Andrew Zimmern has spoken about his close relationship with Anthony Bourdain before. In the hours after Bourdain's sudden death, Zimmern openly mourned.
"I'm so angry this morning. Life is f------ hard and crazy and Tony I love you," he wrote on Twitter.
But in a lengthy new interview with Artful Living, Zimmern dives deep, discussing how he found out Bourdain had died and his own near-death struggle with addiction.
Zimmern had been filming late, he explained, and turned off his phone ringer in order to sleep in. When he woke at his alarm, he " had maybe 80 missed calls and 220 texts."
"I just had never seen anything like that before. And that could only mean one thing: Something horrible had happened to my child, and the whole world was trying to get ahold of me.
"But then when I tapped my phone, I saw a news notification with Tony’s name.
"Then I tapped my messages, and it was every food writer I knew, every culinarian, every mutual friend. I was stunned, absolutely stunned," Zimmern told Artful Living. "I started to read some of the notes, and I started to cry."
He later added: "I still can’t believe he’s not with us."
The interview - make sure to read the full thing here - touches on a lot, including when he started drinking and using drugs, and just how bad things got even as his career began to skyrocket.
Zimmern also explains how he ended up in Minnesota, and his experience at Hazelden Betty Ford as well as a halfway house in St. Paul. He also discusses how "insidious" mental health issues can be, his never-ending battle against the disease of addiction, and the public health crisis America is facing.
"Unfortunately, I know a lot of people who have killed themselves," Zimmern told the magazine. "It’s not an instantaneous thought, feeling and reaction. It is something that is evil and pernicious that’s inside of you. It just underscores how much help we need to give everyone."
If you or a loved one is experiencing depression or a suicidal crisis, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Also, each Minnesota county has an Adult Mental Health Crisis Response phone line. You can find them here.