Over the weekend, my grandmother and I sat down to watch a show that recently aired on Netflix, 13 Reasons Why, and although I did sit down to watch all 13 episodes, I didn’t quite walk away with what I think the point was aimed to be.
It’s interesting that the book, by the same name, has been around for at least a decade. But it hasn’t always been popular. It’s like this anti-bullying type deal.
I think that’s great.
So, while people are in the mood to talk about this problem, let’s talk about it.
They say the point is so that you will be accepting of people, because you don’t know what they have going on in their life. You should always be kind.
As a teen, I suffered with major depression. Yes, I was suicidal. I thought about hurting myself and hurting others often. Here’s the point I think it missed: People don’t really contribute as much as they made it seem. Because first, a person who is that depressed isn’t looking at life through the same lens as everyone else. The world is cold. Even the smallest little thing could make a person sink deeper.
I had my reasons too:
- I was overweight.
- Because I’d had to repeat the 3rd grade, I was older than most.
- I felt unwanted.
- Only people I connected with were in books.
- I had a vision of how my life was supposed to be.
- My family didn’t have a whole lot of money.
- Eventually, I developed a hereditary disease that made me so sick I’d get to school and pass out. I started losing so much weight I looked ill and weird. As a result, I dropped out of high school.
- Post being a drop-out. I was a drop out.
- I was committed to an institution for psychological evaluation that lasted at least a week.
When you’re that low, you don’t feel the warm hugs and smiling faces. The people trying to encourage you and give comfort. Life is all bad, all the time. Except for those moments when it’s not; and if you were in as deep as me, you know that those moments are rare.
Depression is really a state, or type of self-consumption. Why? You’re consumed with the idea that somehow you’re the problem. All of these things aren’t happening to anyone else.
Your perception of life is bleak. You don’t have energy to do anything, see anyone, go anywhere. Any attempts to climb out seem to land you deeper into the sunken place. (yes, that’s a Get Out reference). I think a lot more people are trapped inside the sunken place than actually admit it. That place is about lack/loss, of control.
If you haven’t seen, or read, 13 Reasons Why, here’s where I tell you a little about it. Yes, I’m going to really spoil the whole thing, so go watch it and then come back if you have to.
So, we have this sophomore in high school named Hannah who seems to have started off with a pretty normal life. She’s new to the school so she’s going through the “Where do I fit in?” phase. That is, until she fell in like with reason number one, Justin, who kissed her on the playground and then told everyone that they went all the way. There was a picture that floated around the school, so then she got labeled as the school slut. She’s down about this for a while but then finds friendship with two other people who are new to the school too. They become reasons two and three. Reasons four and five slap on a few other rumors that essentially not only make Hannah the school slut, but also the school lesbian slut. Six and seven are your typical showboats.
I’ve gotten bored talking about it. For the rest, just check it out here.
Ultimately, Hannah ends up committing suicide as the result of being unable to cope on her own and the failure of a counselor to provide her with the proper resources or the advise she wanted/needed to hear. Before she takes her life she left behind these tapes that she wants her 13 reasons to pass around. The whole situation is sad, but it happens.
Should we gloss over the fact that in her wake, we end up with 12 individuals that aren’t coping very well? Especially Clay (who is our link to the present) because he starts to have walking nightmares and delusions.
Sure, she wanted them to hurt. Wanted them to feel what they had done to her. But is she justified?
Maybe that’s the part that bothers me most. The justification is almost like a trial.
“This is why I did what I did.”
Where is the beauty in that?
The message is that we need to treat everyone with kindness so that they don’t go off and kill themselves in the middle of the day? If that’s the case, we would all be walking on eggshells rather than just living. Essentially, everyone is a ticking-time-bomb.
That’s the point.
Hope that everyday isn’t going to be the same. That your present sadness isn’t going to endure forever. It’s overwhelming. It’s unbearable. But HOPE is what takes the edge off.
The story or the book don’t really leave too much room for hope. Or coping. It’s when that essential hope is missing that you have the opposite, more crushing end of it: hopelessness.
I’m an avid writer of real life issues.
For me, 13 Reasons Why, is just a sensationalized attempt at putting a face on an issue that leaves you with more questions that answers.