Of suicides, depression, and the man with a haunting voice

My thoughts on the article Twitter Wants To Protect Eddie Vedder At All Costs After Chris Cornell’s Death.

A bit too soon to talk about it? Maybe. But it’s not just about protecting the best vocalists, grunge icons, or legends anymore. We’re talking about protecting precious lives everywhere. And it’s never too soon to raise awareness on supporting and helping one another out of anything that could lead to self-inflicted injuries or suicidal thoughts.

I recently wrote an article for a local youth magazine on the issue of teen suicide and depression. As usual, as I would in any of my writings, I did not only research on people who have committed suicide or tried to take their own lives; I made myself one with such character.

It wasn’t very difficult, given the fact that I’ve journeyed through depression before. But I realised that you have to be in so deep, buried under so many layers of self-hatred and be completely devastated of any self-esteem in order to be wading through dark thoughts of hurting yourself to the point of death.
“It’s like walking around with a giant lead blanket on you.” – Jonathan Davis, Korn

“I looked at all these beer bottles and saw they were kind of like a metaphor for my life. I was just an empty shell, something to pour alcohol in and was ready to break at any time.” – Randy Blythe, Lamb of God

Whatever it was that Chris Cornell and all these precious souls were going through, whatever it was that was going through their minds moments (and maybe even months or years) before they decided to end it all, I believe there were tiny windows of opportunities for them to climb out of the cold and dingy room they kept themselves locked in.

There are many people who have come out of this. And they are all out to help those who are going through what they’ve been through. (You can find out more on You Rock Foundation.) Because at the end of the day, we all need to help one another see that “[t]here is always light at the end of the tunnel. It’s all temporary. Pain is temporary; depression is temporary. You are stronger than you know…you can get through it.” – Corey Taylor, Slipknot

Jonathan Davis says that “[i]t takes time. Sometimes, it takes medicine. Sometimes, it takes re-arranging your whole life and doing things differently but it does get better at times and those are the times [he lives] for.”

All of us will fall into some kind of self-rejection or anxiety at one point or another in our lives where we will find it hard to focus on climbing out of a nasty situation. (I’ve got to tell you that it gets kind of cozy all wrapped up in the blanket of depression at times that you just don’t want to get out of it.) But there is something we all need to remember before we decide to get into an addiction, self-hurt, or entertain suicidal thoughts: we are all accountable for the lives of everyone else as well. Whatever we do to ourselves, it affects other people more than we know or care to admit. It affects our loved ones, the people we are destined to know in the future, and the people who would stumble upon our life stories.

At any time, seek help. Even if it’s the smallest of things. You are never an inconvenience to anyone. You will never be a burden to anyone with your problems. Regardless of how alone you think you are, there are people you can reach out to, who would be honoured to walk with you through it all.

Despite everything, I still hope and pray that Chris Cornell and all those precious souls who have given up too soon will find the peace and liberation they were looking for wherever they are now.

“In my shoes

A walking sleep

And my youth

I pray to keep

Heaven send

Hell away

No one sings

Like you anymore.” – Black Hole Sun, Soundgarden

… because seriously, no one sings like Chris Cornell.

*Originally posted on my Facebook page on 19 May 2017.


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