Yesterday, the news of Chester Bennington’s suicide stormed social media, taking the breath of all rock and metal fans. Chester Bennington was the face of a band that influenced so many people, in many ways. Musical interests were formed from Linkin Park; thousands of people playing music together inspired by their music. Chester Bennington’s voice was heard all over the world, and for many, was the voice of reason and rationale. He was a creator, a motivator and damn hell of a person. Reading about suicides always sends a chill up my spine, but the news of Bennington really hit me.
A lot of the conversations I had yesterday about his death was met with disbelief. People telling me to stop joking, people telling me I was sick. If that doesn’t say how unexpected Chester’s death was, then I don’t know what will.
Where ever it came from; whether it was a lurking thought in the back of his head all these years, or something in recent weeks triggered him, Chester battled with a lot of lifetime trauma. He was previously a very open man about his troubles, revealing a history of sexual abuse and substance abuse. In his lyrics, there were deep emotion, passion, angst and struggle. Linkin Park headed in different directions, experimenting with their music like a hobby. The whole band deserved respect for that, and with their ever-growing fan base since their 2000 release of Hybrid Theory, Linkin Park showed no signs of stopping.
That’s what makes this whole thing unexpected.
That’s what makes the news of Bennington so hard swallow.
Mental health is an ongoing battle, and those who have suffered can tell you how easy it is to slip back in to old habits. Chester Bennington may have opened up about his past troubles, but we didn’t hear about how low he was feeling now. We knew that the death of his close friend, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, hit Chester hard. We just didn’t know how hard. Dealing with mental health is in no way easy, and I guess it might just be even harder when the spotlight is shining upon you. Fighting to be the person that the media portray you to be. It’s okay not to be okay – who ever you are. There are systems; real people there to support you and help you through your times of trouble. No problem is too big or too small. Sometimes all you need to hear is a voice that isn’t whispering in your ears, but talking to you. There are people who have dealt, and continue to deal with the haunting cloud of depression. I guess what I’m trying to say, and as cliche as it may be, you are not alone. You are never alone. It’s scary to put yourself out there, I understand. It’s scary to make the first move, I get it. It’s scary to put all your feelings, all your emotions on the line with only the slightest bit of hope that someone’s there to read them. I get that. We all get that. And that’s why we’re here. I don’t know who “we” are, but I know there’s a million people in this world willing to take time out of their day to make sure there’s ears for someone to speak into. You will not suffer alone – and I urge you, in every way I possibly can, to reach out.
Please, please, please, if you’re feeling down and alone, take a look at these sites and reach out:
SANE | Gofal Cymru | CALM
There’s a list of mental health helplines listed on the NHS site that you can find here.
Alternatively, I’m always available to be contacted, and I’ll always be here.
Stay safe, and strive for the happiness you deserve. Peacexo