Learning of Chester Bennington’s Suicide as Someone Who’s Been Suicidal
I really hated Thursday. It was an exceptionally shitty day even before I decided to check out Facebook. Then it got so much worse.
I didn’t go through the denial period this time. I saw all the headlines and just accepted them as fact. Chester Bennington died by suicide and it’s suddenly May all over again. I just barely got over Chris Cornell’s passing and now that wave of “why’s” and “what now’s” has come crashing back down on me. I am once again so terribly shaken by someone I knew only through his gift of writing.
You see, Chester is another major reason I am even alive and well enough to write this right now. His music was another one of those things my suicidal, teenage soul desperately clung to. On those lonely nights, he was the friend that totally understood my inner workings, but loved me anyway. I used to sit in my room, with “Hybrid Theory” and “Meteora” in my stereo, feeling relief with the words I was hearing. Finding hope in the fact that he was like me and maybe that meant I wasn’t completely worthless. The exact feelings I got from his good friend’s lyrics, who would have been 53 years old that day.
I texted my husband while he was at work to let him know what happened and to apologize for the next several days, as I go through another emotional grieving process. He called me shortly after to say he understood and that he loved me. He and my mother are always worried when this happens. They always make sure I am in as good of a mental state as I can be because they know where my mind goes.
I am very weary of my distant future, as a person with suicidal thoughts and as the surviving daughter of someone who died by suicide. I like to think I would never again turn my thoughts into a plan. But I feel a little less sure of my ability to never make that decision, every time I hear of anyone’s passing in this way. I try so damn hard to keep my mind out of that darkness, but it always finds a way to creep into that endless abyss of self-doubt. I never want to go there, but these are the worst of my intrusive thoughts.
I just try to keep reminding myself that everyone, including me, is enough. That we all have a purpose and we are all worthy of life and of love. That if we make it more comfortable to speak up, we will lose less people to their mental demons. The silence must be broken so the stigma can be stopped.
These two amazing artists we lost, in this way too short time period, were giving us so many warning signs all along. But their masks were so strong, no one could see their true pain. I truly wish they had known, that in the end, they really did matter. They mattered so much.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.
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Lead photo via Ipilas YouTube channel.