Soundgarden Member Reacts To Chris Cornell’s Widow Speaking Out About Drugs

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Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron showed his support for Chris Cornell’s widow Vicky following her appearance on MSNBC on Thursday, liking her Instagram post featuring a clip of her discussing how people need to voice their ‘outrage’ about the opioid epidemic, which she believes helped lead to her husband’s death by drugs affecting his mental state.

Vicky Cornell said during the appearance, “I think that we have a deadly epidemic that is taking 174 lives a day, and that’s due to drug overdoses alone, that doesn’t take into account drug and alcohol related deaths. It would be like a plane crash every single day, there would be outrage, and it’s time for us to voice our outrage and do something about this epidemic.”

Cameron and Kim Thayil also showed their support for Vicky Cornell in November 2017, going on stage with her at the Human Rights Watch Gala where he accepted The Promise Award on behalf of her late husband.

“I think Chris particularly emphasized in his solo work, many of his individual work, dealing with exploitation of the most vulnerable,” Thayil told Rolling Stone at the gala. “Perhaps motivated by anything from outrage and concern from what we’d hear in the news to just general distaste for cruelty.”

Cameron added, “We’re certainly trying to make the world better with art. So I think that’s one way that we can start the dialogue and process of trying to connect with issues that are always important to us.”

"It's time for us to voice our outrage and do something about this epidemic."

A post shared by Vicky Cornell (@vickycornell) on

  • Olga Stewart

    You notice Ben has had nothing to do with any of this.

    I get the feeling that both he doesn’t like Vicky and he doesn’t like what she has been doing these past almost ten months.

    • Bruno Sílvio Martins

      That’s one hell of a feeling, knowing what someone you don’t know personally, talk to or have any kind of interaction with,thinks and likes or doesn’t like.
      Have you ever played the lottery? Maybe you should.

      • Olga Stewart

        Have you ever been polite?

        • Bruno Sílvio Martins

          Always.

    • Niles

      Ben has nothing to do with it because that’s his personality. He’s not interested in speaking to media members, especially about something so tragic and personal.

      We know from statements he’s made that Ben probably took the breakup of Soundgarden harder than anyone else. I guarantee you that Ben was totally devastated when Chris died, maybe on another level than the other members of the band (not to downplay their grief). I really hope Ben is doing okay.

      • Olga Stewart

        Yes, I have always felt that Ben took Chris’s passing pretty hard.

        And I also hope that he is all right.

  • makingconnections

    The Opioid Crisis has been battled for quite some time now….. I do not get the connection with the Opioid Crisis and Chris Cornell’s death and Vicki Cornell’s speaking on the whole issue. She’s very new to this problem, having only recently shared that “there were signs” that her husband was struggling.

    The Opioid Crisis is a serious thing, impacting such young people and Fentanyl is the most dangerous opioid around. That is where the focus is. Where I live, many people carry Naloxone kits, in case someone in a coffee shop, at an AA meeting or in any random place will need their help. I believe some education is given before the kit is given–a Psychiatrist I know just took the training to administer the drug. Perhaps the organization chose Ms. Cornell because she’s the wife of a rock star who was lost, as she says because of addiction. That is debatable and nothing about this work should be anything but clear and true. Why is anything voiced in America these days only valid if a celebrity or the wife of a celebrity speaks. There are many ordinary citizens who could give a clearer picture of the situation….

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    • mypat623

      I agree. I have two children that are recovering opiate addicts. It went from pills to heroin quite quickly. I carry Naloxone spray in my purse. The most horrible problem with Fentanyl is that, it is stronger than Naloxone. Meaning that the spray or injection might not work. The Vivitrol injection, the once a month shot of naloxone, does not block fentanyl. Besides Fentanyl and carfentanil, a slightly stronger drug called Lofentanil is now going around. Naloxone will not help with these two stronger drugs either. Part of the problem is the amounts of fentanyl coming over from China. It’s coming in through customs, the US postal service, FedEx etc.. I don’t know if Vicky has talked to other opiate addicts, their spouses, or parents, but if she has not, she really should. I would like to see her speak to one of us “commoners” about our loved ones addictions.

      • makingconnections

        Well, you’re the proof of my point. Vicki Cornell knows very little about the opioid crisis and you are someone who knows so much more than I do! (and I consider myself pretty well informed).
        Yes, I read last week that Fentanyl is largely coming to our area from the port of Vancouver, from China. It’s so easy to package….a little, a few grains can kill a person. It was said that it’s coming in on machinery; they mentioned farm machinery. That tells me they should be able to soon target the source and get it off the streets, although I know nothing happens quickly. The fact that such a little amount can be imported, you’re right, the postal service is another source.

        The thing is, the type of addiction that Chris had I believe will always be with us and yet she speaks of wiping it out completely. I don’t know, but I don’t believe he was using hard drugs. I honestly believe he was treating migraine, anxiety and an injury and that depression caused his death; however some disagree.

        She likes “grand” statements. . . her words will not make it go away. Human beings like to alter their state of consciousness and thank God for AA, recovery programs, Rehab and the way those people support each other. Some people can make it free on their own, but still, it’s nice to know there’s a system out there and people to lean on. When it comes to addiction and especially young people becoming addicted, I have always thought: “There but for the grace of God, go I.” It can happen to anyone, to any family….and I have learned that it’s not a matter of poor parenting necessarily. One thing that is good, if there can be anything good about heroin addiction, is that the younger you are when you learn new ways to live and receive help, the more it sticks and it’s easier to have a successful recovery than if you’re older. That’s what
        I’ve been taught anyway. I’ve spoken to many people, especially women on this thread who were addicted to heroin in the 90’s but managed to leave it behind. It was highly available then it seems.

        I’m encouraged by the fact that professionals are working with First Nations people especially here, who don’t seem to be helped by Rehab programs in their communities. That’s difficult, but they are not giving up. They are talking and exploring new ideas and still caring so much. I love that fact.

        • mypat623

          Agree again. Vicky exclaiming he took 33 pills in 9 days, did not alarm me. Why? Because I am very familiar with benzos, and their normal prescribing guidelines. I was a Pharm Tech for over 20 years. My children being addicted to heroin was a huge shock. I preached (maybe too much) about the dependency and addiction, and what some people will go through to get more meds. I have heard every “excuse” for why they need a refill again, and it has only been a few days since their last fill. Anyway back to CC. Taking 33 pills in 9 days is almost on par for a normal benzo rx. The average is 3x a day. Plus he was on butalbital too. So, you can add that in too. I think she thought she was going to shock the world by her comments. To some it might sound like a whole lot of pills in 9 days. It comes out to 3.6 a day. Now, he might not have taken them that way, and he probably didn’t. Maybe he got a slight buzz here and there, who knows? I saw Soundgarden on May 6, 2017 in Alabama. I was front row, hanging on the rail. He looked sober, and sounded great. Looked thin, but he has has looked gaunt for years. After a year on both meds, his body was dependent on them. Meaning, if he wanted to get off of them, he would have to be weaned. It’s not recommended to just stop these meds on your own. Benzo withdrawal can cause seizures. If she was giving him an ultimatum to get off the meds, she should have done some research. As a recovering addict, he should have never been given the meds to begin with. I have a gut feeling of what he might have been going through, and I don’t put blame on him at all for wanting to calm his nerves, and headaches. And possibly escape from reality, if that was even possible. Because you have to remember that he had the best marriage of all marriages there every was, and ever will be! Fairytale, as Yia Yia would say. I wonder if YY knows that a Fairytale is make believe?

          • makingconnections

            Thanks for bothering to tell me all of this. I will share the knowledge with others.

            Regarding Chris Cornell, his whole passing and the time of grieving has been made into a fiasco. I wish his wife would quit oversharing….some care, but many feel she has an agenda. She does not realize how her whole effort hasn’t worked. For the sake of her children she should make a more regular life for herself and quit pushing herself into the limelight by talking about her famous husband publicly. It’s so unfair to a man who isn’t here to state his truth.

            Best wishes to you and yours…

          • makingconnections

            I’ve realized today that I really can’t bear the “tattle-tale” aspect of Vicki Cornell’s story. How could you take someone’s privacy and dignity away from them but making public his prescriptions? (dead or alive!) I have a cousin who’s a nurse and is always asking me about my husband’s meds. He has high blood pressure, but she’s always fishing for information and I’d never tell her a thing. Really, I find that there’s something so degrading about all of this. Actually, Vicki Cornell showing herself to be a really cheesy person!

          • mypat623

            Indeed. She quite literally is “throwing him under a bus”, even after his passing of our cold cruel world. I see nothing but maybe sympathy as a motive. If she is going to go after Big Pharma, she might need a little more. Big Pharma doesn’t play nice with others. Is she in need of money? Or does she still want his name out there, and does not care what it takes to do it? She does have new hoodies and a tacky jean jacket to hawk right now. But, proclaiming “33 pills in 9 days” to the general public makes no sense unless there is another motive. The real question I would love answered, is how in the hell did she become a member of the Advisory Board at the Addiction Policy Forum? All of a sudden she is an expert on addiction? Please.. It would be more apropos if she was a member of a Shopping Addiction Policy Forum. I hope her new found knowledge on meds, and her statements about them, does not cause someone on a benzo med, to just abruptly stop taking their meds, without consulting a doctor.

          • makingconnections

            It’s a wacko situation and we’ll probably never no the motive. The fact that she’s suddenly on the Advisory Board is wrong and takes away any legitimacy they may have had. She talks out of both sides of her mouth and is usually wrong.

          • makingconnections

            Sometimes I think she became so enamored by the celebrity status of being Chris Cornell’s wife that she’s terrified of being an ordinary person. Her effort to be in the news has been very difficult to watch.

          • mypat623

            I think you are right. Calling the paparazzi on your husband, and or yourself is too much for my mind to comprehend. After reading through 100’s of pages of public domain legal papers regarding Chris and Susan, I don’t know how I feel about Mr. Cornell anymore.I don’t think he was at his best as a person from 2003-?. My personal opinion is that he lived with guilt. I know if I, and my husband or SO did what he and Vicky did to Susan, I would be racked with guilt. Not to mention the MIL jabs on social media.Even if I had forgiveness from the other party I attacked. I don’t have the mental strength to even write the horrible things they did to her. I truly believe (again personal opinion) that she wanted him to be bigger than he was. Like a pop star. Ironic thing is, his best selling solo LP was the one he did with Timbaland. His hard core fans hated it. (I was in this category.) He unfortunately is gone, and we will never have the privilege to hear his beautiful voice live again. Maybe an “Addiction 101” course is needed for VC, so she can say something appropriate. Tarnishing his name is cruel. Depression is denied. It seems the family thinks they “cured” him of it. I know depression can be managed, but cured, I did not know it was possible. Learn something new every day.

          • makingconnections

            This is very judgy and gossipy, but hell, that’s what this place is about I suppose. All the teaching about not speaking ill of the dead is in me too.

            I think he was hiding out with that family and that they kept him occupied and took ownership of him and still are. The thing is, he allowed it and seemed to encourage it and be proud of it somehow. They have shown themselves to be an insufferable group and I imagine that what seemed like a safe spot in the world may have become smothering by the end.

            I’m deleted this after you read it…the guilt!

  • Greg Piotrowski

    Vicki thank you for your help bringing this to light!! My 20 and 21 yes. Old daughters are in recovery for over 3 yrs thank God!!! Some good can come from a horrific event such as Chris’s! Some people are the message and some are the messenger!!! God bless you and your family!! From a fan!!!

    • Olga Stewart

      Yes but this isn’t what Chris died from.

  • Jimmy Miller

    I know Chris Cornell battled addiction in his life but I’m confused here, someone please enlighten me. When I read Chris’s toxicology report I didn’t see any drugs in his system that was anywhere near a lethal level, unless I read it wrong. So what the hell is going on here?

    • Gary Reilly

      The toxicology report and autopsy together showed that Chris officially died from strangulation, not from any overdose of drugs. The point that Vicky Cornell has been making is that the mixture of drugs in his system at the time – although not high enough to cause an overdose by themselves – were high enough levels combined to impair his judgement greatly, and led to him committing suicide, which he may not have done if not under the influence. At least one of the chemicals in his system has been shown to lead to paranoia and suicidal thoughts.

      • Jay Valente

        IT was a normal dose of anti anxiety medication on the Tox report report and that drug stays in your system for months…. so bullshit

        • Diane Neame

          The drug Ativan doesn’t stay in your system for months. I’ve been on the drug for 25+ year, It is a effective for about 6 hours at a time, its a very addictive drug, hence the reason it should only be used, for a short time, it does not accumilate in the system like valium. If benzo’s are taken everyday, it can lead a person, to need a higher dose, as the body tolerates the drug easily.This drug has been well tested and is not given freely by all professionals, only because of its addictive nature.The pros and cons, have to be weighed up, as to what is best for the patient. When anxiety is so bad, Ativan is a godsend. I was on very high doses, as I’d been on it for quite awhile and my body was getting use to it.
          Valium stays in the system for 48 hours and does have a accumilate effect, when taken daily. I’m going to see if I can find the tox report, as I’m curious to see, all what he had in his body and a couple of extra Ativan won’t give you the energy to hang yourself, but depression will

          • Jay Valente

            He was taking forever for year, cumulative effect would have shown up.

            I had to be drug tested recently and it showed “use over time”

          • Kay B

            Good comment. I believe he had taken 2 extra Ativan on top of what he took before the show. My guess is that 2 was what the script called for since the body guard gave him a dose after the show which was 2. So in a 3-4 hr period he had 4 pills. Either way when you find the tox report what he had in his system was in therapeutic ranges. I take 30 mg of a benzo every night for sleep and I am sure I am addicted because I can not sleep without it. I have had serious insomnia since I was 7. But when I do not take it I have been suicidal. I tend to have a paradoxical affect with most drugs however.

  • azur Rienne

    It’s called denial. It’s easier to keep calling a person who was sober 14 years a drug addict over and over again than for her to say, “my husband was depressed his whole life and I had one job, to keep this beautiful man alive, and I failed, I shopped round the clock, so he had to work himself to exhaustion, I made him fly that day for mother’s day when I knew he was sick and had a three hour show that night, I let him take benzos for a year, I didn’t get him support or make him rest when he was visibly acting different and had dropped to 140 lbs, and I admitted to having been mean and accusatory to him on the phone seconds before he did this and it’s my fault”

    • Christina Hurst

      Azur..
      Your comment makes me so sad but I feel it to be true. He was so emaciated. I read in an interview C.C said that when his bouts of depression kick in he shuts down and does not eat. Will go whole days without a full meal.
      The guy was clearly going through alot. And I feel vicky was a very verbally abusive spouse. The comment she made about him walking like her Grandfather just sux…Her jabs at this man disgust me. But its call coming to light…#Nomorebullshit

    • Cristiann

      I agree that she’s in denial. I don’t think VK is helping anyone by continuing to deny Chris’ depression, but I also don’t believe his death is anyone’s fault. Yes, VK should have done more to help him; she should’ve realized how unhealthy he was, but the truth is … you can’t force a person to get help (even when they clearly need it) unless they’re willing. It’s no one’s responsibility to “save” or keep us alive. All we can do is try to help and offer people our support.

      • Trovoid

        Exactly, Cristi! I vowed to avoid commenting on these specific articles but I love how you brought this up. You’re great at avoiding the black and white sides of each story.

        That is the problem: Vicky is taking his suicide personally. That’s why she can’t accept what really happened. If she didn’t think she was 100% responsible for his happiness then maybe she’d be speaking out about mental health instead of addiction. I feel like in her mind that she feels like she failed as a wife and mother if Chris intentionally left the family behind. She doesn’t understand mental illness, she thinks he became a new person when they met. He constantly told her how she saved him and I think everything just got to her head! She is treating a chemical imbalance as if it is one of her own shortcomings.

        • Olga Stewart

          Her shortcomimg was to not help Chris deal with his depression.

          Had she done so, he might still be with us.

          • Trovoid

            Yeah. Like Cristiann said, you can’t force people to get help but everyone could use some support. If she was more understanding then maybe he’d still be here. Her accusatory tone during that last phone call did not help matters. She probably made him feel horrible about himself for slurring. At that moment he needed someone to listen to him and comfort him without judgment. He flickered the lights in their home with his phone and called her and she just kicked him while he was down.

            I really miss Chris and I’ve become numb to the news. The world feels so empty without him. The last few weeks I have found myself thinking about how long he’s been gone. Like Chris, I have a real hard time letting people go. Life is fleeting and I just can’t accept him as part of the past. I will remember him for the person he was and not any of this. His spirit will always outshine all of this media garbage.

            I don’t know why I wrote all of this, Olga.

          • Olga Stewart

            You wrote this because both because Chris meant a lot to you and this is your way of dealing with your feelings in regards to his loss

            There’s nothing at all wrong with that. :).

          • Trovoid

            You’re definitely right.

            I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault he’s dead but I wish he had people in his life that he felt he could open up to. I suppose that’s one of the saddest parts about all of this. I guess that’s how many of us out there also feel.

          • makingconnections

            When I look bad on the many months of grief I felt when my brother, who was my touchstone, left, I got stuck for various reasons and I wonder sometimes if Vicki Cornell isn’t doing something similar.

            I was desperately angry at first and there was so much information to process….he was treated badly by certain people in his family….they didn’t like the shirts he wore, how he cut his hair and that he didn’t earn the money he once did. They hurt him so badly. He developed Crohn’s Disease and was treated with a powerful drug that is supposed to be tried “little by little”, but in the town where he was they weren’t cautious and gave him way too much and he went into a coma….he woke up with a damaged brain, inability to swallow and anxiety that was worse that anything I’ve ever seen. He was everything to me and the outrage I felt towards his ex-wife, who had made him feel like nothing, and the careless “specialists” was huge. It fueled me for many months until I saw a grief counselor who helped me let go of it. Then I grieved for my brother. Now I miss him so much but feel so fortunate that I had him with me for so long. I can still hear his caring voice on the phone and sometimes feel he’s watching over us from some other place. That could be true or not, but I take it as real. He was the most dedicated person I’ve ever met.

          • Trovoid

            I know some people with Crohn’s disease (my brother being one of them) and it’s rough.. They essentially give them chemotherapy drugs.

            It saddens me to hear this, I can tell he meant a lot to you. It’s also a shame that people treated him badly. Fortunately they’re making strides with Crohn’s treatments and from what I’ve researched there are some remedies (like marijuana) that can help.

            Vicky definitely needs to see a grief counselor (if she hasn’t already). I doubt she will ever accept Chris’ death as an intentional suicide but it could still do her a lot of good.

            It’s nice to hear from you, MC. I’ve thought about you recently because I realized I hadn’t spoken to you for a while.

          • makingconnections

            Yes, we haven’t talked for awhile and I was hoping you were well and sending you good vibes.
            I know my story is different that Vicki’s but I feel she’s losing herself in any issue that can help her to avoid grief. I think she imagines she’s fighting for Chris, as she said she’d do, but quite the contrary, it’s not about him at all. In that way it’s similar….you occupy your mind with the thoughts that you can stand and never face the terrible fact of what you’ve lost. My counselor said: “I did nothing, you did it all.’ when I was feeling more balanced, but she certainly asked the right questions so that I could see for myself what I was doing.
            No Vicki seems to have a huge fear of the possibility of her husband being depressed and taking his life. I saw a powerful picture of his face during the last performance that really “spoke” of being done with it all, in my opinion anyway. Take care friend.

          • Trovoid

            Your story is definitely relatable in this case. Vicky is refusing to address any of these problems head-on and it’s having a huge effect on her kids. It’s nice to hear that you were able to work through a lot of your grief with that counselor. I don’t think Vicky has ever been able to swallow the harder truths of life, hence her superficial lifestyle. I’m curious to what that picture looked like but I think I have a general idea in my mind. You take care of yourself too.

          • makingconnections

            I can’t remember where I saw the picture of Chris….on one of these conversations I think.

            Yes, the children…..I especially worry about the daughter who is really quite young being dragged around to events with her mother. I must be so painful, but children do what they have to do. She’ll probably always do whatever is necessary to support her mother.

          • makingconnections

            Also, I hope that your brother responds well to the new treatments available. I didn’t know about the chemotherapy drugs, but it makes sense, being an autoimmune disorder, isn’t it? My brother was selling vitamins and supplements for a very good company when he died. His situation was different….it came on so hard…he had only been diagnosed a few months previous to his passing.

            I have a friend who definitely has a problem with alcohol but has been helped immensely by being able to buy marijuana remedies legally and there’s a certain combination that helps with cravings and he’s doing very well for a month now!

            Also, we have a provincial government who’s doing very good work with the recovery people here…I saw a sign coming home today of a lovely young woman (a big sign), saying, daughter, sister, drug user. So many people are shocked here to lose their children really, because their party drugs are laced with fentanyl. It’s not the long- term users having such a problem. They are also opening centers in Vancouver where people can take their drugs to have them tested for contamination and also providing test strips in the drugstores for people. I worked hard for the party that won the last election so I’m very proud of them. It would not surprise me if in my lifetime, many other drugs become legal. We have a psychologist that lives nearby who has written and studied addiction for many years who is always speaking someplace and I believe he has some ideas that seem outrageous at first, but what we’re doing now isn’t working. We can’t continue to have our First Nations people filling up our jails because of drug use and within their communities they’re working hard to try to understand why addiction is such a problem for them. These days no one seems to be feeling superior to anyone else over addiction and mental illness. Really, I’m pretty encouraged with all the conversations being had, so thought I’d share it with you!

          • Trovoid

            That’s very sad and I can only imagine the pain that you experienced. Autoimmune disorders have become prevalent these days. I’ve heard a lot of different theories as to why that’s the case.

            I sure hope they legalize marijuana in the rest of the U.S. soon. And yeah it really does help people stay away from alcohol and other drugs. I also hope in the future that I get the chance to try psilocybin (mushrooms). I’ve heard it has promising results for those with depression, anxiety and addictions. It’s a shame that we are filling up jail cells with people who aren’t hurting anyone but themselves. I believe in the freedom of choice. We need to normalize getting help for addiction so these people can avoid the dangerous fentanyl fate. People are always going to want to be intoxicated in some shape or form because of this crazy modern society. We’re always teaching kids what not to do and I don’t think that ever works. It’s very unfair that we’re basically limited to booze and cigarettes.

            Thanks for sharing because that is exciting compared to a lot of other situations going on in the world. We have to start somewhere and it’s only a matter of time when other progressive-minded people jump on board. I’ve noticed that there are a lot more people discarding the ignorant ways of the past and it is definitely encouraging.

          • makingconnections

            I just came to the computer to say something to another poster and here you are.

            Since I talked with you, I’ve realized that the connections between my brother’s death and the unreasonable ex, ties in to Vicki Cornell’s behaviour. I think I can admit that I’m never going to be totally over the unfairness that takes place sometimes and I think that’s why I’ve become so obsessed with her story. There were so many incidents involving others and I managed to stay quiet so that I could function, but watching people hurt your loved one is unbearable. Had I gotten involved I would have made it worse for my brother and I believe that’s probably what happened to the family we focus on here. I have to let go once again and hope that Chris has found peace in the hereafter. People create there own reality–that’s fine–I just hate it when they expect everyone else to buy into their world.

            The doctor that writes about addiction and speaks a lot is Gabor Mate, I believe. I haven’t read his viewpoints, but many recovery people find him helpful.

          • Trovoid

            That’s completely understandable, I’m with you there. We can’t control how other people perceive reality but they should never try and push their narratives on us. As Chris said, “Keep it off my wave.”

            You have a strong sense of justice like myself and I love that about you. The world would honestly be a better place with more people like you in it. I don’t care if I’m sounding cheesy here, I sincerely mean it!

          • makingconnections

            Thank you so much Trovoid. Talking this all out has made me realize that although healing has taken place regarding the loss of my brother and I am not as angry as I was towards those that hurt him, I think I will always be even more sensitive when it comes to injustice and unfairness. When my brother was dying, his ex-wife wouldn’t let his girlfriend in to see him. She’d wait in the parking lot till his family was gone and the Intensive Care nurses were so caring and let her stay till all hours. They told me that this happens all the time to people. The person who was married to the dying person comes and takes ownership so to speak. Often it’s over staking a claim on the financial estate. My brother’s girlfriend is one of the most gracious people I’ve met. She didn’t complain, held her head high and just dealt with it. So many of our problems are because of those who struggle to control, and what does it matter in the end?
            I’m going to delete this after you read it…and I’ll remember “Keep it off my wave.” That’s the best! Blessings.

          • makingconnections

            In your conversation with Christiann, you mentioned that sometimes people just need an ear rather than a logical solution. You are so right…I think when you are a parent you tend to look for solutions and try to fix things when your children have to find their own way and you kind of have to trust them to navigate the world and trust the world to be good to them…even though they’ll inevitably struggle as everyone does.

            Only a week or so after my brother died (I think I was still numb to what had happened), we had a group of guys from the East Coast of Canada for dinner. I made this huge dinner like I always do when they’re working here and suddenly I started crying and went to the kitchen. One of them who was new to the group was such a comfort to me, the most comfort of anyone during that time. He said to me in that beautiful East Coast, Newfoundland accent: “You’re gonna be O.K., girl; not right now mind you; no, not right now, but you’re gonna be O.K., with a big smile on his face. I believed him.

          • Trovoid

            Yeah I think a lot of parents and people in general miss that point. People need to open up for the sake of opening up. It’s not good to hold things in (I like the term emotional constipation) and it gets old quickly when you’re constantly getting logical solutions as a response. Illogical problems don’t call for logical solutions and sometimes it’s just best to let it all out and be heard.

            That’s a nice story and it just goes to show how the simplest of acts can be the most comforting.

          • makingconnections

            Re altering our consciousness, I once heard an anthropologist say: “People have been chewing on this leaf or that root from time immemorial to see how it makes them feel.” I’ve always remembered that. We’re curious creatures!!

          • Cristiann

            It’s exhausting to constantly feel like (no matter how hard you try not to) you’re failing the ones you love by not being happy or healthy. I mean, a relapse is always a possibility for someone with health/substance abuse problems. Someone who has had depression before can certainly experience it again in the future. What people need is support and comfort in those vulnerable moments, not judgements or “forgiveness” from loved ones.

            I know exactly what you mean about letting people go … it isn’t easy for me either. Chris’ death still hurts (it will always hurt) and I often find myself feeling so empty inside because I know nothing can bring him back. Maybe it’s because I relate to Chris a lot and it’s devastating to me that yet another good person is no longer in the world with us.

        • Cristiann

          It always puts a smile on my face when you call me, Cristi. 🙂

          Thanks, I always try to look at all the different sides in a situation. Real life is full of grayness. Things are rarely ever as simple as black and white.

          I completely agree with you. Honestly, that really does seem to be the main problem with VK — she takes the idea of Chris being depressed very personally. Like, if that’s true then in her mind it means she failed as a wife/mother. I can understand how frustrating it must of been for Chris if he tried to confide or reach to her for comfort/understanding. I find myself in a very similar situation with my own mother. We had an easy friendship when I was much younger, but then things started to change when my depression began and things have not been the same since. Every time I have tried to open up to her about how I feel, she takes it very personally and blames herself for my unhappiness. It’s so unbelievably frustrating because all I want (all any of us want) is for someone to just listen to me and allow to talk about this stuff. But how can you when the person you’re confiding this stuff to interprets it as an attack on them? It’s so hard.

          The truth is … just because someone loves you, it doesn’t mean that they will understand you (or what you’re going through) like you wish they would. In Chris’ case, I imagine his relationship with VK was a happy one until his struggles with depression/anxiety became an issue. I imagine that — because she didn’t and still doesn’t understand mental illness — Chris might’ve felt the need to pretend he was “okay” for her. I think the pressure of always being strong for others is often the breaking point.

          • Trovoid

            I can’t help it 🙂 Every time I see your name that doomy riff pops in my head.

            I do wonder if he ever brought up his mental health issues in recent years. Obviously Vicky knew about his troubles when she met him but like I said in another comment; she probably thought it was over and was a phase brought on by his previous marriage and lifestyle. I have a feeling that when his depression and anxiety got worse again that he did indeed feel ashamed. He was so busy all the time and the last thing he probably wanted to do was admit he didn’t have it together at 52 years old (as a father of 3, playing with multiple bands, doing a bunch of charity work). I mean Vicky won’t even acknowledge that he was on a benzo for anxiety but merely for “shoulder pain.” That may be partially true but man is she scared to even hint at the fact that he was unwell. Someone needs to educate her so she realizes that addiction is often a symptom of something else. I’m sure it happens sometimes but usually happy people don’t randomly relapse. They relapse when things are out of control.

            ❤ I feel for you. I’ve given up when it comes to talking to most people about my problems. They tend to approach the conversations with a logical solution rather than just lending an ear. They don’t realize that we need to just let it all out. You can tell they’re either annoyed or don’t get it.

          • Cristiann

            Aww 😀 that’s funny because whenever I see your username, I’m reminded of Soundgarden’s cover of “Into The Void”.

            My thoughts exactly. Sometimes I feel like VK didn’t realize what she was signing up for when she married Chris. In all fairness, mental illness is something we’re all still learning about. Maybe she thought he’d never get depressed again as long as she was a good wife/mother but it’s never that simple. Like you said, she probably blamed his previous problems on his first marriage and former lifestyle (and I’m sure those things did contribute to it), but they obviously weren’t the only reasons. Hell, sometimes you don’t even have a “reason” or an explanation for why you feel this way. Sometimes you just ARE depressed and it’s not necessarily anyone’s fault, but many people just don’t understand that. A person (especially one with a history of depression) can experience depression again even when there’s a lot in their life that they are happy and grateful for. Mental illness is not a choice. And even the strongest people (someone like Chris, who had been sober for years) can have a relapse — especially during busy and stressful times. Maybe Chris did try to confide in VK about his pain and struggles, but maybe she took it too personally and as a result Chris must’ve felt like he had to bare all his pain alone. He probably felt like he needed to be strong for his family — especially for the kids. But that’s just the thing: no one should ever have to bare any kind of pain alone.

            Thanks ♥️ I’m sorry that you’re going through this too. Depression is hard enough to deal with as it is, but it’s even harder when you’ve got no one in your life who you can confide in about it. I still don’t feel brave enough to get professional help yet, but I also know that I have to make some changes in my life soon. I feel very much alone in all this.

          • Trovoid

            Oh yeah 🙂 I never even thought about that. I don’t even remember how I came up with Trovoid.

            Vicky probably only saw what she wanted to see. Chris loved and felt so much and not many people have the ability to match that. And yeah even Chris himself said a lot of depression seemed to be chemical and come out of nowhere. Support can be offered but I guess in ways we are all alone. We ultimately live for ourselves in a state of detachment from the external world. Everything we do and experience falls back on us. We will always only be a part of someone else’s life and all we can really do is try to find fulfillment within ourselves. I could go down this philosophical rabbit hole all day but for my own sanity I’m going to stop here, haha.

            It’s tough. I actually called to set up an appointment and they STILL haven’t gotten back to me. There must be so many people with mental health issues when you have to wait so long for a slot. It’s a grueling process for sure. I always back out last minute so I know the feel.

          • Cristiann

            “We can’t save each other but we can be there for each other.” — Exactly.

            Depression is a lonely and painful experience for all of us, but sometimes just having someone be there for you during those times can make a positive difference. I think it helps to have someone who you can be honest with and who you can unburden yourself with. Someone who you don’t have to pretend to be “okay” for all the time.

            That’s terrible but not very surprising. I often have to make my doctor appointments months in advance because the waiting list is so long. And even then the doctor can still cancel on me at the last minute (I get so upset and anxious when that happens). I was talking to someone last week about me considering getting professional, and she encouraged me to do so, but she also said that it may take a while to find the right psychologist for me. Insurance might also be an issue. I don’t know … it all sounds like a long and stressful process, but maybe the effort is worth it.

            I wish you well. Take care ♥️

          • Trovoid

            It’ll definitely be worth it, I hope you find a way to make it possible. This is no way to go through life. I feel as if I’ve had years stolen from me.

            Take care, Cristiann. I think everything will turn out okay for you. You have a sharp mind and seem like a very sweet woman. Keep your head up, love.

          • makingconnections

            Cristiann…you often mention that you don’t think Vicki understands mental illness and perhaps Chris had to pretend he was O.K. I think that’s one of the most important points that we can learn from by all these conversations. Being a parent that is so dedicated as he was is wonderful, but he’d certainly never want them to think he wasn’t O.K. I’ve heard one of our foreign correspondents on CBC speak of his PTSD problems after years of being in war zones and such, and they spoke openly with their young children about it and they could grasp it and were able to be patient with him. It’s amazing how if we share our experiences openly as they come up…..we don’t have to back over things later when we think they are the right age, often to find out they knew something was wrong. Take care.

          • Cristiann

            I agree — Chris was a really loving father and he certainly wouldn’t have wanted them to worry about him. Good parents always want to protect their children from any harm or pain (even from their own). Still, no one should ever have to deal with their struggles alone. Many people view vulnerability as a weakness; we often feel like we always have to appear strong and well adjusted, but everyone has their ups/downs.

            Yeah, I definitely feel like we should encourage people to talk more about depression and mental health in general. We need to help people understand (from an early age) that it’s okay if you feel down sometimes and that it’s okay to talk about it as well. There’s no reason to feel ashamed or guilty about this stuff. We really need to learn from our mistakes, so that we don’t loose anymore people to mental illness.

          • makingconnections

            Yes, I hope we can all learn from this long conversation since Chris died; I have. It really touched a nerve with me I must admit.

            I think fear is behind the stigma about mental illness as well. I’ve heard people with cancer say that people seem afraid to talk to them, as though it’s contagious or something….maybe people who don’t understand depression are frightened by acknowledging it it any way.

            Yes, the poor men in our society (although I think it’s better than it used to be), they’re still under tremendous pressure to have it all together. We all are, but especially the men I think.

            No wonder people don’t want to talk publicly about depression and addiction….when there are wives like Vicki Cornell who will expose every detail of her choice to the media, right down to the number of Ativan you took in the last days of your life. She hasn’t helped to open the issue at all.

        • makingconnections

          How true Trovoid!!

  • Kay B

    What does the opioid crisis have to do with Chris? I thought he was in a benzo delirium according to Vicky.