One Step Closer

Reaching Out

On Thursday, we went to book our kitten on for his vaccination. As we came out from the vet’s, I bumped into a man hugging his dog. I was just about to say hello to the dog when I noticed the man was in tears. I didn’t hear exactly what he said, as he was so upset…the only words I could make out were “putting to sleep”. That’s all I needed to know. As I got into my car, I watched him tightly hugging his dog for one final time as he went inside. I was devastated. Seeing him so upset really got to me. I couldn’t not think about it. That night I decided to write him a letter offering to do what I could for him. Anything to help take his mind off things or make him happier. The next day, I took the letter back to the vet’s and asked them to pass it onto the man. In case you’re wondering, here’s it said…

Letter To Dog Owner

Whether he gets in touch or not is up to him. As I’ve realised recently, I can only do so much. It’s up to the other person to meet me half way. Or even just some of the way. I’m totally serious about getting him another dog too. Why not? There’s so much shit in the world, with bad things happening to good or innocent people. I may be just one person, but hopefully I can show those around me that they have no reason to be afraid of me. Just because I may be struggling with gender identity, it doesn’t mean I’m a monster. Whatever I do to change my appearance or fix myself, I’ll still want to do whatever I can for people – whether I know them or not. The urge to help people has always been a part of me. As my life changes, the need to help others or make a difference in the world gets stronger. I think it helps me to feel a part of this world. I feel more alive – like I actually mean something. It also gives me a distraction from my own issues – which can also be a bad thing.

Something else happened that day which made me more determined to move forward with change. When I got home from the vet’s, I found out that Chester Bennington had taken his own life. I couldn’t believe it. I only saw them play live exactly 2 weeks earlier. Linkin Park were such a huge influence on me, both musically and emotionally. I remember seeing them as a little support band when I worked at a music venue back in Manchester. They nailed it every time I’ve seen them. Their more recent albums haven’t always agreed with me but it’s not about that. It’s about what they represent. Their music got me through some really bad times. In fact, tracks like “One Step Closer” and “In The End” from their “Hybrid Theory” album externalised my thoughts back then. It was such a relief to realise I wasn’t alone in that way of thinking. I almost chose their song “Numb” for the featured video on my last post. Almost. So yeh, Chester was suffering from depression and decided it end it all. What really hurts is knowing how he feels. When you’re so lost inside your head and you can’t see a way out, or you’re crushed under the pressure, you feel like giving up. I’ve felt this so many times. I still do. Since the Courtesans gig earlier this year, I’ve been a lot better at looking for non-destructive ways to deal with stuff but I’m not going to lie, there are a lot of times when I still think “fuck this, I can’t go on”. On the outside, I may be smiles and jokes but I’m still struggling on the inside. If I did fall past the point of no return, nobody would even know. I’ve become an expert in hiding it. The same way Chester had. It’s so dangerous. That’s what scares me so much. It’s too easy to just check out when you’re tired of fighting not just the world, but yourself too.

Even with the recent developments, I know it’s still not going to be a smooth ride. I don’t expect it to be. As much as I try to move forward with my life, I know it could be a waste of time if I’m not careful. I hope I can stay in control because it’s time to let myself be me. Wanting to take away the man’s sadness over the loss of his dog was me trying to exist. Hearing about Chester taking his own life through depression was a reminder that anything could happen whilst trying to exist.

Featured image: via Google
Featured video: “In The End” by Linkin Park (via Linkin Park’s YouTube page)

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