“Snap Out Of It”

Sometimes I am afraid of the world.

Sometimes I am afraid of what the world could turn me into.

Sometimes listening to the cheesiest of pop music, having a cup of tea or a quick hug can make things better and put things back into perspective. Sometimes it can’t.

Today’s one of those days.

But for many, this is the norm. The everyday. Complete darkness.

I’m deeply saddened by the news of Robin Williams’ death. The announcement of yet another ‘happy’ person for whom the world got too much. Someone who, from the outside looking in, had it all. Someone who brought limitless joy to millions of people. And for me, someone who was the key face of my generation. Aladdin, Jumanji, Mrs Doubtfire, Flubber. This list goes on.

To hear another story of a tortured soul who chose to end their life breaks my heart. Despite progress, there is still such ignorance when it comes to depression and anxiety. But then, I guess it’s hard to empathise with someone who simply woke up afraid of the day for no reason, if you’ve never felt that way yourself.

It has been said many a time, but depression isn’t something that one can simply ‘snap out of’. It’s an illness. A silent shadow that looms over the people you’d least expect. Apparently it’s a grey cloud over one in four people.

Maybe we can all help to clear those clouds. Maybe holding your tongue the next time you tell someone to ‘get a grip’ and, instead, offering a hug and an ear to listen. Maybe a chocolate bar, a bunch of flowers, or just a compliment could help that person get through their day.

I’m by no means saying that this is a solution to someone who is in a deep darkness, but maybe it could help someone move away from the path that leads there.

There are people in the world who may read this – and the raft of similar posts, articles and stories – as just another sanctimonious prat harping on, and that is exactly why I’ve written this.

Today is a reminder to be compassionate, rather than frustrated, when people are low. To carry out random acts of kindness. To smile at people for no reason (even if it does look a bit strange). To laugh. A lot. And to try to bring laughter to others. Because you never know what someone is feeling behind the scenes.

RIP Mr Williams, thanks for all of the laughs. I hope you’ve finally found peace.

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