It’s kind of a funny story… (a review of sorts)

When did my blog become a book review blog?

Well, I guess when I ran out of time to do much except read, work, and sleep.

I’m not really writing reviews, y’all. I’m more writing about what I’ve learned from these books or significant things these books are telling me/reminding me of/etc. Plus, I don’t want to give spoilers and in order to get a thorough review, spoilers would happen.

In case the title of this post wasn’t a clear indicator, I just finished Ned Vizzini’s “It’s kind of a funny story.” The book, as a whole, was amazing. I enjoyed his writing style and it was a pretty quick read. I started it a little over a week ago and probably would have finished it earlier if I didn’t spend most of April 13-17 in the middle of a panic attack from hell.

Which leads me to the point I’m trying to make with today’s post.

It’s very hard to write about depression in a way that is understandable to people who’ve never had it without somehow losing part of the experience. I know this because I’ve tried. It’s even harder to write convincingly about depression if you’ve never experienced it.

Vizzini’s writing speaks volumes about how struggles with the illness. His suicide this past December is a reminder of how that illness often wins.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression when I was 14. When I was 17, after three years of the meds basically making it worse, they rescinded the ‘bipolar’ diagnosis and focused on teaching me ways to maintain my depression and anxiety without drugs. I attended weekly (and later biweekly) therapy for 7 years despite no longer being on medication.

I’ve never read a book that actually put into words things I went through during those years. At some point during those years, I was most of the characters in that book. Harming myself to fight against expectations, unable to get out of bed, paranoid of every person I saw, desperate to make it all just stop. 

I found myself crying at the end of the book. Not because someone dies or because the story ended or any other painful reasons but because I felt like a piece of myself was in this book, a piece of myself that I spend a lot of time being ashamed of and hiding away. But it’s still in me and you can’t really lose any part of yourself, despite what you try to tell yourself at night.

If you’ve ever dealt with serious depression or are close to someone who has, read this book. Share this book with that person. It’s the closest you’ll get to understanding what it’s like without having to live through it. Trust me.

30 Day Challenge: Some people just say it better.

27. List 5 quotes that mean a lot to you and explain their significance. From: http://sumofourmoments.blogspot.com/2011/05/30-day-challenge.html

So, I’m a bit of a quote junkie. Five is such a small number for me, let me tell you. But here it goes.

1.  “Our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we touch.” – Will Fetters (writer), Robert Pattinson (speaker), Remember Me (2010)

This movie was basically one of the first times I saw Robert Pattinson, post-Twilight, and didn’t want to punch him in the face. Despite that revelation, it’s also a pretty amazing story and there are multiple points within the movie where you just feel something simply because of the words. This quote is probably my favorite of all time because there’s so much you don’t realize about yourself and your impact on the world around you. No matter how insignificant your influence may have been on something, you still influenced it and it’s will always be there.

Another great one from this movie: “GANDHI SAID THAT WHATEVER YOU DO IN LIFE WILL BE INSIGNIFICANT, BUT IT’S VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO IT BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE WILL. LIKE WHEN SOMEONE COMES INTO YOUR LIFE AND HALF OF YOU SAYS: “YOU’RE NOWHERE NEAR READY”. AND THE OTHER HALF SAYS: “MAKE HER YOURS FOREVER”.” – Will Fetters (writer), Robert Pattinson (speaker), Remember Me (2010)

2. “That’s the best revenge of all: happiness. Nothing drives people crazier than seeing someone have a good fucking life.” – Chuck Palahniuk.

This is kind of morbid but I’ve had quite a bit of bad luck with friends and boyfriends (refer to day 6). Over the years, I’ve learned that rather than getting mad or dwelling on it, it’s better to just be happy. Most of these friends/boyfriends want nothing more than to have ruined me and what better way to prove that they didn’t than to be happy?

3. “I LIVE IN TWO WORLDS. ONE IS A WORLD OF BOOKS. I’VE BEEN A RESIDENT OF FAULKNER’S YOKNAPATAWPHA COUNTY, HUNTED THE WHITE WHALE ABOARD THE PEQUOD, FOUGHT ALONGSIDE NAPOLEON, SAILED A RAFT WITH HUCK AND JIM, COMMITTED ABSURDITIES WITH IGNATIUS J. REILLY, RODE A SAD TRAIN WITH ANNA KARENINA, AND STROLLED DOWN SWANN’S WAY. IT’S A REWARDING WORLD, BUT MY SECOND ONE IS BY FAR SUPERIOR. MY SECOND ONE IS POPULATED WITH CHARACTERS SLIGHTLY LESS ECCENTRIC BUT SUPREMELY REAL, MADE OF FLESH AND BONE, FULL OF LOVE, WHO ARE MY ULTIMATE INSPIRATION FOR EVERYTHING.” — RORY GILMORE

Wow copy and paste got a little crazy with that one. But I completely ADORE Gilmore Girls. It is such a wonderful representation of the relationship between my mother and me. And this quote, from Rory’s graduation speech, is so very me that it’s insane. You see, I spend a lot of time buried in books. My family used to joke that if they ever wanted me to know something important that happened at a family function, they’d have to have it published and bound in leather first. While I do love the characters of my books, the characters of my life are so very vital to my success. This quote definitely embodies that idea.

4. “PEOPLE ARE SCREWED UP IN THIS WORLD. I’D RATHER BE WITH SOMEONE SCREWED UP AND OPEN ABOUT IT THAN SOMEBODY PERFECT AND READY TO EXPLODE.” — NED VIZZINI, IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY

The downside to copying things from other sites is the fact that they copy in the format of that site. le sigh. Anyways! I think this quote is one of the most honest representations of the world and relationships. It’s so very very true.

5. “We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?” – Stephen Moffat (Writer), Matt Smith (speaker), Doctor Who – The Big Bang

First of all, major Whovian. I’m such a nerd. Second of all, this is such a poignant line because it’s so true. We live our lives and then we die. Sure, we’ll live on in memories and photographs but those are just stories people have of us. Stories of the moments shared. So make sure those stories are ones you want to be remembered for, right?