13 Reasons Why broke the Internet. Seriously, it was released and it was all anybody talked about for weeks. I’m not even complaining about it, honestly – I think it’s important that people continue to talk about it. And by “it” I mean season 1.
Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why was just announced and I got to say, I’m not a supporter of the project. I know the first season got a lot of negative reviews because people think Hannah was being dramatic and that the things that happened were “small things.” But hello – that’s the point.
I will do my best not to speak for everybody with mental illness because it is a very unique and personal experience that is different for everyone. However, my personal experience is exactly that of Hannah’s. The small things feel like the biggest things in the world. That’s the issue with depression – when you are depressed, you can’t necessarily see the bright future you may have ahead of you. In my case, all I could see was the moment I was in and how dark and dreary it really was.
Hannah wasn’t being dramatic, and in fact I think that statement is rather insulting. Many people who have dealt with mental illness know the struggle of telling anybody about it. I know I didn’t want to reach out to my friends for help because I didn’t want them to think I was just being dramatic. This statement was thrown around a lot in high school, and it’s absolutely terrible because you have no idea what someone else is dealing with inside of their own minds. Sometimes a nuclear war can look like a field of daisies.
While I know Season 1 ended with a lot of open ends, I think there is something realistically painful about this. When somebody takes their own life, there are a lot of open ends – that’s the worst part. You’ll never know if Hannah really loved Clay (but I bet she really did), and we’ll never know what happened to Alex. Leaving the show on a cliff-hanger should have been the end, because that’s how suicide is – you don’t get to have your questions answered.
I really respected the television show because, regardless of your opinion on the portrayal of mental illness throughout the show, at least it created a platform to discuss mental illness, a topic that has lived in the shadows for too long. I’m glad people are still talking about their theories about the show and alternative endings and even their own struggles with mental health.
Mental health doesn’t have to be a secret; we are all in this together. We are all fighting a war inside our own minds, and being kind to one another is the ultimate step in the right direction. Whatever your opinion of the show may be, I’m glad you’ve formed one.