I’m here as writing is a way to process my thoughts and put them into something that makes sense. It gets them out of my head and it almost solidifies them so they are just floating around waiting to be really listened to. This is how I listen.
I’ve been thinking a lot since the second suicide from a great musician who I have admired. Chris Cornell’s death was both shocking and heartbreaking and here we are going through the same thing with Chester Bennington. I spend a lot of my years listening to Soundgarden and Linkin Park, so when both events struck I eventually ended up playing my favourites of them. Most of the time I enjoy songs with meaningful lyrics and I always pay attention to what they are saying but after something like this happens, I listen extra hard. The music sounds even better than I remember when I truly appreciate it. I think I will try my hardest to listen closer when I listen to any song.
As humans, we have this deep need to understand what is going on in someone’s mind when they decide to end their life. Some of us have experienced depression and have an idea of what those thoughts and feelings might be like but many of us can’t imagine it and it becomes something that we either bash saying that they were selfish or something else that just insults everyone who has been through mental illness. Nonetheless, no one knows what anyone’s thoughts and feelings are when they commit suicide. The voice in their head that told them to do it was not yours.
When I hear people around me talking about the cause of their deaths as depression, I close up. I put up a wall and try to ignore what they are saying. I do not want to discuss something so personal and deep with people who I have never been close to. I do not even want to discuss it with people I am relatively close to. The only person I am comfortable enough to discuss it with is my partner, and then I still find it incredibly hard. To most people, I shut off this part of myself. Online, somehow, is different.
In my head right now, depression seems like a distant memory. In reality, it happened to me pretty recently and on several occasions. The most recent one was probably the longest period that just seemed to never go away. I did a lot of considering before I could even think that I was depressed. For me, depression was the start of a spiritual awakening. I’m not enlightened, but I am awake, for those know what I mean. I went through some really hard times where I would spend the day crying, in bed. Every morning I would wake up and check to see if I was still depressed. I had some horrible thoughts about life. I did not think that it was worth living because of all the suffering that we have to endure. Most of the time, I wished that I did not exist. Despite all of these reoccurring negative thoughts, I never once thought that I would kill myself. I sometimes imagined it but it was always so horrific that I could separate myself from those thoughts and not act on them quite easily.
When I came out of my depression, it was as if the depression was my wake up call. It happened a lot quicker than I thought and I began to recognise how the depression was magnifying my negative thoughts and attracting more just like them. At the time, they felt very true. My mindset began to shift, as I wrote in Journal Entry #2. I grew so much after that experience and I do not wish that it did not happen. Once my mindset began to become more positive, I attracted more positivity into my life. I began to wake up every morning and see great possibilities and life excited me. Life excites me.
Some people just do not get it. What is to gain from suicide? It is the ultimate end to a temporary problem. Depression makes you think that it will last forever and it tricks you into thinking life is just going to get worse. What I am trying to say is that depression is an illness and suicide is a symptom of that illness. If you have never experienced that illness how can you possibly judge so harshly?