Saturday, 16 August 2014

Nanu Nanu Shazbot

Photo: Eva Rinaldi
It was probably inevitable that I was going to post a tribute to Robin Williams after hearing about his death. But first let me tell you what I was up to first thing yesterday morning.  After going downstairs for my obligatory morning cuppa I came back upstairs to wake Louis up as Zombie Mama.  She looks and sounds exactly like me but instantaneously turns into a fierce undead creature who tries to suck his brain out of his nose.  Lou loves the fusion of fear and mirth that my transformation brings.  We end up having a great big play fight and crying with laughter.  Sometimes one of us get hiccups.

In the depths of my depression I didn't relish  moments like that.  I still had them but they didn't bring the joy that they do now. Yet I was able to mask the feelings of despair so that Louis was unaware of what I was going through.  I didn't miss a day of work either.  Looking after my kid and holding down a job were pretty much all I could manage though.  Looking back, I'm proud I prioritised those two activities.  And I'm also grateful that things didn't get a whole lot worse.  Even though life didn't seem worth living I was never tempted to contemplate suicide.

Back to Robin Williams.  Another good, talented and wise person takes their life.  Even those with many gifts are not immune from this horrible illness which has tragic consequences for those who have no rest from the damaging thoughts that it provokes.  Rest in peace, good man.  I loved you as Mork when I was a child and in Awakenings and Good Morning Vietnam.   You will be remembered for the happiness that you brought to others and the compassion that you showed during a life well lived.

It seems an appropriate time to re-out myself,  a happy, busy and strong individual,  as someone who has suffered mental illness.  Thankfully with drugs, self-help therapy and time I recovered fully.  I  hope with all my heart that I stay well and continue to really enjoy life, especially larking around with my son as that is priceless.   There is still stigma attached to mental health problems and I'd lie if I said that I personally hadn't come across it.  But it's dwindling and will diminish further if the message that no-one is immune is put out there as often as possible. So I share my story of personal hope freely.  If it persuades one person to seek help before another life is prematurely cut short then it's absolutely worth it!


  1. I think it is so important that people keep talking about it. I, like you, protected my son and this along with the devasting effect your illness has upon those who love you motivated me to get the treatment I needed. At the present time my medication levels are coming down for the second time this year as I move towards being without them next year hopefully. I functioned in the outside world as I worked keeping my illness hidden. Nowadays I am well but vigilant. I know the warning signs and what I need to do to keep it in check. It's good to hear another's positive slant on the issue and how it can end in recovery and a better life longterm. Great post! Arilx

  2. Thanks Aril for sharing. I've been meds free for over a year now and enjoy the range of emotions that brings. Was chilled on citalopram but didn't experience extreme joy or cry like I am able to now. I embrace being low in reaction to life events as part and patcel of life and don't worry that it means relapse. xx