I found out just two hours ago that Chris Cornell died and it was a possible suicide but there was no definite answer. An hour ago it was confirmed that he had indeed hung himself and as someone who has mental illness and suffers from anxiety and depression I knew I had to talk about this. Not because it was the latest news and I wanted views while it was being discussed. Not to jump on any bandwagon because the truth is I don’t know Soundgarden very well. I don’t know Chris very well. I knew I had to talk about this to educate people on mental illness and what it can do to you.
The most common answer to a story like this are people saying “but he was so happy. He just did a show and he had a great time and he partied it up and tore the house down”. I’m someone who always tries to smile and make jokes and make other people happy. People are always surprised when I tell them I suffer from depression. There are days when I wake up and I just don’t wanna go anywhere or see anyone. I cry for no reason. I get angry for no reason. I get really happy for no reason. I’m too scared/ashamed to tell people I’m sad so I pretend nothing is wrong. I’ve worked very hard to overcome this and I’m now much more comfortable telling people how I feel but it’s not that easy for everyone.
Everyone deals with their mental illness in different ways. I know first hand what it’s like to feel alone even though you have everything you could ask for. It’s all in the brain and how your brain is wired. I could be having the best day ever but still feel sad and lonely. People ask me why. I don’t know why. This is mental illness. Someone once asked me what I was depressed about when I told him I have depression. I don’t know why. This is mental illness. The reason we don’t tell everyone how we’re feeling is because we’re always being judged or made to feel that we’re making it up. If I called in to work and told them I didn’t wanna come in because I’m feeling sad how do you think they would respond? By either laughing or calling me a whimp. People don’t understand and don’t care to be educated in what mental illness is and how it affects us every second of every day.
Robin Williams is another example of how people are shocked when someone who likes to make others laugh would be so depressed. It’s easier to make others laugh than to keep ourselves happy. There’s no way to drown out the constant feeling of wanting to curl up into a ball and cry. I myself work hard every day to stay positive and keep a happy mind but it’s always a struggle. On top of fighting with my own brain I have customers at my job yelling at me and then the managers get mad at me for snapping at them. It’s like an anvil being attached to my leg and I’m carrying around the weight 24/7 and when customers are yelling at me it’s like they’re adding an extra 100 lbs onto that anvil and I don’t have the strength to handle all of that.
I wish more people would educate themselves on mental illness because I’ve always been an advocate for educating people on it and I’ll never stop. People need to understand it and stop telling us we’re making it up or tell us to “suck it up”. My thoughts go out to Chris’s friends and family <3