How “13 Reasons Why” fucked me up (Trigger warning: Self harm & SPOILER ALERT!)

Welcome back my lovelies!

Clearly I did something right if you are back to read another post about my ridiculous life. For those who know me, you’re about to get a glimpse of the dark side. For those who don’t know me, hopefully you won’t run out of kleenex.

As your hostess with the most-est with occasional halitosis, I must admit, “13 Reasons Why” had me allll in my feelings ya’ll.

Honestly, I’m torn. I loved it because it was a series that brought to light some of the evils of high school. On the other hand, it made suicide trivial and almost like it was something that people do on Thursday evenings just because the wifi stopped working.

SPOILER ALERT & TRIGGER WARNING: I’M ABOUT TO GIVE A QUICK SUMMARY OF THE STORYLINE. ALSO, DISCUSSION OF SUICIDE AND SELF HARM IS IMMEDIATELY AFTER THIS WARNING.

In a nut shell, Hannah, the main character, was a wicked attractive high school student that was bullied, sexually assaulted, and left to fend for herself in the rigid high school hierarchy. Long story short, she felt like she couldn’t take it anymore and slit her wrist in the bathtub of her home, leaving her mother to find her lifeless and cold, wading in a pool of her own blood.

This is where I have the issue. In the last episode where Clay (the “innocent” geeky hero), tells Mr.Porter (the high school counselor) about his tape, he tells him about how she left school and committed suicide after their meeting. Not only do we hear about what happened, we freaking see it. Step by step, agonizing moment after agonizing moment. We see Hannah, empty and broken, prepare the tub, get in with her clothes on, and literally slit her wrist. No they don’t pan up to her face while she cries and screams in pain, they do a wide shot so we can see her slowly dragging the blade down both her arms and the blood gush into the tub, slowly changing the water from a hopeful clear to a heart-wrenching crimson.

Watching this, I was frozen. I explained this experience to my best friend as if I was having an out of body experience. I knew I was watching her take her life, but for some reason I sat stiff with eyes glued to the screen as if it wasn’t me watching it.

All I could feel in my body was the emptiness I felt the day of my suicide attempt.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, how in the hell could a crazy, fun-loving libra like you want to die? Well, I didn’t always have this lust for life, and honestly, lexapro, good food, and amazing people keep me in this positive light; well, most of the time at least.

Like Hannah, I’ve had my share of sexual assault and bullying, but the difference between her portrayal of a depressive state and mine, is that mine has been around for as long as I can remember.

Yet another issue I have with that show; the way in which her depressive state was portrayed was as if it came and went with who decided to be her friend. Depression doesn’t just happen based on circumstance. It can be affected and worsened by circumstance, but it’s something that is engrained in your DNA; you can’t escape it.

I won’t speak for everyone who has ever dealt with depression, but for me, it showed it’s ugly ass by prompting me to be a very sensitive being. I was always that kid that would shy away from interaction and find solace in the pages of a book during recess. The kid that would come home and head straight to their room and just cry for no reason at all. The kid that would look in the bathroom cabinet for things to help me sleep forever with no idea why I wanted to.

I wore depression more than my favorite pair of jeans.

Like Hannah however, my suicide attempt did come about due to the feeling of immense emptiness and nothingness. That is one thing I can say made sense in the depiction of her unfortunate end.

I guess my major issue was with the last episode since that’s all I’m talking about. I just don’t think it was fair to the suppressive parts of my brain that wanted to shield me from that space I was in, when even the most bright of summer days was gray. It wasn’t fair to be put back into that scary space just by watching someone place their last breaths in the hands of a thin silver razor.

Maybe my issue is with their lack of proper warning. Telling me that the upcoming scenes will have to do with suicide and self harm, and may not be suitable for children under a certain age doesn’t prepare me for what connections I would be able to make to my own life. It didn’t prepare me for the way I had to rush for my notebook and happy songs to steer me away from the calm whisper of death. It didn’t prepare me for the hour or two I sat still in my room thinking of all the ways I could’ve ended it that night, right after watching that episode.

That’s the issue I have with fucking 13 Reasons Why.

Why the hell would they make suicide a show? Some type of form of sick entertainment to make us understand the “harms of bullying”. What kinda of shit is that?

Did they even think about how many people were Hannah? Did they stop to ponder the impact that scene, among the many scenes of sexual assault would have on those who fight their own pasts every fucking day?

No the fuck they didn’t .

So instead of starting a new Netflix series, one that would have me weak to my stomach with laughter, I’m here writing about how that show had me in my bag. Talking about how now, more than ever, I rely on my Lexapro to give me that extra pep in my step every morning. About how I will choose my “entertainment” wisely. About how Hannah’s last moments will forever be engrained in my memory as the day I watched myself in that bathroom.

Fucking hell.

Since you’re not used to me going off on a depressive rant, I will end with this.

At least I’m still here today. Right?

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