For as long as I can remember, my husband has been a huge fan of Robin Williams. I've surprised him with two shows (a huge feat, considering both were in Indiana!) and we've seen practically every movie he's made.
The news Monday of Robin Williams' death hit hard in our home. But not for the reasons you might imagine.
For nearly a year (officially) but longer in reality, we have dealt with the roller coaster of depression.
The reality is, no matter how hard we try to control it, depression is an illness. And like any other chronic condition like diabetes, some days are better than others. And like any other chronic illness, depression can have its ups and downs, regardless of you being faithful to your medication or treatment.
In the months since my husband began medication therapy, we've had my husband slowly return to "normal." But the reality is there is a new "normal.' He's never truly returned to his "old self." Instead, we've learned to love him and his new temperment -a little quieter, a little more resigned - but continue to embrace the man who loves his family with all his heart.
We've dealt with a stretch of lows - a string of down weeks, peppered in with what we call "bad days." Being injured with a rotator cuff injury didn't help it. Being limited physically easily impacts your emotional health, especially if you have someone as independent in spirit as my husband. I can so easily see how someone with a chronic health problem - such as recovering from heart disease, such as Robin Williams was - could be brought down by the realities of their physical health.
I have no great answers for those who love people who battle depression on a daily basis. Simply pray. Pray with them, pray for them. And open your hearts and arms to them, even when they say they don't need it. Because as humans we simply do.