This week, I binge-watched "13 Reasons Why" on Netflix. It has 13 episodes, so it only took me three days between working and sleeping to finish it. If you haven't read the book or heard about this new series, here is a little bit about the storyline of Hannah Baker before I dive into what I really want to talk about.
"13 Reasons Why" is written by Jay Asher, and the Netflix series is produced by Selena Gomez. This is Gomez's first ever production behind the scenes. This is a story about a girl named Hannah Baker, who is quite literally bullied to death. She commits suicide and leaves behind seven tapes with 13 reasons on them as to why her life ended. A boy named Clay that Hannah actually liked gets the tapes and starts the chain of justice in Hannah's name. But you can't love someone back to life right? (I will stop there so you all can go watch it. To see what happens.)
It is, in my opinion, a sad story, but it holds the truth. Bullying happens just like it is shown in this book and Netflix series. Kids are cruel. They say things to make you feel small and themselves feel bigger. We have grown up in a society that says we won't tolerate bullying, yet someone gets bullied right under their noses. I am a big anti-bully believer. I have written many articles about the subject, but this is not one of them.
Today, I'm talking about depression. The dark cloud that hovers over our head. Just waiting for something to kick us in our gut and make us fall to our knees. That black cloud waits to pounce on us when we are already done. And it will hit us and keep hitting us until we are curled up in bed, crying our eyes out. Or sometimes it gets so bad that we feel dead inside and we are just going through the motions of life. Not enjoying the little sliver of happiness life may give us through those dark clouds. Depression is a sickness.
I know what you are thinking: But I'm not sick.
You are wrong. Depression is the type of sickness that hides within, just under the skin. You may not feel the cold coming on, but it is there. It is the thing that keeps you in bed instead of going out with friends. Or the thing that makes you feel like you're going to be sick if you eat anything. You don't want to move. You just want to lay there. Hoping, no, wanting life to stop because the pain you feel hurts too much.
Your heart aches and loneliness becomes your God. Because that is what Depression wants to achieve. It eats away at your soul. Gets you where you are tender and beats you down.
I know what Depression feels like because I have been diagnosed with it. I struggle with it everyday. I am in a good place now. I have a job, I make my own money and I have a life worth living.
But I have been in a bad place many, many times before. I call it my dark place. It is a place that I wish didn't exist. Yet it does. It is that dark cloud just waiting for something to kick me down so it can pull me back in.
"13 Reasons Why" reminded me how much I hate my dark place. I'm sure we all have the same thoughts that Hannah Baker did. Why did these things happen to me? Why me? Do I deserve it? When Depression hits, you are the loneliest person in the world because no one understand how you feel. Until they feel the same. And they may never really, truly know how you feel.
"13 Reasons Why" shows you just how badly bullying and Depression can affect someone. And suicide is never the answer. Every single life is too precious like lights for them to be blown out by some pills, or a piece of rope/belt, or cuts down your arm.
I've never been to that point where I wanted to end my life. But I have thought about how people would react to my death. And how life for them would move forward. Would they cry for me? Would they miss me? Or would they be happy to get rid of me? All those thoughts have been on my mind at one time or another because that is what my dark place played with me.
Suicide is no joking matter. I have seen Facebook posts making fun of "13 Reasons Why," and they aren't funny. That can be your friend, your sister or brother, your child at some moment. It happens. Depression is not prejudice. It picks at random. You could even say it spins a bottle and attacks whoever the bottle lands on.
If you feel the dark clouds cornering you, tell someone. Reach out to them. And if you know of someone who is having a bad patch, talk to them. You could be the reason for they choose to live.
The number for the International Suicide Prevention Hotline is below: Don't be afraid to use it.
I love you, and I am always here!