Yesterday I was having a good day. I was a bit tired, but I got up early, went to work, jogged with the dog (not two miles, but still), and then got on the couch to spend quality time with my wife and she’s reading her phone and three words turned me into a crying mess of messiness.
“Robin Williams died”
I didn’t need to ask her “of what” I knew.
I’m one of few people who watched “The Crazy Ones” (it was cliche but not horrible), mostly because I like Robin Williams and the actress who played Buffy. I could tell he wasn’t doing very well, the zany manicness had an edge to it. He was the Genie in Aladdin, he played zany characters who I adored as a child. When I was young I was told that he had ADHD like I did (I can’t find confirmation of that today, so he might not have had it?). He was the first person I had been told had ADHD and was successful as well as very likeable. I wanted to be funny like him.
The world is poorer without him, it feels like he left prematurely.
When I was a child, I had what I now know was depression. I found myself always putting on a fake happy face while I was looking forward to someday dying beginning at age 8. It didn’t get much better when I grew older. I was a target for the bullies in middle school, made a couple friends, and had an ill advised crush in high school. I made an attempt to end it all and failed miserably. My home life never made any of that easier, but that’s a post for another day. College didn’t help very much despite finally getting access to antidepressants until I grew into being someone I could be. I gave up my religion, I broke up with my boyfriend, I came out of the closet, and I started making choices for myself that I wanted to, not just what I thought other people wanted me to do. That is what made me better.
These days I only have some residual anxiety from the whole deal, and the medication I had been taking kept that in check but I’m functional even without it. I haven’t wanted to not be alive in years. But, I do have some quirks left. I be around parents mistreat their children (yelling, threatening, etc). I am most comfortable not having a garage. I have next to no relationship with my parents (which is awkward to explain). But compared to where I was, it’s a crazy amount better.
One of my fears in having a biological child is that my depression may have a genetic component that will be passed on. But I’m already planning to tell the child’s doctor about my mental health history and insist the child be screened for things even if they seem alright to me. A lot of me thinks it was situational and as long as I’m a good parent, the kid will always be fine, but there still is the pesky fact that I have relatives with depression too.
Anyway tl;dr: childhood sucked, but adulthood is awesome. Also Robin Williams was awesome and will be missed.