When I first read the book, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, I remember crying. I had been in 7th grade and it was during a time where I had changed my entire life. I had become friends with some of the best people I would ever meet. They were kind, they were trusting, and they were smart. But not only that, they were some of the strongest people I ever knew.
This strength, the strength that I admired came from what they did. The scars on their wrist that proved the fight they endured. The new, barely healed all the way and the scars that had existed for years. They were lost and confused and despite their kindness, despite their intelligence, they found solace and comfort in the blood that dripped, the single moment of pain that crossed as they cut was enough for them.
I used to wonder, why was this enough? Why was feeling the pain enough?
I didn’t understand, a big reason why my friendships with every single one of them ended. I was nothing and everything like them. I think the reason why they liked me is because I reminded them of themselves. They were my age, sure, but I was just a bit behind them. The pain and the desire to feel that pain would not make sense to me yet.
But let’s make something clear, I do not have scars on my wrist nor do I have them anywhere else. At least, not from the purposeful attempts that I recognized so well. I am a klutz after all.
But no, when I first read the book, I was on the other side. I related to Clay Jensen, the friend incredibly aware of what was going on yet completely not. I screamed, not understanding why she didn’t talk to somebody who would listen. I screamed at her for continuously going to these parties, I screamed for her continual bad taste in boys.
I hated Hannah Baker because I didn’t understand and I was too afraid to ever touch the book again.
Then the show came out… The show I had long wanted for many years. I added it to my Netflix quene, I made plans to watch it and then when those plans fell through, I became ecstatic that they did.
Because the scariest thing about this book, about this show, is the chance that one day you will relate to how she feels. You will understand exactly why she did it because you know exactly how she feels.
No, I am not suicidal and I will tell you exactly why once I say all of the things that I need to say.
When I watched the show, it was like a decade had passed. My entire life was drastically different. The people who once saw their old selves in me now were me. My eyes no longer saw through the eyes of Clay, the one person who had never bullied her and hurt her but yet had done so anyways.
I saw from the eyes of Hannah Baker. The girl who had been hurt by everyone, the bullies, the friendships, the love. I used to think that one person was necessary to keep you afloat. That the one person was capable of being everything you needed in your life.
I now understood why she didn’t think it was enough, sure, people are important but one person is never enough. One person is not capable of being a lifeline. Sometimes, that one person is too late.
This feeling was scary, terrifying. What did it mean that I understood? That her words could easily have been mine. What did it mean?
I will go back to explaining why the moments of pain is enough, is worth the scars. That moment of pain is like a realization that you are still there, this moment is like it’s grounding you to the real world. There are no stones connecting to your feet any longer, keeping you down and the blood brings you up for a moment. That moment for me however doesn’t come through seeing blood dripping from my wrist but instead it comes from the types of a keyboard, the words forming and creating the power in me to write these things to you.
Of course, why did I never try it? Why did the blood never once pour, even though I never had any idea of what it actually felt like? In the 7th, I found out what the fear of death would be like and it wasn’t my death that I feared.
One of my strong, talented, kind, and intelligent friends did what I had always feared, I worried about what might happen if I never stopped it in time. I went around my group of friends, begging and asking them to hand over their special carving tools. I remember on Christmas, I had done so with my best friend.
I gave her my gift, a charm bracelet with an ‘R’ on it, standing for a nickname that I had given her during this time. I have no idea if she still has the bracelet but I do remember that her gift was the knife and she handed it to me inside the box I had given her. A silver, glittery box that I kept hidden in my house until longer after we stopped being friends.
But this isn’t about her, this is about when she came up to me crying. She told me that he had been upset, that he had texted her telling her that he was done with his life and that he wanted to kill himself. He then abruptly stopped texting her and didn’t come that day, the day she told me and I feared for the worst.
I broke down crying in the middle of class, my tears were never ending as I feared for the worst continuously. I was scared, so, so scared. Eventually, the teacher was fed up with my crying, telling me to leave the classroom and never once bothering to ask what had happened. I did as she asked and I went to the bathroom until the end of her class and I was still crying.
When class finally ended, my friend came and found me. She hugged me and tried to coax me into going to my favorite class. To my favorite teacher in the entire world (to this day) and she hugged me at once and I told her everything. I was worried for his life.
When I was done, she told the principal who told the guidance counselor and I found myself there for the next hour, not once had I stopped crying. They had me tell my story, my relationship with him and why I came to believe what happened.
This was the first time I ever found myself crying in a counselor’s office and it was the first time that I had ever feared for someone’s life and I really, really wish that it had been the last but it never is, is it?
He didn’t die that day.
After that, I couldn’t ever do the same thing that my friends had done and it had become a personal promise and mission for myself never to do so. Regardless of how lost, disconnected, or alone I was.
Before you get worried about me, I have you guys. I have my writing to keep me intact and when that doesn’t work, I talk to my therapist about it. Anxiety and PTSD guys, isn’t it riveting?
If you guys think suicide is the option, please try and do something before you do it. http://www.youcannotbereplaced.com/ Check websites like this, do anything.
I love you guys,