It felt normal.
This is what the teen years are about right ? Feeling lost. Finding who you are.
I drank A LOT, I did my fair amount of drugs and it was in nights of solitude when there was no partying, where it was just me & my sadness that I felt as though this feeling would never go away & I was just meant to be sad. I didn't have a name for this. I didn't know that other people felt this way too.
Through the years I would go through periods of extreme hopelessness. Self medication didn't help, but these periods would come & go. I rode them out, but then the feelings just grew.
They grew stronger.
They overtook everything that could possibly bring happiness into my life. The feelings were now accompanied with voices.
"You're nothing, the world would be better without you, your family would be better without you, you're just a piece of shit taking up space, why are you so fucking weird ?"
I hid these feelings.
But, as a I grew older and went into my 20's so did these feelings. The voices which were once whispers became screams.
The voices in my head where no longer distinguishable.
The screams became harder to ignore. The sadness became harder to hide. The reasons for crying became harder to make up.
It was late 2006, early 2007 when I just stopped showing up for work. Jonathan had no idea what was going on & he couldn't understand why I would stay in bed all day. He couldn't understand how I could feel so sad. He couldn't understand why I would cry all day.
"What can I do to help?"
"Am I making you sad?"
"Is it something someone did ?"
I wished I could explain to him, but I couldn't.
Instead I pushed.
I pushed him away and the more he tried to help, the more I closed myself off. The more my mom tried to help the more I closed myself off.
Days turned into weeks and the weeks became months.
Until one night Jonathan found me with my wrists slit.
I couldn't take the pain anymore.
This was the first time I tried committing suicide, but it wasn't the last time.
Mental health is such a difficult topic to discuss, mostly because unless you've suffered from depression it's hard to understand how someone can feel so hopeless, useless, feel like nothing.
You feel like nothing can help.
You feel like nothing will ever be Ok.
You feel like you are nothing.
Depression is an everyday battle.
It's a constant struggle between you and your voices.
Your demons become your worst nightmare, and they become your best friend.
I can't tell you how many times I have cried because I just want to be "normal".
Sometimes it feels like i'm the only one in the world going through this battle. It feels like i'm the only one fighting to quite the voices. Yes, the meds help, but it's so much more than just meds.
It's your inner voice whispering
"Why are you still here?, You're useless"
It's choosing to continue, even though it hurts.
It physically hurts somedays to continue.
I know it's silly to some how someone's suicide can feel personal.
But, that's exactly what Chester's suicide feels like. It's not just losing my idol. It's losing my idol to something that I shared with him.
It's reading all the comments,
"How could he be so selfish & leave his wife & kids behind"
"How could he be a coward and lose his battle"
"How could someone who's rich and has all these fans do this?"
Oh, ignorant people. If you only knew how lucky you are to not have to suffer from Depression and fight these demons.
If you only knew what it's like having to lie to your loved ones about how you're feeling somedays because it's easier than to having to try to explain why you feel lost without having an explanation why.
If you only knew.
But, you don't and I'm happy for you, because I don't wish this disease on my worst enemy.
Chester's voice spoke to me, it spoke to millions of people who feel alone and don't know how to explain what depression feels like.
He was open about his demons & to someone like me it made me feel not alone. He helped give me a voice and explain to Jonathan how I could be surrounded by family, friends, my daughter or son and still feel empty or lonely.
Through out my life I have had reasons, excuses to be upset, depressed, but depression is so much more than that. It's not having ANY reason, yet having ALL the reasons to feel hopeless, and scared, and useless, and empty, and hallow inside.
Depression is hating yourself.
Depression is wishing your spouse had chosen someone else because not only do you have to deal with your demons, but so do they.
Depression is wishing & hoping your daughter doesn't see through your facade somedays.
Depression is hoping you get to see your daughter grow up, but thinking she would be better off without you in her life.
Depression is dark.
Depression is lonely, but you find solace in your depression, You're familiar with your demons & although you hate when they rise & start nipping at you to let them in, you feel familiarity with them and you let them in.
Chester isn't the first or last person to die due to suicide because of depression.
He wasn't weak for letting his demons in that day just like i'm not strong for fighting my demons.
It's not about being weak or strong. It's not about not having support or having all the support in the world.
It's about Depression.
It's about mental health and the fact that he isn't the only one who suffered from it.
I'm not the only one.
If you're reading this, know you are not the only one.
You're not alone. Although it might feel like it.
To those who have no idea what depression feels like or are unaware how someone can feel that suicide is the ONLY answer, inform yourself.
Ignorance is bliss, but it shouldn't be.
If you're reading this you now know someone who has tried more than once to commit suicide.
I didn't succeed, but I could have.
I know it's hard to understand.
I know it's confusing.
I see it in the face of Jonathan when i'm falling into my hole.
I see it in his face when even after almost 12 years he's dumbfounded on how I can feel so empty, alone, and useless somedays.
I'm open about my struggle with depression and will continue to do so in hopes of spreading some knowledge to those who don't understand it. Chester did it with his voice, he spoke to me, he spoke to millions like me who feel alone & gave them a voice through his.
His kids lost a father, his wife lost the love of her life, the band lost their brother, his fans lost an idol, and me.....
Aside from being my favorite lead singer to my favorite band, I lost someone who was open about his struggles and made me feel a little bit more normal in mine.
Thank you for your voice Chester.