It's Kind of a Funny Story
Let me just jump right into it: this is now one of my favorite books. I understand it's supposed to be for teenagers or young adults, but it's not my fault that I can sort of relate to it, right?
I went to see a neurologist last year because I was having dizzy spells and bouts of vertigo and migraines. The company doctor thought I might have a “structural problem” (his words) so off to the neurologist I went. Turns out it's not a structural thing, but a chemical one.
Or maybe behavioral. I'm not good with this.
The neurologist doubles as a psychiatrist, and he told me my anxiety was the root cause of all my head problems. He gave me meds, told me to try and relax a bit, then sent me off with the proverbial pat on the butt.
The meds got me sleepy but they worked. My head was fine. (So I concluded everything I feel is chemical, in which case I figured, why feel at all, but that's neither here nor there.)
I have since stopped taking the meds, which is why I still hyperventilate from time to time. I've been trying to work on my anxiety, though. (Which made me even more anxious for a time, so hey, maybe I'll be back on the meds if it keeps up.)
So I don't think I want to kill myself, but I can sort of relate to what the protagonist Craig is going through. I know it sounds trite, because my head problem is a super minor one and his is serious, but I suppose I understand what he means 80% of the time.
I prefer not to go into detail since it's a little personal, and my mental health is a matter between me and my doctor, but I know what it's like to live in a pressure cooker. I know what it's like to try and keep up and compete and do everything you can to be the best, even though you know it's a pretty long shot and you're bound to fall short anyway.
It's a short, straightforward novel. There's nothing fantastic or magical about it. But it presents an honest look at mental issues, ranging from the mundane (like mine) to the fatal (like Craig's). It doesn't sugarcoat or glorify mental problems. It just presents a touchingly kind approach to what someone with these problems can go through.
Let me leave you with one of the best quotes from the novel that really resonated with me:
Life is not cured, Mr. Gilner. Life is managed.