Chester Bennington of Linkin Park committed suicide yesterday by hanging himself.
This death hit home for me, because I was a huge Linkin Park guy in the early to mid 2000s during my preteen and teen years. Hybryd Theory and Meteora were albums I listened to often. My best friend, who resembled Chester (skinny, glasses, buzz cut/nearly bald), and I would play Madden ’05 online with the Linkin Park/Jay-z collaboration “Numb/Encore” on repeat. Those were the days.
I used to think suicide was a selfish act. And, in a way, I still think that way, but not like I used to. If you tell a suicide person they are selfish for feeling suicidal, that only pushes them further to do so. Not a good mix.
The act of committing suicide is an unstable one. To want to do so, you are mentally unstable, because biologically we are programmed to take the path of survival.
I changed my views over the years, because over the past six or so years I secretly (in my real life) have suicidal thoughts on occasion. Nothing in particular triggers them. I’ve just gone through bouts of depression where I can’t pinpoint what I’m feeling. I think it’s possible to be depressed without knowing it. Recently in my life, I’ve felt almost no zest for anything at all…
Because of that, I’ve felt unfair to my girlfriend, friends and family. In that way, I do feel like a burden to them, because I feel like being around them has the possibility of causing them to be unhappy. I don’t voice the way I feel, because I don’t want to be a Debbie downer.
Regardless, I recognize these occasional feelings of suicide are irrational. Still, the thought of going to sleep and never waking up is something that comforts me, in a way. I’m not going to commit suicide, or at least I don’t plan to, but often the thought stays in the back of my head.
Selfishness be damned, when you feel like you are worthless and your value to others is at an all-time low, wielding the mindset that you belong, that you matter, that you are needed is difficult.
The worst part about suicide, however, is if you take your life when you have children that depend on you. Bennington has six kids, and I feel for each of them. If you have kids who need you and you commit suicide, I can’t help but think it’s selfish. But again, mental clarity is blurred in moments like these.
I hope we will find out what was troubling Chester Bennington. Maybe we never will. Depression isn’t easy to understand. It’s difficult to write about. We all have our own struggles and personal battles that often remain unbeknown to everybody. In fact, each person you meet in this world will have something going on in their lives that is affecting them in some kind of negative way, but 98% of the time you’ll never know it. We’ll never know it.
The thought of killing myself and leaving my girlfriend behind breaks my heart. I can’t imagine doing it to her. Even though I do often feel like a burden to her given that sometimes my passion for things is lost, I know she thinks the world of me and would be crushed if I did something like that. At the same rate, there are moments where I believe she’d be better off in the long run.
I’m also scared about the future prospect of possibly fathering a child. Even though I had an amazing father and mother, I feel like I won’t be as good as my dad.
I try to embrace and compound these feelings and sublimate them into positive pursuits, but when you have zero desire to do something and the discipline/habit to do it is lacking, life is hard.
Fuck yeah, life is supposed to be hard. But man. It’s just, I don’t fucking know.
Just talk to somebody. Anybody. When you are feeling like you want to end your life. Maybe I’m not the best to recommend that, but I’m here trying to put it into words.
Much love to anybody reading this. You do matter. Maybe you can’t see or understand it, but you do. You do make a difference.