Imagining The Pain: Robin Williams

Try to imagine for a moment that you're rich, successful, talented and loved. But it feels hollow. Perhaps some relationship that you really care about, or more than one, or perhaps every relationship you've ever had, feels broken. And now, you're certain that it's because of something you did or said or failed to do or say. And this is the story of your life - it never turns out any differently, and the only joy you feel is fleeting - it's in the moments that the audience loves you or the host tells you "come back soon".

But much bigger than that joy is the overwhelmingly huge disappointment you feel when you sense that you haven't met your mark, or you weren't as good as you were yesterday, or ten years ago, and it's only getting worse, and soon not only will your loved ones hate you, the world will hate you, and they probably already do. Maybe every time you talk to your kid, it ends up in a fight, and you want to fix it, but fixing it only breaks it more. Maybe your wife is tired of listening to you whine and obsess. Maybe you know that your wife is hurting because you can only smile in public, and never at home with her.

You've seen shrinks, you've taken meds, but it always comes back to this. Suicide hotlines? As if you had the energy to call one. Maybe you need a drink or a toke, but you promised your children you were done with that stuff. Its tiring to keep trying, and it's torturing everyone in your life- your kids, your wife, your costars, even your dog.

And your brain NEVER stops reminding you of how much pain you're causing to your loved ones. Your brain is your enemy. It tells you that EVERYONE will be better off if you can stop adding insult to injury and just kill yourself already. Sure, they will hurt at first, but then they will feel better because normal people, well, that's what they do. They will feel better and be grateful that you stopped ruining everything.

They will be sad, but more grateful than sad ultimately. And the public, well, they don't really know you anyway, and you're old and past your prime, and you're saving them from watching you disintegrate before their eyes.

You know you're smart. You've got an analytical mind. And your analytical mind is telling you that ending your life is a gift you can give the people suffering at your hands. The people who you disappoint and hurt. Your mind tells you that everything you touch turns to crap. And you've got a good mind. You can't live this way anymore, and you can't live any other way.

That's what your brain on depression tells you. And a brain on depression is a master manipulator with a much weaker opponent: you, with Stockhom Syndrome. Your brain is your captor, and it tells you ugly lies, but you have no choice but to believe those lies. Your brain tells you you're hopeless. You believe it because it's the only brain you have. It's your only friend.

And so, when your brain tells you that everyone around you is suffering because you're so miserable and worthless, you believe it. And your brain tells you that you can't fix it. You never could. And you can't now. You believe that too. So of course you believe it when it tells you that the only way to free everyone that you love from your misery is to end your life.

And so you do.