In the new year, Alexa Ray Joel plans to speak up about the "heartbreak-related depression" that contributed to her scary Dec. 5 incident -- in which she was rushed to Manhattan's St. Vincent's Hospital after swallowing a handful of homeopathic pills. (The pills weren't capable of killing her, but a panicked Joel called 911 to get checked out by doctors.)
The recovering 24 year-old musician posted a note on Facebook on New Year's Eve to gratefully acknowledge her friends, fans and supporters. "I just wanted to thank you all for the incredible outpouring of love and support," wrote Joel, the daughter of music legend Billy Joel and supermodel Christie Brinkley. "It's certainly been a whirlwind of a month, but reading all of your encouraging posts has never failed to cheer me up!"
Noting "many new exciting developments" for 2010, Joel mentions "creative projects" plus volunteer work, including a new pet cause. The rock progeny says she wants "to help young girls with something I feel I know a GREAT deal about: Heartbreak-Related Depression. Although it does not get much attention in our society, it is a very serious and painful condition that often gets 'swept under the carpet.' I hope to bring this topic more to light"
At the time of her early December incident, Joel had been dealing with the end of a long-term relationship with former bandmate Jimmy Riot. Joel, a graduate of NYU, says she is extending her education to further examine her depression. "I'm even going back to school for Psychology in hopes to learn more about this and many other afflictions that many of us have had to face," she says. "After all, there's nothing more fascinating than the human mind and it's respective conditions."
In the Facebook note, the young woman also thanks her mother for a recent birthday celebration (she turned 24 on Dec. 29): " Just want to send a quick shout-out to my beautiful Mother and all of her friends for the lovely "Birthday Tribute"... I was very moved by that, so thank you!!!!"