here, so there is still work to be done! Keep trudging forward! Hugs!

      Like

  4. Fantastic post Maggie. Full of sadness.

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    1. Thank you! Today is another day and like they say, you can’t have sunshine without the rain! Hugs!

      Like

  5. Thank you for a beautiful post!

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    1. Thank you! Sending many hugs!

      Like

  6. I sure appreciate you collecting the wisdom that needs to be shared. Rob Delaney is the perfect kick in the pants wake up call – gather with our friends in recovery and go over the plans for the 500th time. That’s a strong call to action that we all need to heed.

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    1. You’re very welcome!

      I completely agree! I am going t to rally my friends and go over the battle plans again myself! Yep, got to keep moving forward, the fight is not over! “Whose with me!”

      Thank you for stopping by! Hugs.

      Like

  7. Lots of the blogs posting about RW. I haven’t had time to read them all, but I stopped here knowing that you had a wonderful take on it. And yeah, it sucks and it blows and people will say nice things and then we move on. until it strikes another one. And another one. I have started to take these things in stride. Not out of being a dink about it, but because this is what addiction is and does. it kills. I don’t know the extent of the depression and now we find out he was in the early stages of Parkinson’s. A lot going on and only he knows the true story. Another lost soul. We were there, and could be there again.

    Great post, Maggie.

    Like

    1. Well, yeah, I know what you mean. My husband says,”it’s the business we are in.” And I suppose he is right in a way. Nevertheless, it still sucks, and it continues to remind me that I have to be diligent in my recovery! And suicide is just sooo hard to understand. I mean I wanted to die too, in my drunken stupper, but wanting to and doing it is totally different.

      Thank for stopping by Paul! Hugs to you and the fam!

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      1. Hi Maggie,

        I hope my initial response didn’t come across cavalier or indifferent. It sucks and sometimes all I can do is detach and get angry at the illness. It keeps happening and will continue to. I had that glimpse of what it was like to just feel mad and insane and wanting the pain to end…but a glimpse. to feel it non-stop…oh man, a shotgun would start looking good, all wrapped in my own darkness, without thinking of seeking help.

        It’s tragic and I hope someone out there got something out of this…a phone call, a reaching out, etc.

        But we are grateful for what we have, and certainly family is something I am grateful for. And for friends like you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No worries Paul! Thanks for the reply. It’s all understandable and we all deal with it differently. I like what you said, to detach and be angry at the disease. I think that’s how I see it too. I hate it. So, yes, we got to stay grateful that we are still here, that life goes on and that we continue to learn and keep moving forward!

          I am grateful for you too! Thank you! Hugs.

          Like

  8. thealcoholiclife says:

    It was difficult watching people’s reaction to Robin Williams death – it’s still a bit awkward to talk about but the main thing I wanted to come out of it was that being alcoholic is here, and it is always looming up in the rear view, we have to keep fit and fresh and aware of it. It’s not fear that should drive us, but we should realize if we stop or slow it will be there, panting, just behind us. Vale Mr Williams.

    Like

    1. Thank you for this heartfelt comment! I think this is the key too, being aware that it is always going to be there, it doesn’t go away… And I need to remain teachable and keep growing – fit and fresh as you say!

      Thanks for stopping by. Hugs!

      Like

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