**TW** This post contains themes which may be triggering, including suicide.
20th of July 2017, the day I passed my driving test, that day is often in my thoughts and not because I passed my test, due to the passing of Chester Bennington. Growing up I was a huge fan of Linkin Park and they were one of the few bands who really spoke to me, I felt heard by someone. As a 14-year-old, their music was something I’d listen to most days on my iPod shuffle, Minutes to Midnight being the album I listened to most frequently and although their music is *sad*, it helped me through some dark times of my own. So to hear that Chester Bennington had taken his own life, it was hard to comprehend. There had been many interviews posted online about his struggle and despite the fact he was perceived to have ‘everything’, he was ill. You couldn’t see from the outside, but on the inside, it was eating him up. Like most of us who suffer from mental health issues, it does sometimes feel like the ‘easiest’ way out, and for those of you who have never felt in that way, you are lucky. Those thoughts completely consume you and once they’ve trapped you it’s hard to break out. Chester wrote songs which shouted out about his pain and how he felt and we all listened but did we do enough?
Mental health is as important as your physical health.
Fast forward to April 2018, and on the 20th of April I came on to Twitter to find the news of Avicii passing. Avicii who was a DJ who worked with some of the biggest names in music had died. I couldn’t help but wonder what had happened to him. A lot of rumours quickly started to emerge how he died, starting with things like his previous health conditions. It took until the 26th of April for his family to confirm what had happened, they released the following statement saying he “really struggled with thoughts about meaning, life, happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace” Despite Avicii having ‘everything’, it wasn’t enough to save him. Like Chester, Avicii was struggling with his inner demons and despite having so many people who love and care about them, it’s often not enough to stop the thoughts. A lot of people during these times blame themselves, but really it’s usually the thoughts within their own heads. As someone who has felt in such a bad way it did seem like the way out, it’s a really scary place inside your head, which you can’t even escape.
We are only in June of this year but another handful of celebrities followed in the footsteps of Avicii and Chester, including Kate Spade, who was one of the most creative and inspirational women in the world. Her designs were initiative and she spoke out for what she believed in, her bags which were bright and fun, was a showcase of her amazing talents. An idol to many designers and young women. A shock to the system, once again. But it wasn’t long before the tweets and Facebook statuses started to appear, advising people to reach out. Sharing numbers of helplines and other ways to reach out, including speaking to someone online or that you trust. Sadly, even if we are to reach out, I feel like people have their own lives and often struggle to seek help on multiple occasions in the fear of ‘bothering’ people. Reaching out full stop is amazing, and I will never take that away from anyone as it does save lives, but what about those who need more than that? With the mental health services stretched thin, it’s hard to get the help needed.
I am one of those people who will open up to certain people during times of crisis. But I have been at points in my life, where I’ve thought about giving it all up. Staying alive can honestly be one of the hardest things when you feel alone. You constantly feel like a burden and don’t know where to go from there. One of the worst things about mental health is, it convinces you, just about everyone in the world is against you, nobody understands and it’s just not worth going through anymore. I don’t know one person who has felt suicidal or committed suicide who didn’t attempt to get some kind of help first and for a while managed to battle their demons.
For most people who feel like suicide is the only option, they’ve suffered for a long time and no matter what help they get it appears to be their only way out, mental illness can take complete control of a person and they lose that person they once were. Mental illness is made up of tons of illnesses, people deal with these differently and sadly none of them are easy to escape from. For those of you who are still here but suffer on a daily basis, you know I’m here, you know you are amazing. You have the strength you need to keep battling through, we believe in you.