So I’m going to start this off by mentioning Ive had depression for about five years now. Major depression or recurrent depression can come and go. I can be completely fine for awhile then all of a sudden have something come along and trigger my depression. Suddenly, all hell breaks loose and unfortunately its something you can’t just ignore and push away. It’s been a long, never ending battle that I have been slowly, but surely, fighting. And let me tell you, it has been exhausting. This year I can truly say this has been the worst one yet.

July 20th was one of the worst days of my life. When my phone blew up from texts and calls from friends to find out about Chester’s suicide, I mentally broke down. Linkin park has always been my go-to music since 2000, when Hybrid Theory was released and I was just a little punk kid who got to see them as my first ever concert experience. They got me through many hard times growing up and they always seemed to know exactly what to say in their songs to keep me realizing I was not alone, and I wasn’t the only one who felt the way I did. Chester was a HUGE part of my life. This year was going to be my fifth time to see them live with the possibility to finally get the chance to meet them (thanks to being an LPU member) which has been a dream of mine for years.

Five weeks before the show i learned the devastating news about Chester and that his depression took his life, took him away from his family, and took him from the millions of fans in the world, like myself. Depression became so hard for him to deal with that he took his own life to end the constant battle in his own head. People who don’t experience these battles are the ones who label him as “selfish” and ask “why would someone with all that money and such a beautiful family be such a coward and leave his kids like that?” Come on now. You don’t think he thought about that? Just because you might have everything in the world you could ever need doesn’t mean it can just make the horrible thoughts inside your head go away.

Its not just being sad, stressed or overwhelmed. Its a disease. It’s feeling like no matter what you do nothing will ever be good enough. Since his death I haven’t been the same. Ive been pushing myself to get help so I don’t ever have to choose the route that Chester did. I forced myself to go to therapy. I forced myself to get my medications changed. I forced myself to look at life differently, to be positive, but to also keep Chester and Linkin Park’s music close to my heart and no longer let it trigger my depression. The first step i had to take was admitting i had a problem, and start the journey of fighting like hell to get myself better, happier, and overall a better person, friend, and mother. All it takes is that first step. If you know you need to take it then get out there and fight. Because YOU are worth it.

Love, Krystie