So I just finished 13 Reasons Why on Netflix…. please don’t continue reading since there are spoilers ahead if you DON’T want to be spoiled….
Okay.. so Hannah Baker is the main character of the show based around these 13 tapes discussing the reasons and people… who led her to commit suicide by cutting her wrists and dying alone in a bathtub. Clay is the boy in her school who receives the tapes and subsequently goes back in time as Hannah draws out maps and has him go through the circumstances that have led her to her unfortunate and all too soon demise, at the hands of herself. *GULP* The creators of the show and people on Twitter all said you’re either Alex who binge watches the show all in one night… or you are Clay who takes breaks and takes their time to watch because of your heart breaking…. I was like Clay.
The last episode shows her committing suicide which I knew would be shown and I knew it would be graphic. They even warn you ahead of the episode the details… well it was brutal and I was painfully crying watching it…and they showed it all. This struck a cord that makes me hope and pray that whoever watched, doesn’t follow what she does. It’s just so tragic because I wanted there to be hope for her, some sort of light.
Unfortunately she does say in her last tape that she’s going to give it “one last try” so she goes to speak to her guidance counselor. I won’t go into much detail about it but she was sexually assaulted and has no friends who care fully and unconditionally about her and just doesn’t want to live anymore. So she needs a reason, something to keep her going. If it’s not for another day, maybe another week… something. She tells him, without many words the things she’s feeling and how she’s basically numb to everything. He just doesn’t get it. She tries to painfully explain why she’s feeling the way she is but isn’t sure how to put it all together. Before this meeting, she sat there diligently recording these tapes…. the reasons and circumstances people and things broke her spirit, broke her livelihood, broke her heart, even painting the numbers on the tapes with nail polish. And the guidance counselor basically tells her to “just move on” and he fails her. She leaves his office and is so deep in all the pain people and circumstances have caused her that she doesn’t realize is that it does get better.
If the viewers could only go through their tv screens or in my case, my Ipad, and just shake her and tell her NO! Watching her end her life was so raw, so painful and so heartbreaking. I was rooting for Hannah… maybe she wouldn’t end up doing it. Maybe the whole premise of the show (which was also based on a book by Jay Asher) was to make you want to have hope for her, hope for yourself. Maybe people watching feel the same way and she was telling you in her own way on the show that she wasn’t sure but she literally just needed someone to look at her and actually see her, and nobody didn’t. She was in the hallway of her high school and the bell rings…. everyone comes out and nobody looks at her or even acknowledges her presence. She goes to tie up a few things and then goes home….
And then she dies… alone in a bathtub of her blood and water. Her mother comes in to the bathroom, finds her and holds her wailing “It’s okay, you’re alright”. Just so awful. The boy Clay who is actually number 11 on the tapes wasn’t a direct cause for her to commit suicide but he feels it necessary in some way to pay it forward. So he talks to this other girl Skye and asks her to hang out. Who knows maybe she was thinking about going home to end her life? She ends up agreeing and it seems like a nice blossoming friendship is born.
So here is my own story…
About 12 years ago I was a Junior in High School. I had a small group of friends, my family was a crumbling mess and I was the glue to keep everyone together. It was awful. Then I started to develop these feelings which I wasn’t sure what they were but these feelings of hopelessness, anxiety and depression. It was no fun. I didn’t want to end my life but I certainly did contemplate the existence of life without me in it. So I wasn’t sure…
I just wanted to talk to someone, anyone who would listen. I don’t quite remember but I think I just went to the guidance office, which was a suite of rooms. When I got there, not one guidance counselor was there. Not one. So I’m like damn, why is nobody here? I’m here just wanting to talk to someone, anyone because nobody at home is there for me and there’s nobody here. So I don’t remember going home but I was like these feelings need to stop. I need help. But I had hope, hope it would get better. Hope there would be a silver lining somewhere even if it would end up taking me years to find it.
Long story short, in the beginning of my senior year I was surprised to see that all guidance offices had Whiteboards on the side of their office doors and I was later told that someone would ALWAYS be in the guidance office suite during school hours. That had brought me immense comfort especially because what if another girl had gone to the office to talk to someone, like I needed, and nobody was there and she went home and killed herself. That needed to change especially because it was so significant. You never know what someone is going through. I was happy they took those steps to ensure that at least they can do everything possible for someone who was contemplating things.
So here’s my advice. Please have hope. Whatever sliver of good you have left, hold onto it. Think of it like a piece of string. It’s so little and you can lose the grasp of it but if you hold onto to that string, you’re okay. You are alive. And I promise you that it’ll get better. It did for me. I wouldn’t have gone through all of the things I have if I didn’t wake up that next day. Some circumstances I have never fully recovered from and probably never will but you just learn to live with these things and always try your best. I wouldn’t have found my one truest love. I wouldn’t have experienced all the beauty life does have to offer you. It takes a lot of patience and hard work to find your own kind of normal peace but it’ll happen. Hold onto that string whether it be real or invisible. Think of that tiny string as an anchor. Think of it as keeping you strong and safe.
Do something and anything to shut off those bad thoughts that are telling you that you aren’t good enough. Because you ARE good enough and always will be.
Find things that make you happy, that bring you comfort. Hang out with people who only bring out the best in you, who WANT the best for you, who love you for the weird person that you are.Find a hobby such as painting, coloring books, swimming, anything to keep your mind occupied. At night time, write down your thoughts. If they’re bad thoughts, write them down and then try not to think about it again.
Don’t take shit from anyone and always stand up for yourself because if you are like me, you’ve put yourself through agony and abuse and it’s gone on for too long.