Tag: Social Media

Life Is Not Complicated, depression is more than having a “bad day”

Robin WilliamsI realize, with this post I probably won’t say anything more or different from everyone else who is remembering Robin Williams (who sadly took his own life). What I believe is so difficult to comprehend is how a man who brought us so much laughter and happiness, was himself in so much hopeless pain.

I am surrounded by comics. I love my artists. We are sincerely like family. And I have had some deep, personal conversations with a few of them who have shared that what we see on stage, on t.v., in the public eye, is only an escape. One artist told me “Ironically, comics are probably some of the most tortured souls you will ever meet”. Another explained, “It’s like I am in this constant fight with my flawed brain, and some days I’m afraid my brain will win”. I share this to say, I am not speaking as some distant, uninformed outside observer. I know what it is like to love people with this illness. There is no greater pain.

The chapter on depression was one of the most difficult for me to write in Life Is Not Complicated. I thought about this excerpt when news of Robin Williams’ death crossed, and I realized, depression knows no bounds. Athletes, politicians, actors, teachers; no one is immune to this oppressive illness. So many lose the fight.  Depression Collage

Depression hit very close to home for me:

If we fail to look beyond what is right under our nose we may miss an opportunity to understand and help someone whose pain lies beneath the surface.

Case in point: a stunning revelation from one of my best friends unleashed a reality check so powerful, it sent shock waves through my emotions, and I am not an emotional person. The epiphany redefined our friendship.

It occurred about a time that I noticed he was just not himself. Typically gregarious and affable, there was something a little off about his behavior. He seemed disconnected and uncharacteristically sad. I had not seen him in some time and just assumed he just had a lot on his mind. He was just promoted to a management position, recently bought a new house and was just promoted to a management position, recently bought a new house and had been blessed with a new child. That’s enough to make anyone a little stressed out. One evening, I received a disturbing phone call. The bartender at a local spot my buddy and I frequented, especially during football season, urged me to come immediately because my friend was dangerously intoxicated and insisted on driving home. I promptly beat a path to our hangout, confused and concerned that someone I would trust with my life, had obviously lost all regard for his own. Back in college, if anyone had exhibited this kind of behavior, this guy would have read them the riot act. Recklessness was never part of his repertoire. When I arrived, I pressed him for an explanation. I was hoping it was something as simple as stress from work or a misunderstanding at home. I could not have been more mistaken. He sobered up a bit, and we talked. I found out why his behavior had become so erratic. The revelation hit me like a freight train. He admitted that for much of his adult life, he suffered from clinical depression, and the illness had become unmanageable. The blank stare on my face clearly said it all. I had my very first, personal introduction to this crippling illness.

It was important for me to write about this experience, because I now know depression is a very common form of mental illness. You never know who may be suffering with the condition. Because of the stigma attached, you may never realize that mood swings, constant unhappiness and feelings of despair belie a very serious chemical imbalance. By not telling me right away, he did not give me the information I needed to understand or help him. I could not have his back because I did not know what he was facing. As it turns out, we helped each other. I took a step back and admitted I needed to be a more understanding person; I needed to be less “black and white” in my approach to life and people”. ~Life Is Not Complicated, You Are: Deliverance

All I ask is that if you feel you are falling into the darkness please find someone, anyone who wants nothing more than to show you light! Rest in peace Robin Williams, I pray you have found the peace that eluded you so mercilessly in life.
In the company of greatness

Life Is Not Complicated, social media shouldn’t be your personal diary…

Never apologize for the good in your life. People who try to make you feel badly because you have been blessed are consumed by self-loathing. Wear your accomplishments proudly, be it your career, your relationship, your children, your success. True friends will bask in the glow of your shine, not pray for darkness to fall. Life Is Not Complicated: Success

“The best way to stay in your relationship, is to keep people out of your relationship.” Ice Cube

Jay-Z-proposes-to-Beyonce-at-the-Met-GalaI am not going to give the entire Solange/Jay Z debacle any more attention than it is due. I only mention the incident because it speaks to much larger issues I have tried to address so many times however, for some reason, are not taken as seriously as they should. This may ruffle some feathers, but as with Life Is Not Complicated You Are, my intention is only to help anyone I can avoid (and deal with) pitfalls that can stand in the way of living a peaceful life. Sometimes, we create our own obstacles!

SHOWBIZ Insider 1Praying , hoping, wishing, expecting or making light of the demise of a successful couple is not sexy. In a society where divorce is far too prevalent, success among certain races is overtly scrutinized, instances of single parents have become way too common and the very fiber of the family is dangerously frayed, we should be rooting for couples to thrive. I will never find the trials and tribulations of other people’s lives entertaining. As someone who has been through his fair share of challenges (if you’ve read the book, you know I am not exaggerating), I would be none too pleased to know that my tragedies were laid bare for the delight of folks who more than likely do not have enough going on in their own lives, so they choose to live vicariously through mine. That kind of betrayal and hateful behavior is inexcusable and breaks down the principles of humanity that are so lacking in our society.

That being said, if you (the general populous) do not want people regaling others with tales of your discontent, keep your private life private. Everyone does not need to know how happy or unhappy you are in your relationships or at your job or with your children. Before social media, people seemed quite content with dating, working, building careers and businesses and living their lives without broadcasting each intimate detail of their existence to millions. And I am not talking about promoting your business or events or accomplishments in order to drive growth. There is a big difference between incorporating social media as a billboard for your business and using it as your private diary. One enhances your reputation and the other could potentially destroy it.

Ladies, stop thinking because your boyfriend or husband does not broadcast your “relationship status”, it is because he is 1350409147_barack-obama-michelle-obama-lgup to something. Gentlemen, stop wondering why your lady is not building you up as “King of the World” on a social networking site. The only people who should know what is happening behind closed doors are the people living within the four walls. Trust and respect who you are with and live your lives accordingly. No, I am not proclaiming that I am an authority on how to live life in the public eye. On the contrary, I do the best I can to keep my personal life where it needs to be, personal. Everything is not for everybody. I have seen way too many families, couples and friendships fall apart because the sanctity of those relationships were compromised because of gossip, folks being messy or individuals sharing pain with the wrong people. Friends, family and anyone reading this blog, I urge you: Before you sit down and type out a knee jerk diatribe of emotion and feelings that reveal way too much about your current situation remember: you never know who is reading, watching, taking notes and hoping that downfall you choose to broadcast leaves you flat on your back and whimpering in pain. Resolve today to never have your humiliation, integrity, reputation, and/or future sold to the highest bidder (who, oftentimes, is the Devil) for some undisclosed amount.