Chester Bennington

Like so many people, I was shocked and saddened to hear that Chester Bennington, singer of Linkin Park had committed suicide. 

For those who are into rock/metal music, we all have that one band that got you hooked. The band that opened your eyes and ears to music that completely speaks to you. For me, it was Linkin Park. 

When I first discovered Linkin Park they had only just released Hybrid Theory. At the time, I was a teenager. I was struggling back then with feeling of low confidence, doubts and anxiety. I know now it was more than your average teen angst. 

Finding Linkin Park helped me feel a sense of belonging; that other people felt like me, that someone could captivate perfectly my own thoughts and feelings. I was fortunate enough to have seen Linkin Park live on a number of occasions. It’s hard to describe what it was like singing your heart out with thousands of other people. It was beyond magical. 

I have been in that deep, dark place that Chester must have been. It feels neverending. At my worst, I would spend hours researching ways to kill myself including where I would do it. It was all consuming. I didn’t see a way that the darkness would leave. I really wanted it all to end as it was unbearable. 

I can’t remember how or when, but I decided that I couldn’t go on feeling like this. I felt I was just surviving, not living. Thanks to my amazing family and friends who supported me I got the help I needed. It was not easy. Addressing the deep rooted issues in my head is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. At times, I had to take myself out of my comfort zone and trust my therapist. It was scary and exhausting. 

I am not saying that life is now a bed of roses for me. It isn’t. But I can identify triggers or when I am starting to decline. I am more open with my family and friends when things are hard. For years, I hid my difficulties which I now know made things so much more worse for me. 

Things can get better. If someone had told me a few years ago how my life would be now, I would never have believed them. No one should feel like Chester, that suicide is the only option. Please find someone to talk to if you are struggling. 

I hope Chester is at peace now. My thoughts are with his family and friends. I am sure I am not the only one who is grateful to have found Linkin Park. Chester’s voice spoke to a generation and helped us during our worst moments. It is such a shame that he didn’t feel able to continue living when he had so much more to give. 


I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m close to something real. 
I wanna find something I’ve wanted all along. 

Somewhere I belong 

Linkin Park, Somewhere I belong

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Family

Even though I am having such an amazing time right now, it has also highlighted how my anxiety and depression impact me so much. 

I experienced a lot of guilt when it sunk in that Emma was here. She has come over specifically to see me; knowing that I have been struggling. I feel guilty that Emma has travelled across the world for me. Why would anyone want to do something so huge for me?

Yesterday we met up with Dave’s parents, sister, brother in law and niece for lunch. I have never felt close to them. I didn’t want to go as I didn’t want to have to deal with the awkwardness. But Emma needed to see them while she is here. 

I might as well not have bothered going. When I did try to talk, I was conpletely ignored. There was a weird atmosphere when we arrived. I couldn’t wait to leave. I got really upset when we got back in my car. Dave’s mum had the cheek to say to Dave that they ‘know something is wrong’ and they are worried. This made me really angry. Surely if you were worried you would actually respond when I spoke or even have the decency to ask how I am? 

I find it strange that I feel closer to family that live tens of thousands of miles away. Dave’s immediate family do not know about my anxiety or depression. I don’t feel comfortable talking to them about it all. 

Emma being here has made me realise how close I am to my parents and siblings. We have spent loads of time with them this past week and it has been great. Loads of laughs and smiles. 

Guilt and self loathing

Yesterday was a great day. The gym was fantastic and Dave and I really enjoyed having our friends round. Today I have spent most of the day crying on and off. It’s been so scary. I find it hard to articulate what it’s like in my head at times like this. 

The negative thoughts spin out of control. It’s like a snowball going down a mountain. It gathers so much momentum that it becomes one huge snowball. These thoughts include self loathing and guilt. 

My mood has plummeted. I’m worn out from today. I’m struggling to pick myself back up. I’ve been playing with Walter and I feel like I am shit with him. I don’t get why Dave is with me. I don’t deserve him or Walter. 

I am sick of being lulled into a false sense of security. I actually manage to convince myself that I am mentally well. Anxiety and depression are always lurking in the shadows though. 

Dave and I have talked loads today. We talked how it’s possible that my poor self image and general view of myself results in my anxiety and depression coming to the forefront. My view is that I don’t deserve to be happy. I had a great time yesterday and now I am really struggling. 

I made the decision to tell our friends yesterday about my anxiety and depression. I wonder if this has caused my mood to lower dramatically and my anxiety to be so high. Our friends were incredible supportive. They said that they are always there if I need them. I guess it’s highlighted to my negative self that I am weak and pathetic. 

I am hoping that today is just a bad day. I am really trying to get out of this slump. Dave and I are going to chill out on the couch with Walter tonight. 

Tired but awake

It is so frustrating how tired I am yet I can’t sleep. The past few nights I haven’t had enough sleep. I made a conscious effort to unwind and relax tonight. I had a bath and read in bed. I took a sleeping tablet two hours ago yet I am still awake! The annoying thing is I have to be up early as I finally have an NHS counselling appointment at 8.30am. I only have two CBT sessions left so I am going to make sure that the NHS counselling will continue in May. 

So I thought I should use my time awake positively and do a post. 

After a bad few days, my CBT helped massively this afternoon. I experienced this massive wave of anxiety which came from nowhere before going the gym last night. I need to work on ‘pressing my pause button’ and to acknowledge that it is ok to be anxious. My current strategy has been to fight it and not address it. By acknowledging it I can then identify what I need to do to help the anxiety pass. We also looked at the high levels of guilt I experience and negative self talk that I frequently do when I experience anxiety or when my mood drops. We focused on how much I worry and what things I am worried about and strategies to help me worry less. Currently my worries are

  • I will never recover from my current relapse
  • That when I get back from Australia I will have nothing to look forward to
  • Getting a job if I do recover

Only 9 days to go until we fly out to Brisbane! We are gonna pack at the weekend and I am going to do a huge clean of the house one day next week before we go. I want to come back to a tidy house as I think it will help.

I’m getting my hair cut on Friday so it looks nice for Australia. My hair grows ridiculously fast and my fringe is in eyes. I’m also going for lunch with my parents. 

It is my godson’s 2nd birthday tomorrow. He is having a birthday party on Saturday which I am looking forward to. We haven’t seen him for a few weeks as we’ve been so busy. 

Insomnia

Getting a good night’s sleep has been something I have struggled with for a number of months now. Initially, the issue I had was falling asleep. I couldn’t tell you the last time that I was able to fall asleep as soon as I got into bed even when I have felt like I was dropping on my feet. After hours of tossing and turning I would eventually fall asleep but wake up tired. 

Since switching to Citalopram my insomnia has become noticeably worse. As well as the struggle to fall asleep, I now wake up frequently throughout the night and I am waking up much earlier in the morning. Before taking Citalopram, I wouldn’t even know Dave had got up for work. At present, I am waking up when Dave is getting ready for work. Once I am awake I can’t fall back asleep. Even at weekends when Dave and I have a lie in at least one morning, I am waking up at around 7.30am. 

I only made the link between Citalopram and insomnia when I was driving home from the gym last night. I was being overly harsh on myself as I found the classes at the gym really hard. Yesterday afternoon I felt overwhelmingly tired. I made a conscious effort to eat enough and drink enough water. I ended up with a tired headache. This did go after I had a snack before the gym. Even before bodycombat, my favourite class, I felt spaced out and not totally with it. As the class went on I kept making mistakes that I don’t normally make. 

I have an appointment with my GP tomorrow. I say my GP, but I am yet again seeing a random GP as the one I actually like isn’t working this week. This is the third time since being diagnosed that I have had to see a random GP. It is not helpful as I am already worried about what this doctor will be like. I have seen some extremely unsympathetic doctors. I am tired of going over the same things with different doctors. I am definitely mentioning the insomnia. I am open to suggestions as I am trying everything. I do not eat really late at night and I have tried getting baths at night. But, I am reluctant to start on sleeping tablets. 

My anxiety is bad at the moment which I think is linked to lack of sleep. The gym was busy at times last night. I felt on the verge of a panic attack as more people came into the studio. It felt like the walls were coming in on me. Dave and I have been invited to a 30th birthday party for someone from Dave’s work on Saturday. I have met the girl who’s party it is but I have told Dave that I am getting too worked up about it and don’t think it is a good idea that I go. I have told Dave that he should go without me but he is insisting he would rather spend time with me. 

Dave and I had a good time round at our friends on Saturday. We had a lovely Indian takeaway and watched the Lego Movie in 3D which we love. We had intended to watch Gravity as well but we were all too busy talking and catching up. Unfortunately when we got home I got upset. I have noticed that I feel extremely guilty whenever I have a good time. It’s like a part of me feels that I don’t deserve to have positive experiences. I didn’t let this guilt spill over into Sunday. I have recently started watching Pretty Little Liars and I continued with this on Sunday as well as playing some of The Wolf Among Us on the xbox.

This weekend Dave and I are planning on blitzing season 3 of House of Cards which comes out on Netflix. We are still making sure that we see our friends but we’ve agreed that this needs to be one set of friends per weekend. I am still finding it draining if we do too much.