I'm sat here with tears drying on my cheeks, still hot on my skin, after hearing of the passing of Linkin Park frontman, Chester Bennington. It's being reported that he died by suicide, after being found hanged in America at the age of just 41. He leaves behind six children and his wife, and I can only imagine the heartache they must be feeling right now.
When I was in the worst depths of my struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder, my dad, out of desperation & hopelessness, suggested we both just end our lives as he saw no future because I was so ill, skeletal, sick and weak that he wanted to end our suffering and pain. Mental illness kills people, and you're an ignorant fool if you believe otherwise. Male suicide statistics speak volumes & something needs to change. In light of Chester Bennington taking his own life, it's important now more than ever to encourage the men in your life to talk about their feelings & get things off their chest because by staying silent, by bottling everything up, we isolate ourselves away from the people who can bring us back into the light.
I'm now sat on a packed commuter train heading into London, 4 days after Chester's death. It's a grey, dreary morning and I can smell stale cigarette smoke and damp in the air. The crumbs on the chairs are more visible today than usual, and the carriage is different to the one I'm normally in. Not so unsettling for anyone else, but to me, someone who feels uneasy if the wind changes, let's just say it's noticeable. I already woke up feeling a little downtrodden and according to my Fitbit, I was awake 4 times throughout the night and restless about 5, so I know why I'm tired even if I had enough 'sleep'. I've got my sad music playlist on loop (thank you Spotify!) because I'm writing, and I always have this playlist on when I'm writing. It's actually just called my writing playlist so figure it out for yourselves as to why I only write when I'm sad or in a pensive mood.
Dawdling again, Rich! Yes, the point of this musing, the nitty gritty that everyone loves to hear about. I see one empty chair on my carriage today, the one to my right. I so wish someone was sat there, so I could feel their arm touch mine and have that human connection. For reasons that escape me, I feel lost again today; I just want to cry my eyes out with sad music playing and for that to feel like a totally acceptable happening of events to unfold. "I AM A MAN AND I CRY AND I FEEL INCONSOLABLY SAD AND I SOMETIMES DON'T WANT TO BE HERE ANYMORE" is what I want to stand up and shout at the glass and the people and the train. But I don't, I sit here with my headphones snug in my ears, my fingers tapping away and my tears held firmly in place.
I don't know what's wrong with me, and I know you'll read this and feel sad, dad, but I'm okay. I just need a moment to acknowledge that I'm feeling really sad with life right now, but I will get better. It will get better. Life does get better. But please, you, reading this right now, please reach out for help. Write a shitty Facebook status, a rash tweet, send a text, an email, ring your mate, FaceTime your partner, Skype someone, snapchat them, but please don't feel like you're alone. Please use Samaritans (CALL – 116 123) if you're able, they're lovely people who WILL LISTEN to to you.
"Life, uh, finds a way" – Ian Malcolm, 1993