I cannot possibly presume to know what state of mind Kate Spade or Anthony Bourdain were in when they decided to end it all. What saddens me and countless others is, that they felt that suicide was the only answer to their problems.
Can taking one’s own life truly be a solution?
I am no advocate for suffering, and in certain instances I do believe that voluntary euthanasia maybe a path out of a miserable existence. However, those are extreme cases where the individual is unable to function in any capacity, their bodies are riddled with disease and their very living is a suffering beyond belief.
Yet both of these seemingly successful, high achieving celebrities had no such known issues. Yes, Kate Spade had suffered from anxiety and depression, and Bourdain had publicly acknowledged his battle with drugs. So why did they not receive the kind of help they required? Are mental health issues still such a taboo subject that those suffering would rather die than ask for help?
The society and the world at large have more sympathy for a person who has a physical disability rather than a mental one. However, anxiety and depression are on the rise. Despite all the so-called connectivity offered to us by social media and the world wide web, we are increasingly becoming more sequestered as individuals. Community and family structures are breaking down and whilst technology has given us enormous independence it has also brought along in its wake, enormous isolation.
As a society, we admire wealth and success and rarely acknowledge the sacrifice that it takes to get to the pinnacle of any career. Nor do we see the struggle or pressure to hold on to that top spot. Celebrities are our modern Gods, and heaven forbid that we discover they have clay feet.
Spade and Bourdain chose to check out early from this daily grind we call life. Perhaps both were in such a dark place that neither love nor beauty nor poetry could alleviate the suffering of their minds. Such wonderful, talented people with so much to offer the world, who did not believe in their own worth. Such a damned shame!
If there is any lesson to take away from their early departures, it is this: Forge and strengthen your own connections, remember to enjoy all of life’s abundance and have the fortitude to overcome the lows that will invariably follow the highs. More than anything else, reach out to those who are suffering, especially the ones unable to seek help. You never know- you may just end up being their lifeline.