August 12, 2014

Please Let Robin Williams’ Depression Be His Real Legacy. ~ Ben Ralston


*Disclaimer: This website is not designed to, and should not be construed to, provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion or treatment to you or any other individual, and is not intended as a substitute for medical or professional care and treatment.


Depression is a miserable f*cking thing.

It’s up there with tics and cancer on my list of “If there’s a God why did he make this?”

I’ve been depressed, quite seriously, twice in my life. Both times there was a fine line between sanity and mania, life and death. Both times I nearly didn’t make it.

Those who aren’t depressive simply cannot know what it feels like.

It feels like you’re not really alive—just a shadow of a shadow. The world loses all meaning, color, depth, purpose, light. All that’s left is a hollow monochrome shell and all around you people are living their lives in full glorious technicolor.

You feel like an aberration. You can’t help but feel that the world would be better off without you.

Robin Williams touched me deeply in two ways.

Countless moments of laugh-out-loud joy, always tinged with such a deep, rich humanity. He affirmed you even as he made you belly-laugh. That’s why we loved him so much.

As an artist, few will ever come close to him.

But I’m hoping that his legacy will be more than just his art. I’m hoping that in death his life means even more than that. I’m hoping that his impeccable artistic genius was just the warm up act—and that the punch-line of his life is to make mankind a little more compassionate.

Wouldn’t that be something? Wouldn’t that be fitting?

Last time I was depressed one of my closest friends told me something I’ll never forget. She said: “I don’t know why you can’t just pull yourself together.”  That moment highlighted for me the reality that people who are not depressive will never understand what it’s like.

But now the whole world understands that one of the funniest and most warm-hearted men felt so bad that he took his own life. With all his success, his family and kids, and his acclaim, he felt so bad, so low, so down, as to take his own life.

Everyone you meet is fighting a tough battle. But some of us walk the razor’s edge from time to time. Be kind, and don’t judge another’s pain. Because you never know how deep it can go.

And if you know someone that suffers from depression…

… love them.

Touch them, buy them gifts, call them, surprise them, stroke them, hug them, whisper to them, tell them jokes, watch a movie with them, take them out for dinner. Your reaching out is a bridge back to life.

You can break through that shell and let a little light in.

Reach out.

“At it’s worst (depression) is about being devoid of feeling altogether”:



Depression is a Highly Intelligent State of Being.


Robin Williams was Family.


A Life to Remember: Robin Williams.


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Editor: Renée Picard

Image: Fanpop 

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Kathy Aug 25, 2014 6:20pm

Thank you so very much for writing this article! You are quickly becoming my favorite writer:). I just wrote to you regarding the "3 steps to healing article you wrote and was too embarrassed to say that I also suffer from depression on top of having a cancer diagnosis. I honestly didn't think someone that wrote that article could understand depression.
Robin Williams always touched my heart and his death affected me deeply. His passing will bring about more compassion 🙂

catnipkiss Aug 17, 2014 10:33am

It's so sad, such a loss. But a part of me was a little wistful, having known that kind of deep, endless despair. That part whispered, "Good for you, you got out. Your suffering is over." His fame makes this a huge statement, and you are right, Ben, that it should help bring light to this issue. As a side note, I loved the black dog video. Really awesome. – Alexa M.

Janis Aug 14, 2014 8:36am

What;s up with the question "How come God made this?" WE MAKE our own choices in this life. WE CHOOSE to either believe in a loving, caring FORGIVING, God or we CHOOSE to strive to handle life's tragedies, regrets, whatEVER, all alone or turn to so-called specialists for answers to our deep rooted issues. Who the hell knows WHAT caused Robin's depression? Was he molested and never told anyone? Was he beaten down or scorned in childhood? Did he choose comedy to hide his real feelings or simply to appease his inner pain? One thing for sure, is he obviously did not ASK His Creator to heal him. And the pain became so unbearable that he saw no other way except to physically end it. So sad.

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Ben Ralston

Ben Ralston has been practising personal development—necessity being the Mother of invention—since he was about six years old. He’s been teaching and sharing what he’s learnt along the way for a couple of decades. His main thing is Heart of Tribe retreats—whose very purpose is to help you fall back in love with life, no less. Leading these retreats alongside his woman Kara-Leah Grant—also an elephant journal writer (that’s how they met!)—they combine a deep well of lineage-based yoga teaching experience, with expertise in healing trauma and various other methods of personal development. Ben also works with clients one-on-one via Skype, writes, makes videos from time to time, and is passionate about parenting.
He lives in an intentional, tribal community in the hills of Croatia, where you might find him gardening barefoot and talking to the rocks. Connect with Ben on Facebook or YouTube or check out his website for more info.