Chester Bennington

Linkin Park Singer Chester Bennington Dies By Suicide

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Chester Bennington, the lead singer for Linkin Park, died by suicide, TMZ reported on Thursday. The singer was 41 years old.

According to TMZ, Bennington struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for years, and said he had suicidal ideations after being abused as a child by an older man.

Bennington was friends with Chris Cornell, the lead singer for Soundgarden, who died by suicide in May. After Cornell’s passing, Bennington shared an open letter to the singer on Twitter, thanking him for talent and friendship.

Reacting to the news, fans and friends shared their condolences as well as how Bennington and his music affected them.

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If this news is hard for you, know you are not alone — and there is help for people who are feeling suicidal. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

Editor’s note: The Mighty follows suicide prevention experts’ recommendations for reporting on suicide. When sharing or reporting Bennington’s death, please refrain from sharing the method.

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 “START” to 741-741.

If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Photo via Linkin Park Facebook.

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Functionally Suicidal: The Truth About Living on Borrowed Time

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I’m not good right now.
I’m not well at all.

But here I am!
Right over here.
I’m still alive.

Beating the odds
As I’m holding on by a thread.
Walking a tight rope 50 feet from the ground wishing the wind would blow me off
Onto some rich douchebag’s BMW.
Splat.
Fall down go boom.

And yet within this self-destructively suicidal wish,
I hope a magical safety net would fly from out of nowhere to catch me as I fall.
And I wish someone was there.
Anyone who would give a fuck enough about me to hold me as I break the fuck down.

But yet here I am.
Alone.
Me against the world.
Fighting the good fight.
Trying every day to walk away from the darkness toward the light.

Functionally suicidal I guess
As I try to live a normal life.

I still go to work every day.
I pay my bills
I file my taxes
I write these blog posts.

I try to remain as hopeful as I can.
But I’m crumbling inside.
I’m drowning
In a sea of self-doubt and regret.
I’m sucked into the unrelenting quicksand of my blackened mind.
Choking.
Suffocating.

I continue to willingly live with the darkest recesses of my poisoned mind.
The darkness is slowing overtaking the light.
In here everything stays the same
And nothing will ever fucking change.

I can’t fucking take this shit anymore!

So the eternal question still remains:
Should I stay or should I go?

The continually running juxtaposed narrative of wishing I was dead
Yet by finding too much beauty in the world I’ve made at least one excuse to live.

The bitter pill of truth says
I am just as worthless as I was when I was at age 16.
The sweetness of the nectar of lies says
I can survive to fight another day.

This is the co-dependent duality of my fucked up so-called life.

I don’t know how I’ve made it this far.
I don’t know why I’m still alive.

But I am.
I’m still here.

I keep going.
I keep moving.
I keep living.

And I’m still fucking standing.

I’m not sure if I’ll make it to age 65.
I’m not sure if I’ll make it to this summer.
I’m not even sure if I’ll make it to tomorrow.

Living on borrowed time in this temporary shell of skin and bone and blood.
Functionally suicidal I guess.

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But I can try
To stay alive
To live to see another day.

I have to try
To stay alive
So I can see another sunset
Or see anther sunrise.

I need to try
To stay alive
So I won’t die.

 This piece was originally posted on The Lithium Chronicles

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.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Unsplash Photo via Glenn Carstens-Peters

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To the Man on the Other Side of My Suicide Hotline Call

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

To the kind man on the other side of the suicide hotline,

I wish to say thank you.

Thank you for listening to me.

Thank you for helping make sure I was safe.

Thank you for keeping me alive.

I wanted to die.

But you talked me down and listened to me ramble for an hour.

You reminded me of all I have to live for and how even though things suck right now,

I will be OK again.

You took me seriously.

You didn’t sugarcoat things and you weren’t afraid of what I had to say.

You helped me make a plan to stay safe.

You laughed with me and cried with me.

You gave me suggestions of things to watch on Netflix.

You kept me alive.

And I appreciate it.

So Garrett — that was your name — thank you.

You don’t know how much you did for me.

I was afraid to call.

I didn’t think I was bad enough to call, but then I looked down at where I had self-harmed, and I was scared.

Because I wanted to die, but I didn’t want to die.

I wanted the pain to end. I wanted the ache in my chest to stop.

But I didn’t want to die.

And I am extremely grateful I did call.

Because I could have died last night.

But today is a new day.

And I am here to see it.

The pain is still there and I don’t ache any less, but I am still here and that is a victory in and of itself.

So if you are feeling like I did, please reach out.

Because you matter.

I can’t tell you it’s going to get better because I’m not there either, but we can ride out the waves together.

Choose to stay.

Follow this journey on Adventures in the Life of Tay.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

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If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Rawpixel.

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15 Questions People Who've Been Suicidal Wish They Had Been Asked

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

When a loved one is thinking about suicide, it can sometimes feel hard to know what to do or say.

Maybe a co-worker expressed to you in passing they felt no one would notice if they were gone. Maybe a family member expressed to you they wished they wouldn’t wake up tomorrow. Or maybe a friend confided in you about a concrete plan to end their life. Whatever the situation may be, that kind of talk is serious, and shouldn’t be ignored.

We wanted to know what questions to ask someone who is feeling suicidal, so we asked members of our mental health community to share one question they wished they had been asked when they were feeling suicidal. It’s important to remember every person who experiences suicidal thoughts needs something different. Questions can be a great starting point, but shouldn’t be the end. Action following these questions can help people feel tangibly cared for and loved.

If you suspect a friend is feeling suicidal, don’t panic, and do not shy away from asking directly. It is a myth that asking if a friend is suicidal will “put the idea in their head.”

Here’s what they had to say:

1.Do you want to hang out? Often at my worst times I’ve always felt isolated and alone. It hasn’t been until this year that people really started taking note and inviting me out when I started to feel isolated.” — Kira M.

2. Can I lie here with you? I didn’t need more words. My head had enough of those. I did need a hug to know that yes, I did exist to someone.” — Michelle M.

3. What’s the worst thing you’re thinking or feeling right now? When I feel really badly, I feel obligated to hide it from people. It would be such a relief to know I’m allowed to say the worst of it out loud to someone.” — Elizabeth M.

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4. “I wish someone asked me what was going on or how they could help. I wish someone listened to me. [In my experience,] people don’t even give a check up text if it’s not convenient for them. It’s sad, I tried talking to friends but they pushed it under the rug.” —Ashley M.

5. “I wish they would just straight up ask me if I was suicidal. I always get questions like, ‘How are you doing?’ ‘Are you OK?’ ‘Any bad thoughts?’ ‘You having a good or bad day?’ and so many other ones [that seem] to avoid the word ‘suicide.’ When these people avoid saying suicide or asking if I’m feeling suicidal, I feel like they don’t want to know how I’m really feeling. “ — Makayla F.

6.Can I hold your hand tonight? I think it’s important to be able to sit with someone who’s suicidal and not look for a Band-Aid… [Just] sit with them without judgment and let them feel someone just be there.” — Gyna R.

7. How can I help? And if [I] don’t know, [I] really don’t. Just be there.” — Jessi W.

8. Why? A simple question I’ve never been asked in an honestly interested way. No judgment, no clumsy try to make my issues seem less important than I felt they were. Asking why with the true intent of understanding, and maybe even forgiving me. Caring for me without getting to hate me for my thoughts. That’s what I’d have needed. What I still sometimes need.” — Lydia D.

9. Can I stay with you? Sometimes when I’m suicidal, all I need is someone to be present with me — to physically not be alone and to feel the presence of another person who is there wanting me alive.” — Alyse R.

10. Are you actually OK? If anyone would have actually said that and made eye contact it would have made me feel like someone actually cared. No one ever tried to push past the ‘Yeah, I’m fine,’ and I really wish someone would have.” — Kacey K.

11.Can I come over/can I come pick you up? I’ve got (a movie/board game/card game/new makeup/etc.) and (takeout/popcorn/candy/cake mix/etc). It would just be nice for someone to see what’s going on, and just want [to] be with me. [Please] don’t ‘help’ me or talk me out of something. Just be there. Literally. Distract me. Make me have fun.” — Brianne O.

12.Do you want help with some of your chores? Can you talk to me about this? How are you feeling? Can you tell me what it feels like so I can understand what you’re going through? Is there anything I can do to support you through your struggle? Any of these would be nice.” — Devin L.

13.Do you want me to take you to the hospital? I never want to say that out loud despite thinking it because I don’t want to be a burden and get people worried, but I would appreciate if someone took my feelings seriously and asked me that question.” — Valentina V.

14. How can I help? People used to hear I’m suicidal and back off, apologizing and disappearing until I was ‘better.’ The help I needed wouldn’t have been huge — a text or a visit to my house when I was to anxious to go out, a tag in a silly meme, but unless they asked, ‘How can I help?’ I was never going to tell them any of that.” — Ciara L.

15. The one thing I always always need to hear, is this: I won’t leave you.” — Krystal S.

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 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via _____.


15 Questions People Who've Been Suicidal Wish They Had Been Asked
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Kesha Talks About Suicidal Thoughts and 'Praying' With Sirius XM

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After releasing “Praying” last Thursday, a single from her first album in four years, Kesha spoke with Sirius XM about what inspired the song — and more specifically — the music video’s opening monologue that alludes to her having suicidal thoughts.

At the beginning of her music video, Kesha says:

Am I dead? Or is this one of those dreams, those horrible dreams, that seem like they last forever? If I am alive, why? If there is a god, or whatever, something, somewhere, why have I been abandoned by everyone and everything I’ve ever known? I’ve ever loved? Stranded, what is the lesson? What is the point? God give me a sign or I have to give up. I can’t do this anymore. Please just let me die. Being alive just hurts too much.

“Being alive just hurts too much.”

It’s a familiar feeling for those who’ve experienced deep depression or suicidal thoughts. Referring to the strong word choice in her monologue, the Sirius XM interviewer asked Kesha if she had ever contemplated suicide.

“If I were being totally honest, I had moments, because I didn’t know where I was going or what I was going to do,” she said.

Kesha’s admittance and willingness to share her deepest thoughts is important because too often, suicidal thoughts don’t get addressed until a person is in crisis. But even if you don’t feel like you’re going to kill yourself right now, passive suicidal thoughts are often an indicator something is wrong — and addressing them while they’re passive can prevent you or someone you care about from reaching a crisis point in the first place.

That’s why we need more people like Kesha to not only talk about being depressed but to normalize suicidal thoughts. Not “normalize” as in we should dismiss them, or treat having them as “no big deal,” rather we need to acknowledge that there’s nothing wrong with having suicidal thoughts, and you should never be ashamed to talk about them.

Kesha said she found purpose in creating her latest album, and that showing up at the studio each day is what kept her going when she was fighting depression.

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I think it’s healthy to actually talk about feeling really down, because life can be a f**king bitch sometimes. And I think the beautiful part is you hold onto hope, and you don’t give up, and you keep going and you keep showing up for yourself, and for me, it was, I would roll out of bed, and I would get in the car, and I would drive to the studio, and I would just keep making songs, and that was my coping, that was my way to cope with how I was feeling depressed.

If you’re depressed or having suicidal thoughts, you have purpose too. Don’t wait until things get “bad enough” to reach out and talk about it. You can talk to a compassionate counselor by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “HOME” to 741-741.

It’s also important to note that although not everyone will be comfortable being blunt about their suicidal thoughts, there are other warning signs to look out for when someone is seriously thinking about suicide. We should thrive to create an environment where people can talk about suicide and suicidal thoughts, but in the mean time, click here to find other important risk factors to keep in mind.

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 “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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The 3 'First Steps' I Took After My Suicide Attempt

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I am a suicide attempt survivor. I tried to take my life on a lonely night. I was out of the country at a friend’s house when life had gotten particularly low. It is only because some small sliver of hope still had a voice in me that I am alive today. That voice convinced me to call my counselor and after a lot of talking, my counselor convinced me to call 911.

There was a moment when she didn’t think I would call. I think her willingness to be with me in what could have been my final moment is what tipped my scales and got me to call.

What resulted was a horrible experience of ambulances, hospitals, embarrassment and mostly shame.

Bouncing back after my suicide attempt wasn’t easy. And that is what this article is about.

My thoughts went back to that time 8 years ago. Things had gotten so bad in my mind that suicide seemed to be my only choice. At that time, I didn’t think I mattered and my self-loathing was overwhelming. After my suicide attempt, every single moment was a struggle. I had no idea how I was going to make it now that I had decided to live.

I am such a different person now. The new people in my life wouldn’t believe I’d ever been severely depressed — let alone suicidal. They’d hardly believe I even still deal with depression and anxiety and that I’ve just learned effective coping strategies and radical self-care practices that have led me out of the “bad zones.” They see me as a bright, bubbly, always positive ray of sunshine.

After my suicide attempt, every single moment was a struggle. I had no idea how I was going to make it now that I had decided to live.

So how did I get here? How did I get from where I was 8 years ago, trying to bounce back from a suicide attempt on my own to bright and silver lining focused?

It was a long process but these are three of the first steps I took:

1. Distraction.

When I attempted suicide, I was in a foreign country, without close friends or family. After my hospital experience, I had to ride a bus 16 plus hours back home to a city where I didn’t have anyone but my counselor to help me rebuild. Needless to say, I was clearly still in danger mentally. One of the first things that helped me stay alive was distraction. Heavy thoughts were no good at all. So to keep my mind occupied, I distracted myself with any and everything. That meant becoming hyper-focused on whatever was in front of me. I let myself get distracted by the people around me, by the pattern on the seats, by choosing what snack to grab from the vending machine, etc. Anything that would occupy my mind sufficed. I just had to keep my mind busy and the busier I could keep my mind, the more time would pass and then all of a sudden, I would have gotten through a day. And another day. And another day. For a long time, that’s exactly how I made it.

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2. I celebrated mini victories.

When I think about the way I thought before, it amazes me I survived. I even had the belief once that not being able to kill myself was yet another example of my inadequacy. Inadequacy was a major theme and being a failure ran through the core of it. So when I was rebuilding myself, I had to make my focus small. I told myself that just for right now, any little thing I do is a reason to celebrate. If I got out of bed that day, I celebrated. If I made tea that day, I celebrated. Actually making dinner — that was cause for bells and whistles.

It didn’t matter that I didn’t have anyone to celebrate with me. I wrote my little wins down in my journal and reminded myself I was doing so well. I reminded myself I was just a short time away from deciding I didn’t want to be around anymore, so just the fact I’d decided to stay was major. I reminded myself I had at least earned the right to just focus on the small things. I comforted myself and patted my own self on the back. And I told myself that just for right now, that would be OK.

3. I made an important promise.

This is probably the most important thing I did. I was lucky there was someone around me that made me make this promise because it’s not something I thought of on my own. I think of this woman as my angel. She looked me in the eyes and she made me promise to her that no matter what, I would never attempt suicide again. And as hard as it was at the time, I promised her. To this day, that promise has been a savior in my life. There have been times that this promise has been the hook that has pulled me out of a depressive spiral. Many times it has been the catalyst that has spurred me on to get help when I’ve needed it.

Why does a promise have so much power? To me, it’s not the promise part, because you can make promises to yourself that you can justify breaking. For me, it’s much more about who you make that promise to and what disappointing that person would mean for you. In my case, disappointing this beautiful woman that treated me so lovingly at a time when I really needed it was and is unbearable to think of. That is the key for me. If you choose to do this, make your promise to someone it would feel unbearable to disappoint and I believe it will keep you true to it. Find that person in your life — maybe she’s the recovery nurse or your best friend or your daughter or son or your great aunt or even someone who popped into your life for just a brief moment.

This is heavy stuff and the journey from attempting suicide to knowing without a doubt that you are loved and wanted and valuable can be a long one. But it starts with tiny steps. Putting one figurative foot in front of the other is the path forward. These are the tiny steps that set me on my path and my hope is they can help you step forward on yours. I invite you to join me over in my Facebook Group: Inner Goddess/Outer Glow where I share more about the tips and technique I use every day to keeping taking those positive steps forward. In the resource files there, you’ll find articles and worksheets that will help you along your way!

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post. Follow this journey here.

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 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Unsplash photo via William Stitt.

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