The face of madness

I remember the first time I saw
Robin Williams. He was on Happy Days.

As an alien.

I identified with him since I always felt like an alien too.

Never felt like I fit in. The square peg in a round hole; living a cliche. A feeling that has pursued me my entire life. Misjudged and assumed to be a certain way, a certain type of girl.

I hated school. Drugs and alcohol made me cool. Settled my brain. Allowed me to engage. Participate.

Always though I clung to him. I devoured his movies and his madness, they made him accessible. Lovable. Real.

A champion.

Watching him strive, we saw him fail. His exploits a mirror to so many lives. Always moving forward. His addictions, a shark pursuing him.

He refused to sit in the box they defined. He broke it and paid for his disruption with their scorn.

I rooted for him. His madness and his sanity. I wanted him to win. To grow old. To be able to sit with his demons. Neither conquered, rather an uneasy truce. Coexist.

He did it, though. He broke through. They ate their words. Celebrated and feted. He gave hope too, that the struggle is worth the pain. Grow for yourself. Challenge your demons.

I loved him more when he made me cry.