When I was 17 or 18 my father turned to me after a dinner at his house and asked me, point blank: “When was the last time you thought about killing yourself?”
I was shocked into just answering, honestly. It had been about a year before.
By the time he asked I was over that particular hump, but my depression has ebbed and flowed for years. The very, very worst was when I was in my early 20s, having graduated at or near the top of my class and managed to only one job – a terrible one that I left after just a few months when the paper shut down.
I felt as though I had made all the wrong choices and it was just going to keep going that way. I would collapse in tears, sleep all day, hope that somebody could offer me a better solution that just disappearing. But I’m still ebbing and flowing. It’s been much better and at its worst.
It does not surprise me that people like Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington suffered from depression. There is a reason that I connected to their music. There is a reason that driving around with the windows down blasting Hybrid Theory and singing along made me feel better – like someone understood.
What surprises me is that they couldn’t beat it, in the end.
Because why me. Why could I fight back against that demon and these artists, these successful people, these respected people, couldn’t?
Does this mean that there are no answers, no solutions, no magic potion to make the darkness disappear. Does this mean that to be a great artist, you really do have to descend into that darkness? Can I never be my most creative self AND be taking the anti-depressants that keep me level?
And I drive myself crazy.