I tried to make a YouTube video about this yesterday, but the volume on my cellphone (yes, that’s what I use) was giving me fits. Plus, as it turned out, I nearly went nuclear on this one colossal deformed orangutan of a “person” for popping off at the mouth, so I decided to wait until today to post this. Besides, my blog gets more views than my YouTube channel, so this will (hopefully) get to a wider audience.
The suicide of Chester Bennington has rocked the music world, this coming 2 months after, and on the birthday of, the death of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell. Bennington and Cornell were close friends, and Cornell’s death hit Bennington hard. For whatever his reason was (I’m not going to speculate), Bennington took his own life.
It’s a loss that further shows how very real, and tragic, depression and other mental illnesses are. Bennington was a gifted singer, with a range I can’t ever hope to come close to in all my karaoke attempts, and he had a lot of people who cared and loved him.
But more than that, the songs created by Linkin Park touched many people, especially those with pasts rooted in sadness. Bennington himself was sexually abused when he was younger, and the pain from that time reflects in a lot of their songs. That pain, genuine, pure, connected with many listeners (myself included) and led them to success in the music industry.
I’m not going to speculate why he did this. That’s pointless. What we need to do is recognize that mental illness is real, and that it KILLS. Part of that is people being afraid to reach out and get the help they need. That’s not acceptable in our society. No one should be afraid or embarrassed to get the help they need. It’s an indictment on our society, on us as humans, that we allow this to be the case. It has to end.
If you’re not well, if you need help, reach out to those closest to you. Talk to them. Tell them you need help. And for the rest of us, reach out to those you think are going through something. Sometimes, you have to extend your hand to get the ball rolling.
For those of you who need some further resources, here’s a partial list:
Suicide Prevention 800-273-8255
National Hopeline 800-784-2433
LGBT Hotline 800-843-4565
Runaway Safeline 800-786-2929
I’ve talked people down from the edge. I’ve pulled knives away from the arms of my friends. I’ve been half awake and talking to my friends to help them. You can help, and get those you care about the help they need. Don’t hesitate.