July 20, 2017 - The day one of the voices that helped to carry me through my adolescence took their own life.
I understand the pain, I understand being numb, I understand the feeling of no release, I understand what it feels like to be on the edge about to break, but I never allowed myself to truly break.
Today, Chester Bennington, you broke.
Your music has helped get me through some of the toughest times of my life. And your lyrics felt like home to so many of us battling depression and suicidal thoughts. But, I don't think it ever occurred to us, or at least to me, that the reason we all resonated so well with the words you sang was because you too were suffering.
It's clear now that you were suffering more than any of us and I wish you had reached out to get the help you need. You needed more than your beautifully crafted lyrics as a call for help.
And while there is never a single cause for suicide, being that so many factors paired with an underlying mental health condition are what cause this drastic action - it's time like these that we as a society wake up.
Chester's death is another wake-up call to the mainstream society that mental illness is real and that suicide can claim anyone's life.
If you're having suicidal thoughts, please reach out and get the help you need.
I have been there and I have no shame in admitting that. I contemplated taking my own life dozens of times, but I didn't and now I'm able to stand here and say that whether you believe it or not right now, know that I truly mean it when I say, life gets better.
There is hope for all of us.
We need to do more to prevent tragic deaths such as these.
So, go educate yourself on the risk factors of suicide, and don't wait until crisis mode to seek help, find someone to talk to and believe that a better life is possible for yourself.
On that note, I leave you with one of Linkin Park's last songs recorded with Chester, One More Light.
RIP Chester. You're already missed.