genie_aladdinThe fact that Robin Williams is no longer with us is no longer breaking news, in fact, the world may have moved on entirely. I have needed time to process what his passing has meant to me. Probably the largest gift in this tragedy is that it has opened the door to speaking about mental health and addiction, which largely remains a taboo topic, despite the overwhelming evidence that it is something that many people, in and out of the spotlight, struggle to deal with on a daily basis.

A daily basis, that is the part that I identify with — for me, my mix of diagnoses means that every move I make has to be a well thought out chess maneuver — with every possible outcome considered and three moves forward determined for each. I understand being tired. I have considered giving up. I wonder if there is respite in death, or if you take your neuroses into your next life. It takes a lot of work to be the self that I have to be for other people, at work, with friends and family — it’s not that I’m being fake or presenting a facade. It just takes work for me to be around people. Thank god I live alone, sometimes I feel like I collapse emotionally upon entering my apt, overwhelming relief that I can just be… if that’s happy or sad or depressed or melancholy, it doesn’t matter, I can just be, without need for explanation, justification or even communication.

I can’t imagine how emotionally draining being all of those amazing characters must have been… each one brought to life with his creative energy. An incredible outcome, but not without immense effort.  I am in awe of the his work — and of anyone who continues to navigate the world with any similar disposition as part of their story. Faith without works is dead.