Ten Ways Not To Commit Suicide - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels - 09/02/2016 - 7:00pm

Ten Ways Not To Commit Suicide

Community Rooms 301 & 302

Legendary artist Darryl DMC McDaniels had it all—public adulation, the respect of his peers, money, and celebrity status. But, it all imploded when, overwhelmed by such success at a young age, he sank into a world of depression, alcoholism, and regular thoughts of suicide. In his brutally frank memoir, TEN WAYS NOT TO COMMIT SUICIDE, McDaniels recounts his slide into emotional darkness and the ways he worked to rise out of his depression and embrace the gift of life. McDaniels’s story has particular resonance in our time, with a rising epidemic of suicide among black men. Indeed, suicide is the #3 leading cause of death among African Americans.
McDaniels was just a kid from Queens, New York when he exploded on the music scene as part of the superstar rap group Run-DMC. But, “for years, I hated waking up,” he writes. Depression became McDaniels’s constant companion. He started to drink heavily after years of being sober. He found himself contemplating suicide on almost a daily basis. “I suffered all this in silence, which is the worst thing to do if you want relief,” he writes. “I avoided people, because I wanted to make sure that nobody really knew what I was going through. I didn’t know how to express my pain, my anger. Not only did I bottle up my feelings, but I also made sure that I kept myself far enough away from everyone regardless of whether they loved me or not, so that nobody could ever get an accurate gauge on how deep my despair ran.” But isolation, he would discover, was absolutely the wrong move.
McDaniels chronicles the sources of his depression. There was the substance abuse he dealt with for years. The pressures of the music business and the strain of touring and performing. The internal strife within Run-DMC, where he often felt like a third wheel. And, then there was the startling revelation that he was adopted, a secret his parents kept from him until he was an adult. He found himself flailing artistically. As he reached his lowest point, he decided he needed to get off the treadmill and embrace some hard truths about how he had fallen so far.
Rebuilding his life, McDaniels turned to those who could help, and he offers an informal blueprint for others seeking to combat depression. He returned to rehab to tackle his addiction. He turned to friends and family for support, and rebuilt relationships. Honoring himself, he worked toward building a strong body and mind, and found spiritual contentment through faith. He coped with the death of his former band mate and best friend, and discovered love through family and fatherhood, as well as by forging a connection with his biological mother.
As McDaniels shares his story with others who may be going through similar difficulties, he inspires with his forthrightness. “It’s been an interesting journey,” he writes, “my passage from emotional turmoil to the peaceful and honest place I occupy now. It’s been long and hard, fueled by fear and anger and, later, love. It’s taken me to places I could’ve never imagined visiting, both out in the world and within my own soul. It’s like I’ve come full circle, running away from myself then returning better than when I started.” TEN WAYS NOT TO COMMIT SUICIDE speaks to anyone battling depression and thoughts of ending it all, with a special shout out to young black men like McDaniels once was himself—lost, with no guidance, and seemingly no place to turn.

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels

Darryl McDaniels or “DMC” first made his start in the music business in 1981 as one third of the groundbreaking rap group Run-DMC, which he formed with Joseph (Rev. Run) Simmons and the late, great Jason (Jam Master Jay) Mizell. This multi-platinum music group sold over 30 million singles and albums worldwide, leaving an indelible mark on popular culture. Inducted into the 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, DMC helped transform Rap and Hip Hop into the most popular music in the world, while building a fan base that rivals the biggest acts in Rock ‘n’ Roll.

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Ten Ways Not To Commit Suicide