This blog title is quite self-explanatory so I guess there’s no need for me to introduce Anthony Bourdain. Frankly, I am a nerd who has very low awareness of what’s happening in the entertainment field. However, Anthony’s recent news has caught my eyes and heart. Same goes to the news about Chester Bennington, Kim Jong Hyun and Kate Spade.
When I read their death notes which have been shared worldwide, I always feel a sense of familiarity. I will never know how they had felt before the attempt, but I know they had been struggling with the same issue as mine, which is the mental health issue. (You know what I mean huh…if you have been reading my posts…Sadly, I have been self-harming.)
I will discuss my experience with God. But, please remember that this is just my personal perception. Although you might have a different perception towards God, I do respect.
I used to think like this when I read their death notes… why is that God wants to take away angels just to tell me that He knows how I feel? What are you telling me, God? What am I supposed to do?
Anthony Bourdain succumbed to his depression and his news came out last Friday. However, I got to know the news only during the Buka Puasa gathering with my colleagues on Friday late evening.
Let’s me flash back to Thursday, one day before his passing. I was preparing a list of language topics to be used for the upcoming English Camp. It was an unusual event as that was the first time I was doing this though there were already a few camps before this. Previously, my colleagues and I usually let the students generate their own language topics. This is the language book I am referring to (in Picture 1). I actually typed out this sentence from the book itself into my Microsoft Word file while working on the list of language topics. Here is the sentence: Anthony Bourdain, the famous chef and writer, is coming to Singapore next month (in Picture 2).
When I typed this sentence, it never crossed my mind that Anthony Bourdain is not a fictional character in this language book and that the news that he had succumbed to his depression would be all over the mass media the following day.
I have only realised this today when I reopened the Microsoft Word file to do my final editing before emailing it to all the camp facilitators. The first thing that came to my mind when I had this unbelievable realization is …God.
This is actually not the first time. All this while, especially recent months, I always encounter many unbelievable coincidences. This Anthony Bourdain case is one of them. Looking back to all the coincidences, I feel that God is always with me. I still cannot figure out what He wants to tell me, but I know He is watching over me. His silent companionship is real and crystal-clear.
The last time I self-harmed was last Friday, the day when he was pronounced dead but it was before I read his news. It was not because that I was triggered by his news. If you ask me, I might say that the main trigger is my menses. I only realised that it was the trigger on Saturday evening when it has finally visited. This is not the first time that I create a mess during my menstrual cycle. It was aggravated by my bouts of diarrhea due to irritable bowel syndrome as well as alcohol intake.
What Anthony Bourdain’s death means to me is that…no matter how depressed you feel, even when you are so mentally sick…so lonely and fragile….feeling worthless and helpless…there is always that someone with you. That someone is God. You might not see Him or hear Him, but He knows everything that you feel and think. He knows every struggle you have had. He knows every moment of you.
Although having faith in God does not mean that your mental illness will be healed completely by Him, the belief in His presence can provide me support at my times of depression when I am at the brink of self-harming. Though depressed and emotionally weak, I am aware that God understands me and this awareness serves as a form of comfort for my heart as I fight tooth and nail in order to live through the dark moments and welcome more sunny days. The feeling of depression might linger in my heart for long due to its invasiveness which is as powerful as cancerous cells. However, the companionship from God and my loved ones will help me survive the rainy spells.
Enjoy this song from Hilary Duff. Someone is watching over us, my beloved mental health warriors.
Some helpful contact details for the mental health warriors:
Online forum: http://depression-understood.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=6&sid=a90aa4711e2a56027c0eda30d4ade785
Suicide prevention lines: https://www.befrienders.org/