On Friday, I was fifteen minutes from leaving to meet my new primary care physician, when I found a few seconds to check the Facebook news feed which lead to the news that Anthony Bourdain was the latest to die from suicide. His death followed just days after designer Kate Spade’s. While Spade’s was shocking, Bourdain’s passing hit me like a ton of bricks. Along with countless others, I admired the man. I adored his no bullshit demeanor and enjoyed watching him eat meals with families from all over the world as well as with our former president, Barack Obama and one of my favorite bands, The Black Keys. As I saw more and more headlines appear, my eyes filled with tears. This was the second high profile suicide in one week.
In the mental health community, we use the term “trigger” quite often. In most cases, it is presented before an article is started or a video is viewed. Although I have never personally lost anyone to suicide, I have had the threat of it thrown in my direction several times. To learn of two high profile losses just days apart, triggered me significantly. It brings me back to last year when I spent hours convincing my sister that she is worth it and that she is loved and that if one of us goes down, we all follow. My beautiful, strong sister is still here today and I believe she owes that to one person: Herself.
There continues to be endless discussion and speculation as to why Spade or Bourdain took the route they did, but at the end of the day, the only ones who really know are the ones no longer with us. I often see comments such as “this life could have been saved if they had only reached out.” OK. If you follow the blog, most likely it is because you too struggle with mental illness and know from first hand experience how hard it can be to do just that. My sister is still alive because she chose to seek help. She chose life. For those who chose the alternative, who are we to judge when we know how tough it can be to live inside our own head sometimes. Are they cowards? I don’t see it that way. I feel it must take a lot of courage to actually do it. Are they selfish? Maybe? Maybe not? Regardless, as much as we can try to prevent it, suicide will continue to happen. We have made incredible breakthroughs as far as advocacy and prevention go, but when will enough be enough?
Please visit American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
“You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”