A Letter To The Friends I Loved Like Sisters

A Letter To The Friends I Loved Like Sisters

"God made us best friends because he knew our parents couldn’t handle us as sisters."
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Dear Best Friend,

Our friendship has stood the test of time. We have shared tears, laughter, and a special kind of love different than the acquaintances and fair-weather friends that have passed by throughout the years.

You are the person that I call when I’m most in need. When I doubt myself, when I feel as though I could crumble to the floor – I know you are there to pick me back up again. Even at my worst, you see me at my best. Few people in this world hang around when the going gets tough. An even fewer bunch would put up with my sass, my temper, and my anxiety over menial things and still let me call them my best friend.

You are extraordinary to me in ways you could never even truly comprehend. You are the one I can count on to help me find my phone when it is in my hand. The one who edits my class essays and my angry text messages to boys. The one who continuously builds me back up when the rest of the world tears me down. You are the only one who can do this job so do not take it lightly. It takes years, a lot of stress, and countless tubs of cookie dough to get to this point in a friendship. The point in which not even the greatest of catastrophes can break our bond. You know my heart inside and out; a skill that is learned through experience, not overnight.

You may have sisters of your own - you know, those biological ones who are the true definition of unconditional love. The ones you won’t grow apart from, the ones that will never be too far away because Mom won’t allow it. But, you should know as well, that in my heart, you will always have a similar seat on a pedestal. You can’t choose who you are related to, but you can choose who has the biggest impact on your life. And I am eternally grateful that you chose me, and I chose you.

So, my beautiful friend, I make you this promise: that no matter what the distance, what the hurt we may cause each other, or what the circumstances may be, I will always find my way back to you. I will always be your sister at heart and you will always be mine. Friendships like these come around once in a lifetime, and I do not plan on missing out. I will always keep our friendship necklaces, our comic strips and cartoons we doodled in tenth grade, and our secrets. I will always be by your side, even if it is not physically. Because I know you would do it for me.

True friendships do not stem from broken promises and they certainly do not end if we do not talk every day. I vow to be there for you in all of life’s turmoil’s, even if you are not there for me. Even if we move to different states, different area codes, different time zones – my love and appreciation for you will not waiver. I will forever be proud to call you my best friend and the sister of my heart.

So, to the person I can call at three o’clock in the morning when my heart is aching, the person that pushes me to finish my English paper when all I want to do is lay in bed and watch Grey’s Anatomy; to the person who will tell me the truth about my bright red lipstick I bought on a whim, and the person who calls me up just to say they love me, I say thank you. For you have taught me what it is to truly be a friend and so much more. You have filled my life with so much joy, and I hope my daughter is one day blessed with a friend like you.

With love,

Your Sister-Friend

Cover Image Credit: http://weheartit.com/entry/209934346/search?context_type=search&context_user=novayorkelogoali&query=friendship

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31 Reasons Why I Would NEVER Watch Season 2 Of '13 Reasons Why'

It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.
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When I first started watching "13 Reasons Why" I was excited. I had struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for a long time and thought this show would be bringing light to those issues. Instead, it triggered my feelings that I had suppressed.

With season two coming out soon, I have made up my mind that I am NEVER watching it, and here is why:

1. This show simplifies suicide as being a result of bullying, sexual assault, etc. when the issue is extremely more complex.

2. It does not effectively address mental illness, which is a major factor in suicide.

3. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention has guidelines on how to portray suicides in TV shows and movies without causing more suicides.

"13 Reasons Why" disregarded those guidelines by graphically showing Hannah slitting her wrists.

4. It is triggering to those who have tried to commit suicide in the past or that struggle with mental illness.

5. It glorifies suicide.

6. It does not offer healthy coping solutions with trauma and bullying.

The only "solution" offered is suicide, which as mentioned above, is glorified by the show.

7. This show portrays Hannah as dramatic and attention-seeking, which creates the stereotype that people with suicidal thoughts are dramatic and seeking attention.

8. Hannah makes Clay and other people feel guilty for her death, which is inconsiderate and rude and NOT something most people who commit suicide would actually do.

9. This show treats suicide as revenge.

In reality, suicide is the feeling of hopelessness and depression, and it's a personal decision.

10. Hannah blames everyone but herself for her death, but suicide is a choice made by people who commit it.

Yes, sexual assault and bullying can be a factor in suicidal thoughts, but committing suicide is completely in the hands of the individual.

11. Skye justifies self-harm by saying, "It's what you do instead of killing yourself."

12. Hannah's school counselor disregards the clear signs of her being suicidal, which is against the law and not something any professional would do.

13. The show is not realistic.

14. To be honest, I didn't even enjoy the acting.

15. The characters are underdeveloped.

16. "13 Reasons Why" alludes that Clay's love could have saved Hannah, which is also unrealistic.

17. There are unnecessary plot lines that don't even advance the main plot.

18. No one in the show deals with their problems.

They all push them off onto other people (which, by the way, is NOT HEALTHY!!!).

19. There is not at any point in the show encouragement that life after high school is better.

20. I find the show offensive to not only me, but also to everyone who has struggled with suicidal thoughts.

21. The show is gory and violent, and I don't like that kind of thing.

22. By watching the show, you basically get a step-by-step guide on how to commit suicide.

Which, again, is against guidelines set by The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention.

23. The show offers no resources for those who have similar issues to Hannah.

24. It is not healthy for me or anyone else to watch "13 Reasons Why."

25. Not only does the show glorify suicide, but it also glorifies self-harm as an alternative to suicide.

26. Other characters don't help Hannah when she reaches out to them, which could discourage viewers from reaching out.

27. Hannah doesn't leave a tape for her parents, and even though the tapes were mostly bad, I still think the show's writers should have included a goodbye to her parents.

28. It simplifies suicide.

29. The show is tactless, in my opinion.

30. I feel like the show writers did not do any research on the topic of suicide or mental illness, and "13 Reasons Why" suffered because of lack of research.

31. I will not be watching season two mostly because I am bitter about the tastelessness.

And I do not want there to be enough views for them to make a season three and impact even more people in a negative way.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Cover Image Credit: Netflix

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Educate Yourself And Don’t Waste Your Time Watching Season 2 Of '13 Reasons Why'

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and there’s so much more you could be doing instead of watching Season 2.
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Last year in March, the first season of “13 Reasons Why” was released on Netflix. It was based on the book by the same title written by Jay Asher. There was so much controversy surrounding the episodes that told the tale of Hannah Baker’s struggle with relationships, friendships, mental health, and life in general.

Eventually, Hannah chose to commit suicide and leave behind 13 tapes for the people that impacted her life. A few weeks after the show was released, there was talk about a season two and after taking in the whole season, I knew that wouldn’t be a good idea.

I watched this series last year probably a week after it came out and after I had seen how much buzz was coming from it. I was aware it focused on suicide, a topic that can be extremely triggering for some individuals.

I’m attending college to be a social worker and I know that talking about suicide doesn’t automatically mean others will try to replicate the situation depicted on the show, but I was still nervous. So going into it, I was very wary of the series. I knew there was a book, that was written 10 years prior, that it was based on and I hoped that the directors and author had created something that would spark a much-needed conversation about mental health.

Instead, I watched a show unfold that glamorized suicide and depression and made 11 students feel personally responsible for a choice Hannah made.

In a world where students are told to #WalkUpNotOut and feel unnecessarily responsible for their classmates’ mental health, seeing a show that supports that narrative is dangerous.

Hannah listing her old friends as reasons for her death isn’t constructive. Displaying this for the watchers of the show isn’t healthy either.

This coming season is going to focus more on the aftermath of Hannah’s death and all the smaller stories from each person that was on the tapes. Hannah’s parents are fighting for justice for their daughter and there will be new characters as well as many legal proceedings.

This season isn’t based on a book and no one knows what to expect. And in my opinion, the show didn’t need a second season. At this point, the show is just looking for views and will probably end up doing more harm than good.

The first season of “13 Reasons Why” had disclaimers and hotline numbers at the beginning of the episodes, as well as a debriefing episode with the actors, directors, and other important people involved in the show. These things were appreciated from my standpoint, but I’m sure a lot of people didn’t even notice them.

A lot of the individuals that I have talked to have said that they were interested in the show for the drama, and who wouldn’t be? It was 13 episodes long, had suspense, pretty Hollywood actors and actresses, and it was focused on a topic that has been talked about in the media a lot lately.

But what you get from people not seeing the glaring problems with this show and storyline are fake woke individuals preaching about suicide and mental health.

For a few weeks after the show aired, everyone on social media was talking about mental health and how Clay could have saved Hannah and how people need to look out for everyone’s mental health. After a few months, the hype died down and no one was talking about the show or the real problems acted out. I have a feeling this will all start again in a couple weeks.

The second season was released this past Friday on Netflix but it won’t be worth your time. If you want to actually do something for the people struggling with mental health, support organizations that distribute resources and information about counseling/therapy, medication coverage, as well as just spreading awareness.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and there is so much to be done to help, educate, and destigmatize mental health.

If you’re looking for referrals to mental health or health resources and services, call 211. If you need to talk to someone right now and are worried you might turn to suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Number 1-800-273-8255.

Cover Image Credit: 13 Reasons Why LA

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