There is more focus today than ever before on our mental health. From wellbeing and mindfulness to anxiety and depression, if there’s one thing we’re certain, it’s that your own state of wellbeing can change in an instant, for any reason. It’s only now that celebrities such as Bressie and Lena Dunham are attempting to really raise further public awareness and encourage others to speak out. To remind us that you don’t have to go through grief and turmoil alone, that you’re not the only one. From Kylie Jenner’s emotive words on anxiety to Jennifer Lawrence equally powerful words on coping in the spotlight, they are leading an inspirational group of women and men who are coming to the fore reminding us all that it’s always okay to speak out and that you should never be ashamed to ask for help. The latest public figure to post some stirring thoughts on anxiety and depression is Zelda Williams, daughter of the late actor, Robin Williams. This week marked a full year since the tragic death of the gifted performer, and his young daughter took to social media, using a heartfelt Instagram post to surmise her thoughts on the last 12 months since the sudden loss of her father. Her words are genuine and touchingly heartfelt, and have resonated with many who have read them.
Moonrise on the lake I spent this night shivering and laughing under a clear, cold sky full of stars with people I love just to witness something beautiful. We mooned the moon and laughed ourselves hoarse, and I’m so incredibly grateful for every silly second. I came to a realization this year that I feel compelled to share here, for whomsoever may need it: Avoiding fear, sadness or anger is not the same thing as being happy. I live my sadness every day, but I don’t resent it anymore. Instead, I do it now so that the wonderful moments of joy I do find are not in order to forget, but to inhabit and enjoy for their own sake. It’s not easy. In fact, I’d say it takes much more effort to consciously do than it does to just stay sad, but with all my heart, I cannot tell you how worth it it is. And for those suffering from depression, I know how dark and endless that tunnel can feel, but if happiness seems impossible to find, please hold on to the possibility of hope, faint though it may be. Because I promise you, there’re enough nights under the same yellow moon for all of us to share, no matter how or when you find your way there.
She said she felt “compelled to share” her thoughts as she accepted her own sadness, and wanted to reach out to anyone who has ever felt the same. ” I came to a realization this year that I feel compelled to share here, for whomsoever may need it: Avoiding fear, sadness or anger is not the same thing as being happy. I live my sadness every day, but I don’t resent it anymore.”
Williams explained that her willingness to feel pain has allowed her to fully experience happiness in her life, as well.
“The wonderful moments of joy I do find are not in order to forget, but to inhabit and enjoy for their own sake,” Williams added.
The 26-year-old then reached out to anyone battling mental illness, offering support and sympathy.
“And for those suffering from depression, I know how dark and endless that tunnel can feel,” Williams wrote, “but if happiness seems impossible to find, please hold on to the possibility of hope, faint though it may be.” An outpouring of gratitude for Williams’s words came in the days following her post. Many of those who commented shared their personal stories of grief, loss, or battles with mental illness. Her positive, empowering words in such a time of sadness are yet another reminder that naturally, depression and anxiety can affect anyone (public figure or not), but that it is possible to come out the other side too. Though everyone will have their own process for dealing with turmoil, it’s always uplifting to see another speak out about an issue that is still stigmatised. Judging from the mass of comments below her post, Williams’ emphatic words reached many people, and made them feel a little less alone, which is a wonderful thing.