There Are Many More Like Chester
I know it’s probably too late to express anything about the suicide of Chester Bennington. I’ll give it a go nevertheless.
A few days have passed since he died and I thought the dust had settled. At least for me. After all, I didn’t know him and there are thousands of people battling the same kind of illness – depression.
Yet today I found myself listening to Chester a cappella.
I know the words of Hybrid Theory by heart. The album is strongly connected to my teens, when I was pissed at everything and everyone, felt invisible, crushed. And he seemed to shout my problems for me. Little was I to know how deep these problems actually were and the fact that, for him, they’d never really go away.
Now, while listening his vocals, the lyrics seem even more crushing. I cannot really say what, but there is something in his voice. A pain. Now it all makes sense.
Some time ago I wrote this. I, too, suffered from depression. In the beginning I thought it was just a form of delayed rebellion that turned inwards. The light form it took, alternating happy with sad times, made me believe it’s not that bad and I didn’t really go to see a psychologist. I will not dare to advise anybody to do that. In my case it worked, and I solved my problems otherwise, but it’s not a rule.
Luckily I had some good friends who bared with me. Additionally, I have a patient, strangely understanding at times, mom, who I could also count on. So I pushed through grey times, when it got really loud and really messy inside my head.
If you are the kind of person who leans toward depression from time to time, make sure you have a support system. This can make the difference between a painful alienated life and a life worth living.
Beside my friends and family, I relied on booze and cigarettes to snap out of those sad episodes. For a while I was afraid of becoming an alcoholic, but it didn’t happen. I am much too rational for that. Again, maybe not everybody’s case. It is a slippery slope, so don’t do this at home.
In my experience, I noticed that I tended to lose my equilibrium when my partner was unfitted. Somebody not compassionate enough or not caring enough might have catalogued my crises as a cry for attention or an unreasonable selfish way to look at life. By confiding in my at-the-time partner, I often ended up questioning myself even more than I had done before. And you really don’t want to stir up even more shit, trust me.
A little piece of advice from me?
1. if you think your partner goes through some sort of depression, even mood swings, and you don’t feel you are up to help, be wise enough to admit your limitation and direct them toward somebody more compassionate than you.
2. If you are going through some form of depression, and you feel like your partner is hurting you more than they help you, don’t insist in asking for their help. Do yourself a favour and look elsewhere.
It’s very difficult to help somebody who is depressed. Even though partners don’t necessarily make for good helpers, they play an important role in one’s fragile equilibrium. So think twice and cut once before you partner up.
The sad and happy episodes haven’t really ceased. I still feel incredibly angry or sad from time to time. I think it’s too much to call it an illness and I will never take my life over it, but I am very aware of the possibility and am open to talk to a specialist if it need be.
Please watch this interview of Chester. If you find yourself in it, talk to somebody. Depression never really goes away.
Photo: Damian Dovarganes