More

Robin Williams' advice for people who are depressed is really touching and important.

In 1978, Robin Williams pretended it was 40 years later and explained what made him survive.

There's a quote going around the Internet attributed to Robin Williams that goes as follows: "You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."

Here's where that quote came from. Williams was performing at the Roxy in 1978 for a brand new comedy special on a little known network called HBO. In the audience were a surprising group of people: Henry Winkler (The Fonz), Tony Danza (before he was famous), and even John Ritter, who does a weird round of improv with Williams at the end of the video.




Robin Williams Live - the Roxy 1978 www.youtube.com


Trigger warning: discussion of suicidal thoughts. If you decide to start reading my personal story here, please read through the end.

When I was a kid, I was all over the map.

I was an ADD-riddled hyper-awkward nerd, jumping from thing to thing without a trackable train of thought, making jokes, going on tangents, freaking out, jumping around, and generally being weird. People didn't know how to talk to me.

At the time, I was struggling with the bullying I was getting regularly, and one of my hobbies was contemplating places to commit suicide. My grandfather's retirement community was seven stories tall and had a nice roof. I imagined plunging those seven stories to my death, and I'd show those bullies who was boss. Which was not the smartest thing to be thinking. Because they wouldn't realize anything. I'd be dead, and my family would have to live through that pain for the rest of their lives. It's the worst option ever, and you should never do it.

When I was 10 years old and discovered the genius of the comedy album "Reality ... What A Concept," I knew I had found a kindred spirit and role model in Robin Williams.

I wanted to be him. The kinetic energy he presented himself with reminded me of me, and I figured even though kids bullied me for being a freak, there was someone else who made it out of school in one piece who acted like me in a small way. I memorized his routine like it was Shakespeare. (And, in fact, at one point, he did a Shakespeare routine about porn.) I told the jokes to friends even though I didn't get half of them.

Robin Williams was everything to me. His jokes made me realize there was more to life than just ending it. I started thinking about the family members I'd leave behind, how upset they'd be, and what I'd miss out on. I'd never get to perform at the Roxy. I'd never get to be on "Saturday Night Live."

When I heard about Williams' death by apparent suicide in August 2014, I was sad. For me, 28 years later, as a father, it wasn't him I was worried about. It was his children and the pain they were no doubt dealing with as their father lost his fight with depression.

The even worse thing about celebrity suicides is that they actually can be contagious. People see the glamorized tributes and start to think that somehow they are a good idea. Let me be clear, they aren't.

Listen to some advice from someone who knows and talked about it on Reddit:

I wish he would have listened to his own advice.

As we mourned, and continue to mourn, the loss of the incredible Robin Williams, please know that if you are suffering, you are not alone.

Many of us here at Upworthy have struggled with depression, and lots of things have helped us get better — from therapy to medication to yoga to meditation to running to memorizing comedy routines of incredibly talented people and other activities. And you can get better too.

If you are in distress right now, please call (800) 273-8255. We love you. Someone else loves you. And copying an incredibly self-destructive act with your own will only lead to more pain and suffering, not only for you, but for those who love you.

Share this and let those you love know how much they are loved, and if you need help, please just ask. There's a better way than what you may be thinking.

Former President George W. Bush and current president Donald Trump may both be Republicans but they have contrasting views when it comes to immigration.

Trump has been one of the most anti-immigrant presidents of recent memory. His Administration separated undocumented families at the border, placed bans on travelers from majority-Muslim countries, and he's proudly proclaimed, "Our country is full."

George W. Bush's legacy on immigration is a bit more nuanced. He ended catch-and-release and called for heightened security at the U.S.-Mexico border, but he also championed an immigration bill that created a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people.

Unfortunately, that bill did not pass.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less

I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

Keep Reading Show less

Roland Pollard and his 4-year-old daughter Jayden have been doing cheer and tumbling stunts together since Jayden could walk. When you see videos of their skills, the level of commitment is apparent—as is the supportive relationship this daddy has with his daughter.

Pollard, a former competitive cheerleader and cheer coach, told In The Know that he didn't expect Jayden to catch on to her flying skills at age 3, but she did. He said he never pressures her to perform stunts and that she enjoys it. And as a viral video of Jayden almost falling during a stunt shows, excelling at a skill requires good teaching—something Pollard appears to have mastered.

Keep Reading Show less