On Anthony Bourdain & Kate Spade: The Face Of The Suicide Epidemic

Anthony Bourdain Kate Spade Suicide Epidemic
Anthony Bourdain Kate Spade Suicide Epidemic

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When I heard about Anthony Bourdain, the famous chef and entrepreneur’s death, I felt my heart sink. My husband and I would watch “No Reservations” and now “Parts Unknown” religiously. My husband really found a part of himself in Anthony Bourdain. He loved how he would go to these remote places, get to know the locals and focus on the meaning that the food had on the community. I think that’s what made Anthony so special and why he was so loved by the public, it was his way of connecting people from around the world. Kate Spade was a surprise too.

I didn’t really follow her celebrity but I’m very aware of her brand. It’s hard to go anywhere in the city without seeing one of her bags or her jewelry. She has a very clean cut and innocent vibe to her brand, so when I heard about Kate Spade and her suicide, it was just as much of a surprised.

The news of the two suicides came less than 24 hours of each other and, somehow, it felt like a pop culture loss.

It had me thinking a lot about happiness and what that means for us as humans. It begs the question, how do you find true happiness?   I mean Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were the epitome of success and yet now they’re the face of the suicide epidemic. There are very few people who can top their success in their industry. They had strangers that looked up to them and they inspired so much in others. Yet…in a moment they could not find the will to live nor find any happiness to be found. What hope is there for the rest of us?

One thing we can be sure of is that happiness is not found at the bottom of a well funded bank account. Money is not the formula for happiness and yet so many of us chase it as way to get us to the next place. “If only I got a better job…,” “if only we could get ahead of these bills,” and “if only we could get our debt down,” but what happens after you meet those kind of goals? What happens after we reach for the next step and the next step, only to realize there no prize for reaching the top? The suicide epidemic spares no one.

I read an article about people’s different responses, it surprised everyone. Neither family could suspect this as a possibility for their loved ones. Val Kilmer, gave his perspective that he thought it was a selfish decision to leave family behind. I can respect that point of view since he had battled throat cancer and literally had to fight off death. My parents always told me that suicide was a selfish and cowardly choice to make. It only caused pain and stigma to their loved ones.

But still, it’s hard for me to say that people who commit suicide are terrible people who are throwing their lives away. We can never truly know someone’s pain and suffering.

The CDC says it’s an epidemic now for mental health since, overall, suicide deaths are up 30% in the country. And that depression and anxiety are not necessarily an underlying cause for the increase. Many people who attempted or committed suicide have not been diagnosed for any mental illnesses nor were they suspected of any issues from their family. This statistic might be caused by the stigma surrounding mental illness and the fact that many people still don’t get the help they need from therapists and psychologists. This point is something to consider. However, CDC says that majority suicide attempts are correlated to a sudden negative change in life, like a family death, end of a relationship, or a financial hardship. They also say that guns are the most frequent and most successful means to commit suicide and suggest that some gun control would make it harder for people to make life ending decisions in a moment of desperation or sadness.

I wish I knew all the answers to what is a complicated and complex issue. My only advice to those battling suicidal thoughts is to focus on being happy with the life you have now and tell somebody about your struggles and get help.  Talk to a therapist about your symptoms for anxiety and depression before it gets out of control. Seek help.

My husband had a cousin that came out of the closet. He told his friend and then his friend told everyone else at school and said to his cousin that he wouldn’t have been his friend if he knew he was gay. This kid battled depression and suicidal thoughts because of that but he told someone about them. And that someone got him help.

One thing we do need to do is end mental illness stigma and discrimination.  This will make communication about problems and illness easier. Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade are just the start of the conversation. The suicide epidemic is unfortunately not going anywhere.

[If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources.]

Check Out My Other Posts On Mental Health
What It’s Like To Disassociate

How To Deal With Crushing Disappointment & Other Negative Emotions

Signs Of Social Anxiety And How To Get Over It

How To Be Charismatic & How To Be More Likable

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Ever Wanted To Learn How To Be Charismatic Or How To Be More Likable?

I had a request about how to be more confident and I thought why not, let’s talk confidence, charisma and magnetism. And it’s honestly a hard topic to write about or even grasp. Confidence is such an intangible quality that is so allusive to most people. But we are all drawn to it. You might even ask yourself, “Am I Charismatic?,”How to be more likable” and “How to be Charismatic?”

I’m a natural introvert. In high school I was like a wallflower; I was quiet, soft spoken, trying to fall under the wings of my more extroverted friends and did not possess ANY natural charisma. I always associated confidence with being outgoing, popular, attractive, friendly and extroverted.

I painfully tried to fit in with my friends by displaying these characteristics. And at the end of it all, I still wasn’t confident. I was negative and jealous with a victim mentality. I had social anxiety; I would scroll through my newsfeed with a feeling of missing out… I was unhappy during high school and college because I was constantly comparing myself to everyone around me.

Fast forward to 2018 I’m now the most confident version of myself. I’m magnetic, and charismatic. I learned how to be more likable. I can talk to pretty much anybody and have accomplished most of my life goals. Last year I went to my 10 year high school reunion. I was hoping to see some friends I fell out of touch with. I wasn’t afraid to go up to people and mingle, I also wasn’t second guessing myself when I felt like sitting on my own and observing. I was happy and content to just be there, unapologetically.

I’m going on a tangent about my own self growth but the point of the topic is that self growth and confidence doesn’t come to everyone overnight. For some people it comes easier, but everyone is capable of being confident, charismatic and magnetic.

Work on the life you want for yourself.

I want you to close your eyes and envision the confident image you’ve always had for yourself. I want you to really think about that person. What they look like and what they are doing with their life. Are they with a career and family? Is that person traveling? Are they living in the big city? Are they the rock for their immediate family? Then I want you to think about why you came up with that image. What are your values that are creating that image? These are your core desires and not fulfilling them are what is causing that feeling of dissatisfaction/ lack of confidence.

Core desires are things you want for yourself that are integral to you self image. For some people a core desire is to be truly loved, to make a lot of money, or to look beautiful. There are a million different things that we can desire from the core of our being.

On a side note: these values might change over time. You might get to where you were going and realize, “hey, this isn’t really where I wanted to be. Let me tweak this a little.” That’s ok too.

Once you realize what your core values are and what you want from your life, you’ll be able to set real goals or accomplish them. I’m not talking about “oh, I want to be a entrepreneur and be my own boss in a few years or I’m going to be dating the love of my life soon” type goals.

I’m talking concrete goals with a tentative completion date. Actual steps to make that a reality.

Confidence, Charisma and Magnetism is hard work. People who know how to be more likable and who display these kind of characteristics tend to invest A LOT into themselves. They get these qualities from genuinely loving and appreciating the life they worked hard to achieve. There’s no shortcut for building a great self-esteem and sense of self.

I know for the past 10 years I’ve been pushing this image of myself. Little ole’ 19 year old me wanted to be a career woman, a reliable outgoing personable personality and be with my man of my dreams who truly loved and cared for me. For the past 10 years every choice and decision I made has been to grow in those areas. And now I’m finally comfortable in my own skin knowing that the person I always knew I was capable of being is truly who I am now. I have a great career that pays the bills, I have family that loves me and who I can be 100% myself around and with the love of my life who (surprise!) was there from the start!

Confidence also comes from changing perspectives and looking at things from a brighter perspective. Sometimes we can’t always change our situations right away but a good perspective can help us gain the confidence and charisma to change them.

I’m still a work in progress, but I’ve definitely come a long way in terms of being more likable and attracting what I want out of life. That includes love, friendship, and money.

This post is just an introduction on what changes you’ll need to take to get there but feel free to read my other post on personal growth, The Power Of Positivity and The Power Of Change.

Also check out these posts on CHARISMA

Be Charismatic By Mastering Small Talk

What Does Your Body Language Say About You?

How To Interview Well: Tips & Tricks For The Perfect Interview