Tag Archives: Scary Mommy

This Isn’t About Robin Williams

“Many who try to bring joy to the world are often the same people who fight a great war within themselves. Every fight lost is a tragedy.”

The death of comic genius Robin Williams spawned thousands and thousands of (well-deserved) tributes and blog posts about not only his career and his life, but also his mental health struggles.

I don’t want to read them.

I don’t want to watch them.

I don’t want to hear about depression and opinions from people who just have no clue.

That’s selfish, but I don’t want to deal with it because I live it every day of my life, a life that I’ve questioned the value of more often than I care to admit. While I would like to think that I would never go to that extreme, I’ve thought about what the world would be like if I were no longer in it, if I could never get “better.”

Because of that, Robin Williams’ death wasn’t surprising to me. Tragic? Yes. Surprising? No. Addiction and depression are equal-opportunity destroyers, regardless of age, sex or class. And the thing about addictions are that they’re all just a slow suicide, no matter your weapon of choice.

So why do some people make it while others lose the fight? I don’t think anyone knows.

What I do know is that for me, it’s not about lack of resources, because if I want to get help there are a million places to get it.

It’s not about people not doing enough to help, because I know you have to want and accept that  support in order to pull yourself out.

It’s also not about attention. My dark thoughts aren’t about death but rather the fantasy of finding some peace—any peace—to quiet the storms in my head.

That probably doesn’t make sense, but I wrote a piece for Huffington Post about my OCD that I never shared on this blog because I didn’t want to be misunderstood. Plus, sometimes I just don’t want to deal with that reality.

But it is reality, and so are suicide and depression and all those things I don’t want to read, hear or talk about a lot of the time—all those things I am forced to think about all the time anyway.

Yet that’s probably part of the problem.

After Williams’ death I posted that quote above on Facebook and linked back to a post I wrote on depression.

The response was huge, both on that older post and to the simple quote. People sent me emails sharing their stories, and someone commented, “Thank you for things that you write. You have a medium where you can reach out to other people and truly help them with your own experiences.”

Whether he liked it or not, Robin Williams had a platform to talk about mental health, and maybe in some tiny miniscule way, so do I–whether through humor or sharing my struggles. If nothing else, I need the support myself on most days.

Of course, there’s no magic cure or easy answers. But what there is is support if you accept it, people who care and a dialogue about mental health that has been reopened up with another loss of life.

This time it wasn’t you.

It wasn’t me.

And if it was, it’s safe to say the whole world wouldn’t be mourning our passing. But somebody would. Somebody cares. And every fight lost is a tragedy.

Keep up the fight.

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How Being a Writer is Like Being a Parent

It’s no secret that the extent of my maternal skills is having a garden, and seeing as how I’m already tired of taking care of it after two months, I know that I’ll never have kids.

But most people I know do have kids, so it’s not like I’m a stranger to the toils and troubles that most parents face. Given what they say on a regular basis, I realized that being a writer isn’t all that different from being a parent at times.

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Deadlines are Seen as Suggestions

Writer: I send out an email that the deadline for copy is Sept. 1, and more often than not I’ll get an email Sept. 1 that says, “When is the deadline? Can I send it to you next week?”

Parent: Stating that bedtime is at 8 p.m. more often than not means negotiations start at 7:59 with, “What time is it? Can I just go to bed when I’m tired…three hours from now?”

Going Viral

Writer: This can be a good thing because something you wrote was seen by thousands of people on the Internet. On the other hand, it can also mean some of those people make it their mission to be crappy and (try to) make your life miserable.

Parent: Going “viral” means someone is sick and things literally get crappy, making your life miserable.

Everyone Gives You Advice

Writer: One “expert” says the best way to write is to research and plan it all out, while another “expert” says to just start writing and let inspiration guide you.

Parent: One “expert” says to plan out your child’s every movement, while another “expert” says to just let them be kids and make sure that they don’t maim themselves.

Note: Either way, someone will tell you you’re doing it wrong.

You Brag

Writer: After working hard on something you’re proud of, it’s natural to want to share it will ALL the land because everyone should love it as much as you do. However, everyone will not love it as much as you do, and at times you’re rather annoying.

Parent: After your kid does something no one has EVER done before—like started school, ate a snack or said something cute—it’s natural to want to share it with ALL the land because everyone should love your kid as much as you do. However, everyone will not love your child as much as you do, and at times you’re rather annoying.

Sleep is Never the Same

Writer: You lie awake in the middle of the night, worried that you will NEVER be creative again, or conversely, because you had a great idea that you absolutely had to write down.

Parent: You lie awake in the middle of the night, either worried about your offspring or because of your offspring waking you up to get them a glass of water they will forget that wanted a mere two minutes later.

Grammar Police

Writer: While you hate to perpetuate a stereotype, you at least mentally correct the grammar of those you’re around and people who know “there,” “their” and “they’re” get metaphorical gold stars every day.

Parent: No sweetheart, every time someone says, “I could care less” when they mean, “I couldn’t care less,” Santa Claus steals from cute kittens.

You Need Thick Skin

Writer: You’re rejected more often than not, and thick skin is required (as are soft pillows for when you bang your head on your desk in despair, hypothetically speaking.)

Parent: Kids hold nothing back. If you’re ugly or smell, they’ll tell you you’re ugly and smell. There’s nowhere to hide.


In both instances, there is often whining and wine, a sense that you’re usually underappreciated and that what you say is completely ignored most of the time.

But at the end of the day, you would do it all over again because the joys infinitely outweigh the pains. And if even one person loves what you create—even if that one person is only you—it makes it all worthwhile.

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