Chester Be.

#RIPChester

This one hit me hard. Harder than I thought it might.

Yes, I’m a Linkin Park fan, but I’m not a diehard fan. I never went to any one of their concerts, and I don’t feel anxious about the fact that I never will now. I can’t even say that I really grew up listening to Linkin Park because I was already in my 20s when they came out. But their music was, indeed, a soundtrack for many years in my life- important years.

As a newlywed and then as a young mother I listened to Hybrid Theory and Meteora. Through my divorce and the events prior to and after it, there was Minutes to Midnight. I skipped over A Thousand Suns and most of LIVING THINGS, but I played the heck out of Hunting Party. Their music was always there. In fact, I was listening to Hybrid Theory during a mad housecleaning session the weekend before the tragic event of July 20, 2017.

And the truth is that, in a way, I do feel like I kind of grew up with the guys in Linkin Park. We’re all about the same age and I distinctly remember them all as young, skinny 20-year-olds just like I was. And I saw them grow up and evolve, just like I did.

Aside from all of this familiarity, however, there are other reasons- deeper reasons- I feel such sadness over the death of Chester Bennington. Not only did the music world lose an iconic powerhouse, but a whole family lost their husband and father. Bandmates lost their friend. People lost a voice they connected with and who reminded them that they were not alone.

But mostly, I feel sad that Chester Bennington felt so much pain that death was the only way out for him. He must have just been So. Freaking. Tired of battling his own mind.

I know a thing or two about that. I have battled with depression for more than 20 years. I know what it is like to feel debilitated to the point of immobilization; I know what it is like to feel in all honesty that there is just no way out and nothing- NOTHING- can pull you out of it. It feels like drowning. And you honestly believe that the world would be better off without you because you have nothing to offer but damaged goods.

It is not a pity party. It is feeling extreme pain. Mental illness produces an invisible pain that, cruelly, also comes with stigma. When people are in extreme physical pain, they take extreme painkillers. Cancer patients are given morphine. People coming out of surgery are given percacet or oxycodone or whatever. People with mental illness are not given anything, or they are given numbing medications with dangerous side effects (one of those being, ironically, suicidal thoughts). Mental illness often goes undiagnosed and untreated. That’s why so many people end up self-medicating and then suffer from substance abuse. So stop judging alcoholics and drug addicts, and have a little compassion.

I wish I could tell every single depressed and tormented person out there that they are loved. Even if I could, I know from experience that sometimes that doesn’t help because, well, sometimes *nothing* helps. But if you can just hang on… hang on and ride it out just a little bit longer… it will get better, I promise. Even if it’s just for a little bit.

As for Chester B….. I don’t know what I believe anymore as far as life after death. I do know he is finally out of his misery. He is no longer in pain. I feel horrible for those left behind and my heart and compassion goes out to them. Now is when things will get really hard. But hang on. It is always darkest right before dawn.

Hormonal

I wonder if my hormones are starting to turn. This week I’ve been quite “off”, dipping low with a sense of despair and acute lack of confidence. I feel I can’t do anything right or well enough. This could all be because I’m not making as much money as I was this time last year. I also feel overwhelmed, like I am doing too many things and not really accomplishing much.

Or rather, doing too many unimportant miscellaneous things and not working on bettering myself or in income-producing activities.

In a way, it’s par for the course. Over the last few months I have spent countless hours going back and forth with dental insurance companies, health insurance companies, comparing policies and trying to get referrals to oral surgeons, gathering tax documents, documenting expenses, researching HELOCs and other rather unsexy things, reviewing our overextended finances, budgeting, paying the bills, doing things with the kids, doing housework. On top of that, I have worked two trade shows, sold a house, and tried to keep up with my regular freelance work, all while struggling with laggy internet and a computer that’s on its last legs.

I am not complaining. I am happy to be able to do all these things for my family. And to be perfectly clear, the fact is that my husband does help with housework, my boys do their own laundry, and I have done fun things with my boy. I even got to go see Frida’s exhibit at the Dali while the hubby installed windows in the house. So it’s not at all horrible and I am not trying to be ungrateful.

But I do feel overwhelmed. Disorganized. Like I can never catch up. As soon as one thing is handled (like health insurance) another one pops ups (like taxes and my fucked up finances) and in the meantime my businesses aren’t growing and the dust bunnies are piling up in the hallway. I know my husband is tired and overworked, and that I’m not bringing in even half of what he does, and all of that adds to my anxiety- because I don’t want him to work so hard, I want him to have quality of life. I don’t want him to feel resentful. I already feel his energy is so much heavier than it was last year. And I’m terrified of being financially dependent on someone.

In the midst of all of this, I have begun to think I am really losing my mind- for real this time. My fears feel huge. Depression has been looming. I have been uptight AF. Loneliness is loud. Today I was so anxious I could hardly breathe.

I will be 40 this year.

I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come.

Fears

I am starting to see that my fears are much bigger than reality. But the fears also seem bigger and meaner than they used to be. They used to be small and passing, but now they’re heavy and towering. If they keep going this way they will become enormous, like big wooly mammoths, and all I can see in the future is the frightening shadow they cast on me.

Indoctrination

in·doc·tri·na·tion, noun
  1. the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.

This is how I truly understood indoctrination: I was reading a book about counteracting Watchtower doctrine. I was falling asleep. As I read the words explaining why the Governmental Body isn’t the Faithful and Discreet Slave (if you are not a witness, this will not make sense to you), I found myself rebutting each bullet point with things I remembered; points the author wasn’t taking into account, various other reasons why the Watchtower feels the Governmental Body is the FD&S (real or not). Now that I’m awake, I can’t remember any of those reasons.

While I was half asleep, they all came to me easily without even thinking. One after the other. Now I can’t remember any of it. My indoctrination was successful, even if it was flawed: the teachings are in my subconscious, even through the awakening of my rational mind.

Economy vs People

If you like donald trump because you say he’s good for the economy, while ignoring the environmental repercussions of his executive actions, being completely apathetic to the fact America was made great by immigrants, believing that abortion should be criminalized, and that the media should be suppressed… well then my friend, you have made it perfectly clear that money is more important to you than people.