The tragic death of a Robin Williams is a reminder that mental illness and addiction don’t discriminate. No amount of fame, money, brilliance, talent, charisma or good looks can bring happiness. They’re all transitory and most people realize it at some point in their life. Unfortunately, for some people that epiphany can be devastating.
The news of his suicide left me feeling incredibly sad because someone so loved, talented and extraordinary felt like there was nothing left to live for. He said he felt alone and afraid when he started drinking again in 2009 while filming on location in Alaska: (the place I took my first drink)
“It’s just literally being afraid…. And you think, oh, this will ease the fear…. And it doesn’t. You feel warm and kind of wonderful… And then the next thing you know, it’s a problem, and you’re isolated”
For years I used alcohol to curb my own fear and anxiety; up in Alaska, alone and afraid. Who would have known the two of us had so much in common?
His death also left me feeling ‘selfishly hopeful’ because I knew if God hadn’t intervened in my life, I too could have eventually been overtaken by addiction and despair. Many of the troubles I had before I got sober are still with me today and I still experience bouts of fear and anxiety. The difference is that I have God in my life. My God is bigger than my problems. It is when we let our problems become bigger than God that they can consume us.
This is why they say in meetings: “…we get a daily reprieve contingent upon the maintenance of our spiritual condition.”
I am grateful to have God.