Craig Gilner, in It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, has figured out life. If you do well in high school than you will get in a good college. If you do well in college, you will get a good job. And with a good job, you will be set for life. That is why Craig decides he needs to go to a really good high school. The high school Craig decides to go to requires an entrance exam. He sets about studying for the test. He ends up getting a perfect score and is admitted to the school. Once there though, Craig finds it is more than he can manage. The school gives four hours of homework every night. Craig works really hard but he is still not as good as the other students. Later, Craig figures out he has depression. He starts to worry that he will never be successful in life because of what he is going through. That is why on a really bad night, he decides he is done with life. But instead of committing suicide, he checks himself into the emergency room and later is admitted to the psychiatric floor.
I am just like Craig. I found out in high school that I was depressed. Like Craig, I decided there was a formula for doing well in life. First, I had to get good grades in high school. That is why I was valedictorian of my class. I had to work really hard to get the grades though and often, I was very stressed by the amount of homework and studying I had to do on top of the extracurricular activities.
After high school came college. Again, I had to get good grades so that I would be successful later in life. On top of the demanding homework, I also had to work to pay for college. The stress was worse than high school. I often found myself wondering why I was bothering to live at all. Really, what was the point of it all? I put in all this hard work so that I could have a good job. But than, I would just end up dying in the end and really, was it worth it all? And I knew with my depression, life would only be that much harder. Life was just too difficult.
Craig often discussed with his psychologist that he liked simple and control. He liked things he had control over, just like me. I like to eat when I am depressed because I can decide when and what to eat. For Craig, this meant using the restroom. At one point, Craig said he wished he could be a bike messenger because of the simplicity of it. I often wish I could have kept my college job forever because it was simple and undemanding. I liked that.
Like Craig, I eventually came to accept my depression. Craig and I probably both agree that life is hard because of depression. It is not always easy to live, but we are managing, using our talents to make life more bearable.