Thoughts on 13 Reasons Why

Welcome to your tape..

I feel really REALLY weird about the 13 Reasons Why hype, but first, let me give you a bit of background.

I have not watched the netflix series, but I have read the book. I read the book 6 years ago, and I was 16 years old. I was a pretty miserable teen, depressed, anxious, and lonely. I was also, pretty freaking obsessed with Selena Gomez. When I heard that Selena might be starring in a new movie adaptation of a book called 13 Reasons Why, I knew I had to buy it!

At first, I liked it. I liked it because I had never read a book with a character that had depression before, and for the first time, I felt understood. You have to keep in mind that society has changed for the better recently with mental illness; but when I was a teen, it was not talked about as much as it is today. So when I read this book, I understood Hannah Baker, and she understood me.

I loved that she was able to show all of the people that bullied, taunted, and harrassed her just how much they affected her. Why? Because I desperately wanted to do that to my bullies. I hated the fact that while I was self-harming, sleeping less than an hour a night, crying myself to sleep, and hating myself, my bullies were just merrily going about their lives, unaware of the pain they had caused. “What if I killed myself? Then they’d be fucking sorry” was something I would think about often. What if I killed myslef and wrote a note, mentioning them and how they hurt me and caused my suffering? They wouldn’t be able to live with themselves.

Now, as a depressed person, I thought this way of thinking was normal. They bullied me. They pushed me to rock bottom. They caused this. I have dealt with the pain they caused. Now they deserve everything I felt, and then some.

As a non-depressed person, though.. that way of thinking is really messed up. I didn’t really, truly want to kill myself. I didn’t want to kill myslef because life was too unbearable. A small part of me wanted to kill myself… to get revenge on people who I thought caused my depression…. how fucked up is that?! That’s what depression does to your brain, my friends. It completely warps your logic and reasoning.

Hannah Baker killed herself, because the events in her life so far became too much. She felt awful, and life didn’t seem like it would get better anytime soon. BUT, the fact that she took the time and effort to record tapes to send to the people who killed her, shows that she was, in part, doing it for some sort of sick revenge. That’s disgusting.

Now, don’t get me wrong, what I think 13 Reasons why did well is showing people that actions have consequences, words can cut like knives, and that you never know what kind of pain a person is going through in their lives behind closed doors. Maybe, bullies will watch this, and re-evaluate their actions. Maybe it will spark some compassion. Maybe it will make them think twice before calling someone a “slut”, or “ugly”.

However, this redeeming quality does not disguise the fact that this story is kind of messed up.

Listen, if any of you reading this is depressed, and you, like Hannah, desperately wish you could inflict pain on the people who inflicted pain on you; I understand, trust me, but please, let go of that resentment. You will not get over your depression by pre-occupying yourself with other people, and revenge.. you need to focus on you, and get help.

Another obvious critique is that it glamourises suicide and mental illness, which is true, it does. The image of people laying in bed with snacks, watching a series about teenage suicide, makes me feel funny. This is NOT just a story. It’s not just made-up. This happens. Teen suicide is REAL, teen depression is REAL. I think this show crosses the line of “raising awareness” to plain, flat out glamourising it. Making suicide seem poetic and dramatic is a form of romanticizing suicide and depression. People who kill themsleves just go ahead and do it, they don’t conjure up an elaborate way to poetically seeking sickening revenge on people beyond the grave. It makes me mad to think about it.

I have also heard that there is a scene where you actually see Hannah, in pain as she slowly dies. How disgusting!!I personally don’t think they had to show this, they could have implied it, they didn’t have to show it. Vulnerable people, depressed people, are drawn to things that make them more depressed, therefore you will have depressed, suicidal people watching this show.. I urge you to look up “suicide contagion” to see why this is an issue.

Most people who have been heaping praise on 13 Reasons Why for “raising awareness”, from  what I’ve seen, have never been depressed before. I have. After reading this book, I wanted to kill myself even more. I harmed myself more. I do not want that to happen to other young people. Back when I read it, it was a little known book. Now that it’s huge.. more vulnerable people are being exposed to it, and that worries me.

Have any of you, who have had depression in the past watched this show, or read the book? What are your thoughts on it?

 

 

because of you

you took me in your arms

broken and lost

you didn’t feed me endless complements

you fed me reality

you let me know that this world is not kind to the softer of hearts,

that people pleasing is futile,

that, no matter how warm, close knit, and supportive your social circle is,

at the end of the day, all you have is yourself.

you taught me not to depend on people so much.

you took a withering wallflower,

and created an oak tree,

resilient, strong, and wise.

 

you held my hand through the storm

and you slowly, with time, let go of the stabilisers

i do not need to be handled with care anymore.

the metamorphosis is complete

 

see, i used to think i would be nothing with out you

because you taught me all i know.

but, what i meant to say is

i am everything i wanted to be

because of you.

 

thank you.

selfish

have you ever felt so sad that your heart hurts?

have you ever felt so numb

that you start questioning if you were ever even alive in the first place?

have you ever felt so consumed with self-loathing

that taking a razor to your skin feels like pleasure, not a sin?

have you ever felt so alone,

that the only person you talk to is yourself,

but even then,  that person only speaks words of hatred

jumping at the chance to tear you down,

rip you to pieces, chew you up and spit you out,

hacking up your self esteem

torching your love, drowning your optimism?

 

 

if you have never felt like this

consider yourself very lucky

because that means that the thought

of ending

yourself

your life

your world

has never made its dwelling in your mind

a parasite burrowing and burrowing

deeper and deeper,

eating away at your brain

gnawing at your logic, chewing on your sensibility

if you have never felt the aching pain of depression

as it takes over your body

clutching your heart tightly

weighing you down.

the unwanted visitor

the parasite that sucks every ounce of life out of you

until you are a broken shell of a person,

then calling suicide “selfish” is ignorant.

 

 

it is ignorant because you have lived your life in brightness

a life painted in neon ink

you have never fallen down the bleak, cold rabbit hole,

so how dare you pass judgement on people who don’t know how to get out of it.

 

 

if you think suicide is selfish,

then you have simply never been depressed before.

wake up

Walking up to the door,

Heart pounding, mind spinning

Fidget with the zipper of my coat, I look up to the sky

Close my eyes tight, hoping with every fibre of my being

That somehow, somewhere, a God is listening to me,

“Please, please let everything be okay”

I plead, desperately as my sweaty hand presses down on the rusty handle

 

The dead silence that scream at me

Tells me everything I need to know

Things are not okay

I guess God was too busy today

I walk slowly to the living room,

Dejected and apathetic shell of being

and I find you there,

Mouth open, eyes closed, snoring heavily

I would put a blanket over you, but I just don’t want to

You did this again,

You let this happen again.

 

I delicately open your bag,

Your personal vessel of self-destruction, there in plain sight

The delicious poison you crave so much

The poison you’d rather drink yourself to sleep with

to blot out the pain of all the problems you cannot face

than to stay sober long enough to say hello to your daughter

that you haven’t seen in a month

 

I suppress the urge to wake you up

What use is it to wake someone up

If they are perpetually asleep?

Every trace of the woman you were is gone,

She is drowning from in the toxic syrup that coarses through you veins

 

You don’t care

The only thing you care about is the burn

The burn of cheap supermarket vodka

As it scorches your sore throat

The burn that comforts you with the promise of numbness

The promise of a dulled down, sedated non-life that you chase

The feeling of being so drunk, that no amount of vomiting can bring you back down to Earth

 

You refuse to live down here with us,

So I refuse to stick around for the aftermath

 

 

 

crown

the world hasn’t broken me in the way it broke you
but if you take a close look at the skin under my eyes
you’ll see, they are darkened
from all the sleepless nights
and if you look at my wrists, you’ll see
remnants of self hatred
my shoulders are crooked from carrying
the worries of my family and friends
my back, bruised from all the feet
i’ve allowed to tread on me
my mind has been twisted and turned
from the venomous words
of pre-pubescent boys
thirsty for tears
you see, really
i’m just as broken as you
but i will not let the world beat me down

i will wear my scars like paint
and my hardships upon my head
like a crown

 

gratitude

thinking about life after hearing that someone who I met very recently has committed suicide.

life is poop sometimes.. but oh my god, am I grateful to be alive. I am so thankful for my confusing, stupid, crazy, beautiful life.

eternally grateful

 

On life, empathy and the importance of listening.

So, a few weeks ago now, probably over a month ago, I went on a night out with my boyfriend and his friends. One of the guys had brought his friend along, let’s call him Alex. I ended up really hitting it off with Alex and we talked almost the whole night. He was so funny, so kind.. and just generally one of the nicest humans I’ve ever met. Yesterday, December 16th, my boyfriend told me that Alex had killed himself. Alex is dead. Alex was 21.

Now, I did not know Alex very well and had only ever spoken to him that night, and that night only. However, when I heard the news, I felt like my heart was sinking. I could not believe it. He seemed so happy when I met him, but we all know that people are experts at hiding how they feel. He had been a  part of my life for those 4/5 hours that we were out for, but I felt this pain in my chest that still hasn’t gone away.

It feels really unnerving that this guy that I had had so much fun with that night is now no longer here, he is gone. Just like that. He was here two months ago, now he’s not. Whenever I had gone out with the same bunch after the night I met Alex, I kept hoping he would join us again sometime, he was just so lovely. Now I know that he never will.

What must have been going on in his life for him to think that death was the only way out? What must his poor family be going through? How long had he been struggling for? Did anyone know?

All of these questions have been on my heart since I heard the news, and it just breaks my heart. I’m sure his parent had no idea that their poor boy was struggling. I bet his friends did not have a clue that Alex was depressed. It got me thinking about how we suppress our emotions so much, or how we do not talk about how we’re feeling if it’s not good feelings.

Well, guess what happens when we do not want to listen to “negative emotions”? People fucking kill themselves. People kill themselves because they feel so desperately sad, and they feel like everyone around them is just so happy all the time so what is the point of talking to them about something that they cannot relate to?

If you are reading this, and you are depressed, please know that most people in your life have felt sad before, and quite a lot of them have felt depressed, too. They just don’t fucking talk about it as they want to keep up this stupid facade that their life is sunshine and rainbows all the damn time!

Listen, I’m a generally happy person – I have a positive attitude and I know that whatever shit I’m going through will eventually subside. However, actually just two weeks ago I was super irritable and pretty much crying for most of the week. It’s called being human – sometimes humans feel overwhelmed, sometimes we feel sad, sometimes life just gets a bit too much.

I wish people would talk about their feelings more, and I wish that people would be more willing to listen to people talk about how they ACTUALLY feel. Who knows, maybe if Alex had spoken to hi friends, he would not have killed himself. I’m not saying his depression would be cured with just one conversation, but maybe he would not have killed himself. Maybe he would still be alive today. But he’s not.

I wish I could have told him that night, that I cared for him, and that I thought he was great. I wish I could have been there before he took those pills and given him a big hug, and tell him that he is so loved, has got so much potential, and that I’m here for him if he wants to talk.

Please whoever is reading this, listen to your friends. ASk them how they’re ACTUALLY doing. Tell them that you love them. Tell them just how awesome you think they are.

A little conversation could be the difference between life and death for some people.

 

 

To you, Alex: I wish you had not killed yourself. I wish you were still here. I wish you were excited about going home to your family for Christmas. I wish I got to talk to you again.

You will never be forgotten, and you are dearly missed. I had only spoken to you once, and I am so affected by your death.

I hope you rest in peace, you beautiful, lovely human.

I’m sorry.

 

 

 

skeletons

don’t you wish you could have so much self control,

so much so that you starve yourself to death

denying your body the nourishment it craves

because you’re to busy chasing graves

deny, and restrict

with every grumble of your raging stomach cheering you closer to the finish line

you whine about how fat you are

but no one else sees what you see

how can it be that a girl like you, has been made a graveyard for skeletons like these?

 

checking label after label

googling the calorie content of every tiny morsel of food

that passes through your reluctant mouth

“oh, please don’t let my thighs get too big, from all the 300 calories i ate today!”

you will hope and wish

and wish and pray

that the hunger fades

and the fat stays away

keep cravings at bay

by guzzling a gallon of water

slowly inflating

your deserted stomach

numbing the pain,

silencing the desperate grumbles that reminds you that you are a human, not a dainty doll

you cannot go on like this.

the skeletons are winning.

 

no one will know the secret you hold

because you’ve become an expert at concealing and hiding

“i already ate”

yous say, seconds after throwing up your breakfast in the bathroom

but when the day comes where your body gets too weak

that you spend the day holed up in your room

because walking downstairs is just too exhausting

your hair starts to get thinner

your teeth are dissolving

yet, the coveted feeling of empty is just too delicious to abandon

isn’t this what you wanted?

the skeletons will say

as your once youthful pallor turns into a pale grey

 

people are not complimenting you anymore.

the astounded statements of

“wow, you’re so thin, what’s your secret?

i wish i was as thin as you”

have now ceased

people start to ask if you’re ill

they are starting to worry about you

but these skeletons

they feed off this worry

the bigger they grow and grow

the stronger they get

with every  utter of

“you look too skinny, are you sure you’re okay? have you eaten today?

you look tired! i can see your spine, and your hipbones are jutting out,

don’t you think you should see a doctor?”

 

learn to tune out logic and reason

because they just don’t understand

just how hard you’ve worked for this.

how much research you’ve done for this!

counting, googling, and scrolling pro-ana websites

ogling over skinny girls

and protruding rib-cages, skeletal collar bones,

sharp hipbones

reading words of affirmation

that helps you on your delusional mission

for thinness

but, not just “thin”

you want bony

skinny

shockingly,

painfully,

worryingly,

deathly thin

 

the skeletons have taken over now

you’re fast becoming one of them

but isn’t it wonderful to be feather-light?

isn’t it beautiful to feel so.. empty?

isn’t it glorious to have so many people hovering around you, asking if you’re okay?

doesn’t it feel great to have dark circles so bad that your eyes look like they’ve sunken into your head?

isn’t it marvelous to have your breath reek of the meal you threw up that day?

isn’t it just fabulous when every item of clothing, even a size 2 doesn’t fit you anymore?

isn’t it lovely when your hair breaks off when you touch it?

isn’t it just absolutely delightful how much people care about you when you’re skinny?

 

the skeletons were right.

you can sleep easy now.