How My Own Personal Struggles Have Helped Me To Cope With Robin Williams' Death

by Liz Rowley

I was silent in the days following Robin Williams' death. Even after everyone paid their tributes with Instagrams, tweets and favorite clips from Williams' most notable roles, I quietly reflected to determine how I really felt.

I spent months on the road working on a documentary about suicide. Among my reasons for joining this project were my history of depression and a past attempt at ending my own life. I personally know how important this subject really is.

There are two schools of thought on how many people classify suicide. The first is people who lost someone to suicide or struggled with it personally, which forced them to acknowledge the disease as real, unselfish and hard to battle.

The second is people who are ignorant to the real, honest facts about suicide and the depth of what a suffering person struggles with each day in order to wake up or even be happy.

When you are in such a dark place, it is beyond comprehension that a light even exists. There are some people in the world who, once they get to this point, will no longer be able to deal with life, hence the reason to end their own. What you should know about those who battle who thoughts of suicide is that even though they may seem happy, their inner cores are rotting with hurt and pain.

Robin must have been in immense pain.

Being a survivor of attempted suicide, I can say — even though I don't know what his personal demons were — Robin Williams was going through something so serious and debilitating that he was no longer be able to keep going.

Sometimes, we are oblivious to the signs that our loved ones are suffering, and sometimes, we are in denial. Extensive research has concluded that suicide is not a rash decision and even though some medications may trigger suicidal thoughts, they are not the cause.

Suicide is generally very much planned and even though you may have a flight booked to Europe with your spouse next month, it doesn't mean you don't have alternative personal plans.

Every day, you try to wake up and plan events and do things that will make you and your loved ones happy. Even with those plans in place, however, the thoughts of ending your own misery never leave you.

Robin's pain must have been unbearable. I will never forget how Robin has truly shaped my life. I remember waking up at 5 am to watch "Mork and Mindy" before school; I remember laughing hysterically at the Genie in "Aladdin," and how "Mrs. Doubtfire" touched my heart.

His most important movie for me, though, was "Dead Poets Society," as it inspired me to think outside of what is deemed to be normal and taught me that being different is okay.

While I will miss Robin in so many different ways, I can truly say that I am happy he has made peace with himself and is no longer battling his personal darkness. Robin, my hero and a mentor to many, you will always be loved and remembered, and even though I wasn't able to meet you in this life, perhaps in the next, I can stand beside you, hug you and tell you that I understand.

Photo Credit: WENN