The nation is in mourning Monday night after the loss of one of America’s greatest comic icons. Robin Williams had been bringing joy to Americans ever since his time as the silly alien Mork on the 1980’s television series Mork and Mindy. However, Williams’ suicide is a grim reminder that you never really know what inner demons someone is fighting.
Williams had battled depression and drug addiction ever since his rapid ascent to stardom over 30 years ago. Williams spent the 1970s partying and abusing alcohol and cocaine before receiving a serious wakeup call in 1982. His best friend, original Saturday Night Live cast member John Belushi, died of a drug overdose, and Williams was one of the last people to see the comedian alive.
After this, Williams decided that he needed to achieve sobriety and face his demons head-on. He managed to stay sober for almost 25 years, but suffered a relapse in 2006. According to The Daily Mail, Williams spoke about his relapse in a revealing interview with Diane Sawyer.
“It’s the same voice thought that … you’re standing at a precipice and you look down, there’s a voice and it’s a little quiet voice that goes, ‘Jump,'” Williams told Sawyer.
Then, in typical Williams form, he tried to laugh off the serious situation by adding “It’s fine now, I’m OK. Then, the next thing you know, it’s not OK. Then you realize, ‘Where am I? I didn’t realize I was in Cleveland.'”
All seemed to be going well again until this summer, when Williams once again entered a treatment center, only this time he kept his reasons for being there private.
In the coming days, what exactly drove Williams to take such drastic action may become more clear. Regardless, the legendary comedian will be missed by a generation of Americans who grew up with his jolly humor.
Thanks for the laughs, Robin Williams.