The Main Thing I Want People to Know After Chester Bennington's Suicide
It breaks my heart that someone whose words spoke to so many people falls to mental illness.
Thursday, July 20, 2017, Chester Bennington died by suicide.
Reflecting on my youth, mainly freshmen year in high school, I remember how much of an impact Linkin Park’s music had on my life. Even at such a young age I was already dealing with so much. You grow up fast when you have a chronic illness, and that took a big toll on me. I also had issues with depression and self-harm. I was able to keep the self-harm a secret for a very long time and thankfully got the help I needed and no longer use that outlet.
More recently, I have been diagnosed with a couple mental illnesses and with help, I have been able to understand how and when most of my issues started. And I can work on it and hopefully one day say I am no longer depressed, no longer have rituals that need to be done in an exact order or that I don’t have to avoid crowds and social situations.
But the main thing I want you to get out of this is that I got help.
It’s OK to not be able to deal with it on your own.
It’s OK to ask for help.
It’s OK to break down.
“Meteora” had such an impact on me. I remember listening to the album over and over again. Being able to recite verse after verse on command. My notebooks had lyrics in every which way on the covers. The music helped me. And music has that affect on so many people. It’s one of the best ways to communicate if you can’t find the words yourself.
I am very glad to have been able to know (not really know, but know by musical outlet) Chester Bennington. His lyrics helped me through so much and I wish he had the same help I have. It’s always hard to lose someone by suicide. I’ve never had to experience it in my inner circle, but I have thought, really thought, about the effects it would have to those closest to me.
Part of my healing was/is to think about how my choices will affect those around me. And it’s very upsetting when I do.
I just want people to know that it is OK to have suicidal thoughts, but please get help.
No one needs to go at it alone.
I have called the Suicide Prevention Hotline.
No one will ever judge you for asking for help.
In my experience, people might not understand totally, but they will always help you through it.
I waited a bit too long to really get help. And I do not wish that kind of pain on anyone.
So if you ever need someone to talk to, I’ll be here. If you want someone to go with you to seek out professional help, I’ll do what I can to be there. If you want to go to a support group meeting, I’ll drive you and even share my story. And I guarantee that there is a family member, a cousin, a good friend, a boyfriend/girlfriend who will be there too.
So rest in peace Chester. I’ll keep your family and your soul in my prayers. I hope your loved ones can take peace in knowing you helped so many others. And I hope your story will give others the strength to open up and ask for help.
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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.
Lead photo via Linkin Park