I am not here to sway you either way when it comes to watching this show. I am not here to convince you that this show needs to be watched. I am not here to argue the various arguments that this show brings up. I am simply here to explain 13 reasons why, I watched, 13 reasons why, and then I am going to leave it up to you to give it a chance or not. So, here we go:
1. May is Mental Health Awareness Month
What better month to write about this kind of topic, than in the month that Mental Health Awareness takes place. So, what does that mean exactly? The purpose is to raise awareness and educate the public on something that so many people in the world are affected by. Did you know that one in four people in the world suffers from some kind of mental or neurological disorder? Just because you may not be the one in four, it is always good to know and understand, what others may be struggling with.
2. “People never forget how you made them feel”
I heard this saying a long time ago, and it is something that has always stuck with me. It is true. You leave impressions on people, good or bad, and you should always strive to be that person that made things a little easier, a little kinder, and a little nicer. You should never want to be the person that people remember in their darkest times because I promise you, people don’t forget cruelty, and you should want more for yourself than to be remembered as a bully.
3. If I was a parent, I like to imagine that this would be the kind of show I would want to watch
Although this show may go to certain extremes, it is still an honest, inside look at what teenagers are facing in a modernized world. This show will make you question whether or not you know your teenager, and if your teenager is keeping secrets from you, I am going, to be honest, there is most likely a reason. Don’t interrogate them, but instead, let them know that they can talk to you. Teenagers have a tendency to believe that everything bad that happens to them, is the end of their world, and even though you know that isn't true, you cannot change how they may feel about a certain situation without talking to them about it first.
4. Suicide is a topic I am still trying to understand
Although having suffered, and faced with different issues than Hannah Baker, suicide comes as a touchy subject in my life. Suicide is ultimately, a selfish act taken by someone who didn’t think that there was anyone or anything that could help them. I am one of the lucky ones who didn’t succeed in their ‘mission’, and because of that, I am so grateful to have acknowledged that things DO get better, and we CAN save ourselves. We just need to get educated on these kinds of things to help prevent anyone else from taking their own life. In that moment, we don’t see the damage that we are causing from the solution we thought would cure it all. It doesn’t cure anything. It only takes you from those that care.
5. You can’t save anyone; only they can choose to save themselves
We tend to think that we can change people, but we cannot. At the end of the day, people are going to make the choices that they are set on. It is up to us to make a good impact on those around us, but we cannot expect to save those from themselves. They must be willing to want to be saved. This all starts within the person. We can make a difference, sure, but we can’t save those who are unwilling.
6. Mental illness should not be the “Elephant in the room”
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS. Period. End of story. We all struggle to balance our thoughts on a daily basis, and if you are someone who is not deemed to have a mental illness, then it is hard to understand the brain of someone considered ‘ill;' but the only way to learn, is to ask questions, and educate yourself on what it is people with mental illness suffer from every single day. It is one thing to have a healthy brain with its own set of complicated thoughts, but it is something else entirely to take a mentally ill brain and expect it to live a normal life, all the while trying to balance those thoughts that make them ‘different.’
7. Not all “friends” want the best for you
This show talks a lot about friendship or lack thereof. Hannah Baker is depicted as a girl with a lot of ‘friends’ but after watching it, did she have any? It shows the difficulties of keeping secrets amongst friends, and how it only takes one person to bring it all down. Be careful who you trust to tell all your secrets to; some people are only in your life for information. This show does a good job showing the secrets and lies amongst a popular group of so-called “friends,” but you start to question, “Were any of them, friends, at all?”
8. You can always get help, and it is more than okay to ask for it
Somehow, a lot of people have started to think that asking for help is a sign of weakness. We must get away from this kind of thinking. You should not be afraid, nor scared, to ask someone for help. You shouldn’t have to feel like you can’t talk to anyone about your darker truths. There is always someone to talk to, and always someone more than willing to help.
9. You are not alone
This tends to be the biggest myth of all. We believe that we are alone in certain situations, but if we would just talk about what is going on, and be open about what is bothering us, we will always be surprised by a number of people who have felt the same things. YOU ARE NOT ALONE, and should never feel like you are.
10. Topics such as suicide, rape, slut-shaming, and bullying need to be talked about
These topics are becoming so popular, especially amongst younger adults. We mustn’t be afraid to talk about when we have been bullied, and nobody should be scared to tell authorities, or trusted adults, when they have been assaulted in any way. Bottling up events such as these, will eat you alive, and keeping quiet about it will only make it hurt that much more. Talk about it. Learn about it. Cope with it. Don’t let it be the reason you made a choice that can never be taken back.
11. We need to be kind to people
It is amazing how one kind act can change a person’s life. Imagine a world where everyone smiled to other pedestrians on the sidewalk, and people gave compliments frequently because life is too short not to let others know when they are succeeding at something they may not notice. If you are going to spread anything in this world, it should be kindness. We all deserve more of that.
12. Keeping secrets can kill you. Speak up!
Hannah kept a lot of secrets. Secrets that kept her feeling alone, and feelings that eventually took her life. This is too common of a theme amongst those who think keeping secrets is best for everyone. Secrets can cause depression, anxiety, impulsive behaviors, and other mental health illnesses. So, speak up about the secrets you are holding in; they are only holding you back.
13. Suicide is NEVER the option
It is important that we all understand that things can, and will get better. No matter what you are going through right now, no matter how you are feeling at this current moment, things will get better. It is at our lowest points that we are learning something important, so rather, pay attention to how you are feeling, and know that this too shall pass. Find someone to confide in, and speak up about what is going on in your head. No one can help you if you don’t allow them. When we are able to say out loud what is keeping us so alone, we are able to address our pain, come to terms with it, and start to learn when something, or someone, is bad for us. Suicide won’t solve anything, and it should NEVER be your solution.
If you or someone you know is going through a mental health crisis or is feeling suicidal, please dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for the National Suicide Line. This is a nationwide number and their services are available 24 hours a day.
Never be afraid to ask for help.
I love you,