Chester is gone and sometimes I want to be gone too.
Today, one of my favorite performers took his own life. Chester Bennington was a singer for Linkin Park. He was early into his forties with a family, father to six children.
I've seen countless posts today about how he had so much to live for, almost damning him for committing what he did.
It's something I feel I need to address.
As someone who has attempted suicide more than once, spent time in the pavilion for mental care, tried numerous types and dosages of medication, attended biofeedback therapy, seen multiple psychiatrists and counselors, I feel I have a duty to say something.
Suicide is not about selfishness. It's not about the law, or God, or religion, or what is "right" in anyone's eyes. It is NOT a personal attack against any of the things the world has to offer a person. That includes family members, friends, jobs, money, etc.
When I was low enough in the deepest, darkest depths of my mind, I did not "give up". My mind had me convinced that I was doing everyone a favor, that leaving the world behind would make everything so much better. That my family would no longer be burdened with my presence and all of the problems would be solved. It was an act of SELFLESSNESS. I felt I was giving a gift to the world in the form of my absence.
Suicide is not selfish.
As difficult as it may seem to wrap your head around, it is one of the only options, if not the only option those who are struggling can think of to show their love for their families. Because when it's that bad, that's all there is. The damaging effects of feeling alone force you down and down and down until the only answer that surfaces is death.
It may not make sense unless you've been there, but that is the terrifying reality.
In my case, I felt there was no way out of the darkness. No way to salvage my broken life. I didn't want to suffer and I most certainly did not want my family to suffer watching me drown in a deep depression. I didn't want to be the burden anymore, the one thing in their lives that they couldn't get a grasp on. And if I'm being honest, those thoughts still creep in every single day. I wish the world could understand the side of the ones who've died, and those who've attempted to die. I wish the world could see that it is a disease, a sometimes fatal illness that requires the utmost attention in order to find a coping technique or perhaps even cure. It's not a game. It's not an assault to anyone, it truly is a disease. Please, open your eyes. Open your hearts, see the truth, and help your friends and family members who are struggling to find true help. No matter how long it takes or how hard it is. Save them. No matter what.
I admire Chester for his courage, for his brave fight. I know that he must have struggled so much and so hard. My heart breaks that he could not find relief. We're all fighting to get better and he so very unfortunately lost his battle trying to make it through. I'm hurting with this.
Please pray, donate to mental health organizations, go out and spend quality time with those who are still fighting. DO something.
Don't ignore this. Let's drop the stigma and empower those who battle every second of every day.