11/2/2023 (Day #4327)
1. Why did I choose this book?
I chose this book for several reasons. On a personal, casual level, I wanted to read it because I’ve been a self-proclaimed Robin Williams “superfan” all the way back to his Mork days. His comedy and delivery were just appealing to me. On the self-improvement level of my choosing it, his death by suicide after years of his own self-described self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to deal with loneliness and depression resonated deeply within me, and I wanted to read this book for any insight and relatability it could offer. On the “research” level, informally, I chose it for ideas about structure and composition that could help me with my own book idea. (I have an anecdotal project in mind with collaboration from a mental health professional to add insight and assessment of my behaviors and thinking in my life-experiences. The idea is to help others identify similar behaviors in themselves or loved ones and be able to intervene before they wind up in the same consequences I’m in.)
2. What did I learn from reading this book?
Written after his passing, this author’s structure and depth of exposition informed my perspective about details and how to relate them, which is helpful for my own project. On the relatability aspect, I understood similarities in the self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. I could relate to being an only child, and having long-held feelings of “loneliness in a crowded room” and even when involved in serious romantic relationships.
I actively seek out books others have written about their experiences with depression and alcohol/drug abuse because I want to gather as much “intel” as I can about symptoms, behaviors, and feelings in my own “database”. I’m a believer in “information is power”, and the more information I have about mental health struggles I dealt with, and others’ experiences, how they addressed them, I’m of the opinion I’ll be better equipped and more aware in the future so I can avoid relapse and/or regression. This book also emphasized the roles of willingness, support, and treatment to contribute to effective therapy and sobriety.
3. How will reading this book contribute to my post-release success?
Information is power, and this book provided some excellent insight about symptoms, behaviors, and recovery. Some of it I can relate to, some of it is unfamiliar – like the celebrity aspect. I’ve filed away the relevant information as supplemental data for my healthy behavior and coping strategies “toolbox”.
Mr. Williams’ commitment and devotion to his children, efforts to be a good father to them throughout his struggles hits especially hard with me. His children’s’ love and adoration for him despite his flaws serves as an aspirational reminder for me to persevere in my self-improvement efforts despite any circumstances so that I’m prepared and capable if and/or when reconnection or reconciliation opportunities arise.