RIP Anthony Bourdain

I’m terribly saddened to learn of Anthony Bourdain’s apparent suicide. Since first reading “Kitchen Confidential” years and years ago, I was drawn to his confessional irreverence and colorfully lucid style, which, with its peppering of profanities, influenced my own. I enjoyed traveling the globe, sampling its cuisines and meeting its motley of fools with him. I recognized in him also the cold familiar friend, the profound darkness whose enveloping company we shared. In his writing and on his TV shows (I preferred “Parts Unknown” to “No Reservations”), one could always detect the undertone of that dark, though one was buoyed by his irrepressible joie de vivre to hope that he — though at cost, as it must always be — had clawed his way out into some vague light beyond the utmost bounds of human thought.

But, tragically, it seems the price was too high.

One can only hope that the suicides of two very public figures within days of each other can bring the uncomfortable epidemic of depression and self-harm further into the public discourse (https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/06/07/617897261/cdc-u-s-suicide-rates-have-climbed-dramatically); only by acknowledging the pervasiveness of this disease — simultaneously intensely private yet incredibly deleterious to public health — can we combat it, adequately treat it, help those many of us suffering silently from it recover and hopefully prevent it.

I’m alive today because I had timely access to the emergency and critical care I needed at certain points in my life, and to the medication, professional and interpersonal resources and networks required to make it through. I’m here day or night (but definitely night) if you or anyone you know could use someone to talk with or confide in. I can also help direct you to professional resources. And (US only) please call the national suicide prevention lifeline 24h/d at 1.800.273.8255 (https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/).

We are stronger together.

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~ by Benji on June 8, 2018.

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