“Thirteen Reasons Why” has quickly become one of the most influential and controversial Netflix series to have ever been created. The story of Hannah Baker has people from all walks of life coming to express their opinions about the show, the themes, and graphic content of the show.
However, as someone who has survived bullying and thoughts of suicide as well as other things depicted on the show, this show has quickly become something I can relate to. Hannah Baker, Skye Miller, and Alex Standall have become a relatable resource for me.
There may be spoilers in this article, dependent on your location in the second season.
Hannah Baker’s (like most high school student’s) life was anything but easy.
Her life was a whirlwind, from moving schools to becoming the class slut, and more. Hannah’s home life wasn’t exactly desirable either; her dad had an affair; her mom never seeming to exactly lift Hannah up. No wonder Hannah turned to things like poetry, sex (revealed much more in-depth in season two), and eventually suicide as a method of coping with her life. Letting Hannah go at the end of season two may have made me cry.
Many will argue that Hannah brought this on herself, which may seem true, but does that ever give anyone the right to make fun of someone or ruin someone’s life? NO. It doesn’t… not ever.
Skye Miller is a character that in the first season, I really didn’t care for.
She was hard and had a bad attitude (or so It seemed…), but in the second season, I absolutely fell in love with Skye. She was so relatable and I felt like her life mirrored mine in a lot of ways. We both struggled in the same areas and it became clear who Skye really was. I was sad to see her go mid-season, but it allowed Clay to grow up and change in a way that he needed to before the remainder of the season.
Skye Miller and I are a lot alike, and because of her in this second season, I’ve begun to relearn that recovery and starting over is healthy and okay, and everyone should do it, because they deserve it.
However; the character that really impacted me the most on this second season of “Thirteen Reasons” is Alex Standall.
Alex Standall is the epitome of there are one thousand ways to cope with a tragedy. Alex’s storyline in this season was remarkable and relatable.
There is nothing like recovering from a suicide attempt and everyone does it differently. Alex’s journey throughout this season does not glorify suicide, but rather glorifies RECOVERY. What a beautiful thing to glorify. Of all the things that Alex has been through with losing Jessica then losing Hannah, he was shattered. However; through the struggle, he fought to not let his attempt define him, but rather his recovery and that is the amazing thing about Alex.
Throughout this graphic season, I not once contemplated turning my Netflix account off, not because this season was a “page turner” to say, but rather because the story that this season portrayed was one of hope, strength, and courage. Jessica’s confession that led to Bryce’s arrest (FINALLY) and Clay’s speech at Hannah’s funeral are only two examples of strength shown in this season. That is the beauty of this series.
Many people choose to look at the brutality and the graphicness of the show and automatically turn away from it or shame the show; however, this show is real life. This happens to people every day. Bullying is real, and suicide is even more real. It happened to me; it’s happened to my friends, and maybe it’s happening to you. If this is happening to you, I’m here to say that suicide is never the answer, and life really does get better.
If you struggle with thoughts of suicide or just need someone to talk to please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255
If you have been sexually assaulted and need to talk to someone, please call the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network: 1 (800) 656-4673