The death of Robin Williams has shaken a lot of people, myself included. My thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues.

But they also go out to those who have depression in their lives (either themselves or a loved one).

It’s really hard when someone in the public eye who is dealing with the same shit you (or your loved one, etc) are dealing with not make it. And you realize you have to be stronger than the person you’ve looked up to or admired for years.

Depression (and other mental illnesses) is not selective. It didn’t matter that Robin Williams was one of the most beloved comedians of all time. His fame, his money, his status didn’t stop him from battling with depression.

My doctor told me I was depressed in high school (though I believe I was mis-diagnosed and “anxiety” would have been more appropriate). I tried not to let that label define me, but at times it gets rough. I have low days. Hell, there have been low weeks. But I always try to tell myself that things will get better and that there are people who love me. Sometimes that feels like I’m lying to myself, but I’d like to believe there are better things ahead if I can just keep sticking it out.

Seeking help is the opposite of cowardly. Family, friends, doctors, helplines and other resources are out there.

It sometimes feels like you are alone (and sometimes you really just want to be alone), but there are others out there. I know I tend to keep all the rough stuff to myself because I don’t want to burden others, or I don’t want to seem weak. (I’m 30, I feel like I should have everything figured out by now… Even though I totally don’t.)

I have never felt so low that I would end things. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had those kinds of thoughts. Everyone has had those kinds of thoughts, though. Don’t think there is something wrong with you because of them. We’re all messed up, okay? But it’s how we deal with that knowledge that is important.

You are loved. I am loved. We are loved.

(“We are Groot,” okay?)

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