I’m writing you from a dark place today. I like to call it the black hole. Literally and figuratively. I write to you from my bedroom that allows only the slightest hint of the fact that it’s daylight out. I have the blackout curtains drawn nice and tight together. It’s how I like to sleep. In the pitch black. But it’s also how I like my room when I’m in that black hole of my mind. Yesterday, as many of you know, the front man for Linkin Park, Chester Bennington was found dead of apparent suicide by hanging. A headline that no matter the person, will always bring back bad memories for me. It’s the way his dear friend Chris Cornell chose to go. And it’s the way my own father decided to take his life.
Now, I’m not some huge Linkin Park fan nor have I ever really been. But the news took over my every thought yesterday. I read an article about him and it said he left behind a wife and six kids. SIX. My heart sank to my stomach as it did the day I learned about my dad. Then it shattered into a million pieces for these people that I don’t even know. Because while I may not know them personally, I know their pain. I know the thoughts that are running through their heads. That will run through their heads for the rest of their days. See we are now apart of a club that no one should ever have to be apart of. The “my parent killed themselves” club. I texted TJ upon learning of the news and the children that Chester left behind and I felt this unshakeable rage coursing through my body. And all I could do is ask him how a person could do this to the people they loved?HOW DARE THEY!! HOW SELFISH!!
I have been through a wide range of emotion since my dad took his life. Some may call it the stages of grief. I say call it whatever you want. Because it is just a constant rotation of feelings. We all say RIP and that we hope that person is free from their demons now. But what about the demons they left with us? The demons they passed on to us? You stopped your suffering and in doing so made the decision for me to suffer instead. I think how much I would love to tell my dad that he didn’t just take his life that day, he took mine, my sisters lives, his sisters life. I want to tell him how angry I am at him for changing the person I was into someone I often don’t even recognize. But that’s not possible. So instead I sit there in my dark room, with my dark thoughts, listening to the many voicemails he left me in the weeks before he ended his life. And I cry. Then that hate and angst melts away again and I turn into a little girl who just misses her dad’s larger than life personality.
So if you are reading this and you’re struggling with inner demons, depression, and other mental health issues please know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Most people suffer in silence. Some people suffer right in front of us, singing their song. And we don’t even know it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Reach out. To a friend, a family member, a coworker, anyone that you feel comfortable talking to. And if you find that you would prefer the ear of a stranger, the AFSP is a wonderful organization that always has someone available to talk. Contact them at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-TALK (8255) or the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.
P.S. I would just like to add that I am very lucky to have a boyfriend who while he may not understand fully what I’m going through, always does his best to take care of me when I’m in need. He brings me out of the dark hole when I can’t find my own way out. Last night he brought home pizza and Mountain Dew (my horrible addiction) to help make my night better. I just hope all of you have a support system like him.