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Leave out all the rest

Nine days ago an article popped up on my Facebook news feed. Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park had taken his own life aged 41.

I was gutted.
Photograph by Tibor Bozi / Redux

I hurt for the memories i had growing up listening to his music. I hurt for his family. His wife and 6 kids that now have to find a way to continue without him. His extended family, his band mates who undoubtedly have this void in their lives. But more importantly i hurt for him. Because i understand the pain he was in and i can relate to feeling like you just cant cope.

I am just sorry that he lost his fight.

Its unpopular my views on suicide. I don't agree with it by any stretch but i get why it can seem like the only way. I have seen it from both sides of the coin so i feel i have quite a good understanding of both arguments.

When i was younger i had a close member of my family attempt to take their on life, on more than one occasion. At the time i was incredibly frustrated and harboured quite a lot of hate towards them. I only understood it from a child's point of view. It was selfish and it felt almost like an attack on us. Were we not good enough as a family to want to stay?

To a certain extent suicide is a selfish act. But not in how you might think. Suicide is the last resort. It can often seem like the only solution when medicine and support just cant ease the constant pain. Unless you have spent extended periods of your life in constant pain or misery then you cant fully comprehend why someone might think suicide is a valid option. In that respect suicide is selfish cause the person in despair is choosing not to be in pain anymore.

I am definitely not advocating taking your own life and i would absolutely 100% never recommend it but when news broke of his death, the comments that were being made were really unfair, many of them hurtful to his family, his fans and those of us who have depression and i wanted to maybe give a bit of insight into how it could have happened. Perhaps reading this you might yourself realise you have a family member who is struggling. Maybe you feel your not coping as well as you might want to and feel isolated or like your alone. Well believe me my lovely your definitely not alone.

May people cant understand why a person who seems so happy takes their own life. Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue tweeted "I am in tears. Chester just told me how happy he was… He was such a sweet and talented man… feel so sad for his family, band mates and fans." To him and probably many others its a shock as the person probably committed suicide seemingly out of the blue. But its never out of the blue, not really.

For many people suffering they make a point of trying to conceal their pain. It could be for a multitude of reasons and since its their illness its really their call which is why families can be all the more devastated thinking they should have seen the signs. Sometimes the signs are only visible after the person is gone and there would have no way to know.

I was diagnosed with depression over a decade ago and when i talk to family they didn't realise it had been so bad for so long. Yes, because i didn't want you to know. In pictures I'm smiling like everyone else, at family gatherings i was joining in conversations ... but at home i was exhausted. i was sad and i was struggling. It took me years to be willing to discuss my illness with family because there is still a big stigma around mental health. It took me a long time to admit that i wasn't coping and that i needed help. I went to the edge of the end before i decided i wasn't done fighting but that doesn't make me better than anyone else. I know that one day i might lose this fight. It hangs over my head on a daily basis. Right now i feel strong enough to keep fighting. Someone else might be struggling to keep going and there is nothing wrong with getting help!!

Credit: AP/Dan Steinberg
When Robin Williams committed suicide in August 2014, everyone was so shocked. He was the first to make jokes and make everyone laugh but inside he was struggling and was in pain.

That's the key part that people often don't understand with mental health issues such as depression. It hurts.

Mentally you have days where getting out of bed is up there with running a marathon, emotionally your brain is giving you a kicking, feelings of worthlessness, sometimes constant crying for no apparent reason, sometimes having such terrible mood swings that you just don't want to be around people. Physically the body can start to shut down, your appetite goes haywire, you can get headaches that feel like your being skull f**ked by an angry gorilla and your body aches.

Having depression is like being in a constant battle with your own body. You know that you should get up and get dressed but your body just cant. You brain wont let you and then you start to feel bad cause to everyone else your lazy.

There is no really explanation of depression that i cant give you, as unless you have experienced it, you'll never really get it. It would be like trying to describe childbirth to someone who's never been through it. "It really bloody hurts" just doesn't quite cover it.

With depression though you need to understand that its just like any other illness ... and should be treated with as much dignity and respect as other illnesses. I once was told that i "had it good and that i had no reason to be sad" - Well yes i agree that having a roof over my head and food in my fridge was pretty good. But that didn't matter one bit to my brain which was going (quite literally mental).

Its like telling someone with asthma that they shouldn't be asthmatic as there is oxygen all around. It doesn't work like that. Depression comes in may forms and the more serious of which is (to me anyway) up there with the likes of cancer. You might be lucky enough to go into remission but you'll forever be different, forever wondering if it will come back. Or you'll keep fighting till the end.

People are focusing on Chester's death, Which i get as its shocking but rather than judge a man who was in such unbelievable pain that he couldn't take anymore, remember him for the contribution he made to the music industry, remember him as the amazing musician that he was. He's a man who lost his fight. He deserves just as much respect in death as he did in life.

I'm going to leave you now with one of my all time favourite Linkin Park songs that somehow really fits after all that has happened. Remember you never real know the battles other people are going through, so be kind and share the love.

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