Post-Depression Demons — There’s No Coming Back from the Darkness; There’s Just Living with It

http://montrealgazette.com/pmn/entertainment-pmn/bourdain-suicide-a-reminder-of-celebrities-distance-from-us/wcm/f73aa812-4866-4c5a-8e8d-1d7777e61b14

The above article begins to once again begins to show what we knew of Anthony Bourdain was just what we saw on the screen. “I just hope no one finds out anything further about this. I want to remember Tony the way I knew him,” said Andrew Zimmern on Don Lemon’s CNN show last night. That was also when it suddenly seemed inevitable that we’d find out about a tortured soul at best, or an action so distressing and terrifying that the only way out seemed to be to hang yourself in a hotel room in France at worst.

Pain for the Dead and the Living

There’s just so much pain in people who kill themselves, where death seems the only viable option — the only form of escape. Even in today’s apparent “progressive” society, people are usually shunned when they come out as being depressed or mentally ill. There is no “respect” for depression as an illness as there is for cancer, MS, heart disease, diabetes, etc…..

Thankfully, suicides now are reported as suicides, even if they are still seen as shameful. They are no longer hidden or masked as something else. But although the media has made that leap forward with celebrities, most cultures and ethnicities shun people feeling depressed and just call them lazy, spoiled, people who want to live off others or , worse, the state. So many times I’ve had to zip my mouth when otherwise good, intelligent, and educated people say ignorant and hurtful things. The most common thing you’ll hear is how “spoiled” and “lazy” mentally ill people are and how they need to just be “pushed in the right direction” because mental illness is what happens when you’re lazy. I usually stop being agreeable and they shut up.

When I saw Anderson Cooper’s chin trembling and heard him again speak of his brother who killed himself 30 years ago, and how not a day goes by without thinking of him, I realised how lucky I was not to have had anyone I knew personally having taken their life.

Post-Depression Demons

Like an alcoholic, once depressed always depressed. You’ll also find that the depressed have a lust for life. So many times we have heard of the unending need to create and be important. From Van Gogh to Bourdain and many others, when you let the creativity die, when you “laze”, there is no more life. In their case, this is often literal. Robin Williams was considered a genius by many and he would go to bed crying every night, needing a shoulder to lean on, non-metaphorically.

For most sufferers of mental illness, even after “overcoming”, there exists a plateau. Instead of hills, there is just an ice-covered desert that keeps on going forever. Unlike the mountainous landscape, this one needs to be filled. Luckily, most depressed people are very creative. They are the emblem of the suffering painter, the lonely writer, the misunderstood miser who writes and creates in places and at hours that others find inconvenient because the others need to sleep and eat and shit at a certain time. They need to hold their bladder till coffee break. In short, they hve succumbed to the unreal. They have succumbed to how society has been structured for them. Thsi is why they are not goid storytellers — they have no time to tell stories. Ironically, the people who see through this plastic existence either suffer each day smiling at the ignorant, or become mentally ill. This sounds simple, but it’s the gist of it. Whether we’re born with a depression gene or not, it is still the gist of it. Reality is how it is perceived.

For a short time in my teens, I experienced depression. Luckily, I have been in post-depression mode ever since and it wasn’t as severe as what I’ve been hearing people going through lately. I haven’t had a symptom in thirty years. I’m lucky. Somehow, I’ve learned to balance the real and the fictional. I have established a line that I do not cross. But I understand how one can snap. Who knows what happened in Anthony Bourdain’s hotel room before he hung himself? As well, it should be noted that a depressed person will magnify a bad situation many times over. The pain may run so deep that the simple actions needed to get rid of the bad situation can’t be performed because it just takes too much energy.

Frightening. Yet very real.

Cries for Help

Please be aware of the signs of people who may be suffering from depression. This might help.

This is the suicide prevention hotline and also info for going into rehab.

Anthony Bourdain, Renegade Chef and Genius Storyteller, Dies in France of Apparent Suicide — He Was 61

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/08/business/media/anthony-bourdain-dead.html

One of my favourite mini-binge-watching shows was “No Reservations”, Anthony Bourdain’s first breakout show. It was different. It was fun. And it was the beginning of what is now known as food travel TV.
http://dai.ly/x2xcbf7

PIONEER

Ironically enough, the first such show I fell upon was “Bizarre Foods”, hosted by one of Bourdain’s best friends, Andrew Zimmern, who was inspired to make such a show by Bourdain. I saw Bourdain on an episode where Zimmern needed help finding strange places in a seedy part of Brooklyn. Bourdain came across as a wise guy; as someone who fit in everywhere and knew how to get in and out of almost any imaginable situation. I will always remember this episode the two travelling chefs made, mainly because it reminds me of the sheer juxtaposition of the two personas. Yet the two were good friends and had something in common — experience in the world of darkness. Zimmern asserted that Bourdain was one of the few people he could talk to about this darkness.

For Bourdain, it had been a life of addiction and, as he often overtly and covertly admitted, a search for inner piece of the soul. He had admitted to Zimmern and others that his current girlfriend may have finally, at 61, been the soulmate he’d been searching for.

Take his sensitivity, his wise guy persona, his creativity, his culinary skills, his great camera presence, and his will to travel and be a work horse, and you have the perfect recipe for the man who’d bring about a new TV genre and a different perspective on what food really is and what it can do.

MAN OF THE PEOPLE

When someone becomes a cultural force, almost everyone sees a part of themselves in him. In my case, I saw Bourdain as a renaissance man. He gave me creative ideas through the smallest things I saw in his episodes. A movement here. A flicker of the eye there. A drunken sleepless night waiting for a food stand to open in Reykjavik or somewhere like that. A political discussion while having a traditional meal with a family in Finland or Sri Lanka. Staying at a hotel in Havana waiting for the storm. You know, things that you would like to happen to you.

I read a tweet today saying Bourdain encouraged someone to quit their job and write a book. There are so many tweets showing so many ways of how this former drug addict inspired others.

APT QUOTE POST-MORTEM

“He was that uncle that came to your house and everything just seemed right and hopeful with the world again,” one of my acquaintances said.

“Once, at the peak of my depression, I accidentally saw him on TV. He was just enjoying life and appreciating everything. Now I travel on food journeys and am happy again,” another acquaintance said.

“That smile sometimes made me feel that he may have been forcing it. After all, a good soul like his has to have lived in the darkness. And once you’ve been there, you’re scarred for life,” said another.

Unfortunately, the last quote my have been the truest.

DEPRESSION

depression hotline canada

Depression is a very broad term. Was Anthony Bourdain’s suicide just a simple overburdening of depression? Friends said he wasn’t himself lately and one of his best celebrity chef friends in Paris spoke of his friend’s very bad mood the last couple of days.

Maybe there were sudden overwhelming circumstances. Who knows? Maybe we’ll find out in time, if not for anything else than to understand what could make a man who was the idol of so many and was doing what he loved become so distraught as to feel the need to kill himself.

In the meantime, thank you Mr. Bourdain for re-introducing me to the power of the written and spoken word.

Rest In Peace, Sir.

Γενοκτονία

Θάνατος

(C) Ted Kouretas 2018

Μην πιάνεις την σημαία

Με λερωμένα χέρια και βρωμερή ψυχή

Θα σε θυσιασω

Κακούργε

Δαίμονες της ιστορίας

Γενοκτονίες

Έστω και τώρα

_________________

Πάντα περπατούμε

Με το κεφάλι ψηλά

Malaga in Summer

Malaga in Summer

(C) Ted Kouretas 2018

El Toro was next to me

As the crowd got loud

Awestruck

No applause

El Toro stopped smiling

Fists opened

Shoulders terse

It was a sanctimonious afternoon at least

____________________

“Muerte. Muerte” was heard in the background

Young Catalans feeling a victory over their oppressors

Their savage dictators

The people attacked the lads

“I’ll show you who’s dead, fuckers”

_____________________

Eating my spare ribs, I chuckled

I never thought I’d be able to say, in Malaga

“There was death in the afternoon”

Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon

Iconoclast Effigy

Iconoclast Effigy

(C) Ted Kouretas 2018

The sand burns

Hot to the touch

Like all the sculptures of me and you

All the neophyte eulogies preaching selflessness

Political correctness, neoliberalism, and the like

You know…

A politically correct image

Of myself

Not of something sexier to look at

Or something a bit cuter

Of someone a bit happier in their naivete

Blessed be the young at heart

For mine is an old soul, deserving of an effigy

The picture will still be there

But my soul will be gone

More than it already is

It will go beyond nocturnal affiliations

Political realms

Naked bodies sinning

It will go beyond the hedonistic

It will be destroyed and lose its iconoclastic status

But it will mummify into the perverse

Black dripping orchids will surround it

With dungeon shouts

And finally, a semblance of normality

Defy

Recreate

Replenish

Multiply