Last Sunday before I went to Kata Beach, I watched the first episode of 13 Reasons Why. It immediately made me depressed and to reminisce on high school, which was the beginning seven or eight years of battling through depression, four suicide attempts, and what I now come to real-eyes as the journey through myself. I’ve always been the type of person who could be honest and open up to friends, my mom, or a therapist, and seek help, but have always been unwilling to change and unwilling to listen. Without going into too much detail, even though I’ve let depression get the best of me and blind me, I’ve had a pretty amazing life looking back on things.
I’m happy with the person I am in the here and now. I’ve had a lot of great experiences, wonderful people come in and out of my life, but I was too blinded by my pain and desires for more, that I was never grateful of what I had, and never considered it enough as I continued to brew my own scarcity. After the first episode I wanted to just binge through the whole season, but during rainy season in Thailand gorgeous sunny days are rare, and I went and spent the whole day at the beach, reading, reflecting, and reminiscing. A gorgeous sunset on the beach is one of the reasons I’m grateful to be alive.
A week later I’ve just finished 13 Reasons why. For a while tears streamed down my face. The main reason not because of Hannah’s death, and what it represents, well, of course because I feel absolutely horrible that such a beautiful girl inside and out had to die, just like so many other teenagers will, but because she reflected so much of all the pain I’ve selfishly projected on others as I’ve burrowed deeper into my ego over the years. As someone who has attempted suicide four times this show truly resonated with me on a profound level, and brought to light a lot of the ignorance I’ve had over the years.
Like I said, I’ve attempted suicide four times. Twice during high school and twice in 2016. Although I’m sure my depression over the years has inflicted immense pain or frustration on the ones in my life I’m blessed to have, that love me even though I make it difficult at times, I never really thought about the damage I would have selfishly inflicted on them had any of my attempts been successful.
When you kill yourself, you don’t see yourself as a part of life. You see yourself as a separate entity, and that is just not true. Life will go on after you kill yourself, but in a way that could cause domino effect of immense pain, even more suicide, on those that love you. You never know how others will perceive your suicide and the blame they’ll assign themselves as we see with Clay throughout the show. I never thought about how my best friends would have blamed themselves and thought they should have done more when they do more than enough, and I should consider myself lucky to have them. That they alone are a reason to love life and now that I’ve lost many over the years that I need to cherish the ones that are still in my life, or I’ll continue to lose more. I never thought about how I would destroy my mom’s life beyond repair because I’m all she has anymore. I never thought about anyone else, but only thought of myself and that I would never feel good again, and that The Storm would never pass. In-joy the storm as it brews. It is all that ever is.
It does get better though. In beyond the 13 Reasons, they do a great job of discussing the feelings we feel as teenagers, but even afterwards as adults when we’re lost in ourselves. When suicidal, we feel that its impossible for things to get better and we dive so far deep into our pain that we believe that no amount of light will ever extinguish our shadow. I love how the producers say “its ok to feel that things aren’t ok”, because everyone goes through their problems. Of course we are responsible for our own happiness, but when this lost it might be hard to create in a way beneficial for us. Its then time to get help. Things do get better, even if it seems impossible. Even if it seems like no one cares, and no one is there for you, and all you have is your pain and suffering. Trust me, it does get better. I promise!
Although I hate the fact that Hannah died and she went through with her plan, her death did bring to light how horrible her classmates treated one another. That it’s not ok, and that ‘we’, they, as young adults are responsible to treat each other better, so that it doesn’t continue. We need to be there for each other if we expect something, and that the signs are really no signs. We need to be proactive and seek help, and be even more empathetic of people’s situations to try to get them to share as Mr. Porter could have done in the end.
I’m grateful that none of my attempts were successful. I’m 25 and have my whole life ahead of me. I actually could get fired from my school, but even if I do, I’ve found a career I truly want to explore for the next few years while being abroad. I’ll find a way to stay.
This show has inspired me to make my own list of 13 reasons why I’m grateful to be alive. If you haven’t watched the show I hope you do, and I hope you think of 13 reasons why you’re grateful to be alive too!
1. I’m grateful for a discovered passion in teaching, and I hope to continue enriching or attempting to enrich the minds of foreign children and adults.
2. I’m grateful I’ve traveled through all of Egypt, Barcelona, Budapest, Korea, and Thailand with all sorts of beautiful and exotic countries waiting to be explored and traveled through.
3. I’m grateful for my motorcycle I now ride. Nothing beats the wind massaging your face while riding fast
4. I’m grateful for my blog. I’ve grown immensely as a writer and feel I’m growing as a person as well. I’ve done a great job of cultivating myself and hope you feel I’ve added value to your lives as well. I plan on continuing to do both!
5. I’m grateful for my relationship. I experienced love with one of the most incredible women I’ve ever known and am blessed for that experience even though it ended.
6. I’m grateful for my best and close friends. There are a lot of people that have been in my life for yearssss despite the fact I’ve given them many reasons not to. Thank you, is not enough, for them to be willing to know I’m better than the person I project. I love you guys.
7. I’m grateful to have started the expat life. If I don’t return to America until like 2022 or something that’d be fine by me. I love being abroad and I hope to stay here and continue teaching as long as possible.
8. I’m grateful for the sun. Whether its out, or hiding behind clouds its a wonderful reminder of the light we all share.
9. I’m grateful for my inmates at Paymons. Paymons was truly a wonderful era of my life. Horribly unhealthy, but great for the soul. There’s nothing like a close group of supporting friends that you can always see because you all go to the same hookah lounge everyday. Miss you guys!
10. I’m grateful for Gary, the father I never had. My dad used to beat the shit out of my mom which likely led to her spoiling and trying to keep me as sheltered and clueless as possible, but its been nice having a father figure in my life finally. My old poker investor before I took a dive off the deep end. Thank you for never giving up on me despite every reason I’ve given you. If the way you see and treat me isn’t unconditional love I don’t know what it is.
11. I’m grateful for Haruki Murakami. He is my favorite author and exploring his world in all of his fantastic novels has helped me make more sense exploring my own. My biggest inspiration as a writer by far.
12. I’m grateful for food. People say eat to live don’t live to eat, but I disagree. Eating is one of my favorite pleasures of life, and I loveee to eat as much delicious food as possible while being mindful of my health. I need some Korean BBQ in my life right about meow.
13. I’m grateful for my health. I tore my ACL last year which was a very humbling experience. I can’t wait til its fully healed so I can start exercising and dancing more crazily than I currently do.
Although you weren’t a real person RIP Hannah. You are representative of all the teenagers that die and shouldn’t each year. Lets collectively do what we can to raise awareness of teen suicide, and if you or anyone you know has suicidal thoughts please get help!!! I could have died, and didn’t, but so many others might not get as lucky as me. Its not worth it!!! You can change any pain you feel. You are the creator of your own external reality.