Anthony Bourdain Death: A Fellow Chef on The Hidden Pain of Those Who Feed Us

The following is an excerpt from NYC Foodscape‘s recent article for PsyCom.net, a highly regarded online resource for a wide variety of mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, , and generalized anxiety disorder.

The celebrity food show host epitomized some of the stark inequities of kitchen life and helped bring them to light

Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.

       —No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach

I am in denial about all this. Bourdain? Really? This man was my spirit animal, living his life in a way that many people dream of–the way I always envisioned my career in food, and my life in general–would look like. Making your bones in the trenches of a restaurant, moving on to writing and travel as a lifestyle, with food as your common language with the people you meet along the way, and a vague desire to either be him, date him, or be his best friend and confidant.

And judging by the outpouring of emotional reactions from fellow chefs, food lovers, fans, journalists, colleagues, even President Obama, and most telling, tweets from everyday Palestinians, Nigerians and other people in far reaching places he visited, I am not alone in feeling connected to and touched by his life and his journeys. He told stories about our food and connected people to each other via these stories and in the process, changed the food industry for the better.

Ours is Not to Reason Why

Almost every person, via tweet, article, interview, was blindsided by his suicide and we each ask ourselves, the Internet itself: Why? I am one of these people. I’ve met him a few times, not that he’d have remembered, but I always felt connected to him and now, feel abandoned. WHY did he kill himself? I keep struggling for rational reasons—did he have a terminal disease and was sparing himself and loved ones the long, torturous death? Was he having problems with his girlfriend? Did the kibosh of his big vision for Bourdain Market on a refurbished Manhattan pier give him financial troubles? Did Kate Spade’s suicide three days ago trigger the very real suicide contagion that mental health experts warn about?

Why do we need to know why a person takes his own life?

To read full article: Anthony Bourdain Death: A Fellow Chef on The Hidden Pain of Those Who Feed Us

 

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