Self-Care Sunday: Anthony Bourdain

TRIGGER WARNING: Suicide, depression, mental health.

If you are triggered or might be triggered by any of these topics do not feel obligated to read this post, I understand. There are plenty of other posts that I am confident you can connect with. If you need someone to talk to, my email or dms are always open. Someone is really listening.

In the past week, two legends chose to leave our world. When it comes to suicide or sudden death, there is no good “why” and it can be hard to understand why someone would make the choice to end their own life. Suicide hits close to home for me. A friend of mine this past September took his own life. I’ve been candid in speaking about him on my platform. Tony was one of my best friends. I didn’t see it coming and I wish I knew. I miss him every single day and pray that his heart is at peace.

Rest in peace to Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. There is so much that can be said about these two people. Kate Spade showed us that color and creativity can be a girls best accessory. Every time I unzip my Kate Spade wallet, I am reminded of her legacy and her impact. It pains me that her world wasn’t colorful

Anthony Bourdain used food, cuisine, and culture as the medium to show us that our global neighbors aren’t as different from us as we may think. My heart truly aches over the loss of these beautiful people. During the worst times of my eating disorder, Anthony Bourdain reminded me of my love and passion for global cuisine. He made the darkest parts of my struggle brighter.

This self-care Sunday is dedicated to them and to the millions of people who struggle with their own demons. Know that there is someone really listening. My email inbox is always open to anyone who wants to reach out. I will respond with open arms and I promise you are loved, I am here, and you are not alone. I promise that there is someone listening or who is willing to listen.

Data shows that in the months subsequent to celebrity suicides, suicide rates increase. Some people don’t feel comfortable talking to a hotline or a stranger but if you are going through this and feel like you have no one. There are people waiting for you to reach out. It takes a lot of courage to do so. So if you reach out to me or anyone or call this 1-800-273-8255 number, I am so thankful.

I want to point out that social media can be a toxic environment with anyone dealing with any level of a mental health issue. Social media is a highlight reel of people’s lives. We choose to put our happiest moments on there because we all want to be accepted and we all want to fit in somehow. It’s in our nature to have a sense of belonging to a group of people or someone. If you don’t find that in your physical community, there are millions of communities within reach by a few taps on a screen. So naturally, we are drawn to it. I catch myself doing this sometimes where I find myself posting a picture or a moment out of obligation. Since part of my job is to portray myself on social media, I feel like I have to always have it together when I don’t. I’m here to say that I wake up 99% of the time not knowing what the hell I’m doing. Sometimes I post things when I don’t feel the best about myself. I’ve even gone back to edit some instagram captions to point out the state I was in. I realized that I was being inauthentic when someone recently reached out to me and went “I love your page. You’re so positive”. I corrected them by saying “Thank you but I’m struggling right now. It’s not always positive”.

These celebrities who took their own lives should make us realize that no matter how successful you are or what your job is, you’re a human being and you are allowed to feel like the world is crumbling around you. They had all the resources at their fingertips but at the end of the day, but still made the choice to take their own lives. There are things all of us go to bed with and it can be overwhelming.

I think we need to live more authentically about the battles we go through because I feel like we’d be a lot more connected. I think our society is so polarized right now by political affiliation or these social identities that we forget the person we are judging is a human being too. We can’t wear these capes all by ourselves. We aren’t superheroes and even superheroes have weaknesses. I am so tired of this notion that we have to have it together all the time.

What saddens me about Anthony Bourdain is that he had the dream job: to eat, travel the world, and tell stories about forgotten places. When Bourdain had an episode of Iran I was so excited because finally, the world gets to see how amazing iranian cuisine is. It was like Anthony was enjoying the same bowl of Persian food I grew up. I felt connected to him. Other episodes of his made me more connected to the world around us. I felt a bit less alone. My cousin and I would sit and watch him while enjoying some amazing homecooked food. His authentic, creative, and unifying approach to storytelling reminded me why I love cuisine in the first place. The most communal moments happen when you can break bread with someone. His episode with Barack Obama was one of my favorites. Something about seeing the president of the United States sitting on a plastic stool in a foreign country made me so happy. Like I said before, Bourdain made food less intimidating for me. He tried pretty much everything and he was a scholar of culture. I always say food is the best vessel to experience culture and I am thankful to Anthony for showing us that.

We never knew. I think when you live on such a public stage you can’t come out and say you’re depressed. There are so many stigmas surrounded around mental health and the internet can be so mean. People will attack you for being human and until you are in their shoes you will never understand that pressure. We label people as crazy and until we can talk about mental health within our own communities and help one another, we can’t be surprised when people pass. I’m hopeful. It starts within our small communities. In the people we surround ourselves with. Checking in on a friend out of courtesy is useless. We should always make the time for our people so that when something is really happening they know someone is really listening.

As always, I am really listening. I never knew my brand name or the title of my blog could be such an important question. It’s becoming embedded into everything I do. Making sure that everyone around me or whoever is reading this feels connected in someway. This is my why. This is why I asked the question because it can feel like no one is. So I am.

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