a few thoughts.
by victoria comment


robin williams / sfgirlbybay

normally, i don’t address the tragedies that happen in life around us. partly, because you come here, i assume, as an escape from that kind of thing. to be inspired, to feel a little lighter. but i feel the collective sadness all around me after the devastating news of robin williams’ suicide and i’m finding it hard to set it aside. i think if you’ve ever known someone who has suffered or you yourself suffer from depression, your heart has broken a little more these last few days. i am one of those people, although very few friends know it, and i’ve certainly never talked about it here. but, i thought — just maybe i should. maybe i should tell you, as i did once a while back, that life is not always the perfect little instagram package you sometimes see.

first of all — i’m completely fine. but i am fine because i addressed the problem a long time ago and i’ve kept on top of it with medication — because i have to. if i didn’t, i’d have bad bouts of depression and i couldn’t get up and write this blog every day. i couldn’t see the beauty around me, let alone share it. i’ve tried not taking medication and trust me, you don’t want me to do that again. i take a low dosage of an anti-depressant, but whatever the dose, it’s what keeps me from hiding in my room by myself and having very dark thoughts and loneliness that is much too overwhelming — there’s no turning back from it without help. but with help, my life is on a very happy, even keel. i do see beauty, lots of it — and i do want to share it. so, if you need help — please, ask for it. please tell someone.

robin williams / sfgirlbybay

the chronicle’s truthful headline this morning is really what moved me to write this. i often think for a comedian to be a good one, they need to be extra perceptive, because it’s those perceptions that they share with us which make them so relatable, and so well-loved and identifiable to us, right? we nod our heads in recognition and agreement of the craziness that comedians capture so succinctly for us. they just get it. it’s true for lots of people who seem to ‘get it’ — artists, writers, actors — people just like you and me. but i think it’s exactly that extra-perception if you will, that also makes life extremely painful. there’s no filter — you feel it all, especially for the really brilliant artists. so beauty, and love and loneliness and all of the poetry of life is intensified and sometimes just too painful to bear. i don’t presume to know what troubled robin williams, but from what i’ve heard from his peers, he was a genuinely kind and sensitive man. and perhaps that was why he felt he just couldn’t keep looking at the world — heaven knows it’s hard to look at some days with all the suffering that goes on. but sometimes, it’s simply too much beauty that becomes the difficult thing to bear when you haven’t someone with which to share it.

so i think if we are to learn anything at all from the lovely genius that was robin williams is that you really just never know if someone might be suffering, or from what, and so it’s good to take a moment before judging, or acting unkindly or petty towards others, and just think about that. think about your fellow humans and remember that words and actions, or even a lack thereof can really affect the people around you and make them feel excluded. try to make those words and actions thoughtful ones, and watch out for not just those you love, but your community, your world. act to make it a better place. simple acts of love and kindness can do that more than you know.

robin williams said: “I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone.” maybe, we all just try to make the people around us feel a little less alone.

— xo, victoria

112 responses to “a few thoughts.”

  1. Thank you for this, Victoria. I too have suffered with terrible bouts of dark depression over the last 10 years or so and I don’t talk about it very often for fear of it defining me in the eyes of others (also, I’m so much more than my depressive episodes!!). I do however think it’s important when depression comes to the forefront of people’s consciousness, as it has done with beloved Robin Williams’ death, to talk about it and your own personal experiences with it; so thank you for this! I’ve had so many people be surprised when I discuss my own history of depression (“What? I never would have thought that of you!?” or “You don’t seem like that sort of person!”) – I think the more open we can be (where appropriate), the more acceptance of mental illness there will be and the more people will see that everyone is susceptible.

    • Thanks so much, Victoria, for your words and thoughts. I, too, rely on my little pill every morning to keep my head above water and sometimes it’s barely enough. I have to go to a funeral tomorrow for a beautiful, bright, talented and loving fourteen-year-old girl who was just waking up to the possibilities of life. She wanted to live, to learn, to realize her capabilities, but a random case of e-coli put an end to it all. This is dragging me down to such an extent that I can barely function. I’m not suicidal, but I do want to go to bed, pull the covers over my head and stay there for like a month. Maybe Mr. Williams had something in his life that was dragging him down to the extent that nothing could keep him from going over that edge. I do understand that despair, but I hate the result. God speed and safe haven to both these gentle souls.

  2. I was also shocked by the sad news of the death Robin Williams. it was so sad to read that this colorful man who made many people laugh had such trouble with life itself… I want to thank you for being open about your depressions, very brave; life isn’t always a fairytale xxx

  3. This is beautiful! thank you for sharing your inner thoughts with the rest of us. Sometimes it is very easy to forget that the people behind amazing and very interesting blogs are also humans with everyday problems like everyone else. And yes it is much better to share the problems and ask for help! Every person has its dark moments, its part of life, its all about how to see the glass half full and not half empty and find ways of being happy. again thank you, beautiful and very kind words. best wishes, Mxo

  4. Really beautiful text. You put in words what I have been thinking these two days. I saw some serious darkness in Robbie even in his comedy roles (this is easy to say afterwards but I did), and a suicide didn’t surprise me. I don’t understand how anyone can judge him without ever having suffered from depression.

    Everyone liked this man, it feels like we have lost our funniest uncle! May he rest in peace.

  5. Such wonderful and inspiring words.

    It just goes to show that we never know what is going on behind closed doors or behind a smile.

    I too am on antidepressants, mainly because I have fibromyalgia and it helps with the pain. It also helps keep me more upbeat as I too have tried without and I end up so low and in extreme pain – the two are continuously entwined in my world.

  6. Victoria,

    Thanks for remembering Robin Williams…talk about what happened to him…for sharing your personal story and thoughts with all of us. Great post.


  7. Therein lies the truth. Thank you, Victoria, for shedding light on a long overlooked human affliction. We are indeed lucky to have had Robin Wiiliams for 63 years because he fought hard to stay in this game of life. My son worked briefly with Robin Williams last year saying “he was really one of the nicest guys I’ve ever encountered in this business.” RW’s legacy to us all – be kind. Remember how your words and actions impact each and every human you meet.
    You impacted us deeply, warmly and to the core of our funny bones, Captain, O Captain :)

  8. Honey, I understand you and – Yes – it’s all about sensitivity, loneliness, love and the lack of attention and care. I embrace you.

  9. This was beautifully written. And I agree, this is an illness often overlooked. The only positive from such a tragic event is that it is shedding light on depression and how it isn’t a “fake” disease; which some of us, greatly need others to know.

  10. Thanks. You are able to describe what’s so hard to articulate so well.

    We can’t say it enough really, that it is important that we talk and reach out to other humans.

  11. I love what you said about ‘feeling it all’, and that RW’s extra-perception is what made him so great. I certainly sense that gift from so many great entertainers/thinkers/makers/artists. I think I share that burden (responsibility) of feeling it all, to some extent, and it is certainly exhausting. But, I also think it’s what makes life more fulfilling. I don’t always ‘connect’ with every person I meet, but that makes my true friendships that much more meaningful. I don’t always resonate with music/art/literature/film, but when I do it resonates so loudly! There are times that difficulty can spread into loneliness, or the exhaustion can be too much, and those are times I try and immerse myself in the makings of other people who ‘get it’ and it helps me feel understood.
    The gift is both a burden and a blessing, so as a reminder to all of us who have it, we are out there all feeling feelings together!

  12. Thank you for such a lovely tribute. Being kind for kindness’ sake is always such a good reminder; I’m going to up my kindness today and forthcoming. Peace and lovely things to you.

  13. Very well said. I feel like this particular tragedy has affected people much differently than other tragedies. And, thank you for sharing a bit of your own personal story. These stories resonate a little with all of us I think.

  14. What an open, inspiring, and beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your personal struggle with depression. I think there are many of us who battle it to some degree and I am currently helping my son work through the struggles of learning to cope with it. It’s a long road and knowing that you are managing yours right now is encouraging. Thanks again for sharing and taking the time to acknowledge and remember a tremendously talented man that brought me a lot of joy!

  15. Oh Victoria, thank you for sharing your thoughts and your heart so publicly. I feel deep sadness at the loss of someone who has brought me great joy, and you couldn’t have said it better when you say, “…it’s exactly that extra-perception if you will, that also makes life extremely painful. there’s no filter — you feel it all, especially for the really brilliant artists. so beauty, and love and loneliness and all of the poetry of life is intensified and sometimes just too painful to bear.” That’s part of what makes him so wonderful… and you, and so many others. xo

  16. victoria, i have been reading you for years and i have to say this is one of my favorite posts. thank you for your honesty, your insight, and your willingness to share what many of us have to wrestle with daily. i appreciate you bringing this here and addressing it so thoughtfully and compassionately. rip mr. wiliams.

  17. Victoria! You are so sweet! and talented. Great article.
    You are one of the few bloggers that reached out to me in a supportive manner, I think it is so great what you give to the community in such an inspiring and positive way! Often compassion comes from suffering.

  18. oh my gosh, that was SO well-written. you have a way with words and a way with the camera. it’s this kind of openness and sharing that will help keep the conversation going, i think… not being “closeted” about a very normal, human issue. depression can visit any one of us at any time. a sincere thank you, Victoria, for sharing. i have so much respect for you!

  19. This is article touched my heart on a personal and professional level. I worked in the mental health field serving in various roles (community facilitator, counselor etc.) for many years. Personally, I always sought to break the stigma associated with mental health treatment. Growing up, someone very close to me suffered from mental health issues.

    You’re one of my favorite bloggers, I appreciate you showing us your vulnerable side; I understand that it can feel very uncomfortable. I respect that you used your platform to speak about mental health. I’d really love to see more positive discourse around it. So many are affected by mental health issues, but, due to shame or lack of awareness many are too afraid to get help and learn how to live with what they have. Vulnerability can be impactful. Wishing you well. :)

  20. Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s beautiful to see how much the entire world loved him. Our collective shock and sadness speaks volumes. I’m also heartbroken that things were so violently dark for him that this was the only way he could see out. I too struggle with depression. The hardest thing about depression, for me at least, is admitting to others you need help. But I wish more people would. I wish more people would talk about their sadness and demons. I think helping each other through those times, like Williams did with his laughter, is what makes this world a better place. So thank you for talking about your struggles. That’s truly brave.

  21. Thank you Victoria for sharing this. Thank you for your gentle and kind advice. Thank you for being considerate.
    Love, M.

  22. The morning before I heard the news about Robin I had actually decided that I needed to see a doctor about my depression. I have a 3.5 year old, a 6 month old, and we just moved across the country to Santa Cruz. The combination of everything has taken a big toll.

    I know it has only been a couple of days, but sometimes I think to myself maybe I don’t need to make that appointment. Then I think of Robin. I read your words. And I know what needs to be done.

    Thank you.

    • do it kate, because there are those days when you feel, “oh this is gonna be okay, i feel alright today”. but the bad days come back and it cycles back around. i promise you will feel better — and you’re worth that. sounds like you’ve had a lot on your plate and talking to a doctor will help. hang in there, girl, it’s gonna be right again. xx

  23. Thank you for sharing your story and I’m glad you’re doing so well. I have a friend who became depressed as a side effect of all the medications she has to take and every day for her is a careful balancing act. And when she falls, she needs patience and kindness. Everybody take care!

  24. Very nice post Victoria. Sounds a lot like my situation, and it’s brave of you to share it. This takes something very sad and turns it into something better. Thanks.

  25. Beautiful post Victoria. It is truly a great loss and I’m still tearful, as so many are.

    Thank you for sharing your struggles with depression. For the last two years I have struggled with the dark demons of depression. I had never been diagnosed with it before. It wasn’t until having gone through this, that I could empathize about why someone would want to take their own life. It’s not that they want to die, they just can’t stand the darkness and pain anymore. Unfortunately, people are so quick to judge, having no understanding about mental illness. I hope that something good can come out of Robin’s sad passing. Perhaps more awareness and less stigma about mental illness.

    I was recently diagnosed with a form of bipolar II disorder. I won’t go into the details, but I was quite surprised. After just about every med trial out there, I believe I’m on the correct medication. I’ve had over a month of ‘feeling good.’ Still some rockiness, but at least I know that depression CAN lift. It just sucks being in that dark place.

    For those of us that suffer from mood disorders and such, there is hope and I hope that people suffering will not be ashamed and seek help.

    Sorry to ramble. Thanks again for being so brave and sharing.

    RIP Robin.

  26. Thank you for this post. Robin Williams was my favourite comedian and I am stunned by his death. I have also battled depression and unless one has been there, one can’t fully understand what one goes through. One thing I’ve noticed is that it’s funny, sensitive, compassionate and caring people that get depressed.

  27. in a foolish attmpt to be rid of perscriptions, i lapsed and regretted it within the week. your blog is beautiful as ever bella darling, very perceptive. and that’s my word of the day. thank you.

  28. Victoria, Thank you for openness and honesty. Its some of the most creative and inventive people that this happens to. Lots of love to you.

  29. Victoria, this was a beautiful, thoughtful and powerful post – thank you for sharing.
    It’s discussion and awareness like this that, I hope, will get us all a bit closer to understanding mental illness and being more supportive of each other.
    Your honesty and kindness here is truly appreciated xx

  30. Victoria-such a great post! I am beyond heartbroken over Robin’s passing. It was that extra-perception you speak of that helped him connect with so many; he IS brilliant and I will never forget him. Thanks for being so real and connecting with so many of us. Your energy is amazing! xocc

  31. This is why, at the end of a long hard day, I still take the time to have a quick look @ your blog. Your point about kindness to others resonates with me…..we have a board at work for patients & staff alike (I’m a nurse) that could use these motivating words. As my kids would say “you are truly legit”. Thank you for sharing.

  32. i just wanted to say thank you so much to EVERYONE who commented so thoughtfully today. i have trouble sometimes posting the very personal side to my life and hitting that ‘publish’ button more often than the ‘delete’ button and you have all made me very glad i published today.

    thank you for sharing your very personal feelings and hardships. i really do believe by sharing what we really think and not just want we think people want to see, the world can be a better place. xoxo

  33. Victoria – how brave you are! I admire you opening your heart for us and sharing. Because it is people like you that inspire us all to continue on our own defined path. Thank you for this.

  34. Victoria,
    Thank you for sharing your personal journey. It is very courageous of you and is another crack in the thick ice that imprisons people with the shame of mental illness. You rock!
    Marti K.

  35. I thought this was a very beautiful post. Thank you. I really liked the quote by Robin Williams, it makes one hopeful that we can make the world a little less lonely.

  36. Beautiful and thoughtful post Victoria. You have perfectly articulated my own feelings and thoughts from the last few days. Although the world feels a little emptier right now you’re right, we should focus more on filling that space with positive and kind thoughts for each other. Thank you, x

  37. This is just perfect & thank you for sharing. It’s good to know that other people suffer to. It’s makes me feel not so alone in my struggle & not so crazy having to rely in a little tablet every morning to keep my going & be there for my wonderful family.
    Thank you so much.

  38. A perfect post. I think it is so important for us to be honest about our struggles so others know they are not alone. You are an example to us all.

  39. Thank you for your thoughtful and compassionate post. Your bravery in speaking up about depression helps to end the stigma. Robin Williams was a genius apparently battling an excruciating disease. He was a warrior, but was defeated in his battle to stay alive. I hope I speak for all in saying we are so lucky to have shared this world with him and so sad at his passing. I also feel lucky to have found your blog and look forward to it everyday. Thank you.

  40. Thank you Victoria for sharing so candidly. What you wrote about darkness and beauty and feeling overwhelmed by beauty and loneliness at the same time was just beautiful. xo

  41. Love the picture you posted of Robin Williams. So represents him :)

    You hit the nail on the head about some people having fewer “filters” and that makes them exposed to immense joy and creativity but also to immense pain. My sister took her own life 4 years ago at the age of 49. She was a very sensitive, smart, creative, caring & immensely funny person. But, on the flip side, there was a lot of inner pain and I always sensed that her brain was missing a chemical or something – something that protected her brain from the overwhelming emotions that is part of being human. Our brains are the most complex muscle in our body, yet medical science doesn’t pay enough attention to it. Sad.

    On a lighter note, I read your earlier posting in 2013 (your link in the above post) and I agree that so many of these blogs (and cooking shows!) depicting the perfect life can be damaging. Its a lead into computerized fantasy worlds. I’m the first to admit that I’m a sucker for a lot of these blogs & shows because I enjoy cooking and I appreciate the artistry in design and my surroundings. You have a very nice balance in how you present your work/images and I’ve never felt any “oh, my life is so perfect – look at me!” attitude. You’re very respectful of your reader so keep doing what you’re doing!

  42. Victoria,
    I too thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this part of you. Most of us who deal with depression find it hard to talk about, especially when everyone wants you to be positive, and happy. When you have that ‘grey dog’ following you around it can be hard to show your best self, can’t it? But, like you, I’ve learned how to acknowledge and manage my depression, and because of it, I am able to live the creative life that I do, and it’s nice to know I’m not alone :)
    Keep going, keep looking and keep being you-we appreciate you!

  43. Extremely well put. I cannot fathom the intensity of the demons that some people have to fight on a daily basis and I am so glad that you are doing well. Robin Williams was a wonderfully caring soul and I think you are absolutely correct that sometimes the problem is feeling too much of everything. Thank you for posting this and for bringing to light your take on these things.

  44. Thank you Victoria for your beautiful tribute to Robin Williams and for sharing your own struggles w/ depression. I have suffered from it for years and am still here thanks to Prozac. Your blogs are always inspiring & yes there is so much beauty around us, we just have to open our eyes & quite staring at our navel, or iphone as the case may be.

  45. A beautiful, thoughtful and perceptive post. I too have suffered with depression and hidden it and know that many others do the same. Hearing your truth is inspiring and moving. My thoughts are with you x

  46. You have a gift for communicating so openly and honestly when it is needed and also filling a creative void with fun and beauty and whimsy when needed – I have been following you from Day 1 when you were over on “blogger” after meeting you in Summerhouse taking photos and must say this is one of your best! Thank you.

  47. I loved the TANTRUM shop to begin your lovely Ode to Robin Williams and all who share in sadness at times. You began with our inner child and ended with lovely words. Thanks!

  48. Thank you that was very generous of you to share something so private.
    Very much appreciated as it reminds all of us that we aren’t alone. xo

  49. longtime reader here. am surprised and saddened to learn of your depression and medication, especially from one who always seems to have such beautiful things to share. i guess i could say the same about mr.williams.
    have you looked into iodine supplementation? as in 50mg per day.
    thank you for continuing to provide a bright corner of the internet :)

  50. Thanks for sharing your experience, Victoria. So many people struggle with depression and it can be a huge undertaking to even TRY and get help for it. The amount intake paperwork alone can be enough to say screw it. :) I lived an entire life full of anxiety until I started taking an antidepressant due to a bad bout of postpartum depression four years ago. I’ve never felt better and am “glad” that I had that experience since it helped me change my life for the better. Love to you. xo

  51. Thank you so much for sharing this heartfelt post, Victoria. I have also suffered from depression in the past,and you are so right…you never know just by looking at someone what they might be going through! I am going to make a point of being extra kind to strangers (and not so strangers) in honor of the dear, sweet, funny, and very human Mr. Williams.

  52. Just ended up here again from my FB newsfeed and wanted to add a note about my earlier comment. When I said that “the amount of intake paperwork is enough to say screw it,” I didn’t mean “life.” Just recalling how I felt when my stack of paperwork came in before my 1st psych appt and I almost cancelled it rather than filling it out. When you’re already in an overwhelmed vulnerable state even the smallest steps can stop you from moving forward, even if you know you should.

  53. Hi Victoria
    I’m a spanish girl, found your blog couple weeks ago and have to chech it out every day :)
    thanks for sharing all the beauty you find and I think you are very brave for writing this post, and I think there’s true and wisdom in your words.

    thank you!! :)

  54. Hi victoria,

    Thankyou for sharing this. I’m from Indonesia.I experienced depression my self for the past 7 years. I feel a bit better now, thanks God. But, i do still have some struggling days.

    It’s a good message what you write, like what you said, in our most suffering time, and someone or professional tell you to take medication, we need to take that advise. It doesn’t mean your weak. I, my self, at the first time, denied that i should take medication. I didn’t listen to someone whom advise me to do so. Then, it actually made me suffered from depression even longer. I, eventually, took the medication though, yet not that committed.

    If i could reduce my pride at that time, and took the advise to take medication at the first place, perhaps I might not experience depression for that long. But, every journey is a different one.


  55. I just wanted to let you know I made the call. Because I’m a new patient they couldn’t get me in till October. Because of your encouragement, I persisted. Last Friday I had my doctor’s appointment. Thanks again.

  56. Hi Vic,

    Whenever we lose someone to the double edged sword that is creative genius, I think of this quotation by Pearl S. Buck: “The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive. To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off…They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.”

    It’s a statement to which I relate wholeheartedly (and sometimes painfully) as I imagine you do too. Thank you for sharing a snippet of your experience. I’m sad to hear you’ve struggled in the past and glad to know you’ve now found a formula for keeping the darkness at bay.

    Sending all my love.
    xo Anne

    • thank you so much, sweet anne. and thank you for that beautiful quote. it’s spot-on, and rings true for a lot of really creative people i know. lots of love to you, too. i’m always here if a day becomes too dark. xo

  57. Thank you, thank you, thank you Victoria, for writing about this so openly. You inspired me to write about my experiences with anxiety, depression, and seasonal affective disorder on my own blog (not an easy post to hit “Publish” on, but a worthy one, I think). I don’t think I could ever say thank you enough times for your honesty.

  58. Wonderful post Victoria and oh, so true.
    In 1981, after a painful breakup with a long-time lover, a friend invited me to visit her in Los Angeles for relaxation and fun. I was crazy over the unique new comedian at the time, Robin Williams, so one of the things that we did was to attend a filming of Mork and Mindy at Paramount Studios. Seeing him perform live (he did a bit of stand-up for the audience during the breaks in filming,) was the highlight of my trip. It was just what I needed to pull me out of the doldrums.
    When we lost Robin, I felt like I had lost a friend. I only wish that he knew how much he helped me (and most likely so many others) when I was down. Rest in peace, dear Robin.

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