Like many people out there, I recently watched the Netflix original, Thirteen Reasons Why.
I’ve heard and read a LOT of different reactions to this series. In fact, I hadn’t read the novel because my friend read it and told me about how awful it was. How Hannah Baker was so wimpy. Whining about stupid things. And I thought, great another author who doesn’t get depression or suicide but writes about it any way. Because if I’ve learned anything from this life, it’s that people who have never suffered from real depression, anxiety, panic attacks, addiction, any form of mental illness, they just can’t grasp the idea. They try, they listen. But their brains just can’t make the connection to what we are saying, and their own life.
So here’s another post (there are likely thousands out there) telling you what I took away from Thirteen reasons why.
I was almost Hannah Baker.
From the outside you would never expect someone like me to have serious depression or anxiety. But I do. Someone recently said to me “What do YOU have to be depressed or worried about?” Well, that’s not how anxiety or depression works.
I don’t think we should EVER belittle someone’s attempts to talk about their struggles. Because we never know what’s going on in someone else’s world. It’s impossible to know how it really feels to be in someone else’s life.
When I made it to the 13th tape, and listened to Hannah try to reach out. Try to tell someone what was going on in her life. How empty, lost, and alone she felt…. I just sat there thinking he doesn’t get it. But I do. I’ve been where Hannah was. In such a dark place you can’t see any way out.
I think if we learned anything from watching Hannah’s final thoughts reach out and explain to her former friends how it all went so wrong, it’s that it really isn’t that hard to end up like Hannah Baker. Lots of little thinks coming together and you start to sink. And what’s sadder to me, is that every one of them could have made it better for Hannah. They could have listened, helped her. Told the truth. Been her friend.
I’m lucky, I may not have had great friends, but I had something. One thing that made me happy. One thing to keep me going.
I’m not sure what I would do without my horses in my life. Because, we live in a society where we are taught to be ashamed of needing help.
I have three best friends.
The first is truly one of those people who no matter how hard she tries, she can never really grasp the dark and twisted parts of me.
The second, is a harder situation. Very complicated. He has his own inner demons, so truthfully he might could understand. But for a long time we haven’t seen eye to eye on a very important thing. He’s in love with me. And I see him only as a friend. Yes I am aware, not a very original story there, but an honest one nevertheless. I fear sinking him under the weight of my own issues, when he’s struggling to stay afloat as well at times.
My final best friend… she could really probably get it the best. She’s grown up with me, seen the ups and downs of life. And maybe I should find some courage and talk to her. But I don’t want her to look at me as damaged. Which I am. Even though I know that NONE of this is something to be ashamed of… I am ashamed. I want to be stronger. I’m not sure how to get past that.
I’ve tried therapy, and maybe it would be better if I lived somewhere else…. but therapist options are very limited when you live in a small town in the middle of no where. They just don’t ask the write questions. Which is what I need more than anything. For someone to ask the right questions, and care enough to listen to the answers.
I guess my point here, is don’t be quick to judge the Hannah Baker’s of the world. Don’t be quick to brush away when someone tries to tell you they are struggling. It’s not easy to do. And when people find the courage to talk about it, they should be taken seriously.
You never know what who someone else’s inner demons really are. Just because they don’t seem like the type, or their lives seem like they have it all, doesn’t mean they aren’t having problems.