June 9, 2018

Of course it isn’t fair. Of course you don’t fucking understand it.

Of course there are incredibly well-meaning people earnestly posting about the tragedy of suicide and the endless influx of numbers that you can call if you feel completely upended and feel like talking to a total stranger about the deepest, meanest, blackest part of you.

They mean well.


You gonna make that call?

Don’t think so.

I mean, I wouldn’t, but maybe other people will, so I am glad for those numbers being shot out there. It’s good to have a place to go if you are in a place where you can ask for an extended hand.

If you are maybe thinking about it.

The first time I was maybe thinking about it was when I was eleven.

I am incredibly shitty at math but I’m pretty sure we all know that when I say this, I am talking about decades of suicide being at the back of the mind, if not being directly on the table. And I think what people get wrong about suicidal people is that they think that it’s a moment–a moment of sadness, a moment of weakness, a moment of despair. It is something that a phone call might repair.

A phone call might delay that outcome, certainly. Please, please hopefully.

But it isn’t a moment, if you’re truthful. It isn’t a period of feeling sad, depressed, unworthy.

What people think is a moment of bad thinking is actually many years of taking sucker punches to the gut, the shaking off of thoughts that you know are bad business, but you can’t shake them. There is something deep down in there that’s just fucking rotten. You see it, you feel it, but nobody understands. Actually, you don’t understand it yourself.

Who are you, feeling all sad-sack useless?


How dare you?

You, who have a beautiful and privileged life?


The one who has a house to live in, healthy children, food in the refrigerator, people who love you. The one who has the Earth in her hands, if she chooses to reach.

Well, sometimes, that person wants to die.

Sometimes it kind of feels like it would be a relief, because you are very, very tired of being brave. You are tired of stuffing all of the garbage in your head down. You are tired of making yourself get out of bed when you just want to hide. Tired of making French toast and picking up stray socks and figuring out what to cook for dinner, even when you realize that things like that shouldn’t feel exhausting. Clear-thinking people know this. You aren’t thinking. At least not in a language most people speak.

So let’s talk about speaking, shall we?

Genuinely suicidal people retreat. They aren’t going to dial your hotline. You can post the numbers all you want (and please do) but understand that you aren’t reaching people who are beyond that. What you need to understand is that this is a long time coming. It is something deep in the stomach and there is shame there and there is silence.

When you are gone, they’ll probably say a lot of things about you that you didn’t dare believe about yourself:













Like so many people, I loved Anthony Bourdain. I read every word he had ever published and watched many hours of watching him be…well, Tony. I especially loved his later work with CNN and the show “Parts Unknown,” because it was a softer, more vulnerable version of a man who put up a good front but deep down, was deeply private and shy and didn’t like to talk about himself. What he found far more interesting was sitting, breaking bread, and slowly drawing out the stories from people across the table.His snark, his irreverence, his take-no-bullshit-and-take-no-prisoners approach to life fooled a lot of us, but there were glimmers. Glimpses. He talked a lot about feeling like he didn’t deserve his life, that he felt like a fraud. Like he’d been gifted with a really beautiful, expensive car and he immediately put the pedal to the metal while driving away, looking out the rearview, because he was certain the cops were fast on his tail.


Mr. Bourdain–

Could you have known?

Could you have known the bitterness of your aftertaste?

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie June 9, 2018 at 7:21 pm

You speak the truth deeply. It is often not a whim but instead is a lifetime of moments building to the choice. Just please know, that the world is better with you in it. And there are so many people who have better lives because of you and indeed need you around and need you to keep being brave.


Jody June 9, 2018 at 8:52 pm

Love you sweet pea. XOXOXOXOXOXOX


Cheryl June 10, 2018 at 4:51 am



jacquie June 10, 2018 at 5:23 pm

as others have said – TRUTH. it is not a moment and if one is intent one is not going to reach out.

taking a risk to peeking my head out from a space of full retreat – but i needed to say thankyou for speaking the truth for some of us.


Dana Talusani June 10, 2018 at 5:46 pm


Peek your head out whenever you feel like it. I’m here.


Pat June 12, 2018 at 11:46 am

We all have our demons. Sometimes it’s a lifetime. Sometimes it’s a whim. If we make that choice the outcome is the same. Sometimes that last minute call helps. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes we just don’t pick up the phone. I guess it’s the nature of humans.


Dana Talusani June 12, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Absolutely. Those numbers save lives and I’m glad for them. Sometimes we’re beyond that, but for the ones who aren’t, it’s a gift.


Wendi @ BonAppetitHon June 13, 2018 at 6:57 am

Thank you telling your truth friend.


Dana Talusani June 13, 2018 at 5:54 pm

Love you, Wendi.


Katrina June 13, 2018 at 10:32 am

I’m so glad you wrote this, my friend. I can only imagine how it feels to you, to put it all right out there, unvarnished and not prettied up. But from here it looks pretty damn brave and incredibly generous. We need your voice, desperately. Thank you.


Dana Talusani June 13, 2018 at 5:52 pm

Thank you for the kind words…Perhaps unvarnished is my look? Truly, though, this wasn’t an easy write. So thank you.


Lauren Seabourne June 14, 2018 at 1:47 am

I’m at a loss for words so early this morning, but wanted to comment and say thank you for writing this. I can imagine that wasn’t easy but I am in awe of your truth and vulnerability. You are courageous beyond measure. Thank you.


Dana Talusani June 14, 2018 at 6:39 pm


I think the first cut is the deepest, and I am well beyond that. You get to the point where it is maybe (maybe?) more important just to SAY. I am glad to see you here.


Lindsey June 14, 2018 at 5:42 am

Thank you. Just thank you. xoxo


Dana Talusani June 14, 2018 at 6:37 pm

Hey, you. Always good to see you.


Janet Lewis McClain June 15, 2018 at 9:35 pm

I love you for speaking your unvarnished truth. It resonates. I have so many words in my scrambled egg of a brain but they make no sense to me so they won’t be helpful to anyone else. What I can offer is that it opened up a dialog between me and my husband. He had no idea that when I disappeared emotionally I really wanted to disappear altogether.


Dana Talusani June 17, 2018 at 8:39 pm


I have taken some heat for this post, and I knew I would, but I can live with it. This is a loaded and sticky issue. But if you read the words, and it makes you feel something in your chest and makes you more willing to talk to someone. Especially ones who are close enough to physically be there when you are in a dangerous and scary place. This disappearing place. I don’t like thinking about you being there, but also know that I understand. And an extended hand for you.


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