Anna Shinoda

Getting Better

I haven’t talked publicly that much about my own mental health. I think in interviews when Learning Not to Drown came out, I may have touched briefly on being in therapy, but I’ve never gone into detail. I am very open with friends about it, but was always afraid of being judged publicly for having my brain. I applauded Chester (especially in the past few months before his death) for being so open in interviews. I was proud of him for being brave. I knew that by describing the way his brain worked, Chester would help others get beyond the stigma of mental health and addiction.

I guess now it’s my turn to be open.

As someone who personally deals with depression and anxiety on a daily basis, I know how important it is to recognize the way my brain works and the things that help me. Personally, therapy has been the best thing for my brain – specifically EMDR and cognitive therapy. I have had the same psychologist for 14 years. There are times that I have needed her five days a week, and times that I see her once every few months.

For some people, medication will be what works best. For one year of my life, I was on medication to help lower my anxiety to a point that I could actually get through the therapy sessions and allow my brain to start making new, healthy connections. Some people may need medication for a short time, some may need it for life. It depends on the individual brain and how it works.

For some people, alternative therapies might work best.

For some people, books are helpful.

For some people, group settings and support is what works best (I highly recommend Al-Anon or AA/NA for people dealing with addiction – it is free, provides therapy in a group setting and a community of support).

For most people, it will take trying different options and maybe even mixing several of them.

My initial healing took several YEARS – some of it was incredibly painful, but I am so glad that I stuck with it. The Anna that I am on a daily basis now feels true to me. I don’t miss the deep depressive dives, or the bursts of anger that could take over my whole day. I don’t miss being afraid of emotions. I don’t miss feeling out of control. I know now that the way my brain stays healthy involves exercise, vitamin D, creative outlets of writing and drawing, talking to trusted friends, sometimes acupuncture, seeing my therapist if I start to slip and checking in with her monthly so we can recognize early signs when I might need a little more help.

Here is what gets tricky: taking care of mental health can feel embarrassing (we need to change this – and this is something that everyone can contribute to), it can be expensive (another thing we need to change – this might take laws being passed) and it can take more than one try to find the right therapist/psychologist or psychiatrist or group for you. It takes work, and a sick brain may not want you to do the work. A sick brain might not want to deal with insurance or finding free resources. A sick brain may tell you that nothing will work for you.

If you need help, please absolutely seek it out, and try again and try often if the first attempt toward mental health doesn’t seem to work.

Chester worked hard. He worked hard to be sober. He worked hard for happiness. I am eternally grateful for the years that were given to us because of the work he put in. We will never know what was happening in his final moments, but we do know that the only thing to blame is disease: addiction and mental illness.

As a person who is in incredible pain at the loss of one of my best friends because of mental illness, I can assure you that you are important and needed in this world. And you deserve mental health.

Find a way that works for your brain.  Dedicate yourself to working towards mental health.  Most likely, it will not be a destination, but an on-going journey. This is okay. The important thing is that you are on the journey and putting in the work, one moment at a time. Slips can happen. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Admit it and get back on the path. Accept help. Be compassionate with yourself.

One thing we can all do to help stop the stigma around mental illness and suicide is to look at our words. Words matter. When we say “died by suicide” instead of “committed suicide” we focus on the illness rather than blaming the survivors or the deceased.

The answer to “why did someone die by suicide?” is always “mental illness.” That is the reason. And if we can start there, we can move forward, not only to prevent more suicides but to help more people find mental health.

 

In case you or someone you know needs support, here are some resources:
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
Crisis Text Line, the free, nationwide, 24/7 text message service for people in crisis, is here to support. For support in the United States, text HELLO to 741741 or message at facebook.com/CrisisTextLine.
For support outside the US, find resources at http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

http://chester.linkinpark.com

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100 thoughts on “Getting Better

  1. Hi Anna,

    Just finished reading your post. I wanted to pick your brain on something but didn’t want to post it here… would that be okay? (I noticed your Contact Me page is down or has been removed.)

    Let me know, thanks.

    Brandon

    Like

  2. Anna is very strong woman. It’s fine to be more open and real. You can’t keep all your emotions inside. The first step to heal is to explain people how you feel.

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  3. I just read your post, I lost my father 26 years ago due to suicide and lack of understanding of mental health issues. It took a long journey for me to understand why my father died. I have reblogged your post on my blog, I have taken the liberty of thinking it is okay since you have said it is okay to share in earlier threads to someone else. Thank you so much for your words.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. my cousin was like my brother, we grown up together and he just died by suicide a couple days ago.
    And it hurts so bad, because we never knew what he was going through, even his mother doesn’t know it. And we all are looking for answers, or trying to understand but we can’t.
    It hurts so bad Anna, i already read it when you post this.. but now i’m here again and i will never imagine that i would be here telling this heartbroken history. (i’m sorry about my english, i’m from Paraguay but i really wanted to talk to you)

    Like

  5. prelevich on said:

    Dear Anna,
    I suffered from depression for about 2 years due to alcoholism. I was lucky to stumble upon an article that detailed the link between alcohol and depression and I kicked my habit on the spot. I have been sober for 1.5 years and words cannot describe just how much better my life is.
    The 2 years that I battled depression were the worst years of my life. Less than 2 months before I stopped drinking I had written a suicide note and decided how i was going to end my life. Despite the fact that I knew how much pain I would inflict on the people that love me, I felt that my pain was greater and I could not fight it anymore. I tried discussing my feelings with the people close to me and I learned that unless you’ve been through it, you cannot understand what depression feels like.
    Chester Bennington’s death has left a deep scar in my soul. With my own battle being so fresh in my mind, I honestly feel that I can understand what he was going through during his battle and it kills me that he wasn’t able to get help and experience the joy of life. I cannot watch a LP video without crying no matter how much time has passed since Chester’s death.
    I hope that you, and as many of the sufferers as possible, will find the true source of your depression and that you will overcome it and life a full and happy life. Much love to you and may God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. For Anna. The open dialogue about mental health is essential and I thank you and all those out there in speaking of the 24/7 struggle, fight and torment that conditions (mine being bipolar) we all wrestle with. The writting above is eloquent and I thank you for that. I am sure you are as busy as you can get, but I believe insight into each of our lives helps others and I, therefore, hope you write in your blog more often. I am listening, as are we all. With my best wishes and hope for a different future, Laura

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  8. Also, I am a healthcare provider, working within a very fractured system so I am on the front lines of those seeking help. We need new laws. We need better resources. We need less stigma. There is little to no help for people of limited means. Even with front line insurance, there is minimal coverage for mental health. It’s exhausting, frustrating, but not impossible. We ALL need to do what we can, with what we have, where we are. And TALKING about it is a starting point. Much love.

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  9. Fantastic post and so happy you are writing a blog. Much respect for your openness, honesty, and candor. I am hopeful that dialogue is beginning to be more on the forefront regarding mental illness thanks to brace souls such as you and Chester. With your permission, would love to share your post. Much love.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Maribel del Villar Pérez on said:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Anna. My condolences to you, your children, and her loved-ones.
    If there’s anything you need, please don’t hesitate to ask – the entire LP family is here for you 💔

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Christina #CelebrateLife on said:

    Thank you Anna it is very nice to read. I have me too ashamed for what I have. Since death Chesters I have overcome myself to stand by me publicly. Excuse me, my English is so bad🙈😂 The brain can only relearn when your own healing takes place. I also have years of therapy and it is the best I could have ever done. Thank you Anna for your openness 💋 and many Hugs for you and Mike (whole Family) ❤💋

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  12. Melissa Pinkham on said:

    Thank you Anna for sharing your story. I am so sorry about the loss of your friend.
    My own son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and addiction. His symptoms showed up around 13 years old and nobody could properly diagnose him until he was almost 17 + already deep in addiction. After 9 rehabs, years of entering psych hospitals, my son missing and living on the streets, he is finally in a place of stability. He still has a long ways to go. He too, and still to this day deals with suicidal ideation and the challenge to stay sober amongst many other things. The biggest roadblock to this Mental Health crisis as you said is the stigmatization that the general public perpetuates through media, language and basically, the lack of knowledge on mental health issues. All these things matter and they keep people hiding in their disease. It’s incredibly lonely.
    Some of the words that I’ve heard after Chester’s death was “struggling with demons”. I don’t think I have heard any other diseases described as that including diabetes or breast cancer. We would be appalled if someone referred to heart disease as living with” demons”. Let’s take that word out of our dialogue. Again we are dealing with the disease. It is certainly not a choice.
    Another point is the idea of access. EMDR therapy is at a minimum of $200 an hour. Even the best of insurances do not cover it so can you imagine people how it must be for people with limited that funds. What ends up happening is that they put therapy aside which as with any kind of chronic illness can be dangerous. You’re fortunate you have access.
    As a family member living with the disease, I too have been discriminated against because of my son disease. I am a teacher and I was at a school when my son was diagnosed. Fearing my son, my work, my livelihood, was also at risk due to the stigmatization . Just for the record, people with mental health issues are of most danger to themselves, not to others. That is another myth that comes with the disease. I don’t know if people understand what it feels like everytime I open my son’s door in the morning, praying that he’s alive and breathing. No one should have to live with that fear especially in a society where we have treatments available and access to knowledge.
    Some of our most creative, intelligent and forward-thinking people in history dealt with chronic mental illness. We need these people to give us ideas, to expand our thinking and the make the world a better place.
    Sadly, the way that mental illness is gaining a platform is through the deaths of the ones we love. And the movement is way too slow.
    As an advocate for all people dealing with mental illness and addiction, I plead to the general public and to people that have access to communicate to millions to do whatever they can to stop the stigmatization of both mental illness and addiction. Demonstrate its incredible sides. Find ways in providing treatment that is accessible and affordable. And most importantly, educate as many as we can. That would make Chester proud and the many of us that are living without a voice. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Michelle Copley on said:

    First, let me say that I am a fan of LP from way back in the beginning. I am 50 years young and this and Chris Cornell’s death has truly taken the wind out of me. LP helped me keep it together through a divorce, through a hostile takeover at a job I LOVED. Through losing everything I owned and through the sickness and hospitalizations of my now 28 year old daughter. They helped me find a way to power through undergrad school and then onto Grad school for 8 years, getting my degree in mental health counseling because I love the broken and hurting as passionately as I could because through these guys music, lyrics and passion they not only supported me through all of that but gave me the incentive to get a degree in mental health counseling to try and help those who suffer from mental health problems.

    Depression killed Chester and Chris. Just like cancer could’ve. I applaud you Anna, and Talinda and all the guys in LP for using your platform to speak out for Mental health. It is unfortunately still such a stigma to ‘have’ a mental illness. That is the change we desperately need in this world. We’ve GOT to start treating it like it is as important as physical health.

    I also wanted to express my sympathy to all of you who were actually CLOSE to Chester as many of us feel we are, nothing compares to the loss you all are feeling, it just IS different. I especially feel for you all because of having to explain to the young ones how this empty space is going to be in their lives in place of someone like Chester.

    My “soapbox” has ALWAYS been how we condition our male children that they should never show sadness or cry because it makes them “weak or babies”. Our military does the same. So we STILL are setting ppl up to feel the emotion sadness and fear is unacceptable. As advanced as our medical community is we STILL treat mental illness like it is a choice. Ok, I’ve went off a tangent and with not even a whole cup of coffee I am afraid to even come back and read what I’ve written later lol This is all over the place but I just HAD to say something to you and let you know how your article here resonated with me, how much I feel for you all and how much the band and Chester means to me and so many others. Plus Thank You from the bottom of my heart for your words AND actions in support of so many.

    #MakeChesterProud #FuckDepression

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  14. Thank you Anna. I have suffered with depression all my life, I’m 53 & still haven’t worked it out. Therapists have been a waste of time for me, things you have said here & what I’ve been reading/hearing since Chester passed, has made me realise ALL my symptoms are all pointers to the overall disease & heading for a slip ..I, even after all these years, have been too sick to see them. I need to seek something/someone for some kind of help again, this time I can go in armed with knowing & explaining ALL my symptoms. Therapy and groups were not really available in my early years and only recently have people opened their hearts and spoken truly of their disease…it is not so ‘Taboo’ as it was before. This is why I stand with yourself, Talinda & all the Org’z that are stepping out & stepping up to loudspeaker this sneaky black veil of a disease that has and still is destroying my life & others. IT IS TIME TO STOP IT!! The
    I Thank God for Chester’s bravery & how he coped and always always went over & behind to help others Thank you Chester sincerely from my heart.
    Time to move on Anna, Thank you so much for being so open. Yours & Mikes heart will heal, you both have beautiful memories of Chester forever in your hearts xx

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  15. Donna Davis on said:

    You are a Rockstar 💕💕

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  16. This is such a beautiful post Anna, thank you.
    I’ve struggled with anxiety, depression, ADHD and PTSD for a long time and I’ve only really started to open up about in the past couple of years. Chester helped me more than I can ever put into words throughout my preteen and teenage years right through to now at the age of 21. He was so very important to me that losing him felt like losing a close friend or a family member. I’m still struggling to come to terms with his death, but I managed to scrape together the cash to get myself out to LA from Manchester, UK for the celebration of life show on the 27th which I think will help and be very cathartic.
    I honestly don’t think I would’ve made it this far without music, particularly Linkin Park, and Chester’s openness about his own mental health. He helped me not to feel alone in my fight. I’ve started a blog on mental health myself because it’s so important that we talk about it and that more people realise that they’re not alone and help is out there before it’s too late.
    Again, thank you for this post and for speaking out so frequently. You’re a hero

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  17. Anna,
    This is the first time I have ever spoke about my own mental health. I have always been the bubbly cheerful one. The one that spends hours making other people feel worthy to hide her own pain. My dad was the surviving child of suicide and had been a tortured soul for all of his grown life. My Grandfather’s suicide in the 40’s was just the beginning of the things that tortured my father. My Mom left my him when I was 6 for a monster who would physically, verbally and emotionally abuse us till there was nothing left. The excuse my Mother would give would be that my step monster was abused so that should be reason enough to abuse others. I call bullshit! My Sister and I have never laid a hand on our children and even when everyone said that we would raise hellions we found other ways to discipline without breaking our children’s spirit and abusing them. They have grown into well rounded amazing human beings! I have worked hard to always build them up which was a behavior that bled into all of my relationships. I have been the one that lifts everyone up…the one that others call when they need to talk, I have always been the one to speak life to people around me and to make them laugh when all they wanted to do was cry. I pride myself into leaving people better than I found them. I can’t have mentally unhealthy behaviors because its not my job. ITs not my place in the world. Yet silently I am the same tortured soul my Daddy was.
    As I said before, this is the first I have spoke of this out loud… I am “just an ordinary fan” of Linkin Park. The music gave me an outlet, and through Chester’s pain I found my song, through Chester’s passing, I found you, Talinda and your amazing extended family. I am praying for you all each and every day! Through finding you I have finally spoke outloud about something I always thought I would take to my grave! I’d like to think of this as a first step, my fear is that I’ll never speak of it again. Yet I’ll wear my Music is Therapy shirt like a boss and I’ll always remember Chester!
    Thank you Anna!

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  19. Michelle on said:

    You know what is sad? That even if you are in therapy and trying to heal there is fear about letting it be known…fear of losing your job, your children…many other sad realities. I so very sorry for your loss. No one can know the depth of your pain. (((hugs)))

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  20. Thank you Anna ❤️

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  21. We still have a long way to go in accepting that mental illness is a thing. Particularly with men, the culture of “toxic masculinity” makes it even harder to talk about depression and anxiety and other forms of mental illness. Men are told to “suck it up” or “grow a pair” or any number of dismissive remarks.Toxic masculinity is killing our men and boys. I wrote about it on my own blog, in the hopes of helping anybody feel less alone. Thank you for writing this.

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  22. arsenios on said:

    As a LP fan this words are very significant to find
    Since Chester past(a) aagency i really smell that my human beings comes down
    I cause alagencys be insecure about my personality, my physical structure, my agency to routine, everything
    everything is a risk of infection for my and i get into’ t like to go out my confort geographical zone
    with LP euphony my living was better, to listen Chester’s interpreter alagencys be the cure, and now everytime i listend Chester is only sadness in my listen
    i still crie for him and i get into’t require to regard my relations with mob and my married man… I get into’t have it away if it’s normal maybe because is very late(a)…
    for you Anna, for Mike, the residual of the stria and for all the fans around the human beings i just require to sound out that we want to be joined and service us each other
    Chester were being majestic of that. .

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  23. Dear Anna! Can’t wait to read your new post. You are a very inspiring and motivating person and you give hope and strength to others. Thank you for your honesty about your personal problems. Thank you for your help and support. It’s a rare thing, that a famous star wife is so immediate with everyday civil people. Respect! 😉👍

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  24. Dear Anna,

    Thanks for writing this down.

    The news of Chester’s death hit me really hard. He was part of the most awesome thing in this world: Linkin Park.
    What scares me the most, is that he seemed to do so much better.
    And that made me realize: do we, the people with mental ilnesses, one day get to the point where we seem to have everything and know that it is not enough? That it will never be enough to become happy, to become whole.
    I believe depression is a Monster you carry with you for your entire life. Sometimes the Monster’s really big and close and you have to fight it as hard as you can. And sometimes it’s really small and easily forgotten. But as soon as you’re doing not so well, the Monster’s right there, waiting to fight you.
    So far, I’ve won every fight with my Monster. My Monster’s never been smaller than it is now. But I’m scared shitless he’ll be back soon. And I’m not sure if I’m able to win another fight. Mostly, because I’m starting to realize I might already be at that point where I have everything, but it is not enough.

    I’m lucky to have a great therapist who understands my doubts and fears. And I’m lucky to have a husband who tries to understand and to whom I can talk to. It hurts me to see how many people have to go through this alone.

    I hope there’s peace and quiet for everyone who died/dies by suicide. I hope death brings them what they are looking for. But most of all, I hope people will find a ‘cure’ to make life worth living.

    With love,
    Esther

    Liked by 2 people

    • Harvey, our 12 year old son, struggles everyday with his mental health. He will go from 0-100 in a matter of minutes. my wife and I spent 4 hours the other evening trying to reason with him about his thoughts on life. he cried relentlessly saying “you don’t understand what it’s like” “I just want to die”.

      How do we deal with this? there seems to be very little support, we have been blamed by medical professionals in the past for Harvey’s condition because we took him the hospital after an attempt he made years ago.

      We refuse to let this control our lives or the lives of any of our children, we camp, hike spend days out as a family and are often looked at by other people when Harvey has a blow out. The stigma is real and a great many people don’t understand.

      One way Harvey channels his energy is to cook, he loves it and makes an awesome Lasagne by the way.

      Another idea we came up with was to create a website for Harvey (still under construction) Harvey wants this website to be safe place for adults, children, parents and anyone who deals with mental health to visit, comment and share coping skills etc.

      He wants to know he’s not alone, he wants to let other know their not alone.

      adht.ca
      #LetsHelpEachOther

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Can’t agree with you more. We should do something to make Chester proud. Helping others with mental disorder out is the best one. Personally I’ve not been to Linkin Park’s concert, which turns out to be a shame permanently. A classmate of mine has been there once and wanted to reach closer to Chester and was let down by the loss. I has been depressed for a while but thereafter I thought that Chester wouldn’t want me to be down and regretful. He must have wanted me and all of us to move on. With this belief I did and in turn help other Linkin Park soldiers out of their sadness. I feel proud and cheerful, probably just as what Chester is now. It just took me less than three days to get through the pain. Anyway thanks for your post. It makes me yet more upbeat than ever.

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  26. Thank you for sharing this. Linkin Park’s music has touched me in so many ways. When I couldn’t describe my own pain I didn’t have to, their lyrics spoke right to my heart. I’ve suffered episodes of depression since I can remember. It gets harder and harder to fight sometimes. The emptiness will drive you crazy. I tried committing suicide 4 years ago a time in my life when everything was falling apart. We need more awareness for Mental illness. I have friends and family who just don’t understand. Chester’s death hit me hard, his voice and spirit will always be missed. The music will live on and on my good days I try to be a voice for us who are suffering. God bless you and your family. I will continue to pray for Chester’s family, band and all of his fans. We can be a voice in this world and raise more awareness for mental illness. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  27. As a LP fan this words are very important to see
    Since Chester past away i really feel that my world comes down
    I have always be insecure about my personality, my body, my way to act, everything
    everything is a risk for my and i don’ t like to go out my confort zone
    with LP music my life was better, to hear Chester’s voice always be the cure, and now everytime i heard Chester is only sadness in my hear
    i still crie for him and i don’t want to affect my relations with family and my husband… I don’t know if it’s normal maybe because is very recent…
    for you Anna, for Mike, the rest of the band and for all the fans around the world i just want to say that we need to be joined and help us each other
    Chester were being proud of that.
    Love for everyone that read this.
    And thanks Anna for beeing open with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Reblogged this on Annas Personal Blog and commented:
    Such brave and inspiring words. Thank you for sharing this with us!

    Liked by 1 person

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  30. emz321 on said:

    I have suffered with depression/anxiety and OCD from I was 13. The reason that I first sought help was because of Linkin Park. I heard Numb and I though “shit, this song was written for me,” then I saw how many people out there were like me. And for the first time in years I realised I wasn’t alone.
    I have been up and down many times but LP has always been my rock and will continue to be my rock.
    I applaud anyone who speaks out and up about mental health, as it’s one of the most difficult battles anyone can face.
    Chester, his work, his words, they’ve saved me and continue to save me. And I feel complete love for all of LP and their families.
    Thank you Anna for this too and I hope that you, Mike, your family, Talinda, hers and Chesters children and all of the guys in the band and to all the fans around the world, stay strong

    Liked by 5 people

  31. I left a comment to mike on twitter after reading this telling him (as every husband should be told) how utterly beautiful I thought you were … and what a lucky man he is to have you ! I work in an emergency room for a living and mental health is a huge issue.. in my ER it’s probably 70% of our patients .. I have an idea: I think you should write something to a political figure when or someone in a healthcare political position to get something started to universally change the laws speak to congress or something … we Need these things changed. No one knows like someone on the inside we need voices.. compassionate understanding and teaching of what it is .. idk I think using your platform ( getting some kind of petition started once the ground work for a new plan is established) would get it faster attention… the laws need to be changed maybe T can help.. whenever the time is right … idk, I don’t mean to disrespect or put pressure on you in anyway I just admire your courage and beauty and living this daily doing this as my career I can say first hand things need to change … follow me on twitter if you want to have a private convo so maybe we can out our heads together with our different versatiles to come up with some ideas … I commend and applaud you Anna!!! Sending you spiritual love !!

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  33. That was a very intriguing read, thanks for sharing Anna. I’ll be honest, the past month has taught me a lot about loss and how that can affect mental health in others. Seeing you, your husband and others close to Chester, and how they deal with his loss, is enlightening to me. As you said, every person deals with their mental health differently, and I think that is the most important takeaway from this article.

    Everyone is different. Everyone’s brain works a little bit differently. So one cannot expect the same from every single person who suffers. And you cannot expect the same for yourself. It’s important to get to know yourself, and to see what works and what doesn’t.

    I am still grieving Chester’s passing everyday; I cannot imagine what it has been like for you and others closer to him. Keeping you all in my thoughts and sending love; thanks for being an exceptional role model and keeping strong. It helps others do the same 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like your post, it says a lot of good, honest things. Suffering from mental illness myself for 20+ years it is hard to tell people (i find you loose many friends this way!) or find the right treatments, some of us just don’t have the money. What I object to though is you calling your brain ‘sick’. Just because it is a ‘mental illness’ does not mean that you are ‘sick’ I don’t think my brain is ‘sick’ and I think that is the wrong word. I feel my brain is wired differently from other peoples and I have to work hard to be how society wants me to be in a way that is acceptable. And I have to work to keep the demons at bay. It is a continuous work in progress. I have gone through cancer and now have lupus and these things are easier to deal with than mental illness. You cant reason with it, cut it out or just take a pill (i know this works for others, but not for me).
      RIP Chester, I know from experience, it only takes a moment and I think about him everyday and I did’nt know him. I cannot imagine how his loved ones have been coping. But this is the same for everyone that commits suicide.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for sharing and for you feedback. After reading your comment I did question if my use of sick was insensitive or incorrect.

        I considered other words I could have used and came to the conclusion that ‘sick’ is still the word for my sentiment in that paragraph, and I wanted to share with you why:

        When I have the flu, my body is sick and I seek treatment to help it get better – that might include rest or vitamins or acupuncture or chicken soup or medications or a trip to the doctor or all of those things and more. In the same way, I hope that if people recognize that their brain is feeling sick they will seek treatment, just as they would for their body.

        In that specific paragraph, I am referring to moments when a brain is sick.

        It is not meant to imply that a brain is in a constant state of sickness, nor do I feel like my brain is sick all of the time – if you will notice in other parts I used the words “how my brain works” which is similar words to your “how my brain is wired”.

        Just as someone with a lifelong illness of the body has times when their body is healthy and times when it is very sick, mental illness has times when the brain is healthy, and times when it is not.

        I do absolutely feel that when I get triggered and start to spiral, my brain is in a state of being sick and that is the time for either more self care and/or to seek professional help. That is also the moment I am most likely to treat myself worse and not reach out.

        There is more to a discussion of why there can be a stigma attached to a brain being sick when there typically is no stigma attached to the body being sick. My hope is that we eventually come to a place where we are just as compassionate toward mental illness as we are toward physical illness.

        Thank you also for sharing that cancer and lupus have been easier to deal with for you than mental illness. I think that is a powerful statement about how serious mental illness is in itself.

        Thanks again for posting your thoughts here. Hopes this clears up my intentions with my word choice.

        Liked by 6 people

      • Yes it does. You have given a great explanation of brain sickness . It was really an eye opener. Thank you 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  34. I really liked the post. You write very well and have a great talent of expressing you feelings. I am also a part of linkin park forums and would like to tell that all the fans were badly hit. I respect your courage. It’s really hard to stay strong in such situations and inspire others.. I know this as I have been doing this in forums..

    Thank you for sharing your feelings with us. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Jeffrey H. Toney on said:

    Beautiful and true, Anna. Staying on the journey, even with twists and turns, or taking a step back, sometimes falling, reaching out for help, may be the most important thing. When I met you at Relief Live to celebrate Music For Relief’s 10th anniversary, you were warm and caring. My family and I mourn Chester’s passing, as his art connected with us deeply. As an extended Linkin Park family, let’s continue our journey together, sharing our art, taking one step at a time, hand in hand. – Jeff

    Liked by 3 people

  36. Hunter Raley on said:

    I know nobody will read this, and honestly I feel dumb writing it.

    People look at me as the strongest person they know, and while my situation may seem small to many I have a passion extremely strong for playing baseball. Through the last 5 years of my life, I have been kicked around from school to school, being told I am not good enough to continue playing baseball. In other situations I have been the best person I can be. I know what it feels like to be at the top, and that is why it is so hard to be at the bottom. Depression has been a thing that has come and go for me, but never has it lingered as much as it has the last 2 years. After being forced to forfeit my scholarship to OU to play baseball, I walked on to the Texas Tech baseball team thinking that it would be a good place for me until I got cut from the team within the first semester of being there. This was only a year after I was awarded the MVP pitcher of a national championship college baseball team. To have the floor drop out from under me once when being forced to forfeit my full ride by the head coach at OU was hard enough. To then have to pack my things and leave Texas Tech over thanksgiving was even harder. It took me almost half of the season to finally stop feeling sorry for myself and decide to do something about it. I finished my Junior year out very strong thanks to the support of my family and the only baseball coach in the world I thought I could trust.

    That next year, I ended up blowing my elbow out and it required surgery if I ever wanted to play again. It was supposed to be my last season of college baseball, senior year! I kept looking back at all I’d been through and I couldn’t let one more obstacle stop me from finishing how I wanted to. 13 months later, arm is feeling great and I am getting close to ready to get back on the mound for my team, and next thing I know I blow out my knee in practice one day. Once again I chose to have the surgery and keep trying to push though and finish my last season of baseball the way I wanted to. I got healthy, or at least healthy enough to pitch and be competitive and was ready to start for the team that year. I had one great game, and one bad game. After the latter, the last baseball coach in the world I thought I could trust, someone I thought was looking out for me turned his back on me and I never touched the field again my senior year. I tried to have multiple conversations with him about it, and throughout the season he kept telling me “I promise I will get you back in a game this next week.” Months passed, still never touched the field. I woke up every day thinking about how I could go from one of the best baseball schools in the country (TCU) as a freshman, transfer by my own choice and win a national championship for a no name school in the middle of Oklahoma, be named the MVP and then for no reason at all everything just spiraled downhill from there. I wake up every day bitter, but try to force a smile on my face so everyone will believe that I am as strong they want me to be. I have a younger sister that thinks the world of me and idolizes me, so much that when she made the freshman volleyball team this year for her high school, she chose my college baseball number for her uniform! I love her to death and I should be proud that she thinks that highly of me even with how much of a piece of shit I can be to her sometimes. But deep down I absolutely hate my life, my baseball career didn’t end on terms I can live with, I am working 2 jobs right now, one as a baseball coach for 11 year old kids and the sport that I once used to love is making my life completely miserable. I don’t trust anyone anymore because if I never trust someone to begin with I know they can’t hurt me in the long run.

    Morale of the story is I want to give baseball one more shot, play one last season leave everything I have left on the field and be content with how my baseball career ended. It tears me up to know that my parents, who have been so involved in my life and my baseball career want me to give it one more chance as well, to see me happy, and I want to make them happy as well. I am 6’4″, 230lbs almost 24 years old, graduated from college and I am sitting here in tears watching a fucking kids Disney movie, Cars 3 reflecting on my life and wondering what could have been as if it is over.

    I am beaten down mentally, physically and spiritually, I want to move on with my life, but being this bitter about everything I have been through in the last 2 or 3 years keeps me up every night until 4:00am or later. I’m writing this now and it’s 4:38 in the morning. I want to have closure on my baseball career, I want to love the great game again like I once used to, but now any time I even see a baseball field it reminds me of every single thing I just wrote about.

    While some struggles may seem small to some, you cannot truly understand what someone is going through unless you are that person.

    I am far from suicidal, but I ABSOLUTELY know the struggles of depression. I just can’t really talk about it with my family, they would never understand. I have to be the strong older brother to my sister right now as she faces some of her problems in high school, I can’t allow her to see any weakness in me. My problems can wait.

    Chester’s death hit me extremely hard this summer. May he rest in peace, I know how hard it will be for everyone to find peace with his death but I know he is in a better place now and one day his family and friends will be with him again.

    Sincerely,
    Hunter Raley

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hunter,

      Don’t worry. Someone did read this.

      I was suicidal, once upon a time in high school. Was it “that phase” young goths go through? Not sure. I now take several medications for bipolar disorder.

      I was a Resident Assistant in the dorm in 1996 when a student took their life in their room. That night, the 10 of us staff had to tell 640 residents. They never trained us to do that.

      I’m finishing my Master of Education this fall. My graduate research topic since Spring 2015 has been youth suicide. A lot of reading and writing about the topic. I even taught a graduate seminar: 2 hours every Friday for 7 weeks, talking about suicide with my classmates.

      AND—I’ve been a huge Linkin Park fan for years. I was riding the train home from rehearsal on July 20 and I first saw Chester in his black hat and black shirt with black plugs in his ears, just staring at me. Then I read the headline. It took the entire bus ride home (after I transferred) for me to comprehend what had happened.

      One of my favorite singers did this the semester before I graduate after an intensive two years studying the topic. In a really weird, obscure way, Chester provided a beacon of light, guiding me to finish my degree.

      Mike asked us all to do something to #MakeChesterProud. My final grad project is now dedicated to Chester’s fans, the ones who need help to understand their immediate needs.

      I’m here to keep one more light flickering. And another. And another. That how I will #MakeChesterProud.

      I’m praying that Anna… Mike… Sean… others of his friends… know how much I want to help. Yes, I am a fan, and that boundary of respect remains. But this is also something I’ve been deeply passionate about since I had to tell my floor of 64 that a student had died 21 years ago. I’m not a professional, and hardly an expert, but I have background and experience.

      And I loved Chester’s voice. High Voltage live in London. That was the first video where I truly knew and understood Chester was Chester.

      Liked by 2 people

    • AND—if your body prevents your spirit from playing baseball… think about coaching or working with kids to help them learn the game.

      There will always be a way to live your passion, even if the body isn’t willing.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Hunter – I read your comment, and I am going to recommend a book to you. Mike and I are reading Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. The book was written after Sheryl’s husband died. Grief isn’t just caused by death and this book is about “facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy” (and there is an audio book version if you’d rather listen). From the introduction: “Life is never perfect. We all live some form of Option B. This book is to help us all kick the shit out of it.”

      Baseball is obviously something extremely important to you and is part of who you are. I hope that if baseball as Option A is no longer available to you, that you find a way to kick the shit of Option B.

      Also, it is not selfish to tend to your problems now and make fixing them a priority. To be cliché, on an airplane you need to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others around you. Otherwise you risk not being able to help anyone.Your sister will benefit from you getting help. If help can’t come from a professional, find a community to support you – if you don’t know where to turn first, the LP fans have been an amazing support system for each other and would welcome talking with you.

      Liked by 5 people

    • Hello hunter.
      I read the entire story and as you said that we can understand some pains unless we are that person. I too can’t because I ain’t you. But I can see that you are very strong brother. Your thoughts for not showing your weekness to sister is nice. But friend, you really should share your feelings. I can understand that you can’t share it with your parents and family but with some friend or anyone.. And you know whats the best part, you thought no one would read this but still expressed you life story. And first of all, mentally hurt doesn’t mean that you are weak. You are one of the strongest person I have known. I am really very sorry that you couldn’t achieve your dream career. And it is no stupid to watch disney movies😊.

      You are doing great in just spreading positivity but pls take care of yourself. I dont know how to inspire you .. If I say ‘stay strong’ , you have been doing that all the way long. Just would say that brightest stars shine in darkest skies. And you really are a star. You need to find perfect sun to give some light..
      And ya, the trust matter, I have some same kinda story too. Wont say now.. But can really understand how does it feels when someone betrays.

      Best of luck for the rest of your life. I hope you find some way to stay happy. And there always is
      (Sorry for bad grammer, this isnt actually my first language 😅 )

      Good day friend

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hunter Raley on said:

        I was having a hard night when I wrote that. It felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders, I’ve been in the middle of searching for a full time job and when you have bigger aspirations than being a delivery driver for Amazon but no opportunities in sight, it can get to you a little bit. I was feeling like I really let myself and my family down because of how much they invested in me with little reward on the back end. Baseball is a game that I put my heart and soul into, like many out there, but very few get to achieve their greatest dreams in the long run. Having close friends that are playing professionally, some even in the MLB, it is hard to see them succeed when they don’t want the success as much as you do.

        Unfortunately I really like Disney movies, regardless of whether I am a kid anymore or not, but for some reason Cars 3 really hit me hard. If any of you have ever watched it, you would definitely understand why that made that night so difficult for me. It was kind of funny waking up the next day and realizing how dumb it was to let a movie like that get under my skin. Just like with Linkin Park and a lot of the music that Chester and Mike wrote together, it felt like that movie was made just for me, but the more I thought about it they wouldn’t have made that movie if there were not other people struggling with the same problems. I know I am strong, I have battled more adversity and disappointment through college than many do in a lifetime, made more friends than I can even count and even lost a few along the way. It is tough to see people with less passion for something be more successful, just like with anything else in the world.

        I wasn’t planning to even write it, but I was reading Anna’s story and she was talking about being open, and believe it or not writing it got me to sleep that night. The last couple of days have been much better for me!

        MisterDJER I read your story and I am glad you are doing something that is so meaningful to you and is really making a difference to the people you are involved with. I also need to find that thing that means so much to me, perhaps it is coaching kids and teaching them everything I know, maybe it isn’t. I have been coaching an 11 year old baseball team for about a month now, but I don’t think coaching is the answer I am looking for. I do not think I can live with being someone that I have so little respect for. Coaching is hard, and I am sure for some it is very rewarding, but all I can see is the negative impact that coaches have left on me, and I couldn’t live with myself to have someone that looks up to me be hurt by the opportunities that they believe I took away from them. I know if I coach long enough, it is inevitable.

        On the other side of that, I actually have been working my entire college career on a side project that is the answer to what I seek. The only thing holding me back is the resources I have available to me. I know that if I can make the project happen, it will be one of the most revolutionary things I can do for the game of baseball. I have estimated that the project will take $35 million dollars or so to start, but trying to come up with even a small portion of that money seems like an impossible task. On the bright side, if I am able to pull it off, it will be the answer I am looking for. More rewarding than coaching but still a part of the game of baseball. Maybe that is what I was meant to do, but only time will tell. I would give more details about the plan but now is not really a good time to talk about it.

        Everything in my life happens for a reason, I am very happy with my life so far and I have very few things to complain about. I am very fortunate to have family that loves me and supports me, regardless of what I put my heart into I know they will be behind me 100%!

        Anna, I already downloaded the book on my phone and have read a little bit of it so far tonight. I’m not a big reader, but I spend a lot of time on the road so maybe the audio book will be better. I will give it a shot regardless.

        Thank you guys for your support! I know this is a small group but the amount of feedback my silly little outburst of emotion has gotten was a lot more than I expected to receive. There are people out there that need the support a lot more than I do, but it is nice to know people online actually give a shit about other people, especially since there are so many distractions out there in the world right now. I was able to help my best friend get diagnosed as bipolar which was a huge step for him, and he was able to get medication that changed his life! I’m just glad I was able to be there for him when it seemed like there was no end in sight for him, now he is getting married in December, and I am the best man in his wedding! I could not be more honored! (P.S. if anyone is looking for a basket case project to fix, I’m still single!).
        Anyways I will continue to follow this thread and read all the comments. If there is anything I can say to help, just let it all out online, get the rant out there! Don’t let it eat at you, and don’t let it carry over into the next day. Tomorrow is a new day, don’t let the problems of yesterday stop you from enjoying today!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Liking disney movies isnt unfortunate.. Just no.. I am sorry I haven’t watched cars 3. I will someday. My this mth is quite busy.. Lot of school work 😥

        Yeah LP spldiers rock! We are the strongest fans in the world 🙂

        Its great to hear this from you.. Yes it is right.. Everything happens for a good cause and you need to find it.

        You are right about other people too. The entire forums was flooded with all sharing their stories. But they are better now. Great artists from the forums are making potraits and sketches of sir bennington

        Best wishes for your friend as he is starting new life in December

        Same to you friend. Enjoy your day. Good to see you inspired and back with positivity
        Good day!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi again Hunter,

      I hope you find good ways to pass the time between your Disney movies. [PS—I love Disney Movies Anywhere, so when I buy a movie online one place, it shows up in all my services. I am SO glad The Lion King just emerged from the Disney Vault.]

      “Try something new every day that scares you.” A misquoted quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. No one’s really sure who said that first. It is a life challenge that makes my days better.

      It’s good to recognize not only what your passions are, and to express your dismay when you can’t live your dream; but to also see when you’re in something that does fit what you need to be doing, and to find peaceful ways to change. That last bit is the most difficult: peaceful ways to change.

      Injury and/or disability can stop a person from following their heart. I have multiple “invisible disabilities”, so not only isn’t it obvious that I have challenges, but I have to continuously make a path for others so they see how to work with me. It’s tiring in and of itself, on top of physical and mental disabilities that just exhaust me some days.

      My M.Ed. is in Youth Development Leadership; but I don’t want to work with young people directly. That seems odd to some, but teachers and youth workers and coaches and counselors need staff in the admin offices, or on technology, to help them accomplish their goals with youth. I have a deep understanding of staff needs as they work with the lives of youth, so I can better help them prepare for the challenges of youth. It truly is a team effort, but finding your place in that team is difficult, especially when you know that your place isn’t defined or traditional. My B.S. is from the Inter-College Program, a self-designed degree with three majors. I couldn’t find my place in the structured school, so I made my own place. It sounds like you have a plan. You can find a way towards that plan.

      Maybe coaching isn’t your place in baseball. Maybe your inability to play as you once did pains you too much to be involved in baseball in the future. There are ways to be involved, but you have to seek them out. It’s okay to have dreams, and to dream big, but stay grounded and centered, and remember to enjoy your time each and every day.

      One of the biggest challenges people face is that they feel they have failed or are a failure. Well, to fail, you need some kind of measure of success.

      I like this poem from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

      “To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

      “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.” And sang. And screamed your head off.

      Chester has succeeded. He has brought a globe of fans together to share stories and find ways to support each other. We mourn that he is gone, but celebrate that he was here. #MakeChesterProud, but do it for yourself.

      In the dorm that November day in 1996, I was one of the first Resident Assistants to know of the situation. I was waiting in our conference room as the other staff arrived in the building after the day of classes. They asked and prodded me to tell them what was happening (there was an ambulance and coroner vehicle out front); but I resisted sharing the news until the Hall Director, the person I felt was more qualified and authorized to inform the staff, arrived at the meeting. It shocked me, and I didn’t want be on my own to comfort and counsel others who knew the student better than I did. I still stand my decision to withhold the news for the Hall Director to share, but that meeting is what shaped my academic career path.

      We must prevent.
      We will make people aware.
      We will lose some, and need to be prepared to respond.

      PS—I’m going to a Minor League game Tuesday night with a friend from high school. Her daughter was one of the 100 girls that went to the USA Baseball/MLB Trailblazer Series in April.

      Liked by 1 person

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  38. I can’t stop wondering – what a healthy person can do to help? Is there anything? How can we even truly understand this neverending struggle if it seems so unreal? Other diseases seems more visible (ex. cancer), mental disease seems so unreal to someone who never been in this shoes. Please forgive any miatakes, English is not my native language.

    Liked by 1 person

    • These are sometimes called “Invisible Disabilities” because there are no outward appearance of assistive devices (wheel chairs, canes, crutches, walkers). A person can be struggling, and you won’t know it. Accepting that anyone you encounter could be that person is a good first step.

      Be an ally to everyone. If someone is joking about race or religion or disability or how someone is different, speak up! Someone near by could be distraught or feel attacked, and seeing someone speak up on their behalf can be encouraging.

      You can’t fix everyone. You can listen, and you can offer support, but you might have to guide them to a professional or emergency room.

      Especially if you have a person in crisis, ask, “What do you need?”

      Anna provided some crisis resources in her post.

      We just need to care. About everyone.

      Liked by 2 people

  39. Thank you. Thank you very much.

    Liked by 1 person

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  42. Thank you Anna. You’re so brave. You’re lucky to have Mike support you. Like you said, people to share with is important. Yeah. I hope by it i may get up a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. nt ward on said:

    Anna, I don’t know that you’ll ever read these comments. Even still, I want to express my gratitude for opening up to us. Just as I really appreciated the transparency Chester displayed in his recent interviews. It helps us sufferers to know we’re not alone in this fight.

    You’re right; we have to erase this stigma associated with mental illness. So many people don’t realize depression is a genuine disease manifested by actual physical pain. They think you can just choose to no longer be sad, snap your fingers, put on a smile, and all will be well. If only that were true, the majority of my 43 years would have been a lot different.

    I’ve tried lots of things over the decades and nothing has ever helped. Amazingly, Chester’s experience has given me some serenity. Listening to his soul seep through his voice soothes me and watching him leave everything on the stage in his performances builds my resolve……if he can push through and give everything of himself on that level, then I can dig a little deeper than I have been.

    I don’t pretend to know Chester or his individual, unique battle. It makes me happy and sad to hear how hard he worked….happy to have him as long as we could and sad to imagine how tired he must have been. I just try to take comfort in the thought of him being able to finally rest.

    This tour would have been my first time seeing them live. I hope to make it to the official memorial, but I live in SC so that might not happen. But if you see a 40 something year old black woman with long blonde weave, tears streaming, singing to the top of her lungs, doing the “Chester” bounce…..that’s me…representing love from the Dirty South. lol.

    I’m really grateful he had you guys…..good people (for celebrities)….. JK

    My deepest love and well wishes to ALL of you.

    Liked by 3 people

  44. You are tremendously brave for sharing your story. My replies to Mike’s #MakeChesterProud Tweet are blowing up my phone. The answer is different for everyone, but we can help each other find each other’s own path. My story is about helping others tell their story. The timing of Chester’s death is a cosmic mystery to me, but it will be with me for life. Keep the conversation going. Always talk, and always listen.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. I could have never thought how much in common I have even with people I hardly know or might never meet in real life. I have never been able to talk openly about my issues, not even with my own family, because I have always been so afraid. I get so mad at myself because even the smallest thing I say doesn’t make any sense and I regret saying it right away (even this very comment). It all comes from being alone, or rather, from feeling alone. When I try to talk, or ask for help, indirectly, it gives me the same feeling of utter loneliness and makes things worse than they were a moment ago… I have been making up stories ever since I can remember, but I have only began writing them these last three years, and expect for music, that has been the one thing that has helped me the most. But as much as I love the thought of being a writer, I know I don’t write well. I can no longer see what’s ahead of me or what I want to do with my life. It’s been hitting me hard the last few months and it’s become empty and hollow again, and I don’t know if there’s hope for things to better…

    I wrote all that to thank you, for sharing this and for being so open. I know it takes so much out of you to be able to talk about what you go through, and I think that’s very brave. It doesn’t mean you aren’t scared, it means you are doing the right thing, but I’ve learned, it’s okay to be afraid, too. Sometimes a kind word or a heartfelt story you hear can give you just the right push to keep moving forward, and I couldn’t ever say how much it helps me, and how much hope it gives me to cope with my own anxiety and depression.

    I still have hope that one day I will finish my long-forgotten story, and maybe even share it, and while I keep telling myself I can’t write when I’m feeling bad, I figured, life will keep happening, whether I want it or not. I can heal as I keep writing, or I can let writing heal me.

    There is not much I can say to make the pain somewhat lighter for you when I feel the same heartache, but I find strength in an entire fan base and community right there, hand in hand and heart to heart, standing close to each other just like a family. We are all there for you all, and will always be. Sending you all my love ❤

    – Orena

    Liked by 2 people

  46. When doctors said in 2009 I have had multiple sclerosis, I thought must die. When I had a heart attack in 2015, I really died. After five minutes, I saw the light of the world again after an immediate resuscitation. Today I am the happiest man and unspeakably grateful to people who helped me get back on my legs. Sure, this does not have much to do with suicide, but believe me: I was thinking about it then. I just wanted to save myself. To spare my relatives all the sorrows. When I went through all the tragedy around Chester, and I am still going, I am glad to have thought about my stupid idea again and not to put it into practice. I thank you fans for all the strength you give Chester and his family and friends. You are great!

    Liked by 3 people

  47. I’m so glad you mentioned EMDR! My father was a therapist for veterans and he was one of the first people to use it in the 90s. I’ve been through it several times and it is has been life-changing for me. PTSD is so poorly understood. I’ve been trying to be more open about everything, too.

    Thank you. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  48. I could have never thought how

    Like

  49. Thank you for this. You just explained mental illness so correctly yet so simply- this message needs to be shared. The first sentence of the last paragraph really needs to be heard globally. Following Chester’s death, I struggled with this. He was so important to me for so long, and will continue to be, but I just couldn’t rationalize why, with everything going on in his life that seemed better. After weeks of crying every day and fighting anger and devastation, I realized it is ‘just’ mental illness. For some reason, I couldn’t comprehend him being like me, even though that’s how I felt these last nearly two decades. When I am “inside myself” there isn’t a reason why I feel like that either. I know rationally that it will pass but in those days or weeks or whatever, it is so hard to want to fight, even though I know it will pass and that I have so much to be thankful for. It’s exhausting, and he did it for so long. I guess this realization both enlightened me and scared me, regarding my own ability to continue fight, but I wish the world could understand ‘that’ feeling, for the sake of everyone battling their own minds. I really wish they could feel it for 1 day. They would never forget it and they would treat people who struggle differently from then on. Thank you for raising this awareness, and also for your book. You put yourself out there for the benefit of all of us. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • absolutely right you never know the struggles unless you experiencing it. it was not just simple overthinking or being just’crazy’ .
      Person battling mental illnesses need understanding, empathy ,love and support. Let help each other by raising awareness on mental illness.

      Liked by 1 person

  50. Glaucia Farias on said:

    thank you for your messenge. We are a family LP ❤

    Glaucia Farias

    2017-08-26 4:09 GMT-04:00 Anna Shinoda :

    > annashinoda posted: “I haven’t talked publicly that much about my own > mental health. I think in interviews when Learning Not to Drown came out, I > may have touched briefly on being in therapy, but I’ve never gone into > detail. I am very open with friends about it, but was alway” >

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Beautifully written. I read and cry because I know what depression is. I’ve been on it for a long time. I have exactly the same thing in my head as Chester is saying something that is still going to create problems for himself. It’s something that can spoil the mood for many, many weeks. I have a lot of help with my husband side by side, but sometimes depression is stronger than his love. It’s terrible how many people get sick and it does not matter how happy it is.Reading this text helped me a lot. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. whosmurry on said:

    Thank you for this. I needed this reminder of how much work it is to get better. I’ve really struggled for the past few years, since I lost my mom. I’ve tried, sort of half-heartedly, to get help, but I haven’t stuck with anything I’ve tried. And now I find myself at, if not rock bottom, pretty close to it. Chester’s death was an eye opener for me. It made me realize how much I recognize that bad neighborhood he described in his head. Now I have to take that as motivation to put in the work to get better.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Thank you for sharing your heart. Your writing is beautiful. I have a million thoughts and emotions that it’s just too overwhelming to write how I feel. Mostly, I just wish I could do something to make you, Talinda, the kids, the family, all the people that are important to you and Chester to be happy. I’m a mom of two little girls (ages 2 and 4), a wife, and sometimes balancing life can be “heavy.” You and Mike are gifted writers and have so much to express to the world. I can relate to so many of the lyrics of the Linkin Park songs. I wake up very early almost every morning to workout or teach a fitness class to help others. It really combats my anxiety. My 4-year old daughter, who has had many setbacks, tells me to “be brave.” She keeps me going. So, I am telling you to “be brave!” You are surrounded by a lot of light. I wish I could be your friend and just give you a hug!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Zvezdana Kucinic on said:

    Been strugelling with epilepsy since iwas 5,for that i got LAUGHED AT.While i was fighting for my Health and life,others were laughing at me…I still got it,i just learned how to keep it under control.Not to mention depresion and mood swings….

    Like

  55. Jennifer Yates on said:

    May I attempt to share this with Patrick Kennedy? I am also fighting the stigma of mental health and addiction. I am the mother of an addict currently in recovery. No I cannot imagine what she goes through every day. But she cannot imagine what I go through every day either. The guilt of knowing the things I could have done better. The realization that it’s actually not my fault. It’s a battle.

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    • Please feel free to share this with anyone. I made the decision to post this with the hopes that it can help, and sharing it increases the possibility that someone who needs to read it will have access to it.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Jennifer Yates on said:

        He is the son of Ted Kennedy. I have been trying for years to get him to help fight the stigma of Addiction and mental health. He is very involved. I want to do all I can. My childrens lives depend on it. And I will do anything to help them and others who suffer. Thank you.

        Liked by 2 people

  56. Pingback: Gettin Better-Anna Shinoda – northern ca living

  57. YoMarques on said:

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us and the world. Messages like this are so important, and it takes great courage to share your personal story with everyone. I’ve cried reading it, because so much of it describes my situation, and the constant weight of thinking we’re alone with our own battles, so it’s always comforting to know we’re not.
    I’ve been dealing with clinical depression and anxiety for many years now. It took me a long time to seek help, I’ve gone through many, many psychologists till finding the right one, and I’m very grateful I found someone who has helped me through all of this. I’ve been taking medication for a few years now, and for a long time it was something that scared me, it still does. Medication isn’t enough for me, and I’m somehow stuck for a long time now in finding the right complementary therapies that work for my brain. It’s a struggle every day. It got worse when I lost my aunt to cancer. I’m scared of not finding anything that I will enjoy, that I’ll be stuck in this forever. I keep searching, I keep putting in the work, but each time I try to do something, be it reading, painting, go out into the nature, I rarely feel good, and my brain automatically tells me there’s no activity in this world that I’ll enjoy, ever. The frustration of keep searching and seeing it fail makes me go down a dark hole, most of the times. But messages and stories like yours do bring me comfort, and hope. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this with us.
    Losing Chester has been the hardest thing for me since losing my aunt, but the beautiful fanbase I’ve been in for so many years has been a big help. I’m glad we’ve stayed together, and I’m glad we’re dealing with it together.
    I’m so sorry for your loss, Anna. We didn’t have to know Chester personally to understand how much of a beautiful human being he was. I’ve met him three times and he was always a spark of light. I’m sending you lots of love your way, to Mike and your family as well. Please know all of us will always be here for you guys, no matter what. We love you. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  58. I’m not good with words, but thank you for putting this out there. It is a good way to help change peoples way of seeing “us”. In was surprised by the number of my friends and family did not understand why people would do that. And my answer is I’m glad you have never been in that place where suicide seems like the best most unselfish answer.

    Liked by 2 people

  59. Thank you for speaking up, Anna. My struggle with clinical depression/anxiety has spanned my entire adult life, but it’s only been relatively recently that I’ve sought to actively manage it through meds and talk therapy. I was blessed to find a wonderful therapist right from the start; someone who, for 6 years now, has helped me understand this illness, taught me coping skills, and strengthened my resolve never to let the darkness win.

    She helped me navigate the loss of my mom, and now she’s helping me deal with not only the grief of Chester’s loss, but, frankly, the abject fear deep in my core — that Chester, who was so active in and vocal about managing his illness, could be brought to his knees like this despite all of that hard work (and I know you know what hard work it is!). If the darkness took him even after all the battling he’d done, how can the rest of us know that our own hard work isn’t all for naught?

    After reading When the Person Who Prevented Your Suicide Dies by Suicide (Joel Philip), I realized the answer. Joel wrote, “So to know he has committed suicide at 41 years-old is a reminder to me that just because someone provides the opportunity for you to battle your demons does not mean they were just as successful.”

    For so many of us, Chester and LP’s music/lyrics are the salve for our wounded souls. When we want to rage, Chester rages right along with us. When we need to acknowledge our vulnerability, Chester’s authentic emotion and words are here for us. But who was Chester’s Chester? Whose music and lyrics tended his wounds and helped him navigate the darkness? I truly hope he was able to receive that blessing, just as he provided it for all of us.

    I wish you well in your battle, Anna. I hope those of you who loved him hardest find some semblance of peace and acceptance in the days to come. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  60. This was so refreshing and heart-warming to read Anna. I call Depression the Black Dog or the Green-eyed-Monster and I refuse to write it with a ‘small d’. I have been battling this monster since my teens, and today as a mother of two toddlers I still journey with the monster, but I am soon much closer to finding the combination that picks me up. I 100% agree with you that therapy does wonders. As well as a creative outlet. Thank you for reminding me how important these things are – I often skip them, thinking I’m okay, only to fall very hard again. Currently what works best for me is the idea of the white and the black dog fighting: which one will win? The one you feed. So I am focusing on feeding my white dog every day xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  61. Taciana Souza on said:

    Um ótimo texto! O mundo reprime muito quando estamos tristes, nos pune, quando deveria nos acolher. O pior de tudo é que dentro da própria casa é que começa o estigma com problemas mentais. Os próprios pais punem os filhos de se abrirem e demonstrarem tristeza, o que piora tudo. Depois saímos pela sociedade e percebemos que as coisas não são melhores. O jeito é lutar todos os dias para acabar com o estigma.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. Love you for sharing this.

    Liked by 2 people

  63. Mirela Borges on said:

    Opening the heart so publicly and honestly requires a courage without size. Chester did it in a beautiful way and now you’re doing it too, each in his own way. It’s so sad to lose someone, it’s a hard wound to close. But I sincerely hope that his departure, as well as his songs, will help people. We need to look and care for those we love, to offer our support, our ears, our hearts. After this text I look at you in a different way, Anna. Thanks for that.

    Liked by 2 people

  64. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Anna! Keep it up! Together we all will go though this and start to shine even more!

    Liked by 1 person

  65. Pingback: Getting Better | Steph Olivieri Writer's Blog

  66. Your text is filled with love. Unfortunately, with Chester’s death, my mind is more open about mental illness and suicide. Gratitude. Much love. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  67. devilbearbec on said:

    Thank you for your honesty – the world needs more people to be honest about having mental health issues, people, that you wouldn’t ordinary expect to have them.

    I’ve suffered with depression since I was a teenager, longer ago now than I care to admit. Being honest about depression sounds quite easy but it’s the reaction from others that takes that ease that away. Just one insensitive comment meant I spent years in silence, even though I know that person/persons thought they were trying to help (“you’re too pretty to be depressed”)

    After 20years I know what helps and what doesn’t. Medication doesn’t help me, I was just numb to everything or living in euphoria with no respect for the consequences…lyrica was a lovely drug *sigh* though I may not have been. I had therapy as a child, my God I was a child when this started – never put a 16year old on prozak! The school even made me speak to a nun twice a week! I don’t think I can do that again. I can reorganise the signs now of me “getting down” and I know that, like now, I need to escape London and hide in my parents cottage up a mountain away from everyone. Sometimes I need to feel truly alone to realise I’m not.
    This way I remember to eat, I will walk my dog in the clean air, I will write comedies and angst, and I’ll cry without judgement.

    I hope you have a lovely weekend and thank you again for the honesty. I hope I have your courage to be as open.

    Liked by 3 people

  68. Thank you Anna for sharing this message with open heart.

    I think that one of the biggest problem is that if you meet a psychologist it means you’re crazy. Mental illness, mostly linked to anxiety, is not easy to understand and to admit.
    No one is insane if struggling with own demons. It’s just something psycological, we create our own problems and we’re the only person able to fix them.

    I think that in our lives we ALL need to see a therapist once. This help to find out who we are, WHY we are in this or that way, how we arrived at some point of our existence.

    It was 4 or 5 years that I was fighting with a stupid phobia generated by my own mind and – at least – at the beginning of 2017 I decided to speak.
    I’m meeting a therapist once a week for 1 hour. Yeah, it’s expensive in terms of money and in terms of work’s absence hours.
    But I ‘m understanding a lot of myself.

    In the past I used Lexotan and Xanax to deal with my anxiety. I had heart’s problems due to my fears.

    Now, I’ve understood that it’s important to talk.
    WE NEED to express our emotions: 80% of people keep their feelings to themselves because they don’t believe others will understand their pain. Wrong!

    Chester taught me something extremely important: we need to speak, to live withouth fear of tomorrow, to live the NOW, enjoying every single minute, hour, day of our lives.

    I think this is the most important teaching. I’m so so so soooo sorry for your loss, I’m still suffering with you all and the LP family. I think about Chester’s children and I’m really sorry for them. But they’ll be strong. They have and they will #MakeChesterProud, for sure.

    Please, give Mike a big hug and take care.
    Sending heartfelt love and blessing to YOU ALL from Italy.
    – Silvia

    “Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
    If a moment is all we are”

    Liked by 1 person

  69. This is beautiful. I often feel selfishness when I’m struggling an in the past few years I’ve been more honest with my struggles. I hate that there is still so much stigma. I am sure Chester would be proud of your transparency. Thank you 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  70. Thank you for this. It’s clear that it must have been very hard to write, but it was worth the effort. I hope it helps people. I think it will.

    I’m so, so sorry for your loss – it’s the world’s loss, really, but it must be so much harder for you and everyone else who was close to him. Please never doubt that you saved his life, no matter how it ended. You, his family, his bandmates: he’d never have come so far or known so much happiness without you. I don’t know how much comfort a stranger’s words can offer you, but I hope they can ease the pain at least a little.

    Liked by 2 people

  71. Mandy Nascimento on said:

    This is so beautiful and thoughtful, Anna.
    You will help a lot of people struggling depression and pain with this, sometimes we just need some words like yours to get better and look for help. Chester and Linkin Park saved me of killing myself cause I had depression for many years, and they saved me with the music, when I was down and alone I didn’t know how to get better, I didn’t have a way out, my way out was LP, they came out and saved me. So I know someone can be saved with words, cause I was saved. Thank you for share your experience and with this help who is in pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. Maribel del Villar Pérez on said:

    Thank you for being so genuine, honest, and eloquent.
    A lot of people have opened up to me about the pain they feel over the loss of Chester, but I feel very few people understand what happened and what was going on in his head.
    Even people with the best intentions question why he would “do this”, without understanding he was one more casualty of mental illness.
    It’s been weeks and I still break down in tears 😞

    Liked by 2 people

  73. Thank you for sharing Anna, you are so amazing, so strong and so brave…you all who knew Chester…It’s amazing that you could turn something so painful into something what could help someone…thank you so much and I good luck, you are amazing person 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  74. Thank you for sharing Anna.
    As someone who also battles with depression and anxiety, i agree with everything you have written.
    The best thing is for people to be more open about mental health, dont be embarrased, or afraid to speak up.
    Sending love to you and your family. We are greiving with you, i hope you can all feel the love and support from around the world
    Xx

    Liked by 2 people

  75. july saneo on said:

    Thank you for sharing. It will help others to find compassion and to be more educated about mental health.

    Liked by 2 people

  76. I find it courageous and brave when someone speaks up about their mental health openly just like Chester did. it’s really hard to let it out, and just put how and what you feel within into words , it’s hard to talk when the response you usually get is to stop overreacting. Nevermind, what your minds says to you on daily basis, it’s frustrating and tiring. I’m really happy and proud of you for being dedicated to your mental health, and for trying to briefly talk about it publicly, it does encourage others to either speak up, seek help or even find ways to heal themselves. Thank you very much and I hope you always find strength and love in everything you do and everyone around you. Sending so much love you way 🖤

    Liked by 2 people

  77. Thank you Anna for this. You’re strong woman, and everything will be ok 🙂 Chesters interview really help me, I felt that I am not alone in this. And I found something about HSP. Now I know that sensitive people are just special and we dont have to be ashamed or feel worse about that. The most important is to find sens in our life. Now I know that I wanna be people helper.

    Liked by 1 person

  78. Thank you for sharing! It’s amazing how many people sucide affects. I only met Chester one time in my life, a huge fan of linkin park for 15 years…I attended 2 concerts and finally I got to meet the band. The guys were amazingly friendly and humble. I gave Chester a deck of cards from Arizona since we had that in common (I met them in Edmonton, Canada where I now live) you would have thought I gave him a million dollars, he was so grateful and thankful! They have touched so many lives and their lyrics have helped me through some tough times. My worst was seeing my precious 5 month old living the beauty of Down syndrome go through open heart surgery. Final Masquarade helped me and still does to heal, I knew one day her scar would begin to fade. His passing was especially hard because I was about to celebrate her 3 year heartaversary and I was mourning Chester’s passing as well. My heart aches for his family and all of you who were so blessed to be around him. My thoughts and prayers stay with you all! We mourn along with you! You are all very loved! Blessings!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for sharing. I can’t get enough of hearing stories about how Chester touched lives – whether it was a personal interaction or through music.

      Congratulations on your child’s heartaversary! That is a wonderful thing to celebrate. Finding joy in small and big ways is an important part of healing and a great form of self care.

      Liked by 2 people

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