"Recently I saw myself in “Manhattan” by Woody Allen. And I remembered how ugly I felt at that time. I thought my nose was too long and I too fat. Now I think: "She was so beautiful!" Earlier I looked at fashion magazines and thought, I want to be as thin as these models. And then I realized that this will never happen. At some point you realize thatyou have to be yourself.”
I was really upset to just read that one of my favourite authors as a young teenager, Ned Vizzini, committed suicide yesterday. He struggled with depression his whole life and he wrote great novels for young people who felt alone, sad or unsure about their place in this world. It’s Kind of a Funny Story is one of the few books I brought with me when I moved, it had such a hopeful and optimistic tone about mental illness and that’s why I think I’m so upset about this.
I’m trying to put my finger on why I feel so unnerved by all this. I think it is because this was a man who fought a hard battle and wrote books about it that spoke to people who were also going through the same things and he ended up losing his battle. The problem with depression is it never really goes away, it just takes a sideline until it sees an opportunity to flare up again. It’s not fair.
I think the best way to honour Ned’s memory is to keep talking about mental health and keep talking to each other. The holidays are a hard time and please, be kind to each other. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Although Ned’s story has an unhappy ending, yours doesn’t have to. Here are some resources (feel free to add on):