This is hastily written and not edited because I feel like I need to say something.
So when I was in law school, I first heard this song “In The End,” by a band called Linkin Park, and I was young and stupid and just thought it was a fun song to scream along with when out partying with friends. Spotify wasn’t a thing, youtube wasn’t a thing (it may have been, but I sure as shit didn’t have internet at home – only school had that), so I only heard music on the radio or on cds that I bought. I didn’t have a lot of extra money then, but I bought the CD (Hybrid Theory) and I listened to it a lot. “In the End” was my favorite song:
“I’ve put my trust in you, pushed as far as I can go, For all this, there’s only one thing you should know. I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter. I had to fall to lose it all, but in the end it doesn’t even matter.”
I’m pretty sure I listened to this song on repeat when my boyfriend/sometimes fiance broke up with me/we ended our relationship. I was in my early 20’s and so naive. We got back together, and I still don’t know what happened to that CD. Asshole probably took it with him, but WHATEVER I AM NOT BITTER. I’m still a little bitter.
Fast forward to 2007. I’m at a job I’ve had for about a year or so and I hear this song on the radio (I always have background music or talk radio. I have a hard time with pure silence). “Shadow of the Day” and the lead singer’s voice sounds familiar.
“I close both locks below the window
I close both blinds and turn away
Sometimes solutions aren’t so simple
Sometimes goodbye’s the only way, oh
And the sun will set for you
The sun will set for you
And the shadow of the day
Will embrace the world in gray
And the sun will set for you
In cards and flowers on your window
Your friends all plead for you to stay
Sometimes beginnings aren’t so simple
Sometimes goodbye’s the only way, oh”
My mental health issues weren’t diagnosed then, but I was definitely dealing with them in my own ways, not always good ones. I bought the CD and listened to this on repeat for weeks. I wasn’t yet suicidal, but I thought about it sometimes, kind of abstractly. One day a year or so later, I went to listen to the CD, and my stereo (still in my house but only the radio works now) refused to play it. I took it out to my car and listened to it in the car. I wondered about hoses and how that works when you park on the street rather than in a garage. When goodbye is the only way. But I couldn’t sort it out, and I got out of the car.
Where I promptly dropped the CD and stepped on it. Seemed like karma. Not my time and all that. I took it as a sign.
If you know me IRL or even from FB or twitter, you know my musical tastes trend towards rap. But every now and again, I like to just rock out. It’s rare, but I like to do it sometimes. When Jay-Z and Linkin Park released Numb/Encore in 2008, I vaguely paid attention and this was PERFECT. Eminem and Dr. Dre even got in on a remix. My mind was BLOWN.
“I’ve become so numb, I can’t feel you there
I’m tired of being what you want me to be . . .
For one last time, I need y’all to roar!”
And I promptly forgot about it unless I heard it on the radio, and then I CRANKED IT and sang/yelled at the top of my lungs, not giving a single fuck about who saw or heard me. Poor those people.
When Chris Cornell of Soundgarden (a band I always liked but didn’t love) died by suicide on 5/18/2017, I decided I needed to listen to some rock music and turned to Foo Fighters (love me some Dave Grohl) and Linkin Park. I turned to my old favorites and screamed in my house to “In The End” and “Burn it Down” and wept while listening to “Shadow of the Day.”
“Shadow of the Day” has been in regular rotation since then. If you haven’t heard it? Take a moment and listen to it here:
In some ways, it’s perfect for the way I’ve felt for a while. In other ways, it makes me sad.
And then today, I did a presentation for our legal interns with a co-worker about what we do and the kind of law we practice. It started at noon, ended around 1:40, and I only wanted to slap the shit out of one kid for being a smartass. (Kid? I’ve been doing this for years, don’t be a wiseass because you think you’re cute. You might be handsome, but you’re an asshole, and that makes you ugly.) I got back to my office and checked twitter to see if I’d missed us being bombed off the map yet (obviously we hadn’t been). First headline I see:
Chester Bennington committed suicide.
And I got ANGRY because he did not COMMIT anything. He was a victim. He was a victim of his own mind and his own brain, and he DIED BY SUICIDE WOULD YOU ASSHOLES GET THIS RIGHT ALREADY.
Then I realized who Chester is. Who he was. He was a husband. He was a father. He was a friend. He was the man who screamed those lyrics that saved my life more than once. He was the man whose friend died by suicide on 5/18/2017. Who had struggled. Who couldn’t find his way to the light because depression is a fucking monster who drags you DOWN.
And I sobbed, big ugly heaving sobs at my desk because I try to ask for help, but what if this happens to me, and right now I’m in a place where I DO NOT WANT TO DIE, but sometimes the depression is louder, and it SCARES ME.
I’ll maybe edit this later and make it a bit more coherent, but for now, this is the best I can do, but I needed to say something as I’m silently screaming through my tears and the voices are telling me I’m not worth shit. That I may as well find a belt and hang myself from a doorknob.
And on a happy note? Because I can’t leave you like this. May I have this dance?