Since starting this blog, one of my main goals was to address mental health, and I’ve been really candid about sharing my own ups and downs, much of which started, unsurprisingly, when I began my freshman year of high school (what is it about that age???). I was experiencing so much and wasn’t quite sure how to cope until I found unhealthy strategies that weren’t really helping me properly cope or heal, namely self-harming. Thankfully, I didn’t stay there long, and to this day, I firmly believe music is one of the things that pulled me from this darkness. It was one band, in particular, that helped me put into words what I was feeling inside, helped me know that I was not alone, helped me find somewhere I belong.
Last week, Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, succumbed to the demons that plagued him for so long, the very same demons he helped save me from. I’m still processing and mourning such a deep loss, and as an adult who largely grew up with him and his bandmates, I know I can never listen to those albums the same. Chester left this world without a suicide note because, if you listen closely to those lyrics, every painful and angst-filled song was one. We found peace, understanding, and even hope within each album. And while I’m so thankful for what Linkin Park did for me and so many others, I only wish Chester had, too, been saved. I don’t know what support systems Chester had, but I hope you know that if you ever find yourself in the darkness, please look for the light. Seek help. Tell me. Tell someone you trust. You don’t have to walk this road alone. I promise.
In case you or someone you know needs support, here are some resources:
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
Crisis Text Line, the free, nationwide, 24/7 text message service for people in crisis, is here to support. For support in the United States, text HELLO to 741741 or message at facebook.com/CrisisTextLine.
For support outside the US, find resources at http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html
Now, to honor his work and legacy, here are five (plus two LIVE bonuses) of my favorite and most meaningful Linkin Park songs from their earlier albums. #RIPChester