Depression isn’t a model ruining mascara in the sunset. Anxiety isn’t Chicken Little saying that the sky is going to fall. Anorexia isn’t a gimmick to get a sexy and slim body. A panic attack isn’t an attention seeking stunt.
Chester Bennington, the guy who gave our sorrows a voice and made music that somehow got us through our own tough times, allegedly committed suicide. For a lot of us millennials, he was somebody who could echo our angst. He would scream in that beautiful voice and have this effect on us where the pain inside would melt away. A bit, if not all.
The 41-year-old may have had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and his songs may have touched upon themes such as existentialist thoughts (‘In The End’, ‘I’ll Be Gone’), death (‘Waiting For The End’, ‘Given Up’), depression (‘Numb’, ‘Crawling’), addictions (‘Breaking The Habit’) and abuse (‘Bleed It Out’) among others. This will make many write off his death as another messed up rock star who wasted away his life. But I don’t think so!
The songs he sang also talked of love, empathy, rising up again, helping others and about dealing with pain. Writing and singing were his way of expressing himself. Through music and lyrics, he told the world stories of his pain and suffering.
In an old interview with Goalcast, he says,
I was just like “fuck the world.” Not like, “I need a break.” Honestly, “Fuck all of you, everybody and everything, and I don’t like doing anything anymore. Nothing makes me happy.
Chester has been quite vocal about his struggle with depression. Sadly, it took him away from us. What else do we need to realize that the sinking feeling people talk about is real? Watch Chester talk about his battle with depression.
He further says,
You don’t have to know somebody to have an intimate experience with them…
I believe he is talking about empathy. Don’t make the common mistake of confusing it with sympathy. Watch this video about the distinction between empathy and sympathy.
We lost Robin Willams. We lost Chester. We don’t want to lose more people because our false sense of strength that stops us from feeling empathetic. This time it was a celebrity, next time it could be your loved one.