The Impostor On Your Side Of The Mirror
Photo from twitter.com/chriscornell
Sharing Chris Cornell's Disconnection
Acknowledging and appreciating all you have accomplished is a great exercise in meditation and self-care. It's healthy to keep your life in perspective, but what if your life on paper feels foreign? What if the person other people see, the person who has friends feels like an impostor?
I admit I didn't follow Chris Cornell's life or career very closely. Superunknown was the first album I bought for myself when I was a kid. In the years after discovering Soundgarden in '94, my interests varied. It wasn't until high school that I returned to rock and accepted the spectrum of genres. His music and his iconic voice made a strong impression on me, however. I attribute my love for music as a form of expression to Chris. It was Soundgarden that put me on a path to discovering that music wasn't just a thing you hear on the radio, it's a thing that I could do too. I couldn't wait to start 7th grade when "Beginning Band" was a class I could take in school.
My heart is so heavy from the news of Chris' suicide. Knowing he was trying-- he cut out drugs and alcohol. Knowing he was depressed, knowing he suffered from the similar nagging disease, casting a shadow over all successes and all failures, that I suffer from. It's jarring, and it's heartbreaking. Having a flawed hero makes him so much more real. You root for those facing familiar obstacles.
I'm trying to find some optimism to turn my mood around, but I honestly can't find it, I think I'm okay with that. I like that depression is more openly discussed in recent years, but there's a tendency for people, in their efforts to destigmatize depression, to make the topic more palatable with a hopeful message. Well, here it is without the filter: Depression is a pestering demon. It's always there, and statistically speaking, a lot of people you know have it. It's really easy to hide because depression is not an emotion (something that is grossly misunderstood). It's very much a self-managed condition. Sometimes we need or want help, sometimes the battle wages silently in our minds. There is no circumstance, no event, or acquisition of materials that solves the problem once and for all. One can manage depression successfully for years and still not be prepared for a bad day.
Take care of each other. Keep it tight in your friend circles. Don't let anyone drift away, and encourage anyone you know to be depressed to be vocal about it. I can say from my experience that I worry I will just bring other people down when I open up. It's a lonely place to be. Allies are essential.