I have been heartbroken about Chris’ passing, being yet another lover of his music, deeply appreciative of the treasures of healing and honesty he brought through his lyrics, chords, voice, melodies. I have long been grateful to him for helping folks like me feel less alone, and able to face darkness and find strength, embrace all of what this life brings. His music changed my life for the better, helped me feel at home in this world, and has influenced my own efforts at songwriting.
Your article and generous sharing of your own experience is one of the first things I have read on this subject that makes any sense to me. Clearly, this needless tragedy is calling for us to address at the least the mis-prescription of a benzo drug for someone whose depression and addiction history clearly and loudly contraindicated it. That to me is malpractice and I agree this is the kind of situation in which I would wish for a lawsuit to bring awareness to this lethal lack of care, and prevent it for others, as I know Chris is one of so many who have died this way. In a bigger way, I also agree that we are called on to address the nationwide mess of overuse of medications to reduce anxiety and depression, when so often exercise, diet, and other lifestyle approaches make pivotal differences without the negative side effects, which you so aptly characterized as effects, cordoned off to frame them as separate from the desired ones, but actually part of the organism’s documented set of responses to the drug.
Your honesty and descriptive ability in explaining the depersonalization and exacerbation of anxiety and depression and creation of self-harm intent and action helped me to see much more clearly what very likely happened for Chris Cornell, who had fought so hard and so well, and created art and healing from his fight, who met and elevated us with his music. I’m sure I’m far from alone in wishing so hard I could have been someone who could have engaged him in a conversation, or listened, or in any way helped him that night. I remember reading his comments about how with depression he had learned to remember that it might just be better in the morning. With everyone else, I wish that morning had come for him.
My heart goes out to his children and his wife and all his family and bandmates and I pray for healing for them, and that they find a way to continue to honor and celebrate Chris’ lessons and find a way to have a sense of peace. I hope others can be saved as a result of the dialogue to which you are contributing, that shines light on the travesty and tragedy of medication wrongly, profitably prescribed, which proves fatal in exacerbating/distorting exactly what it purported to help. If anyone could have seen the irony in this and found a way to eclipse with his beautiful spirit…..it would have been Chris Cornell.
In memory, with much appreciation for Chris and his music and example.