Today’s blog was authored by Richard Larson. It was his response to the suicide death of rock star musician Chris Cornell who struggled with depression most of his life – secretly.
Depression…we talk about it more than those who came before us. We talk about it as a demon or a monster. It’s a dark shadow that shows itself at any point in time without warning. It surrounds us, isolates us, and quiets us.
Depression likes to blame things. We feel like shit because of mistakes we have made in life or because of the state of the world or because we aren’t perfect. Without a lot of help and a lot of work, it’s impossible to know that it really is a chemical imbalance in our brains. After twenty-plus years of trying to de-stigmatize depression, some of us still have a hard time recognizing it for what it is. And even then, it doesn’t always matter.
You might think grunge is about anger, but that’s not completely true. Yes, it can sound that way, but it’s really about depression and cynicism. Those two go hand-in-hand, along with their nasty little sister, anxiety. When the three of them get going, they just eat hope as quickly as it can be summoned. That leaves despair and despair is exhausting, not just for those who experience it, but for the people around it as well. So we keep it to ourselves because we don’t want to be a burden. And then it gets to be too much.
Doesn’t matter if you’re a student, a mom, an accountant or a rock star.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve written about it your entire life as a means of keeping it at bay.
It doesn’t matter if the music you made about it brought in fame, respect and millions of dollars.
It doesn’t matter if your entire generation has suffered from it.
You hit the breaking point, and then, like Chris Cornell, you die alone in the bathroom.
This was a well-respected member of his community; a beloved musical hero who seemed to have it all together. This could have been any of us. And brothers and sisters, if it’s you, don’t mess around with it. Please find some help.
Cornell is speaking to us all one last time. This isn’t something we left behind with our twenties. This isn’t something cured by age or financial security. This isn’t something you “outgrow.” If it’s allowed to fester, depression is stronger than wisdom. Depression is insidious and tenacious. Depression can get to anybody. It can make you feel like an old man at 27. It can make you feel lost as a child at 52.
Call it a senseless tragedy. Call it a second-act cautionary tale. Call it whatever you want.
Just don’t blow it off as meaningless.
“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalms 42:5).
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19).
God, please give our sons and daughters a willingness to get professional help for their depression. Show us if there’s more that we can do to. We give them to you again. Hold us together when we struggle to breathe because we’re full of fear and trepidation for their welfare. We don’t want them to end up like Cornell, taking their lives. Strengthen our hearts. Be our anchor in the storm. Amen.
Resources: these and more are on our website
In an emergency call 911
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 crisis help line 800-273-8255 (TALK)
The HopeLine Live Chat online; Dawson McAllister network. Helping people navigate difficult life issues; relational, emotional, physical or spiritual through one-on-one chat all over the world, blogs and online content. Their mission is to seek, reach, rescue, and restore those in need of hope.
Hope for the Heart Offers Heart Care Representatives to talk with 24/7 including holidays 800-488-HOPE (4673). Bringing hope and seeing changed lives for over 30 years through radio broadcasts, biblical counseling, free downloads and other materials.
Focus on the Family Help Center They offer a one-time complimentary consultation from a Christian perspective. They also offer referrals for licensed Christian counselors in your area. Call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) weekdays 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time).
NAMI (National Association of Mental Illness) nami.org – help and resources for families and individuals affected by mental illness
PsychologyToday.com Find help in your area – therapists, psychiatrists, support groups, treatment, etc.
*Rich Larson is a freelance writer and publishing entrepreneur. He has extensive experience covering arts, entertainment and lifestyle topics in Southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities. This is a portion of what he wrote: https://thefirsttenwords.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/its-not-what-you-think/