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Breaking the habit...

TW/CW: Suicide, Male Suicide, Mental Health

In my early teens music and art were my go-to forms of therapy, a way of releasing all these unknown, confusing emotions. When films became a big part of my life I lost touche with listening to new music and paying for gigs.

There were always certain bands from my younger years though which never left me and gave me hope and reassurance in times of need. The list includes: Placebo, No Doubt, Joy Division, and Linkin Park.

Getting olderI found that many people who used to like certain bands weren't so keen on them anymore, they just saw them as some nostalgic joke. It's understandable, we all grow out of phases and interests. For me though, those bands mentioned above are what kept me going, and still do.

I know there are a lot of people out there who turn their noses up at others when/if they mourn the death of someone famous. Sure, we don't know them personally, however, some of us may have been lucky enough to meet our idols. What I think we need to remember is that we live in a world where are influenced by so much that is out of our reach. These people who star in or direct our favourite films, who write books which help us to escape reality, and who produce music which creates an array of emotions and connects us to people, we may not know them, but they mean something to us. They have changed our lives in some way, helped to mould us in to the people we become.

When I saw the news last year that Chester Bennington had died, my heart broke, as did many others around the world. As mentioned, Linkin Park got me through some really tough times as a teenager and I didn't feel so alone when I listened to those lyrics - I know many people felt the same listening to them. For me, they're not a band I look back on and think, "OMG, I can't believe I listened to this shit"! Not at all. I hear their music and I'm grateful, I'm grateful I had it when I needed it and when I still need it.

Mental health & Illness is a huge part of my life. I've worked within it and I live it daily. To hear that someone who has inspired you so much has taken their life really hits home. Not because I'm so upset that they could have done that to me, but because it's so heartbreaking that they felt that hurt and lost, that they had no other option.

There's been too much said that men are weak for feeling suicidal and weaker still for completing suicide. There's too much said that suicide is a selfish act. There's too much said that people who are wealthy, successful, famous can't struggle with their mental health. THERE'S TOO MUCH SHIT SAID THAT IS COMPLETELY WRONG!!

If we continue to have this mentality and so much stigma around mental health/illness then more people will die. It's horrible to think, but next time it might be someone who isn't famous, it might be someone we actually know and care for deeply. Please, please...if you ever feel so horribly lost, alone, confused, suicidal, REACH OUT!! Believe me, I know it's hard to talk when you're in that frame of mind, but I promise, it will get better and you can get through it, you just need to believe in yourself and the support that is out there from others. There is ALWAYS someone to listen, it doesn't matter who it is.

You are worthy and you are loved.

Thank you for the music, Chester. You are missed.