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

The power of music

When I was about 14 I discovered the amazing world of rock and metal music. The band that drew me in was Linkin Park. Their album, Hybrid Theory, is still one of my favourite albums even though I don’t like their more recent releases. 

I became a fan of live music around the same time. I am fortunate enough to have seen so many amazing bands live on a number of occasions including a few festivals. I have made friends at gigs and festivals including one of my now closest friends. I have met a number of my favourite bands/singers including Slash, Stone Sour, Papa Roach, Disturbed, Lacuna Coil and Shinedown. 

Music helps motivate me. I listen to it a lot – when doing household jobs, driving etc. It keeps me going when I am having a bad day. Music is an amazing distraction at times. I love discovering new bands and when my favourite bands release new albums. 

Papa Roach have a new album out. They are a band I have always liked. Fantastic live and were lovely when I met them. I mention them as one of the tracks on their new album, F.E.A.R, is called, ‘War Over Me’. It sounds cheesy but it was like this song spoke so much to me. If I could actually write, this would be the song. It definitely reflects what I am going through at the moment. 

Papa Roach – War Over Me

My depression and anxiety has had an impact on me seeing bands live. Before Christmas I should have gone to see Volbeat and Slash. I had forced myself to go and see The Gaslight Anthem. I didn’t want to let my brother down who I was going with. I struggled the entire time with the experience. I felt trapped in the venue and I didn’t get any enjoyment from it. I spent the entire time texting Dave as a way to deal with the overwhelming sense of panic and fear I felt. After The Gaslight Anthem, I decided that I couldn’t go to see Volbeat and Slash. At the time I told my Dad and brother that I was too ill with the chest infection I had. The truth was I didn’t want to go. It would have been detrimental to put myself in a situation that would no doubt cause me added stress. 

Until I am in a better place I am not going to bother buying tickets to any gigs. It is frustrating as loads of my favourites are going to be touring this year. But, the worry and dread become more apparent as the date of a gig creeps up. It’s not worth putting this pressure on myself. A friend has bought me a ticket to see Nickelback (a not so guilty pleasure :P) for November. We have seen them together before and she insisted on buying the ticket when I expressed an interest in them but explaining that I can’t afford to go as I am not currently working. I was overwhelmed when she told me that she was happy to get me a ticket and it wouldn’t be the same seeing Nickelback without me. I would also like to think that as the gig isn’t until November I will be in a better place. It also gives me something to aim for in a way.