Thursday, July 20, 2017

Chester Bennington - RIP - and Suicide

This is my maudlin, whiny plea after someone kills himself.

Just a short time after the suicide of Chris Cornell, we learn that Chester Bennington (singer - Linkin Park, STP) hung himself.  ThermionicEmissions sends condolences to family, friends, and fans... we're sorry for your loss. Chester was 41 and left behind six children, from two different wives.

My friend in the music industry says it's partially the industry's fault. I'm not sure if I subscribe to the theory but hear it out and draw your own conclusions. He says the artists are allowed and encouraged to go their own way, regardless of possible harm... this makes money for everybody.  The handlers and those around the artist should be aware of self-destructive tendencies, as well as signs of depression, and act accordingly. I agree with this part.

We could all benefit from learning signs and symptoms. Depression is a terrible, painful thing, and it affects many more than you think. Much like with alcohol and drugs, you cannot fix the problem - the person has to be willing. This does not mean you can't be there to listen or maybe urge them toward help just a little.

If you're thinking of hurting or killing yourself...

Back it up a second.

Did you know you don't have to feel like this?
A lot of people grow up with this, not knowing it's not normal. They just feel like shit. Eventually they or someone recognizes it and they get some help.

Yeah, help.
If it's an emergency, call the National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Maybe even if it's not. They have people you can talk to who can help you out and direct you to other resources.

If you have family, talk to them. Maybe they can lend a hand - or an ear.
Talk to your friends. One of them might be depressed or know someone who is. There are online support communities. Misery loves company.

Your county/city has a mental health office. If you can't find it, call the county or city main line and ask them. They're there to help you.

It's time to see someone. Someone who sees this all day long, every workday. You are not the only one to feel this way. Through talk and possibly meds, you can feel better.

You may think that everyone's better off without you...

You're wrong.
You're in a lot of pain now and it might be hard to hear but you're wrong.
Do you have family? Friends? A significant other? A pet? Online buddies? Somebody you chat with at the store?

You are going to leave a trail of devastation in your wake.

You might think it's just a little adjustment for them and they'll go on.
You're wrong.
Death isn't one and done: death is forever. It stays with you and you never get over it.

Try something for me, please: pick someone you love. A parent, grandparent, brother, sister, good friend, dog...  they can be living or not. Put just the two of you in a room. Now look them in the eye and tell them you are going to kill yourself. Wait a moment and listen to their answer. You are going to leave a trail of devastation in your wake.  Do you want that?

Yes, Mr. Know-it-All...

My wife suffers from a number of chronic illnesses; among them, bipolar disorder. When she gets depressed, sometimes it doesn't stop there and heads straight for the depths of hell. This resulted in suicide attempts. Through proper medication and therapy, she learned to at least be alert to her feelings. If she starts thinking about hurting herself, she goes to the hospital, where she hangs out until the urge passes and she learns some new coping skills.

Let's talk about devastation.
One day, a long time ago, my wife had to go to the hospital. She awoke in the emergency room, hooked up to all sorts of machines. She was terrified. Then she looked around the room at her best friend and her husband, who didn't know if she was going to make it. They were a wreck. She thought of her family, including a sister who fell and died, and the effects on the family. Right then, she swore there would be no more of this. She was in pain, but never really experienced the effects her actions would have on those around her.

I don't like talking about any of this but maybe it will help someone.
I felt miserable most of my life. It wasn't right. Well into adulthood it finally hit me: I wasn't supposed to feel this way (not very quick on the draw, am I?).  I was diagnosed with depression. It took a while to get the meds right, during which I got pretty low. I could sit in a chair for days, angry or sad or generally miserable, unable to do much of anything that involved getting off the chair. I would never hurt or kill myself.. it's not remotely possible. But at that time, I understood why people killed themselves. Fortunately I don't go there anymore.

Please learn from our experience. Please read it again if you're not convinced. Reach out.. you have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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