Tuesday Tunesday: Somewhere I Belong

Since starting this blog, one of my main goals was to address mental health, and I’ve been really candid about sharing my own ups and downs, much of which started, unsurprisingly, when I began my freshman year of high school (what is it about that age???). I was experiencing so much and wasn’t quite sure how to cope until I found unhealthy strategies that weren’t really helping me properly cope or heal, namely self-harming. Thankfully, I didn’t stay there long, and to this day, I firmly believe music is one of the things that pulled me from this darkness. It was one band, in particular, that helped me put into words what I was feeling inside, helped me know that I was not alone, helped me find somewhere I belong.

Last week, Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, succumbed to the demons that plagued him for so long, the very same demons he helped save me from. I’m still processing and mourning such a deep loss, and as an adult who largely grew up with him and his bandmates, I know I can never listen to those albums the same. Chester left this world without a suicide note because, if you listen closely to those lyrics, every painful and angst-filled song was one. We found peace, understanding, and even hope within each album. And while I’m so thankful for what Linkin Park did for me and so many others, I only wish Chester had, too, been saved. I don’t know what support systems Chester had, but I hope you know that if you ever find yourself in the darkness, please look for the light. Seek help. Tell me. Tell someone you trust. You don’t have to walk this road alone. I promise.

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

Now, to honor his work and legacy, here are five (plus two LIVE bonuses) of my favorite and most meaningful Linkin Park songs from their earlier albums. #RIPChester

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Kermit Says: You Should Go & Love Yourself

 

 

During my junior year of college, I took a course called “Representations of Women in the Media.” It was such a transformative experience that forever changed the way I interacted with what I watched and listened to daily. Like most twenty-year-olds, I merely consumed media, ingesting it in all of its forms without thinking twice. The problem here is that when we ingest it, we also internalize it, whether we realize it or not. Media plays such a huge role and shapes how we view ourselves, this world, and others. If we’re not careful, we can emerge with a limited and stereotypical worldview, pick up some destructive habits, and develop low self-esteem. Now, today’s post is starting to sound a lot like a sermon on media literacy, but that’s not the point, at least not entirely. Part of the point of this story is that after I learned to be more critical of what I was consuming in print and visual media, I decided to make a documentary as my final project for the course. I got a group of my closest friends together and asked them a series of questions about what they were seeing and how it was affecting them. The biggest point of this all, however, was what I learned in the end…

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Kermit Says: Step Out of the Darkness (Again)

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Image Source: http://bit.ly/1HU90OZ

According to Mental Health America, approximately two million Americans harm themselves sometimes to express pain or to establish some sense of control. Regardless of the reason, people are hurting. People are struggling. People are dealing with very real pain each and everyday. So to honor Mental Health Week, Kermit Says… is sharing an incredibly honest and deeply personal story of hurt and healing, of self-harm and self-love. This is not everyone’s story…it’s mine.

(trigger warning)

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Kermit Says: Step Out of the Darkness *Trigger Warning*

When I was in high school, I used to cut myself. Sad. Angry. Bored. Blasting Brand New, The Used, My Chemical Romance, or another popular screamo band, I’d take the blade I kept hidden in a little tin box and press it firmly against my right wrist or thigh until streams of blood appeared. This was more than a call for attention or a bonding activity between me and my friends. This was an outward expression of some serious internal pain—a pain I could not quite understand, but certainly recognized. I didn’t know where this pain originated or why, but I knew what I felt was real, and I hated anyone who invalidated those feelings. No one understood: not my parents, not my sisters, and not even some of my best friends at the time. I felt lost. I felt alone. And that pain became more and more unbearable.

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Kermit Says: Nobody’s Perfect…And That’s Okay (Trigger Warning)

Growing up, I often felt as though my knees were buckling under immense amounts of pressure. I’m not saying I didn’t have an amazing life filled with some pretty amazing people, but there were times when the need to be perfect outweighed everything. When required perfection controlled every movement, every thought, and every situation, the worst thing was what happened when I fell a little short. Unable to take the pressure, unable to fail, I used to turn to the only friend I thought I had—a metal blade. I found comfort in the one thing I could control. Now this life I used to live was many moons ago, but the saddest thing is knowing that we still live in a world where that metal blade can be substituted for an eating disorder, alcohol abuse, or any other harmful addiction. For some, it’s a momentary release from the darkness or even a reclamation of power, but the truth is that that “solace” we think we’ve found is only a temporary fix. In order to truly heal, I needed to get at the root of the problem, a problem that was beyond me. So what do you do when the source is a force beyond your control?

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