While filming an upcoming episode of “Parts Unknown” in France, Anthony Bourdain was found unresponsive in his hotel room.
His friend and chef, Eric Ripert, was reportedly the person that found Bourdain unresponsive. Reports are that the 61-year-old’s death was of an apparent suicide on June 8, 2018.
Bourdain leaves behind his 11-year-old daughter, Ariane. Just this past February, the chef and travel host told PEOPLE that he felt “some responsibility” to “at least try to live” because of Ariane.
Yet, Bourdain has always been open about his past demons, addictions, and “Daredevil” mentality: Openly admitting to his heroin addiction, cocaine use, and alcohol abuse.
During a June 2016 episode of his award-winning CNN show “Parts Unknown,” Bourdain visited Buenos Aires. The episode was filled with melancholy, emptiness, and an eerie glimpse into the mind of the late chef’s life.
Argentina has the most therapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists combined per capita of any country in the world. So it would only seem fitting for Bourdain to have visited a therapist during his trip.
In Bourdain’s own field notes from the episode, he wrote: “Welcome to the dark crannies of my skull.”
“We use an extended therapy session as a narrative device so you will end up knowing much more about me than you ever cared to, believe me. I apologize in advance,” Bourdain wrote.
He discussed his teenage years when he first got caught doing drugs by his parents. Then dove into how a simple airport hamburger can sink him into a deep-dark depression for days.
Despite living a life, that would seemingly be fulfilling — traveling the world, meeting famous chefs and celebrities, eating the most amazing foods — he was empty.
“I tell stories for a living. I write books. I make television. A reasonable person does not believe that you are so interesting that people will watch you on television,” he said.
Bourdain acknowledged his narcissistic behavior as a personality disorder and said “there’s nothing to be done,” as if admitting this was beyond repair or hope.
Bourdain referred to himself as a “freak,” that he felt isolated despite being a communicator for a living. He admitted how horrible he was at communicating with the important people in his life, except for his daughter.
Perhaps this was his cry for help. Perhaps it was overlooked as an act, dramatized for the episode. Bourdain referred to the city of Buenos Aires as feeling “empty,” yet somehow “just right” for him. The full Buenos Aires episode from season 8 can be viewed here.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
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