The Mighty Logo

Thank You, Chester Bennington, for Opening My Eyes to My Own Depression

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

For a while, I’ve been living in this fog. I’m not sure that’s the right word for it, but it’s the best that comes to mind.

I’ve convinced myself I was in one of those periods in my depression where everything’s all right. I wasn’t feeling great, but I wasn’t in the deep dark depths for the time being. I’d manage to climb up the walls of the hole just enough to settle on a ledge to see a bit of light, knowing anything could knock me back down. For the last few weeks, I was sure this was where I was at. My depression wasn’t at its lowest, and I had some good days. This was odd because this is the period of the year where I tend to enter my particularly lowest times. I thought things would be different this year.

Then, I heard Chester Bennington had died by suicide.

Linkin Park was, and still is, a huge go-to for me when my days get back. I remember hearing “Numb” for the first time when I was around 13, just as my depression started. I burned it to a CD, swiped the portable CD player we kept in the house, and listened to it all the time I couldn’t be on the computer to play the music video on repeat.

When I heard of Chester’s passing, I rolled over and wrapped an arm around my dog and buried my face in her fur. This is something I do a lot when I’m overwhelmed. All of the sudden her fur became wet. I’d started to cry. Eventually my tears turned into full-on sobbing. My dog just curling around me as if to protect me.

Once I’d calmed down enough, I realized I’d been lying to myself. I wasn’t doing as OK as I wanted to believe I was. I was still in that dark hole. I was still at my lowest. I’d just somehow built this fantasy that everything was OK, that this year would be different. Despite every little thing irritating me and sleeping far more than normal, I believed I was OK.

Thank you, Chester, for opening my eyes and showing me I wasn’t OK. Thank you for breaking me out of my facade and showing me I needed to be honest with myself and those around me about how I’m doing. I wish it had been under better circumstances.

Thank you for all the help you’ve given me over the years and the help I know will continue as your legacy lives on for years to come. I hope you’ve found the peace you’ve struggled to find for years.

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.

Photo via Linkin Park Facebook

Originally published: July 23, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home