Every story has a beginning and an end. But, we don’t decide that, the author does. When to cut off the narrative and give us a happily ever after or a sad conclusion – which always leaves me feeling short changed. But, truth be told, life delivers more cliff hangers than cheerful demises.
A few weeks ago, the lead singer of Linkin Park – Chester Bennington committed suicide. You can find the nitty grtties strewn across the internet. I had not heard of the details until I arrived at work on a Friday morning. Generally, a happy time.
As I caught up with the news and realized how his death came about, I was shocked. Not because he seemingly had it all. But because he seemed to be in a better place according to his recent interviews. If there is one thing that cannot shock me anymore is the fact that mental health issues are very real. They lead to such acts, which cannot be reversed. No matter how rich, famous or successful you are, you are still susceptible to mental health issues.
I headed into the studio to start my radio show. All of a sudden, dozens of listener’s were talking about death, depression, suicide and more. It was like a wall had been eradicated and people could speak about mental health. I also realized how deeply musicians can be ingrained into our lives. Chester was a hero to so many because Linkin Park’s music is cathartic. It makes you feel like somebody somewhere understands what goes on inside you. You are not alone.
As much as I love their music, I have had a similar connection to many different artists and songs. My tastes are varied too – From The Scripts “Hall of fame”, to Iggy Azalea’s “Work”, I have found songs which soothe me and make me feel better at low points in my life.
The “downs” as some may say,can be much more brutal for some people. Leading to depression, anxiety and more. This act of Chester’s and the subsequent conversation was closer to my heart, because I do have a family member suffering from such issues and most days, 100% recovery is a bleak prospect. I think it is especially hard for people who are trying to help loved ones work through mental health issues.
But here is what I have learn’t and want to share with anyone helping others with mental health issues. Firstly, you are going to need to keep your own head in check. This kind of raw, unraveling problem can affect you inherently too. Rule number one is to take care of your mental health regularly. I don’t care whether your me time consists of reading 50 shades of grey or meditating. Praying or bungee jumping. Do it – and do it regularly.
Secondly, it is impossible to be sympathetic at all times, so aim for empathy. Put yourself in their shoes and try to see the world from their not-so-rosy perspective. You will be able to relate and help them more, than you would if you just felt “sorry”.
And lastly, never give up hope. It can be the light you need in the darkest of times.
Have a blessed week ❤