So it’s been over 3 weeks since the Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” was released. By now I’m sure that more than half of the English speaking population has watched it. My entire Facebook Friend List definitely has!
So it’s no longer a secret/spoiler that the show is based on the theme of teenage suicide. Based on the novel of the same name by author Jay Asher, initially the show was widely praised for it’s approach towards suicide awareness. Not only that, but the show was intense, captivating and could set you on the edge of your seat. I for one was guilty of binge-watching the entire show in one go. It was just that good.
This show. It does something to you. It’s difficult to put into words, the after effects this show can have on an individual. It may vary from person to person, but it definitely plunges deep into your soul and makes you look at life differently. Which is exactly why, the positive articles were closely followed by articles declaring the show a trigger for people battling depression and suicidal thoughts.
So before I give out my verdict, here are thirteen thoughts I had after I finished watching the show last week. Along with, thirteen things I wish I could say to Hannah Baker.
1- High school sucks. But so does life. You have to learn to face it. In school, you have bullies, overwhelming academics, over-expecting parents, peer pressure etc. But they’re just the tip of the iceberg called life. High school ends. But problems do not. They too evolve, so it’s vital to evolve and mature with them.
Hannah, this isn’t it. I cannot promise a perfect tomorrow. But I can tell you that this isn’t it. There’s more to life than this. Bad, maybe. But good too.
2- You find some, you lose some. I think it’s safe to say that we cross paths with dozens of people in one lifetime. We make friends, we create immortal memories. But then we drift apart. We fall out of touch, we become strangers. But then we also meet strangers who later, become friends. That’s just how life is. It’s impossible to have it any other way.
Hannah, people suck ok? They come and go. But then they come again. I wish you had held on a little longer. I’m sure you would have met some amazing people in the years to come
3- Stick and stones. Most of us are guilty of gossiping as teenagers. And the habit only gets worse with age. But what we fail to realize, is the staggering effect it can have on a persons life. Rumors can be lies. But mostly, they stem from half truths, which is worse. Because in that case, the subject of the rumor stands no chance of defending his/herself.
Hannah, they say people talk. But people don’t just talk, they talk shit. And you can’t stop them. I wish it didn’t have to be this way but it is. They talk. And then they stop talking and move on. I wish you had stayed around long enough for that.
4- He isn’t worth it. They never are. Enough said. It’s just another thing you learn along the way. That a broken heart doesn’t kill you. Unless you let it.
Hannah, you were worth so much more than the idiotic guys made you feel. I wish the right one had come along earlier.
5- Fight for your passion.
Our likes and dislikes are exactly what give our lives meaning. They set us apart from everyone else. And so they are worth fighting for. No matter how old you are, you need to stay in touch with the things that drive you.
Hannah, I wish I could tell you that you were an amazing poet. Perhaps your words were too good for this cruel world and it’s cruel people.
6- It’s the little things.
It literally is. Although these little things are hard to come by, and even harder to spot, sometimes, they’re all we get. It’s unfair and cruel, but it’s the bitter truth. Often than not, these little things can be big enough to last us a million lifetimes. If only we learn to cherish them with all our hearts, before they fly right by us.
Hannah, I wish you had looked harder and longer for the little things.
7– Cut out the poison. Some people will never care. Whether you’re alive or dead. They would be least bothered either way. So why bother keeping such people around at all? Cut them out. Cut out all the poison from your life. Rid yourself of all the abusive relationships around you, be it friends, family or a boyfriend/girlfriend.
Hannah, not everyone cares. But some people do. They’re the ones you needed to stay alive for.
8- Love yourself.
Because sometimes, no one else will. You have to believe in yourself because sometimes, no one else will. You have to respect yourself because sometimes, no one else will. You have to love yourself with enough passion to make you fight for the love and respect you deserve. Accept nothing less than that.
Hannah, you were a beautiful soul. And you deserved so much better.
9- Confront. Confront. Confront.You cannot shelter grudges in your heart and expect your soul to heal at the same time. Let it out. Talk. Communicate. Fight for the love you deserve. Because if you leave the wound unattended, and it’s bound to fester.
Hannah, I wish you’d never had to record the 13th tape.
10- Skeletons in the closet.Nobody’s life is perfect, don’t let them tell you otherwise. Everyone is fighting a secret war within themselves, every second of every day. It’s almost impossible not to ask the “Why me?” question every now and then. But in all honestly, it’s never just you. It’s everyone who walks this Earth.
Hannah, I wish you had opened up to someone I wish you had met someone who understood what you were going through. Maybe then you wouldn’t have felt so alone.
11- Have faith.Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. And tell yourself that you will be okay. Maybe not today. Maybe today is just a bad day. And like all bad days, this one will end too. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing is for certain in this life. But faith. Faith makes the bad days go buy just a little bit quicker.
Hannah, this too shall pass.
12- Look Around.
You might never know, who around you could be contemplating to end their life. Look closely. Ask people if they’re okay. Listen to them talk. Take the first step. A random act of kindness from you might give someone the will to live.
Hannah, someone should have seen that you were in pain. Someone should have done right by you.
13- Suicide isn’t the way out. A cliche? Maybe. But also the truth. Anything is better than ending your life. It’s the easy way out. Life is harder.
Hannah, I’m sorry for the way things went. I wish it hadn’t come to this.
Personally, I really liked the show. It was gripping and thought provoking. I can bet that it made every single individual pause and look at themselves and the people around them, at least once. The acting was brilliant. And the direction of the show was commendable.
As far as Hannah’s story goes, I will say that I understood why she succumbed to her troubles in the end. But suicide was not the answer. She was surrounded with kids her own age who were equally troubled as her. But none of them took the extreme measures that she did. I guess that only proves that some people are more fragile than others. And these people are the ones who need help and love and compassion.
As someone who’s had her fair share of depression, I can tell you that this show is no doubt a trigger for troubled individuals. I wouldn’t advise people against watching this show, but I would definitely ask them to stay strong while they watch it.
With that note,
P.S. All pictures in this post are the property of Netflix and IMDB.com