Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes
In case all of you haven’t heard the news, YA author, Ned Vizzini, died a few days ago. He committed suicide, but I won’t go into the details because you can simply click the link over his name.
His most notable book is It’s Kind of a Funny Story, which was made into a feature-length film, and a novel that I hold very close to my heart. I do consider Ned Vizzini somewhat of a celebrity, if authors are even allowed to be called such. But a celebrity’s death has never affected me so deeply as his. I was sad when beloved children’s book author Diana Wynne Jones died, because I loved her books, but she was also in the prime of her life, and was able to spend a good bit of her life living her dream as an author of beloved children’s books. She lived what was hopefully a fulfilling life, leaving this incredible magic behind that I hope people of all ages will enjoy.
I saw a Tweet that said ‘So sad about Ned Vizzini. His family is in my prayers.’ My heart immediately jumped to my throat because I knew exactly what happened, because it always seems to happen to artists who suffer with mental illness. Always. I frantically typed his name into Google, and there it was, my fear confirmed: Ned Vizzini died at the age of 32. I immediately burst into tears, the kind of tears where it’s hard to breathe, and I have never, ever experienced such grief from a celebrity’s death before. Ever. I only briefly talked to Ned Vizzini on Twitter before, and a Tweeter and I even made a little hastag for him called Fanzini (which, by the way, is totally spelled wrong). He was even on board with it, as you can see in the picture below.
It wasn’t this brief chat on Twitter that did me in. Not at all.
Before I was hospitalized at Summit Ridge for self-harm and suicidal ideation, I read It’s Kind of a Funny Story in order to have a better grasp of what it was like to be a young, depressed person being admitted into a mental hospital for the first time. I was terrified, as well as severely depressed, and I finished the entire book while waiting for the ambulance that would take me to Summit Ridge, which is a few hours from where I live. There were no beds available in my area.
The story comforted me in ways that no one who has ever been hospitalized with mental illness can ever understand. The fact that it was semi-autobiographical, 85% of the book being based off Ned’s experiences, made it all the more precious to me. It was especially the last paragraph in the book that was so uplifting for me (it’s long, just warning):