Since the tragic suicide of Chester Bennington, I have read numerous comments which roughly go like this: ‘I have a mental health condition but if someone like Chester with all the money, success, children etc that he had still couldn’t survive his demons, what hope do I have?’
It is natural for us to look at others, those who seem to have more than us, better lives than us and feel a sense of hopelessness when that persons life reaches such a bleak and tragic conclusion. However, what it serves to remind us is that the tired old saying ‘money can’t buy happiness’ is actually very true. Only 10% of our happiness can be predicted by external factors.
Commercial success, money, fame, being idolised by thousands or even millions do not help to stop the demons running havoc in our brains. But rather than feeling downhearted about this realisation, I hope it can serve as an inspiration and actually show you that you have a greater chance of surviving your demons by having made this realisation.
There is no quick fix to mental illness, there is no one formula that will see you reach a better place, but it is important to focus your energies and your fight in the right place. If we put hopes of our recovery on how much money we make, or how much success we have (and I am categorically NOT talking about Chester right now as I don’t know anywhere near enough about his inner workings to be able to do so) we will never find that sense of recovery that we are all looking for.
I’ve quoted this before but there was a study done that measured the levels of happiness of those who won millions on the lottery and those who had lost a limb. Obviously immediately after both of these events the levels of happiness shot in opposite directions, however well within 12months there was no statistical difference in happiness between the two groups.
While it makes me sound more like a hippy than I would generally like, happiness, or a route out of depression has to come from within. Putting hopes of recovery on external events, achievements, validation will only ever give a short term boost, but give no long term resolution to your situation.
Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, Robin Williams, Kurt Cobain, etc all found far more money, success, adulation etc than any of us will ever get a sense of during our lifetime, but it did nothing to silence the demons within. So please, because of their deaths, rather than feel lost and unable to see any future, focus your energies and dreams on the areas that can make a positive difference.
The music industry is
Be you, embrace you, flaws and qualities, don’t fear your mind, but do be aware of it. Talk, reach out to people, never hide from your mind, find help where it is available. The overwhelming majority of people who die by suicide, don’t actually want to die, they simply want their pain to stop. It won’t be an easy road, it won’t be quick, but there are other ways to stop that pain than suicide.
If you are in urgent need please call one of the helplines below, or if you are in the UK you can see a wider range of support networks here