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We've all heard about Netflix's show 13 Reasons Why. There are mixed opinions on it. Some people say it promotes and glorifies teenage suicide, while others say it is shedding light on teenage mental health issues. I wanted to write this article upon the recent release of Season 2, because now it's back in popular media, I'm sure it will affect a lot of people.
Whatever your view of the show, I can tell you this: suicide is not the best answer to your problems. Whilst Hannah Baker came up with 13 reasons to kill herself, I'm here to offer you 13 reasons why you shouldn't.
If you have stumbled across this page because you we'e asking Google for help, I respect your freedom to make your own decisions, including the decision to take your own life. However, I hope that by reading this article and seeking help, you will be able to see your situation in a different light and work towards a brighter future.
13 reasons why you shouldn't kill yourself:
1. Suicide does not just destroy one person.
Think about every person whose life you have touched: your parents, siblings, teachers, friends, colleagues, coaches, past lovers, and think about how they will feel when they hear that you killed yourself. If you took all their sadness and added it up, I'll bet that their sadness would last over 100 years. I'm willing to bet that they'll feel guilty too, even if it wasn't their fault. They'll be asking themselves forever why they didn't help you, as if they should have been able to magically read your mind. When you kill yourself, you don't kill your sadness, you just pass it on to other people for the rest of their lives.
2. A doctor will have to tell your loved ones that they couldn't save you.
We take doctors for granted all the time, but one of them will have to tell your family that they couldn't save you. They'll have to act professionally and continue with their work for the rest of the day, pretending that they aren't heartbroken that they couldn't help you. Doctors are people and it haunts them forever when a patient dies on them. They will never stop seeing your face and they will never stop hearing your name.
3. There are many more wonderful people to meet.
Just think about how many people you've met in the past five years. In the next five years, you're going to meet loads more amazing people! If you end it all now, you will never meet them and they will never have the privilege of meeting you.
4. New episodes are always being released.
Think of your favourite TV show. Chances are there are going to be so many new episodes and spin offs and films being made out of it. If you kill yourself, you will never find out what happens next. You will never meet the new characters and you will never see the character development of characters that have been there since the beginning.
Similarly, think of your favourite YouTuber. Markiplier is probably working on a new video right now as I type this and as you read it. Your favourite YouTuber might release a new video that ends up being your all time favourite. And you should be alive to see it.
5. Time is a slow but effective healer.
I know you feel awful right now. I know you can't see a future. I know the present is painful and every day is a battle just to make it to the end. But you have survived 100 percent of the bad days you've had. That's a pretty good statistic!
Time really is the most effective healer, but it is slow and you need to be patient. Every day you will wake up feeling just a tiny bit better. Gradually, you will start to feel okay again. It doesn't just happen overnight.
6. You will never grow old together with someone.
I guess you could argue it's cliché to want to grow old with someone, but I believe it is a dream that most of us have. By killing yourself, you would completely stop the aging process—you will never be able to see gravity at work on your lover's features. You will never sit in your living room with walls full of photographs from your time together and you wont be able to watch Countdown or Wheel of Fortune and get angry when the contestants don't know the answer. It's always the little moments that you treasure with people. You will be able to experience them one day, you just need to live until then.
7. Situations change.
One of the many wonders of our earth is that it is constantly changing. 60 years ago in the UK you would be arrested for being a gay man. Now same sex marriage is legal and the government has officially pardoned all the gay men who spent their lives behind bars.
Although it may not always feel like it, social change is happening and the world is becoming a better place for us all. We still have many roads to walk down and many battles to fight, but we must remember to look into our history to see how far we have come.
People's opinions change as they are educated and learn more about minorities and mental health issues and people who are struggling. We need you alive to help stand beside us to shed light on people who do not have a voice for themselves.
8. You are not beyond help.
Sometimes it can feel as though nothing in the world will help us or make us better. Sometimes you sit and think to yourself: No amount of medication or counseling can help me. This is not true. Talking helps more than we care to admit. When we share our problems with someone we can trust it removes a huge burden from our shoulders. Talking can often help you to figure things out and rationalize them. Here is a (incomplete) list of people you could consider talking to:
- co workers
As for medication, this has divided a lot of people. If you have chosen not to take medication, then that is your choice. It is your body and you have a right to be in control of it. However, you are not weak for taking medication. If people who were diabetic refused to take insulin, they would die. In some cases, this is the same for people with mental health issues. Medication works very well for a lot of people, but sometimes it can take a while to find the medicine that is best for you.
Sunsets are beautiful and if you end everything now, you will never see another one. You will never see the light fading to charcoal or the birds dancing across the sky.
Not only that, but your family will never be able to see a sunset in the same way. They will have to look up and see your blood splattered across the sky. Every day they will be reminded that you aren't waking up tomorrow and they will have to try to continue as normal despite the fact the whole world has a gaping hole in it where you should be standing.
10. Words are more important than we can ever hope to imagine.
Hitler never once picked up a gun at the German citizens. He got to them with words. He selected them carefully and fed them into the minds of his people who couldn't help but listen. But words do not have to destroy.
The world would become a much better place if we shared words of happiness, of hope and survival. You could save the lives of hundreds of people just by talking. When you are ready, you can share your story and others will realise that they are not alone. Sometimes that is enough to persuade them to reach out instead of calling it quits for good.
11. You will never be able to feel happy again.
I know right now you don't think you will every experience happiness again, but you will. You'll laugh so hard that you can't see through your tears and you'll be so engrossed in a movie that the world seems a little brighter, and you'll dance in your underwear in your room to your favourite song. These times are worth sticking around to see.
12. You don't want to die, you want to get better and start living.
Recovery is beautiful. I know perhaps you can't see it right now, but you will get better and the sun will shine brighter. You will have days where you don't feel like you're already dead, you will be alive. Recovering will help you start to lead the life you want to live.
13. There are other people who know what you're going through.
Maybe not the exact circumstances, but there are people who know the feeling, and who know it gets better. Take me, for example. A year ago I was in hospital because I'd tried to take my own life, today I am head of the student magazine, surrounded by amazing friends, and living my life to its absolute best. So from one suicidal person to another: hang in there.