I woke up to a text this morning from one of my best friends saying, “Not Bourdain too”. With the suicide of Kate Spade just days before, I immediately knew what she meant. Every death, every suicide is tragic. But this one hurt more than it should. Maybe it’s because it was the second high profile suicide in a week. Maybe it’s because I, too have been feeling depressed lately. Or maybe it’s because Bourdain’s story of struggle and success helped me during my move to NY in 2012.
Regardless, the biggest question for me still remains: WHY?
Why did he do it? Why couldn’t be be stronger? Why couldn’t he fight it? Why couldn’t he see how much people loved him and wanted him to be around? Why didn’t anyone stop him? Why didn’t anyone notice? And to be fair, why was he so stupid? These may sound like selfish questions, but they are real questions that I think a real person like him would answer if he could. These are the same questions I asked in my head when I attended the last four funerals of friends of mine who had committed suicide. FOUR. WTF. WHY?
I don’t know why, but I know how. I know how it feels to be sad. How it feels to be really sad. And then how it feels to be depressed. I know how it feels to know the exact steps you need to take to better yourself, yet still not taking them for whatever reason. I know how it feels to look in the mirror and struggle to say one kind thing to yourself, and I know how it feels to beat yourself up even more because of it. I know how it feels to reach out to your friends, have them be there for you, yet still feel so alone, and then feel even worse for seeming ungrateful. I also know how it feels when it just hurts SO bad that you’d consider the unthinkable just to make it go away. They say sleep is the cousin of death, and I know how it feels to wish you would never wake up just so you didn’t have to endure another day of living with your demons.
I ain’t good, but I’m BETTER. I have to forcefully stop myself right there: I’M BETTER. I’m fighting with myself to not add a “but” after that. I’M BETTER. That’s it, that’s all. I’m better, and you can be too.
I may not know the answers to “Why?” but I can still ask the question. So why don’t you ask for help, and why don’t you reach out to someone who may need help but doesn’t want to ask for it? It’s a crazy world out there, we need each other to survive it.