As with many people, I was a fan. First encountered him as Mork, was puzzled by him as Popeye, nearly peed myself listening to his comedy albums and concerts. His manic side made him famous but his melancholy was never too far from him. You couldn’t watch Moscow on the Hudson or Good Will Hunting or The Fisher King — a film that spoke to me particularly — without knowing that aspect of his personality was there. I read the stories of his early years, playing with army men up in the attic, lonely. I don’t know. Maybe some part of him never left that attic.
I know a lot of creative people and perhaps by correlation I know a lot of people who struggle with depression. They have told me (and they’ve told the world) how depression sits there, implacable, and drains the color out of the world until no success or joy matters. I believe them, and it becomes increasingly evident that no matter who you are or what you’ve achieved, depression is a good liar and it can make you believe none of it is worth the while.
I know and love too many people with depression to believe that it’s something that’s shameful to talk about or to acknowledge. I want them alive and I want them here with us. If you have depression I want you alive and here with us. Don’t let the moment take you. Don’t be afraid to get help. The people who love you want you here. Believe it.
That’s all I want to say about this at the moment.