I thought that this would be a good subject considering that recently Chester Bennington died of suicide. I love Linkin Park and went to their Projekt Revolution Concert as my second Ever Concert. I loved their lyrics and felt very connected with those lyrics. When Robin Williams died, my dad told someone, “I guess depression is real because if someone like Robin Williams who is successful can take his life, than my daughter can be depressed….”
My own father, who had to drive me to the hospital when I was 14 to get my stomach pumped because I tried to kill myself before finals week. My father, who had to move my stuff out of a room I was renting at 23 because I had been hospitalized for another attempt, had to have a famous person die to realize how serious depression is.
I don’t think of Suicide as someone killing themselves. I think of the person not having the proper tools and support to be so hopeless that if they don’t take their lives, they are a burden to the entire world, no matter how big or small their world is. As a pagan, I can honestly say that I’ve made friends with my demons and learned that I can sit with those thoughts and just let them pass and move on. And when it gets really bad, I have my partner reminding me that it’s my illness and not me who is controlling my thoughts and my emotions. I have a great therapist, I have learned Mindfulness through her. She tells me, “just be in the moment, be aware of the thought, sit in it, realize it is a thought and let it go”. Sometimes that thought lasts hours or days, but I allow myself that depression because it is a part of me, it is not who I am.
I have been Overwhelmed countless times, and this year I have had family emergencies and medical issues preventing me from being financially stable causing emotional and mental thoughts of worthlessness. I have also had many activities and people paying it forward making me extremely grateful I am alive and they are my friends and family.
I don’t know what he was thinking, But I know that Mental illness killed him. He didn’t choose to kill himself, no his illness said he wasn’t worth being alive and he couldn’t live with that. He took the way out, he decided that his illness was too much torture, for some people, mental illness is torture. we are tortured on a daily/hourly/minute to minute basis. we have no control when it will happen, sometimes it is triggered, sometimes we wake up and just can’t function… but we do. we battle it Daily, and we survive, and we strive and we thrive.
For those of you who have been posting the suicide hotline or reporting facebook friends who post about suicide or depressive thoughts, remember there’s a person who is needing a kind thought or prayer on the other side. They are expressing what they feel at the moment, not just to cry for help, but to make the thought out there and possibly let it go. Sometimes reaching out to them and texting or calling is a better way of being a friend than reporting them. The suicide hotline is not a counseling hotline, they ask you to go to the hospital if you feel like harming yourself, or call 911 if you are perceived as a threat. I’ve called, I know. Be the change, friends help each other up. Stop putting us in a box, we are more than just our illness. Help us break the Stigma. We are fighting just to feel normal and a part of the society as a whole.
Thank you Chester for surviving and thriving long enough to give us music that has saved lives and connected people to each other. I’m sorry you left us because it was too hard. I hope your journey Beyond is more peaceful then the Journey you left us.