I have been battling chronic depression for years. I did not grow up in what you could describe as a 'picture-perfect' family. I hated seeing my mother weeping behind a half-closed door. I was not what they would call an 'ideal daughter' or 'conventionally beautiful,' so I had to compensate that through good grades. Many times, I ran to my room, locked the door, curled up in my bed and would cry silently after an argument with my relatives. In those difficult times, I would grab my headphone and play Linkin Park tracks, which worked like a soothing ointment on my invisible wounds. Those songs always stood strong as a shield for me. Those words helped me to believe that it does not matter if anyone understands me and my struggles, the only thing that matters the most is how I accept myself just the way I am. To this day, Linkin Park songs inspire me to move forward, embrace all of my frustrations, anger and pain and manage my suicidal tendencies. They have the power to work in the place of a therapist.
It has been more than a year since Chester's death and I still have not mastered the art of holding back my tears while listening to Linkin Park songs; I am not sure how long it will take for me to cope up. Today, whenever I feel like giving up, I look at the amazing musical legacy Chester has left behind and how, if I give in to my own demons, people who care about me will go through the same maddening pain I did upon realising Chester took his own life. Chester taught us that life will always be harsh, yet fighting against it and making our dreams come true is what we must aim for. In the end, he mattered; his music mattered.