"I'm holding on."
I know that at this point all the talk surrounding Chester Bennington's suicide is probably wearing thin on everybody. But, quite frankly, I'm not done talking about it yet, so bear with me.
Chester Bennington was the lead singer of Linkin Park. This is a band that helped me get through most of middle school and high school. They helped me through a lot of insecurities, anxieties, and difficulties. Their music was always a huge inspiration for me in my upbringing.
And I'm certainly not the only one that Linkin Park helped out. Linkin Park was a voice for a group of people who didn't have one. A group of angsty teenagers who had real issues but either didn't think they were important or didn't think anyone cared enough to listen. "Why was Linkin Park a voice for this group?" Because their music spoke to them. "Why did their music speak to them?" Because the lyrics encapsulated the way these kids felt.
"Crawling in my skin. These wounds, they will not heal. Fear is how I fall. Confusing what is real."
Now what makes Chester so important in all of this? Reread the last two paragraphs and replace "Linkin Park" with "Chester Bennington". Every sentence rings just as true. Chester was the heart of the band and the heart of the message. He drove the emotions, he drove the content, and he ultimately reached a lot of people.
But Chester is gone now. Ultimately succumbed to the overwhelming feelings that depression surrounds you with. And there is a sad irony in that. This man, who helped so many other people through their issues with depression, ultimately couldn't save himself from it. But that's because depression doesn't care who you are. Rich, poor, famous, forgotten, good, bad, smart, dumb. Depression doesn't give a fuck. I know this because it is something I deal with. And my life is supposed to be "awesome".
It doesn't matter how successful you might be or how well things are going. The feelings of worthlessness and hopeless loneliness always seem to creep back up. One week you spend everyday having fun with your friends. The next week you can't leave the house, crushed by loneliness. And that sucks.
But let's be frank about depression. Sometimes it is no one's fault. And it's never the victims fault. It's a really shitty disease. Seemingly lifelong and very difficult to manage. Everything is fine, then suddenly it's not. Bright turns to grey. Happiness turns to mediocrity. And most things seem pointless.
And oddly enough, depression seems to run rampant now more than in the past. In a world so busy it's getting easier and easier to be overlooked. And those that are overlooked are likely to get left behind. The race to be successful, to do something important, to marry the person of your dreams, to have a family, ect, all seem so important. That is, until it starts to look unattainable.
But then why was Chester depressed? He was famous, helped lots of people, was well loved, and had a beautiful wife and six kids. What the hell was his problem?
Well... depression comes in all shapes and sizes. Something inside of Chester told him he wasn't good enough. Something told him he wasn't meant for this world. Was it the loss of Chris Cornell? The criticisms of his new album? The realization that his fans were never going to let go of the past? It's not for me to say.
On July 20th Chester killed himself. Hung himself in his home in beautiful Palos Verdes Estate, CA. Because depression doesn't give a fuck. I think what I am about to say is actually pretty important, so listen up. Suicide is not quitting, it is the unintentional loss of control. It is the inability to reason yourself back to sanity. No one blames a person for dying from pneumonia, so don't blame someone for suicide. You blame the disease. Blame the depression, aim to helped others with depression, and don't blame the victim along the way. That's how this works.
This is getting a little long winded, so I'll try and draw to a close.
Ultimately, I am someone who is able to handle my depression just fine. I hit a valley, but I don't stay long. I've learn that the hopelessness doesn't stay forever. But for every person like me there is a Chris Cornell and a Chester Bennington. Regardless of how great life should be everyday is a struggle to "escape the gravity". And sometimes that gravity comes crashing down.
This isn't a cry for help from myself. Or some grasp at something more deep and meaningful. It's an attempt to mourn one of my favorite fucking artists and shed some light on what ultimately took him away from us too soon. Chester Bennington will continue to live in my mind. Depression can steal the person, but it can't steal the memories.
"If I just let go I'll be set free." - Chester Bennington