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The Song That Reminds Me at Least One Person Cares

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I can never let Suicide Prevention Awareness Month pass without playing the song “One More Light” by Linkin Park, sung by Chester Bennington.

It presents such a beautiful message. You matter.

You might feel like the loneliest person in the world right now, your heart breaking from hopelessness, a devastating desperation clawing at your insides, clamoring for one reason, simply one reason to stay. How can you continue to go on feeling this way? This crushing pain that won’t let go of you. You can’t breathe and all you want is to leave it all behind. And yet…

This song begs you to stay. Asks you to remain. It orders you to ignore everyone who never had the brain to realize the incredible person that you are. It gracefully insinuates, you are good. You are needed. You matter.

You matter.

Maybe it feels like you’re a million light years away from happiness, and maybe that void in your stomach that only equates to emptiness causes you to feel like it will never be filled.

But I dispute that statement.

I’ve had your thoughts. I’ve been in your mind. Many times has my heart never seemed more connected to my head. I’ve plotted ways. I’ve mapped out dates. I’m telling you, I’ve been there. But I’m still here. Because miracles do exist. Because happiness belongs to everyone, and yet, there are those who seem to feel more entitled to it than others. Because I’ve been to the bottom of the defecated well, and climbed my way back up to the top. It wasn’t easy. It sure wasn’t pretty. But I did it. There is hope. You must believe it. You are not alone in your pain. You are not alone in your emotions. And those thoughts that might seem abnormal? You are not the first to think them.

I was so saddened to learn of Chester Bennington’s suicide that occurred only a couple of months after the band released and performed such a provoking song, “One More Light.” Chester asks, “Who cares if one more light goes out? I do.”

I know his friend Chris Cornell died by suicide only three months before Chester took his own life, so I’m sure that played a factor. However, we will never truly know the last thought that goes through someone’s mind the last millisecond of his or her life.

It’s hard not to quantify the statement, “You matter.” To whom and how many? But perhaps we can start with one person. Because odds are, they aren’t the only ones. Odds are, you are loved more than you could imagine.

I wish I could tell you I stayed because I was brave. I was courageous and decided I ain’t going down that easy. No. It wasn’t me being “strong.” I stayed because I was afraid to leave. Because honestly? I couldn’t deal. In that moment, in that space of angst and misery and an agony so unruly it rips you in two, you can only think of one way out. And when you don’t take it, you box the emotions back up. And save them for another day.

But that box only gets heavier as time goes by. And you never lessen the load, you just keep adding more and more to it. As humans, this is what we do. This is how we deal. We store things away because we don’t know what to do with what we have, especially something new, whether it be an object, an emotion or a new stage in your life. And when we get to that point. When we are suddenly trucking those boxes of baggage up the hill, at no point throwing things out or working through what’s inside, we start to buckle. The legs bend forward and now find ourselves tumbling down that hill.

I know not everyone is a fan of talking about their emotions, how they’re “feeling.” Some cultures even shun it and stigmatize the entire topic of “mental health.” But we have to talk about how we feel. We have to address our issues. We have to try and find a way to mend what is broken. To fix what needs repairing. And we can’t do it alone. We aren’t meant to do it alone.

I don’t want to generalize, so… let me be real here. When I considered suicide in the past, there was no one in the world who could make me feel better in that single moment. I never felt more alone. I couldn’t make myself happy, hence, no one else could. There was no solution in sight, and if there was no solution, how the hell was I supposed to be happy. Lucky for me, I decided to go to sleep instead of choosing the alternative. God saved me. But I’m not everyone.

Living a life impacted by depression makes me realize two things: 1. We are human, and we are meant to talk about our problems. 2. When suicide seems like the perfect solution, that is the time to pick up the phone and call somebody.

And I guarantee, that person will care.

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Originally published: November 4, 2020
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