The Darker Side


late 17th century: from Latin effervescent- ‘boiling up,’ from the verb effervescere (see effervesce).


First thought:  Don Ho singing Tiny Bubbles. 

I suppose it’s kind of surprising I would think of that, because it’s about wine–and I don’t drink any alcoholic beverages at all.  Still, it was a very popular song when I was  very much younger, and it has a melody that stays in my head.

So.  The next thing that comes to mind comes from my counseling experience. I hope you don’t mind if I change my hat for a few minutes.

Effervescent people make us feel good. They seem to be full of life, joy, endless  happiness. They’re delightful to be with, and they’re very popular.  Here’s one you all know and loved, who had the ability to keep us all in stitches with his energetic humor:

Image result for Robin Williams

If you look closely, you can see the sadness in his eyes. Here’s another one that, I believe, is more reflective of his inner turmoil:

Image result for Robin Williams

Did he have Bipolar Disorder?  I’ve thought for a long time that he did. After he died, there were lots of articles about him.  Many claimed that he did, indeed, have Bipolar symptoms. He was at his funniest when he was manic. The manic end of Bipolar doesn’t always manifest as anger or rage.  It can also be extreme hyperactivity, including incessant talking.  As for the depressive end, we’re hearing a lot about Bipolar Depression these days.  It is truly debilitating.  Worse than clinical depression, which lacks the manic aspect.

I haven’t studied Williams at length.  I don’t know if he was on medication.  I don’t know if he drank (alcohol plus psychomedications is a very bad combination).  I don’t know anything about his youth–if he experienced any abuse  (not unusual in people who later develop severe depression/bipolar symptoms).

What we all know, now, is that underneath the effervescent hilarity with which he entertained us for years, he was a deeply sad, unhappy man.

I see people like this every now and then. Their public persona is that of bubbly, happy, joyful, upbeat people. Under that, though, is what brings them to my office. Sadness, a sense of worthlessness, of never quite being good enough, of loneliness and having no purpose or direction, of always just missing the mark.

There is another side to every story. Sometimes that other side is the exact opposite of what people let us see.

RDP: Effervescent


4 thoughts on “The Darker Side

  1. Well stated. I would never have thought that he was ever sad, but now I realize that what we see is not always what is real. This past needs to be read by many people, because suicide seems to be in the news every day, and that saddens me.

    Liked by 1 person

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