A couple days ago I watched It’s Kind of a Funny Story, a movie based on a book by the same name (which I have not read). In it, the 16 year old main character feels overwhelmed and suicidal enough to be voluntarily committed to a psych ward. His experience played out somewhat similar to my own hospital stay at the age of 14. Without giving much away, it ends up being an uplifting tale about finding what you want out of life and remembering to appreciate the things and people around you.
But I am actually writing all this because Ned Vizzini, the author of the book, committed suicide not too long ago at the age of 32. And I am writing this because thinking about his death and writing leaves me a little lost.
I mean, here’s a guy who set out to inspire kids and help them through tough moments, and judging by the comments I saw on Reddit and Youtube I think he achieved that. But the grim side is that he killed himself. He had a wife and a kid, was a published author, a recognized talent, a guy who told people to call a suicide hotline and knew what a hospital stay might do for him. But he jumped off a building.
And I write all this not to criticize Ned Vizzini. I write this because it makes me think that some day in a depressed haze I might value the end of pain over growing old with a lover or seeing child grow, preferring nothingness to seeing another day and new potential. You can be as aware as you want of resources, be the most logical person possible, be successful and loved, and the pain can still override it all. And that scares me.