Goodbye, Chester. You didn’t know me, but I knew you well.

I am not going to say much about the epidemic of musician suicides, but this one hits hardest for me so far. This band was with me through the roughest patches of my life, at my lowest points of depression and addiction through high school and college. They put into words the things that I felt but could not say out loud. RIP Chester. I am sad for you and  your family, but I understand more than anyone.

I see a lot of people writing angry things about what you did. They have obviously never been in that position. Anyone who thinks suicide is a “cowardly” way out has never known just what type of mental state or amount of willpower it takes to go through with such an act.

Mental illness is a disease, but no one will talk about it. Depression is a dirty word that makes people uncomfortable, so we sit in silence while it consumes us. It is more acceptable to talk about an STD than it is to talk openly about depression. People that don’t suffer from it don’t understand why you can’t just get over it. You don’t get over it. You learn to live with a piece of yourself missing or medicate yourself to the point of being a zombie. Some of us deal better than others, but it never goes away.

Your music always gave me comfort that someone else felt the way I did, and even though I didn’t know you personally, I felt less alone. Thank you.

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