Tuesday, 11 April 2017

13 Reasons Why...

This isn’t the post I had scheduled for today, hence the stock photo, in fact, it couldn’t be further from the topic I had planned.

Yesterday I finished the Netflix Originals series 13 Reasons Why and couldn’t stop thinking about it, so much so that it was still on my mind when I woke up this morning and I just had to write something about it.

I originally considered adding this to my Netflix Binge list for a post but I really felt it needed its own post.

This series comes with a trigger warning as it contains strong themes of suicide, bullying and rape

13 Reasons Why is a 13 part TV series based on the 2007 debut novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It is the story of Hannah Baker, a 17-year-old high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind 7 audio cassettes with 13 messages recorded on them, 1 for each person that led her to the decision to take her own life.

Hannah leaves the tapes to be passed from person to person so that they know what they have done, how they made her feel and why she did what she did. They end up in the possession of her friend Clay Jenson who listens, is featured and makes it his goal to honour Hannah’s memory and see people brought to justice.

When I first heard about this show I thought it would just be a story, like the shows you see featuring these issues on the TV that are always somewhat glossed over. They touch on the subjects but are never truly shocking. But this, this was honest, raw, painful but oh so important to watch.

The camera doesn’t divert when things get uncomfortable. It doesn’t leave you to assume that something has happened, it shows you, in all it’s awful, horrific glory. From the Jock who thinks he can do what he wants to girls because ‘they are begging for it’ to the young girl who has completely given up on her life. I went from shock to actual sobbing through the journey of Hannah’s tapes and the stories of all those that affected her.

This is not an easy watch. I have read tweets from people who think it is quite slow in its storyline. I, however, think this is completely necessary. You get just the right amount of character development for the issues to hit home, hard. It definitely requires a trigger warning.

As someone who was bullied at school, even I haven’t ever felt this way about the issues addressed. Never have I watched something that has hurt so much or made me feel so strongly that it needs to be shared. People need to watch this and realise this is how it really happens sometimes.

There are those high school students who don’t just hate going to school because it’s school, their peers make them hate themselves every single day. Those young adults who feel they have no other option, they can’t see past the way they feel and ultimately decide to end their own life. And the hardest thing now, ti doesn’t just stay at school. Social Media is bigger than it has ever been and it just keeps growing. Walking out of the school gates no longer allows people to escape the misery that their classmates impose. It follows them home via their mobile phones, it contaminates their homes through their laptops.

I’m sorry that this is a bit of a random, muddled post but it is a topic that needs talking about and shows like this can start a conversation. Whether that leads to someone seeing that they have options, that they can reach out to someone or even if it makes us see that our every action has a reaction on someone’s feelings.

Just remember, just because something may not hurt you doesn’t mean that it won't be devastating to someone else.

And if you feel like you are alone, your not. Reach out. Ask for help. Even if you can’t talk to someone you know, tweet someone, me if you want to, call an anonymous helpline, just start a conversation. There is always someone to listen and you are never alone.

If you start 1 Netflix series this week, let it be this one, make a difference and watch something that isn’t easy but is necessary.

*If you are having suicidal thoughts or struggling to cope with things please call the Samaritans on 116 123 to speak to someone anonymously* 

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