Robin WilliamsR.I.P. Robin Williams

I suspect that Robin William's immense talent and his chronic struggle with addiction were inextricably linked in ways most of us will never understand. In the words of Gabor Mate, "The difference between passion and addiction is that between a divine spark and a flame that incinerates." What saddens me most is knowing that underlying suicide, and not just for those struggling with addiction, is almost always a feeling of not belonging and of being a burden to those around them. These feelings constitute a reality that feels absolute and unresolvable to that individual. Our society's stigma around substance addiction concretely contributes to this situation for the addict and further isolates them in ways most people can't understand. This stigma is so culturally pervasive, it can shatter a person's sense of self, regardless of who they are. "We see that substance addictions are only one specific form of blind attachment to harmful ways of being, yet we condemn the addict's stubborn refusal to give up something deleterious to his life or to the life of others. Why do we despise, ostracize and punish the drug addict, when as a social collective, we share the same blindness and engage in the same rationalizations?"- Gabor Mate R.I.P. Robin Williams, and thank you for sharing your vulnerability with the world in such amazing ways.