An Open Letter To Hannah Baker
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An Open Letter To Hannah Baker

This letter is, hypothetically, addressed to anyone who has turned on their laptops/televisions, watched this new series, and seen themselves in you.

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An Open Letter To Hannah Baker
Refinery 29

Dear Hannah Baker,

You are a fictitious character in Netflix's new series 13 Reasons Why that is based off of Jay Asher's novel. You have taken the world by storm- your face is all over social media, with comments such as "The story of Hannah Baker can set other people straight", and "Hannah Baker has us all shook", and "Watch 13 Reasons Why and you'll realize just how important every little thing you say to someone really is. be kind, it could save a life."

You have made a wave, Hannah. But it took your suicide, and the story behind it, to do that.

The thing is, Hannah Baker, is that this letter isn't really addressed to you. Hypothetically, it is addressed to anyone who has turned on their laptops/televisions, watched this new series, and seen themselves in you.

At a point of my life, I can look back and see myself in you. High school is rough. Girls are mean and obsessed with their status, gossiping over anything from who stole whose boyfriend to whose shirts looks absolutely hideous, to "look at her, who does she think she is?". Boys "will be boys", flocking around the hallways in herds... with the "jocks", the "popular kids" at the top of the food chain, making anyone below them feel inferior. Contrary to popular belief, they talk just as much as girls. Who slept with who, who looks "hot" today, who is most definitely "not looking hot" today.

High School is a war zone. And if you get out unscathed, you are one of the lucky ones.

Self-esteems are shattered, innocence is stolen, and kids grow up far faster than they ever would have if they had not gone through those doors at the ripe age of 14.

Rumors are spread. Girls are poked fun at, and their pictures are sent around the school. They're called sluts, fake, "bitchy". Boys are pushed into the lockers if they aren't considered "tough" or "manly".

Once these comments are made one too many times, you start to believe them. Once you make a mistake, and rumors are spread, and people think you are "weird, a slut, a freak"... when you feel insignificant, unloved, and alone... isn't it easier to just kill yourself? Like, you did, Hannah?

No. It isn't.

There is someone who you meant the world to, whether they told you or not.

There is someone whose heart was ripped out when they got the news you were gone. There is someone who screamed, cried, punched a wall, asking whoever was up above why they would let you fall so deep that you thought killing yourself was the only answer. There is someone that will, despite their family and friends telling them not to, that will blame themselves every single day.

There is a community that will cry for you, a parent who will wish they "saw the signs". There is a sibling, a cousin, a kid who looks up to you that will wonder why their love wasn't enough to make you stay.

There is a best friend that will never be the same.

There is a loyal pet that will forever be wondering why their favorite person isn't coming home anymore.

There is a family that will have to make funeral arrangements instead of excitedly anticipating the next birthday.

There is a whole collection of people that you meant something to, a whole collection of people that you didn't feel like you could talk to them.

You were loved beyond measure, and now are you aren't around to realize that.

As I said before, there was a time in my life where I was like you, Hannah Baker.

I felt defeated, dejected, alone.

I was the girl who cried herself to sleep at night in high school, the girl who tried to tell her friends that she was hurting and was left behind because they didn't want to associate with the "depressed girl".

I was you, Hannah Baker, because I suffered through depression all through high school... and even though I was "well-liked" and "always had a smile on my face and a kind word to say", I was sinking, and I was sinking fast.

People weren't always the nicest to me, Hannah. That's another way I'm like you. I would go above and beyond for everyone, only to be left out of prom pictures, to not be invited to parties, to be the girl who didn't have a solid friend group.

I had friends, yes I did. But I felt alone even in the most crowded of rooms.

My friends all lived with the assumption that if you don't see depression, it's not real.

Your character dealt with that too, Hannah. Your sadness, your cries for help were ignored, and nothing was acknowledged until you were gone.

I was fortunate enough to never get to the point where you were. But to those who feel like they are at that point, this letter is also for you.

You are enough. You are worth it. You matter. People love you more than you could ever imagine, and their world will be forever changed by your absence.

Don't give up on yourself, don't give up on your family and friends, don't give up on your potential to have an amazing life. There are better days, memories, and people ahead of you. There is so much more ahead than what there ever could be left behind.

You just need to be around to see it.

Promise yourself you'll be around to see it.



Hannah, your character sends a message.

It is a message that I wish never had to be sent.

Love people, be kind, because you never know what they may be going through.

As wonderful as that message is, it breaks my heart that there is not enough awareness, that people are still committing suicide like you did... people are still seeing it as their only option.

Let your character change lives, and hopefully save them. Your pain may be "fictional" in a sense, but it is very, very, real. People go through what you did on a daily basis, and I pray that your character, your tapes... makes people realize how much their death would impact those around them.


Sincerely,

Someone who understands

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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