I am 26 years old today. I woke up at 8 am EST, to get ready for work. I turned on the television and a breaking news segment appeared. Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s face filled the screen. The words came out too quick, Bourdain had died by apparent suicide in a Paris hotel. He was 61 years old. This just three days after fashion designer Kate Spade died by suicide. The Center for Disease Control also released a report this past week saying that suicide rates have increased more than 30% between 1999 to 2016. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and is one of just three leading causes that are on the rise. Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade were just two celebrities who have died by suicide in recent years. The list includes Chester Bennington, Dave Mira, Robin Williams, Lee Thompson Young, Don Cornelius, and Chris Lighty. It goes to show fame does not make one immune to suicide or mental health issues.
I am 26 years old today and I did not think I’d be here. Suicide has been a persistent thought for the past few years. When I started this blog back in 2013 I had just come out of a dark period. I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my life and felt pressured to make a decision that everyone would be happy with. I felt as if I was just going through the motions and not really living. Seeking treatment had crossed my mind at the time, but the stigma surrounding mental health and worry about how others would feel, kept me silent. I poured my heart into my journal and on here, put a brave face on for the world, and kept going. I was not even happy, I just plastered on a smile and tried to make sure everyone else was happy even though I was miserable. By 2015, I had a plan for how I was going to die. Things had been up and down to that point and I was tired. I felt alone and that no one cared or understood. I could not talk to my family and I did not want to burden my friends with how I was feeling. I did not go through with my plan.
I am 26 years old today and I woke up to the news that Anthony Bourdain died by suicide. It is 2018, and people are still dying by suicide. People are still worried about how they will be treated once they disclose that they struggle with suicidal thoughts and depression. There is still stigma and fear. I am 26 years old today and I have come a long way, but I know I still have far to go. May the families of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain find some peace. If you or anyone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741-741 to reach Crisis Text Line.