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13RW 

A few months ago my friend sent me a message that read, “I lowkey feel like Hannah Baker right now 😔” . I was so confused and didn’t know what she meant. She had flooded her timeline with a lot of sad posts and it was quite alarming. Something was definitely wrong with her. I googled who Hannah Baker was and spotted the keyword I was looking for – suicide. I quickly called her to try to calm her down and I’m happy to say that she’s alive and working on her mental health. She’ll be alright. I know she will. 

After that night I wanted to know more about Hannah Baker and to my surprise she was a fictional character. That’s when I looked for the series and started watching it. A few episodes later I learnt that one way or the other, Hannah was me as a first year student. From losing friends, sexual assault, being led on, misunderstandings with the family and trouble at school. It was like watching a series that was unraveling parts of myself I don’t talk about a lot. That mere fact made me continue watching the series and it made me feel stronger. I’ve been in and out of depression but I never entertained suicidal thoughts. They come and go but the good thing is they go.

With 13RW there is a lot of chaos that represents what my friends and I went through in high school. We were just luckier and smarter and no one ended up dead. I can’t imagine it ever happening. As much as we went through hell together, one way or the other we wanna see each other win. It’s quite unfortunate that some young people lost their lives because of this series. As much as I don’t want to encourage anyone to watch it, if you’re brave enough to start there is a lot you will learn. Like I mentioned, you need to be brave. You need to be strong enough to not drown in the thought of how much Hannah went through what most teenage girls go through. I was sexually assaulted when I was in form 1 and my friend was raped a year later. It’s a lot to take in, too much to process. I guess my biggest takeaway from the series is that any action we choose to take has an effect on everyone else around us. Hannah’s suicide opened Pandora’s box and the people she cared about never healed. Clay never healed and her parents got divorced. I wish anyone going through the most to take time and think of ways to address their mental health that does not have a pendulum effect on the rest of their circle. Suicide is not an option. 

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