The Bible views suicide as murder – murder of the self, a sin for which you go to Hell.
I grew up as a Christian.
I also grew up battling depression, and suicide ideation; for me, some days were akin to living in Hell.
They still are.
Many of my heroes, and people I grew up idolising, have committed suicide… to name a few:
- Ernest Hemingway
- Sylvia Plath
- Virginia Woolf
- Vincent Van Gogh
- Marilyn Monroe
- Ian Curtis
- Heath Ledger
- Robin Williams
- Kurt Cobain
- Alexander McQueen
…And then this week… Chris Cornell.
All of these people were tortured by mental illness; depression is a dark wolf, it’s relentless.
You cannot shake it off; it sinks its sharp teeth through your skin, into your brain, your heart, your soul. They say ‘sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you‘ but that’s a lie, because the words are already inside of you, and that’s why they hurt you the most.
The first time I heard of Chris Cornell, was through Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun”, a song he claimed was often misinterpreted as cheerful.
We first heard of Chris Cornell through Soundgarden, on VH1, my sister and I.
So mesmerised, were we by the video to “Black Hole Sun”, we didn’t even gallop around the coffee table like we did when we rocked out to other bands, or gyrate against the arms of the sofas, pretending they were our guitars. Not to “Black Hole Sun”. We both resonated with the dark lyrics, and the shadows looming within the music video.
Nobody else sang like this guy, which is why we would always pause when this video came on. We used to record music videos from sky music channels, so that we could collate our favourite videos together into a collection, like a time capsule we could keep and watch on repeat.
While my sister left grunge as she grew older, I stayed supremely depressed in the dark rock of the nineties.
And we drew further and further apart.
Of late, mental health awareness has been at the forefront of our fingertips, our headlines, our hashtags etc. We’re finally talking about it openly, while people like me have been suffering so silently in the darkness for so many years.
As much as I admire your hashtags and your headlines, it doesn’t change the fact that people like me have been suffering so silently in the darkness for so many years.
It doesn’t save the tortured souls that have been lost, that have been slashed by your blades of hell; your judgements, your slurs, your eye rolls, your shoulder shrugs; these are all blades contributing to the wrists slit in desperation every day, and the many other despairing exits taken.
I am heartbroken by Chris’ passing; another brother lost to the darkness that I battle with daily, hourly, minutely.
And the deeper the claws drag you, the harder it becomes for anything, or anyone to reach you, especially when you’re drowning in oceans of ignorance.