I’ve held off writing anything on Robin Williams as I don’t know much about him except that I’m grateful for all the times he made me laugh and his suicide suggests his ability to make us laugh came from a place of deep, deep suffering.
But I just read Ben Stein’s piece and hope you will, too. Yes, he has some strong opinions about psychoactive anti-depressant drugs. You can take that up with him. I’m no expert in that area.
Stein offers a solution. It isn’t some vague concept of “awareness.” It’s a plan of work that many people are blessed to be able to undertake. It will make them happier. It will make them truly love themselves:
I just feel sick about Robin Williams, though and I feel sick about all of the good men and women led to self-destructive thoughts by their inner demons, fueled into merciless rage by alcohol and drugs.
In my own life, I have found that prayer, intense rest, fresh air, and above all, 12-step programs for helping persons who want to get off the suicide express before it reaches its final destination in hell, work miracles. I have never known a person injured by prayer. I have never known a person driven to suicide by going to 90 meetings in 90 days and maybe 180 meetings in 90 days.
He’s right. One of my friends explained to me that sometimes someone has to go to meetings for years before they’re ready to stop the behavior fully. But just going to the meetings is a start. It may be a slow start, but it’s better than the alternative. Stein writes:
I carry with me a gift from a friend who said it had saved his life many a time. It is a simple piece of paper that reads, “NOT TODAY.” It has brought me peace and salvation many a time. Anyone can get through just one more day and by tomorrow you might feel completely different.
Know this: Just for me, the 12-step programs are not really about keeping the drink or the drug out of my mouth. They are about keeping the gun out of my mouth. They work and they work wonders.
How I wish Mr. Williams had come to our little meetings every day.
And here’s an example of the work that can save your life –
Having good friends treading the path of recovery is also a gift from God. Talking to them, eating with them, praying with them saves lives.
Turning every problem over to God saves lives.
Telling yourself over and over that feelings come and feelings go and feelings are not facts helps me a lot.
Amen. It may not be easy work, but it will work.