The brightest smile, sometimes hides the most pain.

I was saddened to hear of Robin Williams’ death, I grew up watching many of his movies, movies that still to this day I love. By now we all know that he hanged himself, that he was battling depression for a long time. Suicide and depression are something that hits very close to home for me, after suffering for years myself and the attempts I made on my own life in 2012 several times.

Sometimes the people with the brightest smile are in fact the people that hide the most pain, they put on a happy smiley front for everyone else to see, when in fact inside they are feeling completely the opposite. Suicide isn’t necessarily about death, it’s more about stopping the pain that you are feeling, you feel like you can’t cope with the pain anymore, chronic pain or emotional pain. A lot of people don’t understand how someone could even consider taking their own life, that it’s selfish. And in a way that’s sometimes a good thing because they have never gotten to that place where everything is so painful, that there is no hope for things to get better and death seems better because there is no pain.
As a suicide survivor myself I understand why suicide makes sense to a lot of people suffering, I understand that need to end the pain and I don’t believe that it is necessarily selfish either. However I do believe that things can get better if you let them, if you ask for help. However there have been times in my past with my depression that I have been so deeply and desperately depressed that I didn’t want any help, that I just wanted to let my depression continue to spiral me downwards into a deep dark pit which I never wanted to get out of, so I get that too.

It’s okay not to be okay, but you need to be able to recognise when you can’t get through this on your own, when you need a bit of help and someone to talk to. You have heard me talk about it before, but I’m a huge believer in therapy, and how it can make the difference between life and death, because it did for me. And I know going to therapy may seem like a big scary step but really it’s the first step towards hopefully things getting better, in a lot of cases anyway.

There’s one thing I hope everyone takes from Robin Williams’ death and that is that mental illness’ can affect anyone, that everyone is fighting a battle most know nothing about. That people put on a front to hide what is really there, with a smile or by using the almost code words of ‘I’m just tired’. I know, I use to say it all the time and it hardly ever means that you are actually just tired. So take a moment, ask that person who just told you they are ‘just tired’ if they are really okay, it might make all the difference. I know I would have felt like someone actually cared if someone had cared enough to en-quire about if I was really okay or not.

This post is dedicated to Robin Williams, may you rest in peace.

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