The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon is an intimate memoir about the recovery from depression and a horrific suicide attempt. Brent Runyon was born in 1977 in Falls Church, Virginia. Runyon was a normal public school student until his depression got out of control and he resorted to suicide. He had several attempts that never would work. Although his suicide was not successful there was one final attempt that would take years of recovery. His last attempt was influenced by a book of matches and will always scar his body and life.
After this attempt Mr. Runyon went through a year of intense psychological and physical recovery so he could go back to a normal life and public school. The Burn Journals fits in with a few other teen help book in Vintage Books. There were a lot of signs that Brent Runyon was going down hill before he got to the bottom. Bent grew up in a normal American Family, his parents were together and there were no significant problems in his life other than his mental state.
Before Brent’s suicide attempts he got into a significant amount of trouble at school. One account relates to his final suicide attempt. “I can’t even believe it. I shouldn’t have taken the matches from Adam. I shouldn’t have lit that match. I shouldn’t have set the whole pack on fire. I shouldn’t have thrown them into that locker. And I really shouldn’t have put the lock in the locker. ”(Runyon Pg. 3) This represents one of the main reasons Runyon uses for his suicide attempt.
After this incident at school Brent tried to slit his wrists and hang himself in his closet, but each time his body fought to stay alive. Mr. Runyon would have gotten expelled from school if he would have not tried to commit suicide. Runyon was severely depressed, and his actions proved it. “That’s the thing—your body tries to keep you alive no matter what you do. I’ve got to think of a way to kill myself that I can’t turn back from. ”(Runyon Pg. 13)