The End of the Black Parade

TW: MENTIONS OF SELF-HARM AND SUICIDE

mcrOn Friday, My Chemical Romance released this simple statement on their blog:

Being in this band for the past 12 years has been a true blessing. We’ve gotten to go places we never knew we would. We’ve been able to see and experience things we never imagined possible. We’ve shared the stage with people we admire, people we look up to, and best of all, our friends. And now, like all great things, it has come time for it to end. Thanks for all of your support, and for being part of the adventure.

I can only speak to the reaction on Tumblr, which is where I learned about the news and then proceeded to post and reblog 16 posts in quick succession, from varying levels of grief and humor. The post that struck me the most, though, was this one that had gained over 3000 notes at the time I reblogged it two hours after its original posting:

Hey guys! I know that MCR broke up and everything, and I know that most people are upset about that, considering the band’s music helps you a lot. But, please, please, PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELF! I REPEAT, DO NOT HURT YOURSELF! The music they had published is still out there, and remember, if Fall Out Boy can get back together, can’t MCR do the same thing in the future? Either way, please don’t hurt yourself! And if you need to talk to anyone, I’m here for any of you!

MCR is generally seen as an “emo” band for whiny, dramatic middle and high schoolers. That was definitely the opinion that I had before I started listening to them in my junior year of high school. It’s so prevalent an opinion that I hesitated to post on Facebook and Twitter about the break-up. I didn’t want to be judged for blasting “Welcome to the Black Parade” and crying over the fact that MCR just broke up. I posted anyway, but with apprehension and a decent amount of defensiveness.

But here’s the thing: That post up there? That plea made to the MCR fandom? That’s important. Not everyone who listens to MCR is at risk of suicide or self-harm. They don’t all suffer from depression. But plenty of them do, and for many of the fans, MCR was the difference between taking a blade to their arm or working through it.

I speak from personal experience on that. Whenever I’m so sad or angry or feeling anything so strongly that I can’t function, that I don’t want to exist and I’m tempted to hurt myself, I listen to My Chemical Romance. I use their music to drown out the voices in my head. They distract me until I can breathe again. No other band does that for me.

I know I’m not alone in that. There are a lot of people who gain strength from their music, and who are feeling hurt and betrayed and are in mourning. Maybe that seems silly to you, and maybe in a few years some of them will laugh at how they feel now, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that what they’re feeling right now is very, very real. I’m upset and I cried, but for some others, this is a tragedy.

So, here’s my request to you, readers. If you see someone mourning the loss of their favorite band and it’s a band that you think is dumb or worthless, don’t mock them. Don’t make fun of those fans. Respect their feelings. If you can’t say something supportive or sympathetic, then just walk away.

I truly believe the world would be a better place if we took that attitude in most situations, not just the end of a band.

Now, for my farewell to My Chemical Romance, here’s the song that has been my biggest comfort for many years, simply for the lines: “I am not afraid to keep on living/I am not afraid to walk this world alone”. It seems especially appropriate now. Goodbye, My Chemical Romance. Thank you for everything.

You Know What Sucks? Depression.

TW: self-harm, suicide

Nope, only beds here. Your productive member of society is in another castle.

Nope, only beds here. Your productive member of society is in another castle.

Your  alarm has gone off at least five times. Maybe six, or seven, or maybe you should stop counting. You should get out of bed. You have to get up, go to class, participate, socialize, be a productive member of society. Otherwise, what’s the point of you?

But to do that, you have to get out of bed, and you’re not sure that’s possible. You feel like you’re part of the bed. Maybe you are the bed.

You aren’t the bed, but there are nasty little beasties inside you telling you otherwise. They gnaw at your muscles until you can’t move. They make you feel impossibly heavy. How can you get out of bed when you’re drawn to it by your own personal gravitational force?

They’re in your brain, too. “Worthless,” they say. “Lazy. Incompetent. Failure. You can’t even get out of bed.” They gnaw at your muscles some more.

That’s just how the beasties are when you’re in bed. They’re sleepy. If you get out of bed, well, they’ll be wide awake. They’ll start to work on your appetite. What will it be today? Will you have to force yourself to stomach some yogurt, or will you eat several pieces of leftover pizza, some Easy Mac, and three KitKats before you even start to feel like you can stop eating? They’ll keep gnawing at your muscles, of course, and make you ache. Best yet, they’ll have much more to say.

“Really? Yoga pants and a T-shirt? Did you even shower today? Ugh, slob.”

“You see those people over there, laughing? You know they’re laughing at you, right? They can see you’re worthless. They think it’s funny you even bother when you’re obviously doomed to failure.”

“You skipped your morning class. Your professor probably hates you now. Your classmates are rolling their eyes. ‘Why does she even bother trying?’ they wonder. They can see the failure all over you, too.”

“Oh, you’re thinking of actually going to your next class? Why? You’ll talk too much or too little and they’ll all hate and judge you. What’s the point? They know you aren’t cut out for this.”

“You drop a class or two every semester and you don’t even have a job. If you can’t handle college, how are you going to survive in the real world? You know the answer to that, though. You won’t survive.”

“No, don’t talk to your friends and family about it. Don’t you disappoint them enough as it is?”

“Aw, you’re taking your antidepressants? How cute.”

The voices paralyze you. Maybe you cry uncontrollably, or just stare into space, unable to move. You start thinking of ways to hurt yourself. Maybe just a few cuts would relieve the pressure inside you. Maybe you should take a dozen melatonin and sleep for the next week. Maybe you should just end it all.

“You’d still be a disappointment,” the nasty little beasties say. “Aren’t you supposed to be stronger?”

The worst part is, no one who doesn’t deal with the beasties will understand. They’ll think you’re weak and lazy. “Why don’t you just get over it? Have a more positive attitude! Stop dwelling!” There’s no physical evidence that they can see, so to them it’s not an illness. It’s not a valid reason to miss class or work or to stay in bed all day. It’s not like you’re throwing up or running a fever.

Cutting starts to seem like a good idea again. Maybe they’ll take you seriously if you’re bleeding.

Or maybe you should just stay in bed.

Disclaimer: Since I know there are people who will worry, I’m not presently in danger of harming myself. I am in a safe place. I just felt that to exclude those thoughts would be disingenuous. Mostly I am just a bed.