SPARK OF MADNESS

I am often saddened when a celebrity takes their life but when I heard Robin Williams may have committed suicide I cried.  If this famously funny man, who made millions of people laugh, couldn’t fight depression then what chance do any of us have?

Robin Williams was pretending to be an alien when I was around eight years old.  I didn’t understand the humor but his personality, his mannerisms, his impersonations were mesmerizing. Watching him was like going to the circus and watching a dozen different clowns inhabit the same body.  I will always remember him as the quirky alien in a stripped shirt, rainbow suspenders, and an extremely furry body.  But the most memorable thing about him was his smile and how it touched his eyes.

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He was like static electricity, a live wire, on the comedy stage and had the most brilliant dirty humor.  Robin Williams was the first comedian I ever heard say the word penis.  He was a master at improv and some of my favorite moments were when he cracked himself up.

There were moments though when we were given a glimpse of the man behind the mask.

Orson: The report, Mork.
Mork: This week I discovered a terrible disease called loneliness.
Orson: Do many people on Earth suffer from this disease?
Mork: Oh yes sir, and how they suffer. One man I know suffers so much he has to take a medication called bourbon, even that doesn’t help very much because then he can hear paint dry.
Orson: Does bed rest help?
Mork: No because I’ve heard that sleeping alone is part of the problem. You see, Orson, loneliness is a disease of the spirit. People who have it think that no one cares about them.
Orson: Do you have any idea why?
Mork: Yes sir you can count on me. You see, when children are young, they’re told not to talk to strangers. When they go to school, they’re told not to talk to the person next to them. Finally when they’re very old, they’re told not to talk to themselves, who’s left?
Orson: Are you saying Earthlings make each other lonely?
Mork: No sir I’m saying just the opposite. They make themeslves lonely, they’re so busy looking out for number one that there’s not enough room for two.
Orson: It’s too bad everybody down there can’t get together and find a cure.
Mork: Here’s the paradox sir because if they did get together, they wouldn’t need one. Isn’t that zenlack?

I think what made him such a good actor was the level of empathy he must have had.  You could see it during certain scripted scenes where he is trying to convey a serious point.  There were moments in Good Will Hunting, Hook, and Mrs. Doubtfire.  His eyes lose the light and you see the sadness in them.

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In 1978 he performed live at the Roxy and he had a few moments I will never forget.  They were moments I felt like he was being real and it was painful and sad.

The wine has done me in. You have poisoned me and I have gone too far into the land of strangeness. But since I’ve kind of lost you, come inside my mind and see what it’s like when a comedian eats the big one, don’t be afraid come on in.

And this moment, which you can watch towards the middle of the clip in the youtube video below, where he is impersonating an elderly man:

madness is the only way I can stay alive…because you are only given a little spark of madness and if you lose that you’re nothing so don’t from me to you don’t ever lose that because it keeps you alive cause if you lose that…

 

Robin Williams had 5,410,813 facebook fans, 729,000 fans on twitter, a beautiful family and lived in a gorgeous home atop one of the most beautiful bay areas in California. I drove by his house once and thought wow this would be an amazing place to live.

So what happened?

He had enough money to buy happiness and a billion people to confirm his brilliance. We all loved him.

So why?

Why?

Because he was bi-polar.

Because he suffered from depression.

Because depression is a disease and it isn’t logical.

Because depression doesn’t give a shit who you are and what you have.

Depression is a disease without a cure and if it isn’t managed it can kill you.  It isn’t about being sad, or not having friends, or needing attention.  It is about feeling alone in a world of people that love you because it blindfolds you and deafens you to the reality and logic around you.

I am so very sad Robin Williams lost that spark of madness…

I wished he could of held on…

RIP Robin Williams…go and build a new world where everything will be funny.

 

 

 

 

Cover Photo : Courtesy of CBS

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80 thoughts on “SPARK OF MADNESS

  1. Depression is a brutal, under-estimated and under-serviced condition, for sure, and I hope Robin Williams’ suicide shines some light on that, because taking your own life, with complete disregard for the family you leave behind, is a cowardly, selfish thing. Sorry to raise the truth in the midst of everyone’s sadness, but goodness gracious. I knew two kids in high school whose dad went to prison after having a dispute with his mistress at a hotel and cutting her with a razor blade. In our small town, everyone knew the details. Shortly after he was released from prison, one of his sons found him hanging from the rafters in their attic. Imagine that for a moment, and realize that someone found Robin Williams like that today, and his family was left feeling unworthy in the worst possible way. He was a brilliant comic, but this ending was anything but brilliant.

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  2. This is so very sad. We will now see a bright star in our heaven. Depression kills in many ways, it kills our brain and sometimes like here, also great souls and personalities.
    R.I.P. Robin Williams, I hope you find peace now.

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. You never cease to amaze me girl. So well written. Yes, depression doesn’t care who you are it’s immune to fame and riches and it is selfish, it’s a sickness that alters reality. They say eyes are the windows to the soul. I remember watching him perform once and seeing a little glimpse of that sadness you wrote about it seemed odd to me at the time especially because I didn’t know he struggled with this for so long, but reflecting now it makes so much sense. Someone close to me constantly struggles with this and I can generally tell how good or bad she is by looking at her eyes. It’s crazy how empty, glossed over sad or expressive our eyes can be.

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  5. Exactly what lolsy254 just said. Inspite of his comedic genius, no matter what part he was playing there was always a moment when he would let just a sliver of his personal sadness out. I vaguely recall an interview he did 25-30 years ago and he said that he was a very lonely child and he created his childhood playmates for company. All that lead to his never-ending parade of characters he could pull out for any part he played on the stage or screen. Apparently he was sad and lonely his entire life. And that thought makes me very sad. That someone as beloved as Robin Williams was lonely.

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    • I grew up believing it was a part of all of us. That we were all lonely looking for something. I believed that God was the answer. I still believe in God but I look at depression differently now. It is more like cancer than it is a spiritual deficiency. I didn’t understand depression until it became a part of me. I hate depression and I hate that it kill so many.

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  6. I am so devastated by his suicide. This just proves that not one person is safe from the stranglehold of depression and addiction. Not even one of the funniest men to ever have graced us with his talent. It makes me sad and it makes me angry. Lovely tribute, Hasty. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Being the Memoirs of H̶e̶l̶e̶n̶a̶ ̶H̶a̶n̶n̶-̶B̶a̶s̶q̶u̶i̶a̶t̶,̶ ̶D̶i̶l̶e̶t̶t̶a̶n̶t̶e̶ Jessica B. Bell, Creepy Fucker and commented:
    I sat in the same living room as Hasty. Well, not the same living room, but you know what I mean. I have no words today. I’ve just been punched in the stomach by this, because I grew up with this man. Hasty echoes my fear that if Robin Williams, who got to spend the better part of his life doing what he loved; what he was GOOD AT — a lucky, charmed life, some might say — if he could succumb, then what chance do I have? Me, who drudges through the daily grind wishing, hoping, dreaming that I could be anywhere but here? I’m afraid. And sad. And brokenhearted. I’ll be logging off today. I can’t really bring myself to spend the whole day talking about this or crying about this, or reading about this. Robin’s family is going through so much right now, and all of you are, too. I’ve read anger, disappointment, sympathy, apathy, blame, condemnation, understanding, hatred, love, nostalgic reminiscences — all of this is part of the grieving process. Please understand that suicides aren’t (usually) trying to hurt those around them. You can’t paint all with the same brush. Are some suicides selfish? Absolutely. But more often than not, it is to ease the person’s own suffering, and ease the burden they feel they’re putting on others. We do this to ourselves, this loneliness. I am a lonely person sometimes, and I do it to myself, and that’s what really hurts. Just reach out. Smile at a friend. Smile at a stranger. Say hello. Go against all our anti-social training and make a stranger smile. We (here I am admitting I am weak and needy) need those of you who don’t experience this social anxiety, this utter uncontrollable self-loathing — we need you to bring us into the light, show us how to be. And we need you to understand when we’re not comfortable at first. We need you to keep trying. Don’t let us fade away. Don’t let us hide away in the dark, wrestling with demons that will ultimately destroy us. Please. Please. Please.

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  9. Well said. He was also an alcoholic, 20 yrs sober then relapsed in 2006. Depression and addiction often go together. Often the addiction exacerbates the depression. I was on 2-3 different kinds of anti-depressants while I drank and after I got sober no longer needed them. But many, many others still need help with depression regardless of their state. It’s an all encompassing thing that leaves no room for others. It’s darkness and an illness that tells you that there is no help and no one else out there like you.

    He will be missed, and I too cried when I heard it.

    Thanks for this.

    Paul

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    • Agreed. Addiction seems to be a part of depressions toolbox. I know way too well how reckless depression makes you and how alcohol and drugs can become our master. Thank you for this comment.

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  10. Well done. I was mesmerized by Mork from Ork as well. I tried to show it to my son, he liked the Mork parts but could not get into the rest of the show. His energy was one in a million. His ability to respond to the person he was talking to. If they were calm and serious, he would be, but if they wound him up, he would really come alive and turn on the clown. Makes that whole “Tears of a Clown” song totally make sense.

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  11. Sunset I saw this last night before I slept. It’s super and I love how you’ve approached such an awful thing with such tenderness for others in a similar situation.

    It’s so desperately sad but I’m glad people are talking so openly about depression and the havoc it can wreak.

    Good for you, for this.

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  12. NaNu NaNu!!!!!!! My fav. Great compulation. I will watch this many times. My heart aches with pain, light dimmed yet so happy he is no longer in such pain. It’s hard to imagine life without him. We lost him to soon. He gave us so much. I still can’t write with tears falling down.

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  13. I’m ashamed to admit that I wasn’t really a huge fan of his. I’m not saying that he wasn’t a wonderful entertainer, because he was for sure. Much of it simply wasn’t my cup of tea. I, like you, loved Mork and Mindy, but he was just so all over the place as a comedian and actor that I sometimes felt like he was trying too hard or something. Maybe he was since he seemed so eager to please everyone.

    I hope this helps to bring more attention to depression and how awful and crippling it can be. I’ve been there in tiny doses I think. I blame my work for a lot of that though. He had money, yes, but as you said, depression doesn’t care about your wealth, there’s always something else to make you sad about that money can’t fix. When you’re so amazing for so long like he was, it’s possible that he couldn’t come to grips with the fact that his best days were behind him as an entertainer. I hope that’s not the case because by all accounts, he had so much to offer still. Sad.

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    • It is my guess (only guessing) that this has been his struggle since he was young. Being an entertainer was just his thing and I can’t tell you how many people I know cover their depression with humor.

      I can’t really guess to his struggles but I do know he fought… he tried to live…

      I hurt for him and his children and his wife.

      I can imagine in the line of work you do it would be hard to process so much of the human condition you are witnessing.

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  16. It’s so sad that mental illnesses are given such less credence and understanding and empathy even now in the 21st century. It is truly a tragedy that someone like him, such a wonderful human being, had to go through all that, and there as no one to reach out to him!

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  18. Depression overpowered him, so very very sad…I remember an interview with him when he spoke of his alcohol addiction and the awful person he’d turn into under its influence, as others told him about that person whom he said he, Robin, never met and did not know – he was so intelligent and talented, touched my life many a time. So very sad 😦

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  19. Still short for words…

    Thank you for the characters, those lives they all celebrate. Stories and mad cap, humour rippling between each line. Improv with the scripted, outside lying naked in the park. While days’ suns and nights’ moons, set about to dance their merry tunes.

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  20. i’ve never felt this depression everybody talks about, bipolar is that not when you hear voices and see things?

    i’ve heard them say things like that to me, now they could be right, however they could be wrong, then say i wouldn’t know, i beg to differ, my belief is that no matter how out-of-it there is a place in a subconscious that really knows, whom and what we are….

    As i like to say; the person inside the person?

    Cheers love you hasty..

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