Anthony Bourdain was 'regularly suicidal' after the end of his first marriage. Why did it hit him so hard?
Bourdain's history of substance abuse dated back to his early 20s. Things only got worse after his first divorce as he believed she was the love of his life
The news of Anthony Bourdain's suicide is shocking proof that the alpha male — or as he potrayed himself to be on his TV shows 'No Reservations' and 'Parts Unknown' — was actually a broken, troubled man riddled with self destructive behaviour.
Page Six noted how soon after the end of his first marriage back in 2005, he shared via his book 'Medium Raw' that he was "aimless and regularly suicidal” during a stay in the Caribbean. His recount talks about both alcohol and weed, where he states that he was constantly drunk and stone - “the kind of drunk where you’ve got to put a hand over one eye to see straight.” Things were apparenly so bad that he would “peel out” in his 4×4 owhile on his way back from the brothels he frequented.
However, his mental condition had improved somewhat upon meeting a woman in London; a time of which, he wrote, “my nightly attempts at suicide ended.”
Yet things didn't last long, as on Friday, June 8, the beloved chef and TV personality was found dead, hanging from his hotel room in France, where he was shooting for an upcoming episode of his award winning CNN show. He was 61 and had reportedly used the belt of his bathrobe to hang himself.
Bourdain was a self-declared reformed addict of heroin and cocaine, and once back in 2013, he had confessed on an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit, “I would have robbed your medicine cabinet had I been invited to your house."
His book 'Medium Raw' also shares that his history with substance abuse started all the way back in his early 20s. The Inquisitr notes how he mentioned cooking meals while he was high on cocaine and heroin. It was only in the 1980s that he was able to get sober, with the help of methadone.
Much later in a 2016 episode of Parts Unknown, Bourdain is seen traveling to Argentina for psychotherapy. Speaking to Eater the next morning, he shared: “Well, things have been happening. I will find myself in an airport, for instance, and I’ll order an airport hamburger. It’s an insignificant thing, it’s a small thing, it’s a hamburger, but it’s not a good one. Suddenly I look at the hamburger and I find myself in a spiral of depression that can last for days.”
It's not surprising that the end of his first marriage impacted him so hard, especially since he and his first wife, Nancy Putkowski, were high school sweethearts and had been married for 20 years. He had apparently graduated early to follow her to college and considered her the love of his life too.
Their marriage couldn't survive his busy schedule and all the traveling that came along with it. "I spent almost two years traveling and filming A Cook’s Tour and, as a result, my marriage fell apart,” he said in an interview with the Daily Life.
“To cope, I went to the Caribbean where I behaved in a completely irresponsible and suicidal way. I didn’t value my own life and acted accordingly. I had put myself in a very dark place and behaved recklessly in the not-too-subconscious hope that something terrible would happen. I was doing everything possible — smoking pot, drink-driving — to invite that.”
Bourdain was married once more following that, but neither of his ex-wives have commented on his death yet.