WARNING: DISCUSSION OF DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE
It's more than how Chester Bennington's incredible lyrics and spectacular voice carried the weight of my pain, and made me feel understood; that I wasn't alone after all. It's more than just a fan grieving.
Part of the hit came from the various opinions and hot takes that came immediately after. Most of all, it was those people who could find no compassion for what he went through, was going through, and how it all ended. The word selfish was thrown around an awful lot.
That stung, because I've been there. I've been that low. I've stared down the abyss, and the only reason I'm still here and breathing is because of my own spectacularly lucky incompetence.
But when you're there, that's not what it is.
Standing on the edge, looking down, all I could feel is relief. This was it. I can finally set everyone free.
My family will no longer be burdened with me. My parents won't have to spend stupid amounts of money to send me to school, or worry about helping me pay university fees. I won't have to be fed and clothed. We didn't have an awful lot of money growing up, and I thought with me gone, things would be easier on my parents.
My siblings wouldn't have to look out for me. They wouldn't have to put up with me hanging around, wanting to be friends. They could stop rolling their eyes. I would no longer be the burden that they so obviously didn't want. With me gone, they'd be free to live their lives.
People at school could finally be rid of me. They so clearly didn't want me around. They would be happier with me gone, I was certain. I mean, several of them even said it. So there's that.
The world would be brighter, for everyone, if I was no longer in it. Sure, people might be sad for a little while, but my absence would improve everyone's lives.
None of that is true, of course.
I'm reasonably certain that at least a few people would have been utterly devastated.
But depression doesn't care about the truth. It exists to take you under, and it will twist everything to that end.
A sibling's right to some personal space becomes a deep and severe repudiation of everything that you are. Your parent's inability to afford an unnecessary school trip becomes proof of how terrible a burden you are. A friend who misses an outing for whatever reason becomes proof that you are unloved and unlovable.
Depression tells you that everyone would be better off if you just weren't here.
It's not selfishness that moves people to suicide in these instances. It's a deep compassion and empathy for the people around you. It's genuinely believing, down to the core of you, that your death will improve the lives of everyone around you.
Chester's death brought all this rushing back to me—all of it. And the horrid comments slamming him for what happened broke my heart.
If only you knew.
If only you knew how it feels to be there. Standing on the edge.
None of you, not one, would ever dream of slamming Chester, and those who have similarly suffered, again.