The world has lost another one of its heroes. Robin Williams was found dead on August 11, 2014 at his home in California. While we are still waiting for the full details surrounding his death, authorities believe that he took his own life.
The Effects of Mental Illness and Drug Addiction
While we all know that mental illness and drug addiction issues can plague anyone, that doesn't stop us from feeling a deep gnawing in our stomachs over the death of such a beloved man. The truth is that these afflictions do not discriminate, and no one is immune from their effects. It does not matter if you're rich or poor, famous or just an average guy. Mental illness and drug addiction can have fatal consequences.
Sharing the Love
While it's true that Robin battled his inner demons on a regular basis - publicly - for many years, it's also true that he was loved by everyone. If you ask any one person to name their favorite Robin Williams movie, you're likely to hear a long list of titles. He made us laugh, he entertained us in everything he did, and those who knew him in person claim that they've never known anyone with a bigger heart. Even though he had his own challenges, he consistently put them aside to give to the people who loved him.
The Bitter End
Robin struggled with addiction for a long time. In 2006, after being sober for 20 years, he actually checked himself into a rehabilitation facility. He had been battling cocaine addiction and alcoholism. It wasn't long before he began to open up to the world about his struggles with cocaine and alcohol addiction, and in an interview with The Guardian and on Good Morning America, Robin spoke some words that were so true and relevant. They really spoke to his struggles. He said:
"It's not caused by anything, it's just there," he said. "It waits. It lays in wait for the time when you think, 'It's fine now, I'm OK.' Then, the next thing you know, it's not OK. Then you realize, 'Where am I? I didn't realize I was in Cleveland.'"
His pain is evident, and it's a pain that he carried for years. Even so, through it all, he continued to demonstrate his love for the people who couldn't help but love him back.
Robin Williams is more than an iconic figure who will be greatly missed. He is an excellent example of how so many people push their addictions and their mental illnesses aside just because they're not expected to have to deal with them at all. Hopefully his death will not be in vain, and we can rise to the challenge of recognizing drug addictions and mental illnesses for what they really are - cold hearted killers.
To learn more about various mental health related issues, please visit the mental health section of our blog.
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