Steve and Anthony

When my boys were little, there were two men who helped me through all those sleepless nights – Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter and Anthony Bourdain the American Chef.

Late at night, there’s not much TV to watch and so what did I do at 3 am when Duncan or Gavin needed a feeding?

I watched Animal Planet and The Travel Channel.

Quality entertainment at breastfeeding o’clock in the morning.

When Steve Irwin passed away in 2006, I was heartbroken.

It was as if I’d lost an intimate family member, such was my grief.

Now, upon hearing the news of Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, I am filled with the same grief.

Those two men kept me company when I was up all alone, taking care of my boys, trying to get them to go back to sleep so that I could then go back to sleep.

My ex-husband was still sleeping in bed, but Anthony and Steve, they were with me.

I have plumbed the depths of despair myself, when my oldest son passed away from cancer in 1998.

I know what it’s like to feel like the burden you carry is too much to go on.

My heart breaks a little when I think of the suffering that someone must be going through to actually take their own life.

There’s no way to make sense of premature loss from suicide but there is a way to help prevent them.

We need to remove the stigma on mental illness, which is just as rooted in biology and biochemisty as any illness so that people can get the help they need without fear of judgment.

I promise to all my family and friends who love and care for me, that I will always take my mental health seriously, and that I will reach out when I’m not feeling all that great.

I also promise to make myself available at 3 am, when things are rough, and they just need someone to talk them though the night.

Just like Steve and Anthony did for me.