For so many people this is an incomprehensible choice. Why would someone who has achieved so much … who clearly has much to live for choose to end his life?
Ten years ago I was getting my Masters in Psychology. One of my fellow students was a mother whose son committed suicide. We often sat together in between classes while she talked through these questions, searching for answers – always returning to the same place – there is no answer.
Because the truth is that anyone who takes his life can no longer feel the value of what he has achieved and cannot find a reason to live that is more compelling than his reason to die.
He has lost hope.
And yet as we watch from afar we know at the core of our being how wrong Robin Williams was. There was so much to live for.
The illusion of hopelessness is only clear when we are watching from the outside.
There is a lesson for all of us in Robin Williams death. It is the understanding that hopelessness is not real. Hopelessness can feel very very real but it is always an illusion. Hopelessness can cause us to make choices that send us down a path of pain and confusion.
What feels hopeless to you right now? What have you decided is impossible? What is overwhelming you to the point of paralysis?
Can you give yourself enough distance to see the illusion in your own version of hopelessness? Can you love yourself enough to believe in what is possible even if its feels totally and completely impossible?
And if you cannot, please please please ask for help.
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