“People who die by suicide, don’t want to end their lives… they want to end the pain.”
I write this fresh off of re-watching the entire thirteen episodes of 13 Reasons Why.
I read a comment online where someone said that this series/story glorifies suicide, some people even mentioned the fact that those who choose suicide happen to be cowards. Maybe there are some out there, I have had the misfortune of meeting a few of those, who use suicide like a weapon—a cry for attention.
You know the saying though, for one bad egg, don’t throw away the whole basket.
Here’s the thing, suicide isn’t as simple or cowardice as people think. At such a young age can you even begin to imagine what causes someone to suddenly think to themselves I’m done?
I lost three people to suicide. Two very close friend and a family member.
When I first lost my aunt, I was fourteen years old. I went through a lot at the time with a whole bunch of family issues and high school wasn’t very kind to me either. She was like a ray of sunshine. An escape. A hiding place. Always taking me in when I felt like running away from the hand that I was dealt.
The night that she died, she had asked me to stay over. I insisted on going out with friends and instead chose a night of illegal drinking and partying. I got the call at 3am that she had hung herself.
The guilt I lived with ever since then was soul crushing.
The two friends died within months of each other. One was my sounding board. A friendship that brewed over five years and he was always there for me no matter the time of day. It twists me up inside trying to wonder how I didn’t see the signs but do we ever? The other I had almost dated. He was this bubbly, goofy and amazing kind soul that cared so freaking much.
I know what you must be thinking. No matter how hard the problem, suicide is never the answer. There are so many people you leave behind.
Trust me, sometimes those very people lead you to the edge and before they can push you over, you decide to jump.
How do I know?
I was sixteen-years old and living my own version of a Hannah Baker life where my “friends” decided that treating me like utter crap, spreading rumors about me, laughing about my family life, and basically making me out to be someone I wasn’t, was okay. The parents were going through their own battles and dealing with things their way not realizing what I was going through or how it impacted me. People decided that making fun of my skin condition was much better than ignoring it and treating me like a normal person.
It is a dreadful feeling to be completely alone. It isn’t like the fancy quotes about darkness and being alone. That shit that goes on in your head, the stuff that leads you to thinking that maybe you need to stop existing…it is hard and it is so fucking deep that sometimes you either swim up or you drown completely.
I felt that way. I felt bullied, abandoned and betrayed. I felt like it was okay if I just gave in and disappeared from the world itself. Because really? Who would miss me?
That night was strange but a friend had called just as I was about to go through with everything. He was one of the believers–as I’d liked to call them. He listened to the rumors about me and never acknowledged me in school but after hours? He was my best friend.
I know… don’t judge.
At the time he was my saving grace and my hope that maybe people were just trying to fit in so talking about me was their way of doing it. He needed some help on an accounting paper we were due to write. I ended up helping him and then we started talking about what life was going to be like out of that little town and far away from all the people that brought us down.
It inspired me.
I remember thinking that maybe I didn’t have to end it all. Maybe all I needed to do was get through the next year and then I could be free. I would be far away from all those people and I’d be able to start all over.
I think back to how a few months ago it was implied that I was blindly optimistic. It was that fierce belief all those years ago that I could one day leave that town and those memories behind, that kept me soldiering through the years that followed.
And here I am.
Today, I find it easier to deal with things because when anything gets bad I look for the brighter side of the coin and hold that close as I weather whatever storm.
Suicide is never the answer. It shouldn’t even be an option. Before labeling the people who succumb to that darkness, understand that sometimes life gets too much for some people. The smallest of things can be a catalyst for the chaos that follows. Sometimes talking about it just makes it harder when it is said out loud.
I don’t condone nor do I judge those that resort to it. Sometimes I am angry that they never found the time or courage to talk about it, but then I remember what it’s like to get it in your head that maybe people out there don’t really care. Maybe no one wants to listen.
13 Reasons Why was a beautifully written book and an amazingly depicted TV series that parents and children both need to pay attention to. The signs are always there. Sometimes you just have to pay much closer attention. Sometimes you have to remember that we are all not wired the same way.
Some of us just deal differently.
No matter how dark it may seem, remember that even on cloudy days the sun shines brightly behind them.