1956 - 2018
What does it mean when the man who lives your dream takes his own life?
If a genie came out of a bottle and gave me the opportunity to trade lives with anyone who has ever lived, I would have answered with no reservation - I want to be Tony. Everything about this man was the very definition of a rock star. He was intelligent, talented, confident, handsome and had a spirit of adventure. He was everything that I ever wanted to be.
He also suffered from clinical depression and deep feelings of isolation. In describing this, he once remarked that having a hamburger in an airport could send him spiraling into a depression that can last for days. I can definitely relate to this. While I've never been triggered by a hamburger, there have been many times throughout my life where something insignificant happens that causes a random memory from many years ago rises to the surface, which puts me in a place where I feel like nothing matters - nobody wants me here, and I don't belong here. Eventually, I always come out of it, and so did Tony... until he didn't.
The whole thing leaves me feeling completely hopeless. If a man who is loved, admired and respected by literally millions, and who has my dream life couldn't beat back the demons, what the hell chance do I have? I work at a job that I hate, and I'm not handsome or talented. Plus, I'm a selfish jerk who can only think about himself when another human being has died.
Any time that a beloved celebrity takes their own life, there are always plenty of people with good hearts who use it as an opportunity to share the Suicide Hotline number. I understand that they mean well, but it kind of feels like they're saying "Hey, sorry you're fucked up, pal. Go call someone who's paid to care." They also encourage people who are suffering from depression to "seek help". Yeah, I'll get right on that. Why don't I run right out to a doctor so they can hospitalize me and fix me up like a broken car. I'm sure that someone will pay all of my bills in the meantime, and that I'll have a job and a home to come back to. I get it - I really do. They want to help, but there are no easy answers. In fact, there are no answers at all, or else people like Tony would still be here. You just roll with it as best you can, and you hope that there doesn't come a day when you can't.