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Pushed over the edge

Chester Bennington's death has put the spotlight again on depression and mental health. The articles about his death that I have been reading all mention his depressive side and his alcohol and drug addiction. He has lived a hard life. He has expressed his pain and anguish through songs that spoke to us and maybe even touched our core, where darkness and pain also reside. It was as if he sang what we felt.

When I learned about his suicide, I thought, "Another man--another creative soul--was pushed over the edge." I am affected. As someone who deals with depression on a daily basis, every story about suicide, whether it's that of a teenager or a celebrity, pierces me. Countless times, I have seen myself standing on the edge of a cliff. Countless times, I have been a step away from, I don't know what to call it. The end? Liberation?

Who among you have been prisoners of destructive thoughts? Who among you have had suicidal thoughts? We're on the same boat. And let me tell you, we're in this together.

Sometimes, I look back on those moments when I thought if I would die right now, I would be free. That if I would die right now, my insecurities would no longer haunt me. That if I would die right now, people who have hurt me would cease to do so, because I would never see them again.

After looking back on those painful moments, I examine myself. My present self. And then I realize that hey, I made it. I may still be broken, yes, but I am still here. And that's something. That's an achievement. A blessing.

My heart goes out to those who have lost their lives battling their inner demons. My heart goes out to their families and friends. And those who are suffering in silence, please keep this in your heart: You are not alone. You are not a coward for feeling what you are feeling. You are not being dramatic. Your feelings are valid, but they do not make you worthless. This world needs you, and we are here for you.

Rest in peace, Chester Bennington.

If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, please dial call Hopeline at (02) 804-HOPE (4673) 0917 558 HOPE (4673) right away.

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