Today’s post is a different kind of heavy. The title of the post comes from a song called “Heavy Heart”, by an Australian band called You Am I. I’ve never heard their version of the song, nor have I heard anything from them, as far as I know. What I have heard, however, is a fan-fucking-tastic cover of “Heavy Heart” by the Supersuckers, which originally appeared on a compilation called Free the West Memphis 3: A Benefit for Truth and Justice (2000).
The whole album is great (it includes a badass cover of Iron Maiden’s “Wrathchild” by Seattle’s own Motörhead-esque hardcore punk heroes Zeke), and I highly recommend it, but that’s not why I’m here today. I’m here today because I have a heavy heart, and that song has been in my head all day.
If you are capable of reading this (or having it read to you), you know by now that Robin Williams was found dead yesterday. A man who dedicated his life to making other people happy took his own life; that is far too common, and it has had a profound effect on me, for reasons I can’t necessarily explain, or even understand. The last time I remember feeling anything like this in response to the death of an entertainer was when Joey Ramone died of lymphoma (which happened one day before my 24th birthday), and before that, when Phil Hartman’s wife murdered him in a cocaine frenzy. Both of those deaths made me sad, but Williams’ death has had me in a serious funk since I first read about it, and I have no doubt that the cause of death is the big difference here.
“The situation is bleeding me, there’s no relief for a person like me…”
It’s being written about and posted on the internet repeatedly, but it’s something that bears repeating: depression is a motherfucker. I’ve dealt with it since my early 20’s, and it is an ugly, fucked-up monster of a condition. At my worst, I’ve never actually contemplated suicide, but there have been times when I’ve wished I wasn’t alive anymore. I’ve gotten (mostly) better, and I’ve managed to (mostly) stay better, but the depression still hangs out in the back of the room, waiting to come and fuck with me all over again. Sometimes I can feel it back there lurking around, sometimes keeping it away is extremely difficult, and sometimes it even pops in for a visit, but I still can’t imagine being so overcome by it that ending my own life could seem like the appropriate response, and I think that’s what makes me so very, very sad about this.
I hope your soul finds peace, Mr. Williams. Your presence in this world will be missed.
Another thing that bears repeating: if you are suffering from depression, know that you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend, family member, or to someone else who cares.
National Suicide Prevention 24-Hour Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll stay heavy, but more importantly, I hope you’ll stay alive.