In light of Chester Bennington’s tragic death…

I’ve dealt with mental health a long time. Before I watched a music video on MTV. This song spoke to me. This song was everything I’d been feeling since I was 12 years old.. so I went to napster and looked up the entire CD. (Yeah this is when Napster was cool.) I listened to every song and went to my local Sam Goody store ( or was it On Cue at this point? I can’t remember.) and bought a copy of “Hybrid Theory.” The music video I saw on the MTV daily count down was “Crawling.” I had this album on repeat for ever. I then purchased every Linkin Park CD that came out after.

Chester’s voice spoke to me in volumes. He was basically saying everything I wanted to. He screamed the pain I was feeling in a way that let me understand I wasn’t alone. I valued this because in the small town I was from being mentally ill was and is still very surrounded by stigma. I watched every video, wrote poetry while the music was playing, probably too loudly for my teenage ears.

Chester’s suicide has impacted me so hard. Every song is a reminder that it could have been me, and if wasn’t for his music- would have been. If it wasn’t for this band’s unfiltered influence to know that just because I was and still am depressed and mentally ill, doesn’t make me alone.

There are still things that you shouldn’t say to someone mentally ill. Some of them is believing that everything you’re going through is related to you taking or not taking medication. It took well over a decade to find an anti depressant that works well for me and my co-morbidities.

Understand that some times a person just needs to be in the company of people. Other times to be left a lone.

Never give up on someone mentally ill. Unless it is directly effecting your life negatively, just let them know they are loved.

And always know your local laws, and resources. Sometimes just a reminder that someone is there helps.

NOT. EVER.THING.IS.RELATED.TO.MENTAL.ILLNESS. If someone has a headache, it doesn’t mean they didn’t take their meds. They just have a headache etc.

Other things that you should understand if you’re not suffering from a mental illness is that ‘its not just for attention.’ This statement is so irritating because if a person is in such a mental place that they take a knife or lighter and harm themselves just to feel relief and control from a mind that they can’t escape… its not for attention.

The ’emo’ movement also pisses me off to no end, the subculture of goth, or what I call ‘goth light’ makes mental illness a fashion statement. I know that this is my personal trigger and I’ve dealt with it a long time. Just like heavy metal music isn’t all rage face and death and blood, emo music and the emo movement isn’t all about a certain type of thing.

Mentally ill people are sometimes the most creative, the most funny, the most determined people. Those that have succumbed to suicide just in the last few years prove this. Robin Williams. Chris Cornell.

So many people have some sort of disorder but yet our American government won’t reform mental health industries because why? Money? Time?

We want to be heard, we want our truth and our voices as loud as Chester’s is in Linkin Park’s songs. We want people to know that in our darkness there’s one more light.

And mostly we just want to be understood. At least I do. I feel so often alone because nobody understands that the physical pain I am in is my own fault. That I did something to make my life better, and it almost killed me. That I am a failure. That I’m human and imperfect. I don’t have the balls to be furiously happy all the time. But I do try.

 

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