We all go through tough times.
That’s just life.
What happens when things get to be too much?
Craig is about to find out.
“I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”
Craig Gilner is a fifteen-year-old, living in a nice neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. He’s in an advanced prep school, everything should be perfect. But it’s not. Craig is suicidal, his parent’s don’t know, his friends don’t know. He’s in love with his best friend’s girlfriend and he is having a hard time keeping up. One day, the thoughts just got too much for him to handle. He called the suicide hotline and with the instruction it provided, he checked himself into a mental health facility.
There was one problem now: the mental health facility was undergoing renovations. Normally Craig would only be around other teenagers, but he’s put in with the adults due to a lack of space. Based off on a real incident from the writer, Ned Vizzini, who sadly committed suicide a few years later, the book, in my opinion, should be one everyone reads.
“See, when you mess something up, you learn for the next time. It’s when people compliment you that you’re in trouble. That means they expect you to keep it up.”
I love this story, it’s not just a story about a young man finding himself, understanding how little the things are that affected him before going in, but it’s an undertaking of who we are as individuals and what that means to the world.
Craig was following a path he didn’t love, tried to be like what everyone else expected of him, and in the end, it almost killed him. It wasn’t until he finally stopped and looked around, took stock of the world around him and got out of his comfort zone did he really live. Read this book, even if you never felt like you were being left behind; it might just help you understand how some people struggle differently.
Stories like these have a way of opening up dialogues and expressions that can change our minds, that can lessen the burdens that we feel. Because at the end of the day we’re not alone, no matter how we feel. Craig ended up around people just like him – all ages, all creeds, all walks of life.
And that’s how he eventually found his answer…
That the direction we head towards in life isn’t always the correct one and we need to be strong enough to make the change.