Henry Rollins Understands and Is Sorry
By Walter Price
As far as I know I’ve never suffered from any form of chronic depression but I have had to deal with suicides in my lifetime. I fully understand the emotional confusion when someone close to my family has taken the fast track and I understand where Henry Rollins was coming from when he wrote his recent article published in the LA Weekly about his feelings of disappointment and disapproval of Robin Williams decision to leave the world.
When someone with this level of exposure dies in this way, it is confusing. An Oscar-winning actor, well-paid, with a career that most performers could only dream of — how could anyone so well regarded and seemingly fortunate have as much as even a single bad day, much less a life so unendurable that it has to be voluntarily voided?
How in the hell could you possibly do that to your children? I don’t care how well adjusted your kid might be — choosing to kill yourself, rather than to be there for that child, is every shade of awful, traumatic and confusing. I think as soon as you have children, you waive your right to take your own life. No matter what mistakes you make in life, it should be your utmost goal not to traumatize your kids. So, you don’t kill yourself.
I know some people will disagree. And I get that you can’t understand anyone else’s torment. All that “I feel your pain” stuff is bullshit and disrespectful. You can appreciate it, listen and support someone as best you can, but you can’t understand it. Depression is so personal and so unique to each of us that when you’re in its teeth, you think you invented it. You can understand your own, but that’s it. When you are severely depressed, it can be more isolating than anything else you have ever experienced. In trying to make someone understand, you can only speak in approximation. You are truly on your own.
Those statements struck all sorts of nerves around the world, according to Rollins who has now issued an apology via his social media. Which I also get but it makes me wonder when do your true emotions warrant an apology? Outside of racist, homophobic and direct disparaging remarks, hatred towards someone or a group…This world of “I’m sorry” seems to be getting watered down. I wonder who really thought Rollins had any sort of malice or directed hurt in his soul when he wrote the letter…
Kudos to Rollins for speaking his mind, both in his original letter and in his mea culpa.
Henry Rollins Statement via Facebook
“For the last 9+ hours, I have been answering letters from people from all over the world. The anger is off the scale and in my opinion, well placed.
The article I wrote in the LA Weekly about suicide caused a lot of hurt. This is perhaps one of the bigger understatements of all time. I read all the letters. Some of them were very long and the disappointment, resentment and ringing clarity was jarring.
That I hurt anyone by what I said, and I did hurt many, disgusts me. It was not at all my intent but it most certainly was the result.
I have had a life of depression. Some days are excruciating. Knowing what I know and having been through what I have, I should have known better but I obviously did not. I get so mad when I hear that someone has died this way. Not mad at them, mad at whatever got them there and that no one magically appeared to somehow save them.
I am not asking for a break from the caning, take me to the woodshed as much as you see fit. If what I said has caused you to be done with me, I get it.
I wrote something for the LA Weekly that they will post on Monday. I wanted to get this out at this moment.
I am deeply sorry. Down to my marrow. I can’t think that means anything to you, but I am. Completely sorry. It is not of my interest to hurt anyone but I know I did.
Thank you for reading this. Henry”
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