It’s amazing how you can change and your eyes can open in a matter of months.
The basis of this blog was built on a dream. A dream of making it to Broadway and doing their social media marketing. Well, everything has changed. Don’t fall out of your chair. Please. Because this is going to be one longgg and intimate blog post. So, buckle up kids.
I know I’ve kind of been missing from a lot of you. I haven’t really talked to you or opened up about many things. This is an exhausting subject matter and when in your mind it feels trivial, but it’s played a huge role in your life, it’s just not something you want to talk about.
However, I just want to say- HOW YOU FEEL IS VALID!
As we all know on July 20 of this year, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park died. When he passed I didn’t think it would have a profound effect on me. Well, think again-it did.
As someone who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), suicide ideation is always at the forefront of your mind.
NOTE: NOW, before any of you freak out and decide to tattletale on me to my therapist or call someone, just don’t. I’m okay and everyone who needs to know about me and my situation is well aware. I am no psychologist or psychiatrist and neither are you. Unless you actually are, then hello and welcome.
Back to Chester. I never realized how much of an impact that man had on my life. I remember locking eyes with him when I first saw “One Step Closer” in 2001. I’ll never forget my immediate thought of, “this man is beautiful and his voice is something so different.” Little did I realize his screams were exactly what I was feeling. Not just me, but so many others.
Symptoms of BPD include impulsivity. These impulses can be anything really. Mine was tattoos. I HAD to have a tattoo after he died. The day after he died I planned my first one.
In a matter of 3 months, I had gotten 10 tattoos. For the first month I went every week. Later I came to realize this was not only part of my disorder, but also acting out from losing what felt like a soulmate.
/\ This is so very and exhaustingly true. I got to the point where I had no hope. No reason for living. I did not know what I wanted to do with my life anymore. What’s the point? If my best friend was gone and he couldn’t do it, how could I? And that’s how I found Chester the more I realized what he had done for me: a best friend, a soul mate. There’s no way you can feel that intensely about someone passing if they didn’t mean that much to you and let me tell you, I’ve been through a lot and lost a lot. What do you do when the one person you felt like understood you and cared left this world because he couldn’t take it?
The pain just grew and grew, and I felt heavier and heavier.
This is when I decided to join a LP chat and let me tell you, these people are all hurting. We are all broken, depressed, and lost our best friend. We are all also loving, uplifting, supportive, and insanely loyal to one another, Chester, the band, and Chester’s wife. I had hoped I had finally found some sort of coping mechanism with these people.
While these people are great and amazing, the pain wouldn’t go away. The heaviness was still inside of me and it hurt to move.
On October 27, Chester’s memorial concert happened. Thank the Lord I had these people during this time. I couldn’t have done it without them. The concert was one of the most difficult things I have ever watched. The lone microphone on stage with ivy draping down as the crowd sung “Numb” will forever haunt my memory. After seeing a defeated Linkin Park try and make the crowd feel okay, but in reality it was the crowd keeping Linkin Park from collapsing on stage in tears, I felt a pain inside I have never felt. While their intent was to make this feel like a celebration, it felt like a true goodbye; a funeral that we all were invited too. A funeral that Chester would have loved. However, I couldn’t love it back. After the concert was over and the screen went black, it felt truly over and I went dark. I fell into a dark place and I was scared. I have this curse that I can put myself in people’s shoes and feel as they feel. I put myself on that stage and could feel how Mike felt as he sang without his best friend. I put myself in Chester’s shoes right before he made the fateful decision that Thursday in July. Too many emotions coming all at once and I didn’t know what to do. I felt like a catalyst for everyone’s pain and no one even know’s who I am. How is that even fair? So, I took a Xanax and went to bed.
The next morning I woke up mentally exhausted, sad, and my brain filled with a whole lot of I don’t know. Chest was heavy and I knew something had to give. Everyone talks about journaling. I felt like I needed to talk to Chester somehow, and I’m too ADD to do it in my mind, so I went and bought a journal.
The first letter I wrote to him was actually freeing in a way. It was very long and I felt more connected. I decided after to write my prayers in there too, because well, I’m too ADD to do it in my head or even aloud. After one day, I immediately felt closer to Chester and Christ. I guess Psychologists know what they are talking about huh?
Ugh, should I get super personal now? Might as well. Let’s rewind time to the end of July after Chester past. *Makes rewinding sounds*
During the summer, dragonflies are always around me. They are around my car and around me all the time. Every day during the summer, my friend Jennifer from work and I walked around the little pavement track and talked about life. And every day this blue dragonfly always followed me the whole time. Even Jennifer commented on how this blue dragonfly was fond of me. At the time, I didn’t think much of it.
Two weeks ago, I was having a chat with one of my now close friends from the LP chat and we were talking about receiving affirmations from Chester, (I don’t like to call them signs because I’m not trying to manipulate anything-I’ll get to that point in a few). I tell her I haven’t seen anything and she says that maybe I haven’t been looking hard enough. That’s when the blue dragonfly pops into my head. I run to Jennifer’s desk and ask if she thinks the blue dragonfly was Chester and she agrees and thinks that it’s a good possibility.
That night I write in my journal and I flat out ask Chester if he is my blue dragonfly. I ask for an affirmation just to let me know that he’s with me, he’s okay, and that he loves me and all of us like he said he did when he was alive. I then write my prayer to the Lord and ask for the same thing. Not thinking much of anything, I go to bed. When I wake up in the morning, things go crazy.
At this point, it’s the beginning of November and I’ve been in pain since July. I’ve been impulsive, depressed, tired, anxiety-ridden, among many other things, and I’m just heavy. I know the Lord knows this, (if you haven’t realized by now, I’m a Christian girl. I’m not some religious zealot, but I do have a relationship with Christ and it will be mentioned). So, I get in my car on a Tuesday morning and the song “Keep Ya Head Up” by Tupac is on. Now if you know me, you know I’m a Tupac fan. So, the first thought in my mind is, “Is this Chester? Is he telling me to keep my head up?” I put the picture in my LP chat and go, Chester? They respond by saying no that’s not Chester and I move on with my morning and doubt myself. THEN…THEN… “Hey Ya” by Outkast comes on. What’s the significance of this song you ask? Well, Linkin Park did a Carpool Karaoke episode 6 days before Chester died and the first song they did was “Hey Ya.”
Okay-now I’m paying attention. Halfway through “Hey Ya” I get an alert for “One More Light” by Linkin Park. Now, I haven’t listened to this song since the memorial concert and I can’t because all I see is a sad Mike Shinoda aching for his best friend. However, if this is Chester and the Lord speaking to me, I must listen, so I change it. When I change it, the lyrics that are playing are “Can I help you not to hurt anymore?”
Message Received. Crazy right? The Lord works in mysterious ways. Chester was my blue dragonfly and the Lord heard my prayer. He has seen my pain and knew I needed reassurance when it came to Chester.
Ever since that day, I have felt less heavy and a little less painful. However, the pain is still there. Oh, and what did I do at the end of the week after that happened? Get a tattoo of a blue dragonfly..haha
So, let me get to the point of this blog. I mentioned at the beginning everything has changed. I now believe some people have to truly suffer to find their calling in life. What is mine? I want to help people with mental illness. I want to educate them in BPD, especially family members of those suffering. I would love to start a foundation and send all proceeds to the “One More Light” Fund in honor of Chester. No one should be ashamed of how they feel. Talinda Bennington was right when she said that we need to address mental health like we do physical health. It’s just as or if not more important.
I don’t know what’s next for me. All I know is that I’m trucking along and telling the Lord that I will follow wherever he leads. For some reason, my heart really wants to go to LA. So, I’ve been looking for plane tickets. We will see what happens.
Until then, here’s a cute gif of Chester. <3 miss you always.