*The title of this post was taken from the Soundgarden song of the same name*
Last week, when the news reported that Chris Cornell had passed away, it shook me up.
When further reports came out that it was an apparent suicide, it hit me a little bit more.
Some very thought provoking articles have come out since then reminding us that we never really know what may have been going through Chris’s mind when it happened.
Was it simply the case of a medication he took too much of that pushed him too far?
When I met Chris backstage at a solo show of his in 1999, I never thought I’d be writing something like this about him nearly 18 years later. My memory of him and this news don’t mix well.
As a die-hard music lover, I got to see the reactions of friends and family who also took Cornell’s death really hard.
I guess it’s because suicide leaves such a raw feeling behind for anyone who has ever been close to it.
I don’t know how I survived any of my suicide attempts. Nor do I know how I survived a decade of hard drug use when I know so many others who didn’t.
When we see adages about how we never know the struggles people go through or someone’s fighting a battle we’ll never know about, it’s all true.
Some people are so good at internalizing that struggle and smiling through it.
We’ve been told to be tough or maybe that we shouldn’t emote so openly.
And this can cause a horribly debilitating effect on anyone who doesn’t have an outlet.
It’s not just about suicide.
And it’s not just about internal struggles.
I sometimes sit in amazement at the clients who come through our door who are barely keeping their lives together…but they’re here.
For the outlet.
For the distraction.
For something else aside from their own minds to put their focus into.
Something that might give them 30 or so minutes of release.
And if we get to be that small amount of sunlight in someone’s otherwise chaotic life, so be it.
Do I feel lucky that I lived to tell a story that others didn’t?
Honestly, I feel luckier that we’ve created a place for people to open up and feel welcome; a place for people to turn to when they felt they couldn’t succeed at much or were just convinced they were better at being failures.
So, to all of you fighting a fight that no one knows about. Don’t give up.
In closing, I’d like to dedicate this post to a former client who sadly is no longer with us.
Rest in peace, Christa Jackson. We miss you.