Like many others, the release of 13 Reasons Why has hit me in a special place. We have all known someone or at least, known about someone, who has committed suicide. Yet, I always hear the same thing. "How does something like this happen?" "What pushes someone to feel so much internal pain, that they want to take their own life?" Questions like these are asked. Like it's all some big, secretive mystery.
To me, this is what is most alarming.
When tragedies like suicides occur, there often seems to be a wave of confusion that ripples through people. The questions come from all directions. And as awful as it is to say, this had never been a mystery to me. And if we truly believe it is, then people, we've gotta wake up. We've gotta wake up from our perfect little utopias, where the harsh realities of life can't reach us. If we would all just stop, pay attention, and look around, we would be able to (in most situations) see the signs clear as day. I know I always have. Within the last few years, I've known many people who have wanted to take their lives. And through support, love, and understanding, I'm thankful to be able to say, that they are still here with us on the Earth.
But perhaps what I've seen more of in the last few years is the kinds of people that are causes of these tragedies. And if you are one of them, the time to change is now. Enough is enough. It has to stop. Human lives have to be valued more. People have to realize the results of what they say and do to others. With that being said, I continue...
It is people like you. People like you who are the problem. Talking behind other's back because you have nothing better to do with your lives. Inserting toxic words into relationships that you know absolutely nothing about. Gossiping and creating false rumors. This girl is too fat to be wearing that outfit. That girl is a complete b**ch because she speaks up, and doesn't let anyone walk on her. She's crazy. He's stupid. She's a slut. He's worthless. I can say whatever I want in the heat of the moment, it's okay because I'm just angry right now. Actually no, it's not alright. Words hurt. Words matter. Watch your mouth. Yes, if you are the one who can't have a conversation without inserting one or two insults about another person, you are the problem.
It is people like you who think that you are entitled to someone else's body. Like it is an object, a material thing, instead of a living, breathing person with a heart, soul, and hopes & dream.
It is people like you who you use and abuse others in relationships. Manipulating, lying, and cheating on him/her to the point that the other person feels worthless or crazy. Pushing their limits with verbal, emotional, or even physical harm.
It is people like you who are the problem. Alienators in the non-classic sense. Who reject and push away other people. Like kindergartners who say "you can't play with us". Instead, its "mature" form is playing with people's feelings, emotions, and self-esteem and pushing out the ones you don't want around. Because, hey, you can't be bothered. There's this idea floating around in the back of your head that you're better and that you are somehow more important than he or she. That person is annoying or bothersome to have around. It doesn't matter if there's a reason for why they act the way they do. It doesn't matter what he/she is going through. They simply don't have a place in your little cliche.
It is people like you who don't take mental illness seriously and think it is some kind of joke. That having depression or anxiety are invalid excuses. Made-up stories for attention. Yet, 1 in 5 American adults will live with a mental health condition. But by all means, continue to treat those who struggle with these illnesses with the same amount of ignorance and unkindness that you always do. Make them feel like their crazy and don't deserve to be treated just like anyone else. I'm sure that proves to be a helpful approach.
It is people like you who are far too busy with their own lives, to stop and look around, and pay attention to those who are hurting. Missing all the warning signs and cries for help. Because obviously, the petty mean girls school drama waits for no one.
It is people like you who see it all and stay silent because sometimes to help someone or do the right thing, you have to make a little noise. You have to draw attention & make some people uncomfortable. But that's not popular nor does it flow with the social norm. If you do something or say something, some people won't like you. Some people will persecute you. People will talk about you. So instead you make the decision to do absolutely nothing. And both you and that person will fade into the background. The safest and yet most dangerous place to be. And the toxic cycle and downward spiral won't be broken after all.
And it is also people like you. People who are loving, caring, and mean the best, but stand by and watch the signs...and do nothing. Say nothing, tell no one, and walk the other way. They'll be fine. It's someone else's place, someone's else's job. Surely, someone else will come along and help him/her. Quite a gamble that is, when we are talking about another human being's life. But of course, many of us don't see it that way, until it actually happens. To you, to your family, or someone you know. Then, all of sudden, it is real, it isn't a joke, it is serious. And at that point, it is also too late.
But it doesn't have to stay that way.
So please, Pay Attention, Be a Friend to All, & Stand Up.
It is people like you who are the only ones who are able to make a difference. The change has to be made. And it has to start with people like us.
All love always, XOXO