I hope there isn’t a second season. Sometimes one season completely covers every thought that needs to be said, including those moments that need no words, or closure.
These are my thoughts on 13 Reasons Why.
Full disclosure…this post isn’t going to hide spoilers and it won’t be sugar coated. I’m giving my raw thoughts on “13 Reasons Why” and precisely why I feel it was a good show. Feel free to turn away now if you’ve not finished yet. Come back and let’s chat about it later.
It has taken me many days to finalize my thoughts. I don’t think I’ve fully processed it yet. And it’s probably all coming out in word vomit, but here goes.
I appreciated the show, “13 Reasons Why” for multiple reasons. Perhaps the first and main reason I connected to it was my ability to relate. Who could I relate to? Hannah Baker – the girl with the tapes. The girl who ended her own life, displayed on camera in the form of a powerful message. No, I’m not trying to get attention in stating that fact. Nor do I need any sympathy. I stated early on in this blog space that I suffered from depression for most of my life up to about the age of 18. I lived my early years feeling off. Down. A multitude of feelings. And without going into too many details, I was terribly bullied in high school. During that period in my life, I hit my breaking point. I hated it. I tried to fit in. And I even went away.
Nothing made it better. I had many moments where I wondered if it would be easier to just disappear. Completely pull away from the pain that plagued me. To remove myself from the darkness that wouldn’t allow me to feel happiness. What was that feeling – happiness? I knew not how to find it.
So, I connected with Hannah.
The show wasn’t easy to watch, and at times, I sat alone, crying in pain. I felt that same pain she did. Only I got help. Hannah wasn’t so lucky.
So now I’ll tell you the other reasons why I liked “13 Reasons Why.” One is the spotlight it brings to bullies. The act of bullying is discussed in the media quite often, and likely parents at home are dealing with it on an ongoing basis. It feels so common now, as if it could happen to anyone and it’s ok to just “push through” and “rise above” the negativity.
But what about the after-effects? What happens to those kids who weeks and months down the road are still thinking about that ONE comment made them suffer in silence, only to dwell and never forget? Bullies must realize consequences. They need to see that their words and actions can have lasting effects.
If the show can make one person look at how they treat others in a different way, then it’s done its job.
The other reason I appreciated the show was the spotlight it’s brought to suicide and rape. I keep hearing the backlash from schools and parents – so many people – who are rallying against this show. I can’t begin to explain how angry it makes me. WHY are we hiding from this very real thing that affects so many people? It’s not a show that will drive a child to this – it’s parenting. Upbringing. So many factors including whether or not they have a support system to fall back on. We as a society don’t condone shows that display murder, racism, and hate crimes in the way this show is gathering negativity like a spreading plague. I can’t comprehend it. And I won’t stand down.
There’s no way to hide it. Teenagers are all over this show right now – daughters of friends of mine are watching it. And while, I initially wanted to scream, “don’t let them see!” I quickly realized, it’s important. And it’s something we should all be talking about. No one should feel alone. Bullies shouldn’t win. And no one should suffer in silence.
Was it bullies who catapulted me into my lowest low? No. Were they a big contributing factor? Damn straight…but so were many other things. I was just lucky enough to have a family to catch me when I fell. When I asked for help, they said yes. I have the most amazing parents. Depression wasn’t talked about as something real when I went through it. But, it didn’t mean they didn’t do everything they could to help me get the support I needed.
At the end of the day, I hope you watch it. Really watch it. I hope you don’t close your eyes at the graphic parts…and really see the emotion and feeling. It’s tough and it’s raw, but I promise it’s worth it.
Mental health and bullying are so important to me that I’ve recently donated to Project Semicolon, whose mission is “to help reduce the incidents of suicide in the world through connected community and greater access to information and resources.”
I’ve also donated to It Gets Better Project which supports LGBTQ youth. Committing to a brighter future. That’s something I can behind.
And lastly, if you’re reading this and need help…or know someone who needs help, the site for the show has some great resources. Visit: http://13reasonswhy.info/
These are my thoughts. My voice. My heart. And if I can help one person realize that it gets better…it has to get better…then I’ve done my job. Peace. Love. Acceptance.
Your story isn’t over.