Tag Archives: Mental Health

Suicide – Chester Bennington – And Linkin Park

Greetings and thank you for stopping by.

This is a tough one for me to write, and for many reasons. Suicide. One of those subjects that is not easy to face, accept, talk about, or understand. But it is. And it’s everywhere. It’s final. And leaves those of us left behind filled with questions, pain and a hole never to be filled. No closure. None.

Suicide is everywhere at epidemic proportions. It does not discriminate. The recent overwhelming press in Hollywood has been horrible, for sure. But it does bring something that is all too often silent, or taboo to talk about, on the forefront of conversation. Sometimes blessings come out of dark times. With Robin Williams, Anthony Bordein, Kate Spade, Chris Cornell, and my beloved Chester all being gone, suicide is in our faces  They all chose the method of hanging, which to me is very disturbing. Each of them was in the best part of their lives according to those around them. To anyone onlookers, each of them appeared to have a perfect life. But each had demons hidden within that overtook everything. Mental Illness in varying forms. They seemingly just got tired. Tired of the fight. Tired of the struggle. My heart physically hurts thinking about all of this. Thinking that there are tens and hundreds and thousands and millions of souls out there that struggle. That don’t have that Hollywood life and financial security. That feel they don’t have that voice. It’s overwhelming. But the change has to start somewhere. There just has to be a way. I won’t take no for an answer. I believe in the kindness of people. And I believe we can make a change. Make a dent in the madness.

Chester Bennington. The goofy looking frontman of the band Linkin Park with far too many tattoos and one of the. most recognizable voices in music history. You read any interview, comment or publication about him and it was always positive. He did much philanthropic work, as did the band, and was described as the “nicest guy” ever met. He loved his fans, fittingly called the Linkin Park family, made time for them, reached out to them. He was married, had six children and was adored by his family. He was open and honest, ALL the time, Especially with the tough subjects. He drew no lines. He talked about it all. You can research any of the thousands and thousands of public interviews he did, and he spoke of his struggle with Mental Illness with candor, honesty and grit. He wrote about it, sang about it, talked about it.

img_1733

Linkin Park. Broke records and had an International following that few bands have ever reached. I think I was such a fan because of the subject matter they continually wrote about and sang about. If you listen, a large majority of the band’s music is all about the struggle of Mental Illness. They somehow put words to what millions and millions felt every minute of every day. That, in itself, is remarkable. I believe this is the only band in my music junkie’s life, that I owned everything they put out. They gathered a worldwide following of misunderstood souls. Because, by listening to the lyrics of the majority of their music, they were connected. Someone understood. Someone “got it”.  Profound.

Chester suffered with diagnosed and severe depressive disorder and anxiety. He openly admitted his music and the brotherhood with his band was his therapy at times and a rock solid support system.Over the years he sought professional therapy and was medicated. He struggled off and on, mostly off, with alcohol, which is very common as it dulls the pain. At the time of his death, his life was at an all time high. He was appropriately medicated and in control. The band had just released a new album and was one week away from starting an international tour. His interviews were positive.  Disturbing  is that two days before he ended his life, he was on vacation with his family. He returned early to do an interview, and took his life when the family was away.

This is what Depression looks like. Then 48 hours later? He was gone.

img_1730What is the answer? I’m not sure the actual act of suicide can be actually prevented. AT that deciding moment. After the journey has gotten that far. The actual physical act. I think it comes way before that. It sounds too simple, I’m sure, but it comes with having a voice. To using your voice. To quit being silent. To know the signs. To educate ourselves. To cross the line of being politically correct and bring it up! Ask! Support! Be Present! Get active with an organization! As bloggers, invite someone to guest on your blog. Provide a platform, give someone a bigger voice. Share their story. Learn.

img_1724

Don’t be part of the problem, by scrolling past, by keeping quiet, by conveniently ignoring so you can pretend everything is ok. Remember, that love is a verb. It’s an action. Reach out. Send that text message. Write that letter. Ask that question. Keep inviting. Be present. BE THE CHANGE.

Chester Bennington. We never stood on the same carpet. But July 20, 2017 changed my life. I heard. I froze. I was one of those who took for granted he would keep making music and be around until hall of fame days. I could press play and hear his one of a kind voice and sing along to every word. And now he was gone. Forever. Just gone. I’m not sure I will ever truly get over this. As it makes no sense to my brain. He was just so…..Chester. Never to be replaced. I watched one of the last concerts he ever performed, it was in Germany, just a few weeks before he was gone, every night on my ipad for six months. No joke. I cannot even explain now why I did that. If you ask me, I couldn’t honestly answer.

img_1732

img_1731

img_1723

I’m not sure that I have done this whole post justice as I sit here with warm tears dripping down my cheeks. But I can tell you this. Because of this, and many like him, I have become a better person. I have stopped being silent. I have found my voice. And I am committed. I am the change. And you should be too.

img_1734-1

This is a journey. For all of us. Suicide is at an all time high. For all age groups, genders, races. One in four. One in FOUR. We all know four people. It is with my sincerest of heart that anyone that is reading this, will keep that number tattoo’d on your brain. FOUR. One in FOUR. We all know more than four people. BE THE CHANGE.

One of Linkin Park’s final songs both written and performed, kind of sums it up for me:

If they say who cares if one more light goes out?

In a sky of a million stars – it flickers, flickers

Who cares when someone’s time runs out?

If a moment is all we are, we’re quicker….quicker.

Who cares if one more light goes out?

Well……I do.

It is with a heavy heart that I sign off on this one. And from my heart to yours, thank you so much if  your eyes have read this far. I appreciate you.

I really need some comments on this one folks, please share.

FOUR.

Until next time…….be kind……always,

Polley93

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Feeling a Change in the Wind

Greetings! And welcome to my little corner of the world.

Blog direction. I’m not sure about anyone else, but I have seriously struggled with this. I started this blog back in 2014. It was truly hit and miss. I knew I loved photography, travel, impromptu road trips and writing. So that is where I started. It was mainly for my family and friends, had a few that read it, and I wasn’t consistent at all.

Fast forward a couple years.

I started my first book, again a little hit and miss. Much going on with my family and career and the blog wasn’t a priority. I did become more active on Twitter and found many Indie authors and I kind of “went to school” as I had no earthly clue what I was doing writing a book! I just knew I loved writing.

Fast forward again.

Now I am active on Twitter daily and committed to that end. I have also committed to my blog, as I love writing more than just about anything. I have re-energiazed my book and am focused on that again. I feel I have “grown up” so to speak and am ready to commit and see it to its completion. I’m thinking first draft should be sometime early next year, It really has become a labor of love, and somewhat of another child of mine.

As for my blog, I’ve heard about choosing a niche. Making it an income. I just know I love to write. I have thought long and hard about a niche. And up to this point, I cannot do that. I love writing, I am writing a book, I am passionate about Mental Health both for professional and personal reasons, I will always love travel, road trips, and my amateur photography, I am a busy healthcare provider with many opinions, and have an opinion, thought, or experience on just about everything.

So I suppose?

My “niche” is just doing me.

So my blog won’t be focused in one area. I had considered making a certain day a certain topic, but trashed that idea as I felt pressure and restraint. I have committed to blogging three times per week (if it doesn’t kill me) and the subjects will be what they are. I am also very passionate about supporting and promoting my fellow bloggers in this wonderful blogging world.

I have always believed that we all must be true to ourselves. And so I have decided my blog will be exactly that.

Until next time……..be kind………always,

Polley93

Understanding the Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness

Greetings and welcome to my little corner of the world. I thank you sincerely for visiting here and my hope is you can bring something away from your time away here to tuck away in your pocket. I call them Pearls. I am continually adding to my pearl necklace.

The subject being broached today is very near and dear to my heart, and for many reasons both personally and professionally. Mental Illness is everywhere. All around us. In those who we know are struggling and those who we don’t – as it is sometimes hidden so well. Mental Illness is a very broad subject with many pieces to it, all with their own symptoms, challenges, and specifics. But with all of these pieces, the struggle is real. It is relentless. It is sometimes non-ending.

It can also be deadly.

img_1676

The stigma that surrounds Mental Health Issues is world wide. What is stigma? Stigma in greek or latin, was a mark or brand, especially one that marked a person as inferior. When the word “Stigma” began to be used in English, it usually meant the kind of mark you cannot actually see. In our Current society, this stigma is everywhere. This silent “attitude” if you will held by those who have not either experienced anything like this themselves, or have not been close to someone that has. It is simply ignorance. A lack of information. A lack of knowledge. A fear of the unknown. A fear of asking or discovering. With some, it is just easy to ignore. After all, if you don’t acknowledge something, well then……it’s not real then, right?

img_1680

The above statistic should alarm anyone that reads it. One in FOUR. Do you have four friends? Do you work with four people? Do you ride the bus or train with four people? Do you have neighbors? Think about that above statistic. One in FOUR. Mental Illness does not discriminate. It can affect any gender or race or age group. A very alarming statistic is this:

From 2000-2016 the biggest increase in successful suicide incidence, related to Mental Illness, usually undiagnosed,  (by SIXTY PERCENT) is females between the ages of 45-64. Grandparents? Seriously?

For those that have never experienced, I have been told that the following description is close to what it could feel like:

img_1669

Also this:

img_1679

So what can we do? How can we as a caring society, help to curb this ignorance? How can we start to bridge this gap?

The first thing is NO MORE SILENCE. Start talking about it. Ask questions so that we might all know more about the struggle. Discover ways we can be of service, ways we can support those we love, those we know, and provide the kind of support that is NEEDED. Do not be afraid of the words. There is no harm in verbalizing “have you ever considered hurting yourself?” Don’t be afraid and be quiet. Be strong. Ask.

For someone struggling with the lengthy list of ailments, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, Eating Disorders, Schizophrenia, PTSD, and a plethora of others, a simple day can be overwhelming. Sometimes an hour can be overwhelming.

Also, a word, a gesture, a genuine smile, a moment taken out of your busy day filled with clutter, and details and lists and chaos…..

Can make a difference. It takes small steps to conquer a big journey. Small steps.

The bottom line here is don’t wait. Reach out. Be kind. Send a card, Send a text. Be present. I think that is the most important piece. BE PRESENT. Don’t ask “how are you feeling today”, or “How are you doing today?”, how can one answer that when one doesn’t even know themselves?

How about, “I’m thinking of you and just wanted to remind you I’m here” or “You are enough” or a simple “I love you”.

 

img_1670-1I remember the horrible stigma and misinformation when HIV and AIDS became an issue. It took two decades for this to be adult conversation and erase a lot of the fear. This epidemic and the ensuing stigma surrounding Mental Illness reminds me of that time. Let us be a better generation. Let us speak up. Educate the ignorant. Embrace the afflicted. Let us be the people we are.

I am looking for those who are comfortable telling their stories. It is heavy on my heart to allow you to have a voice. We all need a voice. Any and all mental illness, therapists, parents, children, or interested people wanting to learn more, share more, learn more, educate more. I will be highlighting these stories every Friday. Please consider! My email is Lifeinasuitcase2014@gmail.com or DM me on twitter @Polley93

Until next time…….be kind…….always,

Polley93