Robin Williams – The Sad Truth

After hearing the gut wrenching news about Robin Williams yesterday, I was instantaneously swallowed up with grief. The news of another brilliant soul losing the battle against depression hit close to home and weighed heavy on my heart. I debated what to say and whether or not to even address the issue. As most of you know, 2 years ago I came out with my story about my struggles with depression and suicide in hopes of helping others realize that they are not alone in the battle.

This tragedy serves as a reminder that you never know who can be afflicted by such inner turmoil and anguish. Behind every smile, laugh and act of kindness can also be pain. I think what made him so tangible as an actor was his vulnerability and connection. You could always sense a tenderness, compassion and a boyish shyness in every role. Often times its the most compassionate, caring and uplifting people who have fought or are fighting the greatest demons.

I believe that vulnerability is our strength and the more of us that stand together and say we aren't perfect, the more we can remove the stigma of suffering.  I am really making an effort these days to meet all people with a sense of humanity and understanding.  There is a saying that goes “Be kind, every person you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about”  Let us soften and be kind, you never know if your smile and compassion is the light in the darkness that another needs.

I hope that this tragedy serves as a reminder that there is still stigma that needs to be peeled away around depression, mental illness and suicide. I hope that our humanity continues to unfold and that we all can reach out to one another in mutual admiration and respect of life.

I pray that Robin Williams finds peace wherever he is and that the gifts he brought to the world will be bestowed upon a million times over. I pray that his family can find solace and healing. And I pray that if you are reading this and have struggled or are struggling, please know that you are not alone in the darkness, there is a light, there is a way, the clouds will part and the sun will shine again.

May you be blessed today and always,

Ashley xo