*SPOILER ALERT: Discussions of some of the scenes were included below*
There are plenty of good books out there, even outstanding ones that leave its mark on you and changes you one way or another. My favorite authors like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Nicholas Sparks and Gayle Forman make me want to be an author too. When you have read something so life-changing, you get the feeling that you want to affect others the way they have affected you too. And with just the use of words. For a long time I have struggled (and is still struggling) with writing for I couldn’t get past the feeling that what I am writing isn’t good enough. At first I get this overwhelming excitement and words just seem to flow from my hands without my brain even commanding it but after I have gone to that 10,000 or so words, I think about my story and suddenly, it just isn’t right enough. For years I read books of various genres ranging from hair-raising thrillers to finger-curling romances, and for years I have met the words of various authors and even added them to my list of favorites. In my search of the right book to inspire me and finally make me write that great book that would inspire others too, I have stumbled upon this great author that I have never even once heard of. Reading that first line “Theodore Finch is obsessed with death,” my mind perked up and begged me to find a copy of that book fast. Seeing that the bookstore doesn’t have that book I have resorted to downloading an illegal copy of the book online (I am so sorry for not buying your book, Ms. Niven. I promise I would get a copy when it becomes available in our place or when I have finally the money >_< ). Like how great stories should be read, I finished the book within 5 hours and spent a good deal of an hour just replaying all the scenes inside my head. It is true that I have read many books concerning depression and suicide before but never have I encountered a book depicting it the way Theodore Finch's character did. After reading the book, I actually cursed the storyline for how could such a perfect character meet such fate? I cried rivers of tears while reading the book because that book has captured all the thoughts, all the pain of a teenage who suffers from depression and no one just understands. Despite his pain, he found it in him to save and take care somebody else and when you meet such a character, your heart just goes to him. After I have read the book, it was as if I have gone through a break up and I just couldn't sleep properly. I kept asking myself why did it end that way? If a fictional character couldn’t survive such fate, then how could I? I asked myself that a dozen of times, trying to reconcile the fact that such a great character has met such ending. Only few characters in a book makes you feel that way and Theodore Finch surely did. But that book doesn’t tell us to follow Finch’s fate, and I am sure Ms. Niven doesn’t want us to do that too. If anything, I think that book teaches us to recognize other’s feelings and be sensitive enough to know that others around you need help already. If Finch have had help, then his character would’ve thrived and the book would still have given us the same lesson. But having the ending that way has made depression more real for the readers and I give my hands down congratulations and heart-felt thank you to Ms. Jennifer Niven for writing such a wonderful book. Thank you so much for letting me know how great Theodore Finch was.
***If any of you know anyone who suffers from depression, it’s still not too late to help that person. Don’t be embarassed to recognize that others are hurting, and don’t feel as if you’re less of a man if you show that you are sensitive to other’s feelings and show that you care. Contrary to what the society has let us believe that ‘gays and women’ are only the ones who cry or are in touch with their emotions, men who show their true emotions without feeling embarassed are much more manly and is deserving of everyone’s respect. So don’t feel embarassed to ask for help if you need one, or help another who needs one. Your mere presence or words could save a life. Or if you are the one suffering from depression, it isn’t too late. Reach out for help. Don’t feel discouraged if the few people you reach out first don’t take you for real. There are people out there who’s waiting to take care and help you. Don’t give up.
Read about depression and suicide: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-signs-and-symptoms.htm
American Association of Suicidology (AAS)—suicidology.org
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)—afsp.org
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline—
National Adolescent Suicide Hotline- (1-800-621-4000)
Talk about any crisis and get nonjudgmental support: crisischat.org
There are many more support groups or online suupport groups and hotlines available online. You are not alone. Don’t give up now. Reach out. We are all here for you.
Love, Danna T.
P.S. If you feel like talking and no one is available, you could reach me here or at email@example.com
I’d be responding as soon as I can. Just don’t give up.