Childhood

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.

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About DeCaf

Just a code monkey.
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6 Responses to Childhood

  1. mamaetmaman says:

    Mental health issues have, and continues to really challenge my family as well. I’m glad you brought it up, and would benefit from reading your stories, if you feel comfortable sharing one day. RIP Robin Williams. You will be missed.

  2. Lindsay says:

    The outpouring of sadness for and love of Robin Williams across social media is incredible. He will be missed.

    Mental illness is something that so many struggle with in silence. The stigma attached to “outing” oneself as depressed or living with a mental illness is so thick that people take their lives before seeking treatment. There are more people who need psychiatric care than there are psychiatrists, and the mental health system is drowning.

    I’m so glad you got help. I think your future child is ten steps ahead with a conscientious mom who looks out for him/her.

  3. santosha1203 says:

    I love him so much, one of the very best actors of our time. My favorite was Good Will Hunting, which portrays therapy fairly realistically. He was such a raw and energetic person. Thank you for posting about him, and for sharing your own struggle. I grew up with depression too. I remember the first time I felt depressed – not sad, but an actual dark void of nothingness. I was six. Anyway, your child will be amazing because you will be so aware or such things, and will recognize your child’s moods and you’ll know not to try to fix it, but to be present.

  4. Rachael says:

    I was so very saddened by the news about his death. He was one very loved man. And yet, unfortunately, depression knows no color, gender, or social class. I suffer from my own from panic disorder accompanied with agoraphobia. Meds help a lot! Thanks for sharing your story! Its so nice to be able to relate and just know that your kiddo will learn from you, and you learn from how you were raised. I know I did.

  5. It’s amazing how many people have been so honest about their depression, fears, and anxiety since the passing of Robin Williams. It’s nice and sad to know at the same time that something so tragic could bring light to something so unspoken. Even in his death, he’s helping people to realize that depression is a real issue. One that even someone that seemed so well put together was suffering from. Thank you for sharing your experience. It sucks to be in that place…

  6. julieann081 says:

    Sending love your way! I, too, will be vigilant about caring for my someday child’s mental health. ❤

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