I won't ever pretend to know what it means to "feel" the emptiness of suicidal thought and deed. I have felt depression and the accompanying unknowing pain of lost direction and purpose in my life. I have spent the past few days contemplating what drives someone to the edge and then over it.
Suicide and the decision to commit is an all too common exit for several people who have I believe painted themselves into a corner and are tired of waiting for the metaphorical "paint to dry". With the recent passing of people like Robin Williams and most recently Chris Cornell of Soundgarden we have to ask ourselves - "what pushes someone so apparently happy and content to such an absolute abyss as this?"
Suicide as I've witnessed first hand is not an effort in seeking permission or acknowledgement of others - in many ways it is in some ways a human being's way of taking back what little control they may still have albeit small; of a life or lifestyle that has overcome them.
I'm sure Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, Scott Weiland and Andrew Wood and most recently Chris Cornell never wished to be so mainstream that their flannel and combat boots, cargo shorts and long scraggly hair would be auctioned to the highest bidder and lost within our mass manicured suburbia. I think what has driven these men to hit the "stop" button was a spiraling journey into "mainstream" culture that moved vehemently against their ethics and code. No white picket fence. No trophy wife. No designer clothing and sunglasses. No mansion in Beverly Hills.
If you look at all these individuals collectively, there is a common thread of consumerism and a similar opposition to it. If you look at Cornell, the hanging precluded by anti - anxiety medication; taking too many Ativan. What symptoms are well addressing here ? the anxiety; and why ? The anxiety I believe is built upon going against your moral compass in exchange for the monetary pleasantries of stardom. What is the true price of stardom ? Being hobbled in a new town each night; living out of a hotel away from your family ? plying your trade to new audiences each night like a never ending carousel cabaret act. I'm sorry to say folks, if you think this isn't an accurate portrayal ? You may be sadly mistaken.
In the truest form of the "grunge" scene to not contribute to the ills of society the men listed above though try as they might not to feed the beast and open the box of Pandora - inevitably did and they too fell victim. Suicide is depression related - because it is someone losing control over what is most meaningful to them; but never lose sight - it is them in once last attempt to say and acknowledge this is my destiny and I oppose it - in some cases there is an apology and in others not.
As we've heard too many times before. I'd rather burn out - than fade away. There is much truth in this and sometimes more than we will ever know.