The world was shaken by the loss of the remarkable life which belonged to Anthony Bourdain. Called the rock star of the cooking world, Bourdain was a world traveler, food connoisseur, and a downright cool guy. His outspoken behaviors only added to his allure. Throughout his career, Bourdain spoke openly about his struggles with drug addiction and depression.
We can never know for sure what Anthony Bourdain was keeping to himself in his final days before making the decision to take his own life. We can learn from what we know of his life- to cut our vices, live our lives to the fullest, and reach out when troubling thoughts of suicide enter our mind.
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please talk about it. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline now at 1-800-273-8255
Bourdain On Heroin
In 1980, a young budding chef in New York, Bourdain bought his first bag of heroin. Along with the many other drugs being regularly abused by the kitchen staff of restaurants all over Manhattan, heroin was becoming popular. His heroin addiction lasted for most of his 20s and he was lucky not to lose his life to overdose, he realized. After switching to methadone for a period of time, Bourdain took the dangerous plunge of quitting cold turkey and detoxing on his own. “Getting ripped off, running from the cops…I’m a vain person,” he once explained, “I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror.”
Bourdain On Cocaine
Unfortunately, heroin was not the last of Bourdain’s struggles with hard drugs. After quitting heroin, he continued an addiction to cocaine for many years. He told the New Yorker, “I just bottomed out on crack”.
Bourdain On Recovering
Was Bourdain in recovery? The answer is difficult because recovery has no definite meaning from one person to the next. Bourdain may not have thought he was in recovery, but he knew that his life on drugs had become unmanageable and was hurting other people. Bourdain wanted to quit and did, which all men do before finally seeking recovery. “I was an unhappy soul, with a huge heroin and then crack problem,” he discussed with The Guardian, “I hurt, disappointed and offended many, many, many people and I regret a lot. It’s a shame I have to live with.”
Bourdain On Relapse
There is a large debate in the world of recovery of whether or not men are capable of quitting one substance, like heroin or cocaine, but “normally” using another, like alcohol. Anyone who watched Bourdain’s shows like No Reservations and Parts Unknown saw that the beloved chef rarely abstained from the chance to imbibe. Bourdain wasn’t unaware of his peculiar circumstance nor was he unafraid to talk about his alcohol use openly. What many viewers may not have known was that in his home life, at least according to his interviews, he wasn’t a drinker.
Bourdain wrote in Kitchen Confidential, “Most people who kick heroin and cocaine have to give up on everything. Maybe because my experiences were so awful in the end, I’ve never been tempted to relapse,” he continued, “You see me drink myself stupid on my show all the time…But I’m not sitting at home having a cocktail. Never, ever. I don’t ever drink in my home…When I indulge, I indulge. But I don’t let it bleed over into the rest of my life.” We can only live with the memories of what his remarkable life taught us and imagine what life would have been like with Anthony Bourdain still in it.
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