In July of 2017, Chester Bennington committed suicide. Linkin Park fans and what seemed like the entire world mourned the death of a “voice of our generation” as it was quoted in the news. Chester was 41.
On surface level, it may seem like I’m joining the rest of the world as we mourn the tragic death of a celebrity who we didn’t personally know. One may even echo the phrases “bandwagon” and “sensationalizing the topic” when hearing of just how hard I took the news. A similar outpour of opinions were also raised when the Original Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” became a hit overnight earlier this year. The main premise of the show was a teenage girl who committed suicide and documented on tape the 13 reasons why she chose to end her life. I saw the first episode, and I was hooked. So, to most people– it may appear that I’m just joining the bandwagon of relevant topics once they become popular… Of course, those people wouldn’t know the real reason why this topic hits close to home for me.
You see, depression and suicide is something that I have first hand experience with. I’ve felt the desperation and loneliness that drives someone to believe that the world would be better off without them. That’s what it really was for me… a sacrifice that I was willing to pay in order for the world to be better off without me. The darkness that I lived in was something that I learned to hide from the public eye. I would smile and even sometimes laugh, but I kept my distance from people. I cut off friendships and didn’t even care to immerse myself in high school life. From the outside, it appeared that I was a typical teenage girl with an older boyfriend who I thought I loved.
But, the relationship was toxic. We were young and naïve and didn’t realize the destruction we were causing each other. I felt worthless and desperate. I spent countless nights alone in my room, crying myself to sleep. Often times, I found solace in the lyrics and voice of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park….
“Crawling in my skin, these wounds they will not heal. Fear is how I fall….confusing what is real”- Linkin Park “Crawling”
Honestly, it seems like a dream. I’ve even moved myself past the memory and forgotten that night. But then Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell happen. And my past pain resurfaces.
I’ve described it before as a time when a “dark cloud” constantly loomed over me. I would cry out for help, but didn’t find the support I needed. I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t imagine my future. I didn’t want to.
The topic of suicide and depression is something that means a lot to me, because I’ve personally lived through it. From my personal experience, depression comes and goes. Depression consumed me yet again in the form of “postpartum depression” when I first became a mother. It runs in my family history, and something that I constantly have to check myself from. Thankfully, I have learned to be positive and happy. I surround myself with people and family who truly care about me.
I consider myself a survivor, when so many have lost the battle to personal demons. For that, I am grateful and also feel obliged to share my story and increase awareness around mental health and depression.