I know he killed himself a month ago, but it’s still weighing heavily on me. I wrote this the day he died, but never posted it.
I was too scared.
But now I figure I need to get it out there.
You’re missed Anthony Bourdain.
First Kate Spade now Anthony Bourdain. The perception and treatment of mental health in America, and most of the world, is deplorable.
I have Bipolar 1 with generalized anxiety. I suffer crushing depressions while also being afraid of everything. Going 4 blocks to the Walgreens is a struggle. Because anxiety is the beast that makes you worry about every eventuality that can occur.
Mostly it’s stupid stuff: will I embarrass myself. How do I look? Will people judge me? But it can morph into will my bus crash? Will I get hit by a car? Will my bank card work? Will someone attack me?
Nowhere is safe with anxiety. And it’s exhausting.
Depression is the monster that keeps reminding you of what you’ve done wrong. Even the little things. I didn’t do the dishes this weekend. I said the wrong thing. I’m a failure. I’m worthless. I do everything wrong. I’m not worth being loved.
I’d be happier dead than alive.
We need to treat mental illness like we treat cancer. Or diabetes. Or the flu. It is not a personality flaw or a weakness in a person. You are really ill. Only the illness is in your mind. And it affects your mood and how you present yourself.
I have attempted suicide 5 times. Each time I ended up in the hospital. I am never going back there. But your brain lies to you. And when you can’t trust yourself, it’s extremely frightening.
If you are hurting or your brain is lying to you or you are hopeless, I am here for you. I don’t care if you hate me. The world needs you. Here is the national suicide hotline if you can’t reach anyone. There’s always a voice for you.
There’s also NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. It’s a wonderful institution with a presence in almost every major city. They offer resources for people struggling with mental illness as well as providing several groups to join.
There are others here for you. Don’t be ashamed to reach out. You are not weak. You are not broken. You need someone to say you’re loved and you are worth it.
Please, don’t give up. Let’s improve mental health perception and treatment. It’s becoming an epidemic.
Remember, you are loved.