Almost a week ago, I lost one of my adolescent/teenage idols. Chester Bennington was the singer in Linkin Park, a band that I don't really remember how I learned about (I'm assuming it was when In The End must have been on the radio) but for at least five years they were my obsession. I had their albums including the remixes and the live shows, I had posters and tee shirts, and when I was in middle school, I used to write Chester's last name on my fingers because I wanted the world to know that I was a fearless bad ass like him when in reality I was an eclectic little girl trying to find myself. There were times I was ridiculed for it, but I found comfort in their uniqueness, They were singing and screaming and rapping all the things I wanted to say but couldn't. Chester had this voice captivated you, and his scream, it could give you goosebumps. He was 41.
I received the news of his death in a text message. The best word to describe it was shock. He was nothing short of successful. He had a beautiful wife and six children. At first I tried to understand why he'd give all that up. The more I've read about him, the more I learned that despite of all these things he was a tortured soul and unfortunately those demons get the better of him. Suddenly, going back and listening to all those songs made my heart ache because there was more meaning to those songs than any of us knew. How could we have let it happen when it was right in front of us?
I've watched several youtube videos of Chester since Thursday. In many of the clips he seemed happy and thrilled about the world around him. But something about it seemed off, there were times when it seemed forced. Honestly, it reminded me of my friend Dave. Dave's been gone for two years now and there were many times when I would hang out with him that he'd seem so happy and wacky that we'd all kind of exchange glances and shrug. Sometimes I wonder if Chester and his friends had moments like that and I wonder if they wish they'd asked how he was doing like I wish I'd talked to Dave in the end.
|There is literally not a day that I don't think about you.|
I guess what I'm trying to say, and what's been on my mind is that this is making me question my own mental health. I find myself trying to hide what I'm really feeling sometimes. There are days when I'm tired, that I didn't do anything but I have no desire to do anything but rest. I have days where I'm trying to get the world around me to laugh because it distracts how awkward I feel. There are days where I wear a soft smile but I'm literally screaming on the inside. I know there are people and things that add to my stress and people and things that raise me up (like dance!) I get accused of trying to escape from reality, but I feel like if I don't things would probably be worse. I don't know what that means for me at this point, but I think the fact that I'm self aware is a set in the right direction.
In conclusion, know it's okay to not be okay. But don't keep it in. Write about it, sing about it, ask for help. If you notice that someone seems off, talk to them. Be kind. I work with someone that everyone laughs when he's in a good mood. "Oh, he must be on his meds again. He must have had sex today." NO MORE. You never know what someone is going through. Please help.