THE BLOG
09/11/2014 01:26 pm ET Updated Nov 11, 2014

Robin Williams and Backsliding

My fear that it'll take very little to knock me back proved justified this past month.

Recently I left a job that, while it didn't always make me happy (and, as many experience, occasionally made me unhappy) it was for a good company with some great people and was steady. I had been there for three years so had, very firmly, ensconced myself in the trenches of the known. Soon after my last day we found out about Robin Williams. Feelings swooped down like a tsunami. I could barely breathe from the weight of them.

I curled up in a ball, not texting, not emailing, not calling, not Facebooking, not Tweeting. I wouldn't and couldn't read anybody's eulogies for Robin Williams. I couldn't read or watch videos of this man who left his mark on my life in so many positive ways. Instead every allusion to this man felt like a punch right to the solar plexus. If this man who brought so much love, light, and laughter into the world found no way to get through then what hope was (is) there for me?

A friend on Facebook recently posted this. In said post is this line "Because sometimes in life that's what we need: the courage and strength to make it through another moment. Not a month. Not a day. But the next 60 seconds." So far I feel like that's what 2014 has been. A long string of minutes. Minutes I'm struggling not to do anything that would hurt the people closest to my heart. Were I dead I'd miss coffee, I'd miss my friends and family, but I'd feel relief. Well. If I believed in post-mortem sentience I'd feel relief. I wouldn't have to fight myself, my feelings, the circumstances I see my friends, family, or even myself in.

It's my empathy that keeps me here. Thankfully (most days), it's knowing just how my choosing to hurt myself would affect my friends and family that keeps me here. Yes, there are days when I greatly resent that, but given a day or week that resentment passes. Things may not get "better," they may not "change," but the overwhelming desperation and desire to cease existing eases. I jump back on Facebook, I jump on Twitter. I text or email or even call my closest confidants. I may spend the entire exchange crying, but releasing the feelings is better than keeping them in. I never feel alone and that is the feeling I can't forget.

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