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In the wake of the tragic suicide of Robin Williams earlier this week, I’ve seen many stories surface. Someone even said that it was because he “opened his mind to demonic energy,” which lead to his suicide.

That’s fucking bullshit!

(Sorry for cursing, but it needed to be said.)

I’ve been battling depression myself for years, and I assure you, I’ve never made any pacts with demons, or opened myself up to outside powers. Depression is a fucking mental health issue, and has nothing to do with demonic possession, and I honestly want to punch everyone in the face who says stuff like that, because it’s a bloody cheap shot at a man who had a huge influence and made all of us laugh, at least once. He doesn’t deserve those allegations.

Here’s the thing, here’s what depression is, from someone who knows: It’s a monster. A fire-breathing sadness dragon. It is a seemingly endless cold, rough sea stretching from horizon to horizon, and you’re sailing on it in a rickety boat with a leaky hull and only a plastic beach bucket to bail out, and you’re in the middle of a storm that stretches from horizon to horizon.

“Can I ride this one out? Will the storm ever end?”

Depression is somewhat insidious. It sneaks up on you, lurking in the shadows of your mind, making you second-guess everything. It makes your triumphs failures, and turns your failures into triumphs. Sometimes you can fight it; other times you can control it, but it never really goes away. Even now, some days, I find myself hit hard. Now, I’ve more or less learned that it’s a beast with a cyclical clock, but even so, when it hits hard, it still feels like it’s going to last forever.

Because, see, here’s the thing: even when you think it’s gone, it’s always there, lurking in the shadows. Some days, you find yourself wondering if today is the day where you’ll lose it again, where you’ll be holding the knife, or the pill, and pondering if it’s really going to be better tomorrow.

You’re not alone in the struggle, my friend. Remember this: you are never alone. Repeat it with me now: YOU ARE NEVER ALONE.

Fighting depression is, quite frankly, like fighting a monster. Sometimes, it’s like fighting a hydra, and you feel like as soon as you lop off one head, twenty more come in place. And sometimes, you aren’t strong enough to defeat it on your own. It’s okay to admit that you’re in trouble and need help. It’s okay to call in the cavalry. Your ancestors defeated saber-toothed tigers and giant eagles and bears. Those survival skills aren’t so useful against a monster that lives in your own head.

Call a priest. Call a Friend. Call a priest who’s a friend. Call a hotline, if you get really bad and need help immediately. There’s people out there to help. There’s people out there waiting for you to ask them to help, who would drop everything to give you a leg up, and help you out, even if it’s simply to listen to what you’re going through.

If you need help, get help. Don’t be afraid to appear weak; remember, even Christ struggled in the Garden. And he was the Son of God.

NB: No, this is not a cry for help on my own end.  But I’ve been at that point before, long ago.  It could come again, for all I know.  Because, like I said, that’s the nature of depression.