There is so much high profile conversation surrounding Netflix’s newest hit show 13 REASONS WHY. There are those that feel it’s a “dangerous” show, one that could potentially glamorizes the horrible act of suicide; Then there are people, like myself, who feel the show’s importance can’t be understated and that everyone must watch it.
The fact that it is prompting strong conversations about suicide and bullying is important. Talks of suicide should never be dismissed, a life can truly depend on it.
For those that don’t know what the show is about here is it’s synopsis. Clay Jensen, a shy high school student, returns home from school one day to find that he has received a mysterious package in the mail. It contains seven double-sided cassette tapes used by Hannah Baker, a classmate who has recently committed suicide. Each tape details a reason that she killed herself.
The show resonated with me on a deep personal level. I can see my 16 year old self in Hannah. I know what it was like to feel broken, lost, and alone. Just like a lot of people I have personally battled depression far longer than I would like to admit, which then opened the door to anxiety. I have stood of the precipice of despair, teetering on the edge of the abyss, but unlike Hannah, I had those that saw the signs and heard my pleas, without me ever having to utter a word.
I was lucky. I have known more than a few who were not so lucky. Lost in the depths of their own pain, and succumbing to their demons. I’ve felt the grief of unanswered questions and the colossal weight of guilt. I only hope they found the peace, which so eluded them while they walked this earth.
Feeling suicidal is lonely. You are consumed with thoughts that nobody would understand, or thoughts and emotions, so easily and readily dismissed. 13 REASONS WHY shines a massive light on those feelings. Connecting with, and knowing you are not alone in these thoughts, may help.
I’ve had friends who’ve told me, I was like a beacon for the broken. Those lost had a way of gravitating towards me. I have helped them weather through their darkest storms; showing how I understood, allowing them to see they were not alone. Just as those who have helped me have done before. That is how I see the show – a beacon for the broken.
13 REASON WHY also spotlights the destructive effects bullying can have. With the technological advances and social media sites of today, there no longer is an easy escape from constant bullying. When even home is no longer safe, how can one ‘just ignore it’, as is the usual advice to a complaint of bullying. We should no longer excuse it by simply saying, ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘girls can be so catty/jealous’. Whether the results are suicide, there should never be an excuse to bullying.
The conversations and debates 13 REASON WHY is causing speaks volumes to how relatable it is to so many. No matter which side you are on, it is important the conversations continue. We should never remain silent about suicide.
We here at Alternative Mindz encourage families and friends to talk and support each other. For more please check out American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Or call 1-800-273-8255
Available 24 hours everyday