I had just finished watching a late-night movie. It was almost 2 AM (in India), I was getting ready to wind-down and call it a night. Opened my phone one last time and there it was. “LINKIN PARK SINGER COMMITS SUICIDE BY HANGING.”. His voice resonated in my head as I felt my heart sink.
How could someone who had so much going for him, give up that easily?! He is known to have spoken about it in the past (video below). What pushed him over the edge was losing his close friend Chris Cornell (the front man of many a band) to suicide, in May 2017. Many say that if Chris was still around, we probably wouldn’t have lost Chester.
Things like these serve as a reminder that we’re all human, dealing with human things.
Being depressed can happen with anyone, no matter how happy they look on the outside. That crippling feeling that makes it impossible to do the simplest of things. All those pent up feelings, worries feel like bricks thrown at you. Suicide seems like the easy way out. One of the ways you can get over it is by speaking to someone about it. SPEAK UP! There’s always a gentle soul who is ready to listen. It is that simple!
The video contains strong language that is not for the faint-hearted. Viewer discretion is advised.
Are you immune to thoughts of suicide?
Before you get judgmental, I for one was always sure that I would never have such thoughts. The idea of taking my life was as remote as the world’s most remote village. I did not expect to have them in this lifetime.
All that changed, however, when about a year ago, I had for the first time ever experienced the symptoms of severe depression. The more I didn’t talk about it to anyone, the harder it was getting. At one point, I wanted to throw in the towel, just like Chester says in the interview.
The smallest of tasks felt like a huge deal. I moved out of my room and did not come back for 9 months. The entire room was literally collecting dust, but I did not care anymore. I had stopped playing the guitar, stopped taking care of myself and did not care about things or people around me!
I found help…
Help arrived in the most mysterious way. My friend’s mum called me over and reminded me of how valuable my life was. This battle I was fighting (and losing) until that point was all by myself.
Over time I could confide in people who genuinely cared and made sure I moved along the correct path. Most times, you don’t need a whole army to fight a battle. That said, you cannot fight these battles alone either.
The things that helped me personally?
- Speak up: Find someone who you can confide in. Someone who won’t use that vulnerability against you.
- De-clutter: More than half your battle is won when you make sure your room, your workspace, your creative space and everyday objects you interact with are free from clutter.
- Being grateful: More often than not, we forget about all those hard times we got through. All those times when things could’ve been so much worse. If you’re reading this, you probably have a roof over your head. Start with that and look for beauty in everything.
- Hold onto dear hope: I know you feel extremely hopeless sometimes, but you must have hope that situations will change in your favour. Remember, we live life by the season; the gloom will go. Spring is coming!
Here’s an article a fellow blogger has written about 10 Natural Depression Treatments, that you might find helpful!
Suicide is not a coward’s way out. If it was, there will be more people doing it. But, it takes courage to fight back and it goes without saying that you only come out stronger! Have I had these thoughts? More times than I should. Have I acted on them? Yes. I’ve pushed them away before they grew so big that I couldn’t handle them anymore.
If you want someone to talk to, contact AASRA on their helpline: +91-22-27546669 or you could hit me up. I’m more than willing to listen.
If you live in Bangalore, India, do visit Chai 3:16, run by Benny Prasad who went from attempting suicide at age 16 to world record holder for the fastest man to visit all 245 (195 independent and the rest dependent) countries of the world. The wonderful people there will listen to you and speak life into you.
Whatever it is that you’re going through, you can conquer! NEVER.GIVE.UP!
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the 6 children and wife that Chester left behind!