Reasons Why We Needed 13 Reasons Why

Hi, guys! Its Brittany again. I’m sure by now we’ve all heard of 13 Reasons Why. I mean, if you’ve been on any social media, you’ve probably seen a thousand posts about the emotional instability it puts you in. I know I cried at least 13 times (yes, I did that on purpose) during one episode. I wanted to make a post about why we needed this book and show. Forewarning, there will most definitely be spoilers in this, so I advise either watching the show in its entirety before reading this post, or you can read it and know what to expect. Its up to you.

My first reason: it really opens your eyes to the subject of suicide. You’re no longer just getting a lecture about the warning signs of suicide, you’re seeing it fold out in a pretty realistic way. It also didn’t hold back any of the details of it. It even goes as far as showing the act. I really think that the media, shows, and movies make suicide much cleaner, for lack of better word. It doesn’t leave your mind to wonder about how she did it or what it was like for her. You see it, you see her pain, you see her struggle. They normally don’t show it, I for one haven’t seen many movies or shows that involve the actual scene. It normally just implies that it happened.

Reason number two: it doesn’t sugar coat rape. It shows the emotional impact on the person once they’ve been raped. Its another difficult subject that all means of entertainment have tried to stray away from. This is a serious problem. It doesn’t avoid it and it doesn’t change scenes when it gets uncomfortable. You should feel uncomfortable, this isn’t something you should feel comfortable with. I also think that it does a good job at showing the society’s response, or at least the response of the people who knew about it. They all tried to keep it a secret, not only from the authorities but also the girl that it happened to. Also, this a clear example of the “Well, if she wasn’t drunk, it wouldn’t have happened.” NO! This is all the way wrong. Wrong all over the place. Had the guy been able to control himself in the presence of an unconscious girl, it wouldn’t have happened. Rape is never the victims fault. It also showed the struggle for Clay to understand HOW they could not have said anything.

Reason three: WORDS AND ACTIONS HURT! I capitalize that so the people in the back can hear. I’ve seen some posts that have just burned me up. One that really got to me was where they were making small of the reasons Hannah gave each of the people on the tapes. All of the tapes were reason enough. They all did something to affect her. They all played a part in her decision. Back to the first sentence in this reason— Words hurt. I don’t think people realize how deeply what they say can cut someone. (SPOILER ALERT) Justin spreading the rumor about her wasn’t a small reason. Zach stealing her notes wasn’t a small reason. Alex and Jessica breaking off their friendship wasn’t a small reason. Tyler taking pictures wasn’t a small reason. The rape wasn’t a small reason. (DONE WITH SPOILER) None of her reasons were small. None were insignificant. You do not know how much your words or actions can affect someone. This is why being kind is always the best route.

Four: It shows the life of a high schooler. Everyone thinks that the drama and stress that someone in high school goes through is just pointless and insignificant once you get out of school and start your life. This isn’t the case. I know. I know. Well, Brittany, you’re in high school, where do you get to talk? I am in high school. I know that people think that the stress that I am going through right now is dumb and that I should get over it. But high school is all I know right now. I don’t know what its like to have a family of my own, to be out of school, to be in my career. I don’t know any of these things. All I know is the six classes that I go to (well, I go to three right now) and the teachers that I see every day. What may seem like dumb stress that isn’t needed to someone thats already on their path through life, is my whole life. I’m almost through. I am just weeks from walking across the stage at graduation. That’s my biggest stress. So, when you see Hannah, getting knocked down over and over and over, it’s not just stupid high school drama. It is her life. It is all she knows at this point. She doesn’t know that it changes. She just hears those words and thinks, “That can’t possibly be the case, this is far too bad.” High school stress and “drama” isn’t insignificant or pointless, it is our lives.

Five: It shows what happens to your family, classmates, and friends after you’re gone. It even said in the show, “They’d be better if I wasn’t here.” That’s not the case. In 13 Reasons Why, it shows Hannah’s parents struggling so much, trying to find the reason why she did it. Why they hadn’t caught that she was so upset. It shows them just grasping at strings that they think will lead them to the answer. With Clay, he is so angry at himself. He knows that he did something, but he can’t figure out what or why he didn’t try harder to love her. He was trying to find what he could have done differently. Alex and Jessica wanted to know why they hadn’t just stayed friends with her. All of these questions are whys. Sadly, most times, there’s nothing that could have been done… after. During her life, they could have seen, but that can be difficult. They could have just been kinder and not have avoided her. But when something this tragic happens, so many different actions that could have been taken rush through the minds of the people that were left. Although seeing everyone so distraught and helpless made me feel so upset and emotional, I think seeing these actors portray the struggle that a loved one might face was seriously incredible because it felt so real.

Six: She was a normal girl up until the point that it happened. I say normal loosely because I like to think of everyone as unique. She wasn’t antisocial she didn’t mope around, she was a “happy” girl. Although she showed the warning signs, she didn’t seem like she was going to commit suicide. She cut her hair, that’s one of the warning signs- changing your appearance. Okay, this isn’t very noticeable though. People cut their hair. This is one overlooked warning sign. Everyone just thought she had wanted a trendy new haircut. There were countless other signs, I would go into detail about the others, but this paragraph would be too long. The problem with today is that we don’t go around looking for the warning signs of suicide. We really don’t. If you do, kudos to you. I wish there were more people like you. I wish I was like you. I think that 13 Reasons Why will open up everyone’s eyes to the warning signs,  though. I really hope that it does.

Now, I had planned to do thirteen reasons, but honestly I think you might get my point. Saying this show is stupid and making jokes about it doesn’t do anyone any good at all. I understand not liking the show, people have different preferences, but honestly in my opinion, I think everyone should watch it. I think we needed this representation of suicide. I also encourage people to read the book. Guys, seriously its super good and I think that it helps show you what’s going through Clay’s mind a lot better and you can feel what he feels. I don’t think we should downplay suicide, bullying, and rape like we do. I think it should be talked about and I think we should try as hard as we can to stop it.

If you feel like you need to talk to someone or feel as if suicide is the only option, please call. You’re life is worth far more than you could possibly believe. Don’t let yourself feel like you’re not worth it.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline




The Harsh Truth from the Mind of a Spoonie

FullSizeRender 6.jpgI used to be that person that would constantly complain on social media, or to anyone around about how horrible it is to live with migraines. I would post on Twitter, Facebook, etc. every time I was in pain, thinking somebody would care. Nobody ever did. I would still lay in my bed, alone, and clenching my fists in pain. Nothing ever changed.

I complained to my dad that nobody ever cared about anybody who was in actual pain. That people would ask for remedies for what they think is a migraine, or something that a doctor can easily cure, but I’m still fighting in the world alone because nobody ever cares about something that never gets better. So dad told me something that sort of punched me in the chest: nobody cares about anything that doesn’t affect them. Unless they are sick, or it’s something that will affect them in any way, nobody bothers to care about it, especially if it’s an invisible illness. That’s just how society is.

You see, there are very few people who can say that they really truly care about chronically ill people. You get tired of caring after so long: this is something that never goes away, it’s always there to ruin your plans with the person. It’s something that you can’t see: the person doesn’t have a temperature, their bone isn’t protruding from their leg, and their hair isn’t falling out. They show no sign of pain, illness, or if they’re even telling the truth. How do you know they aren’t just asking for attention or wanting the drugs? You have to be able to really and truly trust this person, and a lot of people do not have the ability to do that.

A lot of people just don’t care. They’ve listened to you complain for so long and it’s just boring to them. You never get better, there is no “remission” to celebrate over dinner. It’s something they don’t understand, and they don’t care to understand because it isn’t something that they have to go through. They might ask you if you’re getting better whenever they see you in public to refrain from being that person that makes awkward eye contact and just ignores you as they walk by, and of course the answer is no—it will always be no. It isn’t the flu or a broken leg. Obviously you can’t hold it against them because if you hadn’t caught the bullet in illness roulette, you probably wouldn’t care either.

After dealing with a chronic illness for so long, you might start to develop mental disorders. Imagine being diagnosed with a disease that will affect you for the rest of your life. Imagine getting out of bed in pain, or fearing all day that a flare will occur in the most inappropriate time. Imagine looking forward to something (ex. vacation or graduation) for so long, and suffering through it. Do you see where I’m going with this?

I’m going to tell you something that happened when I was in 11th grade, 2 years after I was diagnosed with a neurological disorder. That year I went through many tests and loss. I became distant from all of my friends, I stopped caring about my appearance, I felt like a hollow shell because I felt like I didn’t deserve to live anymore, I didn’t want to.  I would think of ways that I could kill myself, wondering how many pills I could swallow before I was gone, or how fast I needed to hit a tree to get out easy. The sad part is that wasn’t even the worst of my pain. Obviously I still go through bouts where I just don’t want to exist, I don’t want to be in anymore pain.  I sit up at night and cry, and I know I’m not the only one. There are so many people that deal with mental disorders, and nobody cares until something bad happens. “They’re just asking for attention.” “They’re just weak, everybody goes through what they are going through.” “They don’t know what a bad life is.”

I’ve gone through many friends because of my illness. It’s nobody’s fault but my illness, and I would never blame them because I hate myself sometimes. I wish I had the ability to leave me. People don’t understand what they’re stepping into when they’re involved with a chronically ill person. It’s more than just watching them taking medication: it’s watching your friend suffer, never keeping plans, and slowly drifting away. I wish it was easy enough to just pop some pills in my mouth and be able to go on with my day. I wish I could say that I haven’t cancelled plans, or had to leave early to go home and take meds. I wish I didn’t have people staring at us while I take my pills at the dinner table. I wish I was normal just as much as you.

A lot of people with chronic illnesses find comfort in online support groups. A few I follow on Instagram are @themightysite @youngpeople_chronicillnesses @amigrainelife @chronicpainprincess and @thatdefyinggravityspoonie. They’re all extremely helpful, kind, and supportive. There are so many more for your specific illness that offer remedies just for you. They’ve all helped me so much, whether it be just to give me the support I need to continue going, or helping find relief when I’m in pain.

I urge you that if you have a chronic illness, please don’t just complain about it. Do something about it. Share articles about your illness, share experiences, share resources for people to read and understand. Instead of complaining about it, inform people about it. Be supportive to others with chronic illnesses, because they are in pain too. You know how it feels when somebody actually researches your illness, why not be the light for somebody else? Try to understand what they’re going through. Share the good things, “Heck to the yes! New meds are actually working and today is a good day” People enjoy seeing something other than disappointing news, and your new management might help others in pain too. Most importantly, never give up. Don’t give up on treatments, don’t give up on the good days, don’t give up on yourself.

Also, if you have a mental disorder, please reach out for help. I am always available to talk, because nobody deserves to suffer alone. If you just need to talk, if you want advice, if you need anything, please reach out to me. I will help you figure out a way to get help. I want to help you. You are not crazy, you are not alone, you are not a burden. The world deserves somebody as unique and beautiful as you are, and don’t think there is only one way out of whatever you are going through. You’ve got this, and I will stand by your side as you fight.


“You’re not alone, you’re with me”