This is going to be a more personal post.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story is my favorite book. I know some of you out there must be dumbfounded as to how I could pick one book out of all the amazing books out there, to single out, and name my favorite. It’s really simple, this book has significant value to my life.
Let’s take it back to high school. I was having a tough time. I had no idea who I was or who I wanted to be. All I knew is that I didn’t want to be who I was. I wanted to express myself but was daunted by authority figures (like my parents) and never truly got to find myself. This led to my first (and only reading) of Catcher in the Rye. I felt like I related to Holden on a different level, leading this to be my favorite book. Holden spoke to the “troubled” teen inside me.
Fast forward some years, and I had never truly shed my “troubled teenager” skin, and simply inherited a “troubled semi-adult” inner layer. At the young age of 22, I had already dealt with one intensely secret and significant bout of depression, multiple eating disorders and countless acts of self harm. I was lost. I would be down right lying if I said I hadn’t had multiple occasions where I thought about suicide during this time. It seemed like everything made it worse. I couldn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want to seem weak. I didn’t want to tell my parents out of fear that they would never understand, or that I would be shunned by the people I loved.
But I got better. I fell in love, I got a job, I realized more about myself and that I loved to write. But that wasn’t enough.
With the impending doom of transferring out of my small pond (LAMC [Community College]) and into a bigger pond, I lost it once again. Now it was my second intense spiral into depression. I didn’t want to do anything but read, eat, and sleep. I skipped class just to stay home and sleep. There would be nights where I would sleep anywhere from 12-16 hours. Besides sleeping, I had found solace in books. At work, I stumbled onto It’s Kind of a Funny Story, and remembered that I enjoyed the movie when I saw it years back.
I read it in one night.
And that night I found out about the author, Ned Vizzini. And I cried and cried for someone I had never met, but felt so close to.
Because Ned Vizzini, Craig (the main character), and I had this in common. We had those feelings of self loathing and desperation in us. And we all wanted it so badly to go away that we would do anything to make it stop, like self harm or even suicide.
After finding out, I vowed that no matter how many times I thought about it, I would never humor the thought of actually trying it.
I would follow in Craig’s footsteps and seek out help.
And with the help of my very strong-willed and caring friends, my loving boyfriend, and my college, I got help.
And that’s why It’s Kind of a Funny Story is my favorite book. Because rather than mask what I was going through, it inspired me to seek out help. It inspired me to be a better version of myself. And I hope that you all have a book like this in your life. A book that saved you, like this book saved me.
If you or anyone you know is thinking about suicide please contact anyone on this list, including me.
Los Angeles Crisis Hotlines:
-L.A. Co. Mental Health/Crisis Line……..800-854-7771
-Suicide Prevention Center (24 Hours)…….213-381-5111
-Suicide Prevention Crisis Center…….310-391-1253 (24 Hours)
-California Youth Crisis Line……….800-843-5200
National Crisis Hotlines:
-National Youth Crisis Hotline 1-800-448-4663
-SAFE (Self-Abuse Finally Ends) 1-800-DONT-CUT, 1-800-366-8288
-Youth Crisis Hotline: Crisis hotline and information & referral for runaways or youth in crisis 1-800-HIT-HOME, 1-800-448-4663
-National Mental Health Assn. Provides free information on specific disorders, referral directory to mental health providers, national directory of local mental health associations 1-800-969-6642 (M-F, 9-5 EST)
-National Institute of Mental Health Information Line: Provides information and literature on mental illness by disorder-for professionals and general public. 1-800-647-2642
CLICK HERE for a complete list of Crisis Hotlines
Trust me, you’re not alone.