In light of the recent high profile suicides of the legendary Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain; I’d like to take a moment show appreciation to a man that the world knew very little about and I had the privilege of knowing, a man who saw the world with a childlike perspective but portrayed a raw image of himself as a means to veil his personal demons and vulnerabilities — a man who took his own life on this very day and as the deepest form of appreciation that I can see worthy, will not be named in this article but celebrated through memories that I had the pleasure of sharing with him.
The story begins Three Years ago from this moment today, when I first met this gentleman; as arrogant and narcissistic as he appeared to me on our first encounter took mercy on me by taking me under his wing and nurturing abilities that I was unaware that I possessed.
Our first encounter ended with me, shamelessly, pointing out to him that he, “lacks the braincells to comprehend my concepts”. A burst of anger and disappointment that had resulted from my very own inability to articulate my thoughts. The man did not see me a spoilt young brat too proud of his own abilities but rather found the humour in my honesty — and soon we’d be the best of friends.
He, like many vulnerable people, had a character he played for the public. An alter-ego designed to keep people confused and unaware of his intricacies.
He taught me many lessons, lessons that are invaluable to helping me overcome my own insecurities and becoming the man that I am today.
He’d often invite me over to spend time with him and brainstorm on ideas that he’d been working on; often asking and taking pleasure in my ability to always poke fun at him.
I’d soon come to realise that the man mentored me because of my ability to see beyond his wealth and power, but rather see him only as a man and as such never wanting anything in return.
One of his regrets, as he often expressed to me, was his inability to convince me to come work for him. Something that he came to be inspired by and appreciate over the years.
In the final year the we spent together, I was struggling with Panic Disorder and Depression; during this time he spend all his time and energy on sharing with me his own personal experiences with the mental illness.
One of the most inspiring words I ever received from him were one of courage, love, and the cruelty of human nature.
“I see that you’ve taken your first step to manhood. You’ve tackled the feeling of drowning, and it wouldn’t be fair to say that somebody out there is going to throw you a life raft. You’re in the deep sea now, the only way you’ll learn how not to drown is your ability to stay afloat and learn how to swim. Find the closest Island — and call it your own.
The world is not often what we expect to be, and anybody that has ever dared to aim higher didn’t have all sunshine and rainbows to guide them to what is often deemed as success. Success is a personal fight, It’s a fight of recognising your fears, your uniqueness, your ethics, and protecting it.
Your is a valuable future, don’t ever think otherwise. Anybody that had it easy never achieved greatness, at least not the one that was ever worthy of being deemed as honourable.
You’re a tough kid — you’re lucky. If it’s God that you believe in, know that God hasn’t cursed you but rather blessed you with a curse that will make your soul grow. It will help you keep grounded, it will make you proud one day.
Don’t let the harshness of the outside world seep into you. The tiniest of pebbles can remain in deep muddy water, and whilst their surface appears to have been completely blemished; if you crack the rock open you’ll find that the muddy water has failed to penetrate it.
I urge you to see this as a blessing; don’t expect the world to be nice to you — it will only bring you sorrow. As lonely as it may feel sometimes, it is a blessing that will make you appreciate you weren’t built like the others — because the others are boring, normality is boring, and a happiness is overrated.
True strength is dealing with and being aware of your demons but not letting them define who you are; but rather a security to keep the real demons from consuming you.
Depression and Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of. To hell with anybody that thinks that it is.”
In honour and truly loving memory of my mentor who met his untimely demise today, a life which I believe to have left this world too early.
And in this moment I urge you to be kind, to take notice, and seek help.
To all the others out there, much like my mentor, much like myself — I hope you won’t find yourself alone.
If you or anybody you know displays signs of self-harm or suicidal behaviour — please do not hesitate to contact the National Suicide Prevention Helpline: 1–800–273–8255(TALK).