Designer Nate Berkus says he stayed home for months after losing his boyfriend in a tsunami.

Berkus, who became the first openly gay man to host a nationally syndicated show with the premiere of The Nate Berkus Show, has a new line of home products sold exclusively at Target.

The 41-year-old Berkus also has a new book to pitch, The Things That Matter.

In an appearance on Dr. Oz, Berkus discussed the 2004 death of his partner, photographer Fernando Bengoechea, while vacationing in Sri Lanka. Bengoechea is presumed dead from a tsunami that hit the island country. Berkus miraculously survived.

“What everybody didn't see at that time was that I stayed home for about 4 months,” Berkus told Dr. Oz. “And I had a grief counselor come and talk to me, because I wasn't eating, I was smoking.”

Berkus added that he survived off chocolate chip cookies for 3 months.

“The house was filled with all this food [from well wishers] – I wasn't interested in it. I really wasn't sleeping. I felt grateful if I had maybe 3 hours of sleep in a row. And I really didn't get out of bed.”

“It was really hard for me,” he said. “It took 5, 6 months and then I was ready to slowly sort of go out and live my life again.”