A Letter to you from…

Dear Life, 

“I tried so hard and got so far
But in the end, it doesn’t even matter
I had to fall to lose it all
But in the end it doesn’t even matter”

 What I’m going to do right now will end my suffering once and for all, during this last few moments, I want to go through the pages of my life, stage by stage. Where the pain started and when it will end.

When I’m writing, I’m constantly thinking about myself, because it’s the only experience I have to draw on. And I don’t see an exact reflection of myself in every face in the audience, but I know that my songs have validity to them, and that’s why the fans are there.

I’ve seen millions of faces; each and every single face understands the emotions. When the words start echoing carrying the voice to far away distances, I see you tremble and your heart pounding fast. As emotional breathtaking my words were, you didn’t see how much pain I was keeping inside. Just like you, I was suffering. 

I was born in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. My father worked as a police detective, while mom was a nurse. They separated when I was 11 years old. I studied in Ironwood High School. My pain was such that as a child, I started to take drugs and started abusing marijuana, alcohol, opium, cocaine, methamphetamine and LSD. At first it was to soothe the pain away, but when time passed by I used it for every little distraction I needed in life. 

When I turned seventeen, I was living with my mom. It was during this time that she caught me taking drugs. I was grounded. She didn’t let me out the house. After a while to earn a living, I started working part time at a Burger King restaurant. I was depressed back then, but I was being clean for a while.

In 1993, I became a part of my first band, ‘Sean Dowdell and His Friends’ which was a grunge rock band. That year we came out with a three track cassette. Later in 1993, I joined the band, ‘Grey Daze’ and recorded the singles, ‘Wake Me’, ‘Demo in’ and ‘No Sun Today’. However, I wasn’t content with them because they never gave me credit for anything I wrote. I left the band in 1998.

This is when I joined ‘Linkin Park’ and in 2000 and we released their debut album, ‘Hybrid Theory’, for which I gave my vocals to. The album achieved much success and achieved a blockbuster status. It entered the US Billboard charts at number 16 and soon became the best-selling album of the year. In 2003, I gave the vocals for the ‘Linkin Park’ album, ‘Meteora’, which was released under the Warner Bros. records label. The album included the hit song, ‘Numb’. The album earned instant worldwide recognition and catapulted to the number 1 position in the US and UK chart and number 2 in Australia immediately after release.

In 2005, I founded my own rock band named the ‘Dead by Sunrise’, because some of the songs that I wrote were good but did not sync well with ‘Linkin Park’ style. My third album ‘Minutes to Midnight’ was released in 2007. With over 600,000 copies in its first week and gaining the top spot on the Billboard Charts, it became one of the most successful albums.

On October 13, 2009, as a part of the band ‘Dead by Sunrise’, I came out with the band’s debut album, ‘Out of Ashes’. The album was moderately successful.

In 2010, I gave the vocals for the Linkin Park’ fourth album, ‘A Thousand Suns’, which was a multi-concept album that highlighted the concept of nuclear warfare. The album received positive reviews.

In 2012, I was able to sing lead for the Linkin Park’ album, ‘Living Things’, which was one among the band’s bestselling albums. The album also featured the lead single, ‘Burn It Down’. 

Success is nice, but it shouldn’t be the only reason why you’re a musician. I was a geek who thought I was cool. I didn’t hang out with a particular clique, but with different people from different cliques. I was a total nerd, trying to fit in. Luckily, I found music and that was my niche. That sorta took me out of my geekdom. I was never invited to parties as a teenager – I turned up with the popular people. That’s where the lyrics to ‘Guilty by Association’ came from.

Everything I’ve gone through is depicted in the songs we wrote. It’s not an easy thing to be a slave of marijuana, alcohol, opium, cocaine, methamphetamine and LSD. I sometimes don’t know what I’m doing, feeling hazy and out of control. I don’t drink. I choose to be sober now. I have drunk over the last six years, but I just don’t want to be that person anymore.

Sometimes nobody can escape the enslavement of drugs, I’m thinking back on how it all happened. Pain doesn’t have to be coped up with how I dealt. And sometimes my option of ending this is not the only way, but for me I know it’s too late. My wife Talinda was the reason I overcame depression and I wanted to live, but I gave in. I wasn’t ready to live.

I have been able to tap into all the negative things that can happen to me throughout my life by numbing myself to the pain so to speak and kind of being able to vent it through my music. I know my only option to stop the pain is ending everything, taking away this beating heart. What I feel cannot be put in to enough words. I’ve tried so many times to let go of this intense feeling, but now I know I’ve reached my limit.

My time has come and for one last time I celebrate the pain in my life, I chose to drink. The ending has to be less painful you see, when I go I want to be happy. At least once in my life, I want to not expect anything worse, I want to feel free.

I love you Talinda, tell the kids I love them too. I want this to end and I will meet you someday. My brothers Mike shonda, Rob Bourdon, Brad Delson and Dave Farell, till we meet again, farewell. 

“I wanna heal, I wanna feel what I thought was never real
I wanna let go of the pain I’ve felt so long
I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m close to something real,
I wanna find something I’ve wanted all along
Somewhere I belong”

Till we meet again,
Chester Bennington

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