daily entry, misc, personal

Everything Wrong with “Thirteen Reasons Why”

Okay, so I finished watching “Thirteen Reasons Why” last night. Probably not the best idea, especially since yesterday was already emotionally heavy, given everything that was going on with our fifteen-year-old cat, Klaus, who we had to put down for eternal sleep yesterday.

I will admit over the past couple of weeks, I most definitely spoke up too soon in trying to “defend” or even argue certain points (albeit I was very clear about aforemetioned chiming in, whilst still being only halfway through the series), because my heart most certainly imploded during the last 30 minutes of the final episode.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

Honestly, I thought the first 12 1/2 episodes were a fair depiction and (most likely) accurately captured what it’s like to be a teenager in the 2010’s. It can’t be emphasised enough, how powerful mass text messaging, private + public forums and chatrooms, basically any and all social media platforms can be. They can be very damaging towards people’s esteems and reputations, and they can really “destroy” a person’s image in a matter of minutes.

That’s high school and gossip though, however, what we experienced doesn’t hold a candle to what kids have to endure now. What’s even more frightening, now that I/you/we are on the parental end of things, is seeing how spiteful kids can be, as early as elementary school.

Kids are much more rude, entitled, you name it — I can personally attest to this, because I’ve got one myself. While I/we have done everything in our power to raise a child with a good moral compass, who will practice compassion and provide empathy to others, to stand up for themselves and for others when they’re being treated unfairly… all we can hope, is that we’ve taught them well and that they abide by these same things while they’re in the world without us physically by their side.

Anyway, back to my original message, the final 30 minutes of “Thirteen Reasons Why” and what I took away from it. I’m in NO WAY trying to justify, defend, rationalize…whatever… suicide. At the end of the day, no matter your circumstance, no matter what religion or ideology you believe or follow… YOU are your own “God” (your conscious is, anyway) and you have nobody to answer to but yourself, when you lay your head down at night. Applying this same thought process to suicide: it is a 100% personal decision that only an individual can make for themself. Suicide is the most permanent decision one can ever make, and it’s a pretty fucking selfish one at that.

There will ALWAYS be tens, more like hundreds, of days where it will feel like:
– It is YOU against the world
– No one else can possibly understand how YOU feel
– No one else can possibly understand what YOU think
– No one else has time or energy to actually LISTEN to you
– That there is no point or purpose for your existence
– You want to cry out but feel there’s no hope or no point
– You’re merely existing and not living

You have these days, I have them, your next door neighbor has them, strangers you’ll never meet have them… it’s a part of life, and that’s all there is to it. Some days will hurt WAY more than others… it’s also a part of life, and that’s all there is to that as well.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to TALK TO SOMEBODY and realize YOU ARE NOT ALONE and IT IS OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP. Do not wait, don’t say to yourself “next time” — asking for help, or feeling weak does NOT make you any less of a person, if anything else it makes you more of a person, and a strong one at that.

There are so many more intricacies that I could go off on, but I won’t.

I feel like following the “story of Hannah Baker” and her “thirteen reasons why” was a very intimate, fresh take on what it’s like to be a teenager — more matter of fact, a teenage girl — in the 2010’s. (Yes, I am aware the book was written in ’07.)

I felt myself becoming as consumed and intrigued by Hannah as much as Clay was, and I felt myself silently cheering for him as he took it upon himself to be some sort of vigilante in Hannah’s honor. My heart broke several times throughout the series, I cried quite a bit… look, it was an intense take on adolescence. One that stuck with you well after you powered off your television for the night.

Then I found myself at the last 30 minutes of the final episode. We all knew what was going to become of Hannah… but then we started seeing more previews into the lives of Justin Foley, Jessica Davis, Tyler Down, Bryce Walker… oh yeah, and we caught wind about Alex Standall.

My point is — they should’ve just left it at Hannah’s story, in my opinion. I felt like that was a powerful enough message to send, that cries for help really can “look like nothing”… and I do NOT feel it was necessary to start showing open-ended story lines as they were beginning to unfold.

It’s not the suicide portion I necessarily take an issue with — it’s the idea of shining a spotlight on self-harm and vengeance that makes my heart shatter.

Example : We got to see the impact and toll that was being taken on Tyler’s character… now we’re left to wonder what he’s going to do with those guns, and what’s the true significance of those black and white photos he was stringing along in the dark room. Is that going to be his “artistic” take on retribution? Hannah takes herself out, and leaves behind a collection of reasonings in the form of a “lost art” that is cassette tapes… So, are we to think that Tyler is going to hang these beautifully taken portraits, as a way to highlight his perpetrators and soon-to-be victims? Hannah left behind a string of stories about her “reasons” which turned some of those people even further against Tyler, which I imagine was already a tad emotionally unstable, and now as a result of his “role” in Hannah’s death makes him the next bomb about to blow. Main point of reference being Clay, who sought revenge on those who wronged Hannah, but in reality made him no better than some of the others — because now he, too, is tormenting others…

We got to bear witness to what can take place in the aftermath of a high school student’s suicide, but I really don’t find it tasteful to leave things up to the imagination of the viewer, what’s to become of some of these characters. Especially, if the viewers are also impressionable, vulnerable adolescents who are trying to figure out who they are and what is the meaning of existence in a world we all know offers many beautiful opportunities and is bountiful in deeply caring souls, but also has many grotesque facets hidden in plain sight and an infinite amount of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

daily entry, misc, personal, recovery

“A” is for…

admiration.
affirmation.
apology.
anxiety.
awareness.

as a recap for the word bank above: you might be asking… um, wtf do all these words have to do with one another, aside from the obvious?
the answer is alcohol, duh!

i previously wrote about admiration so today, i’m going to cover affirmation, what it has to do with alcohol and how the two, intertwined, impacted my life during and after my addiction.

AccurateObservation_GeorgeBernardShaw

for me, affirmation is dissected into a few subcategories:
-acceptance
-adoration
-approval
-authenticity

since 2004, and the rise of social media, i’ve seemingly thrown any sense of self to the wind — i’ve wanted nothing more than to receive affirmation in the form of acceptance and approval from others, in hopes of gaining adoration along the way… but at the cost of having any individual authenticity to fall back on.

for the past 13 years almost, i fell in lust with everything social media brought to the table (and it didn’t help that i had a decent infatuation with andy warhol, the factory, edie sedgwick, the idea of celebrity, that whole scene…) and as cliche as it is nowadays, in 2004 it was a fresh and seductive thing, social media was… because you could be whoever you wanted to be, reinvent yourself over and over, in hopes of attracting other people to adore, accept, admire, and approve of whatever image you were presenting to the world.

imagine a perfect storm of all these things, add an immature + intoxicated state of mind and a severely altered perception of self into the mix… it’s safe to say, this did not go or end well.

social media took my age demographic by storm, and i can’t even fathom how many times i updated, refreshed, stripped, reworked and tweaked the online persona i projected out into the internet.

up until late last year, i was still very much that same girl, only more savvy about how i presented (“curated”) what i projected, but it all caught up to me…just like everything else toxic in my life did.

so, i’m left here still trying to pick up the pieces… put them back in a more logical manner, one that will allow me to flourish, find myself and hopefully some peace of mind. time will forever be our greatest friend and enemy.

i’ll give you a tl;dr timeline of chain of events that more or less got me to who/where i am now:
2003 : Graduated high school in the spring, started college in the fall
2004 : Rise of MySpace
2006 : Turned of legal drinking age
– Somewhere between ’06-’07 was hospitalized for consuming too many xanax and alcoholic beverages
2007 : Became pregnant with my first child, (the best “accident” to happen to me, a that point in time) temporarily dropped out of college
2008 : Gave birth to my first child
2010 : Went back to college to finish my degree
2011 : Graduated college, began working my first “career-building / foot-in-the door” job
2012-2014 : Made the terrible decision to jump back into social media platforms, coupled with longing to be accepted by people my own age, where I continued to tweak the persona I put out into the world, really got me nowhere. don’t forget to throw in the pathological alcoholism, and how/what that did to me mentally.
2015 : Became pregnant with and gave birth to my second child – this time it was planned
2016 : Everything was a snowball, chaotic blur of events that came to a complete halt on September 6, 2016 — the day I simultaneously died and became reborn
2017 : Currently 219 days sober, successfully completed an substance abuse/addiction recovery program // am now being completely honest and transparent with anything I put out into the interwebz, aspire to become a licensed substance abuse counselor when time presents itself. i need to have more sobriety and life in recovery under my belt, raise my children the best i can and know how to do, continue working on myself in a healthy, timely manner by figuring things out I never allowed myself to do… I need to do all these things, before I can fully help others.

i mean, there’s way more to this story, but i’m really working on tightening up my entries. i’ll save these facets for another rainy day.

xo

daily entry, jam of the day, misc, personal, recovery

jam of the day: save myself by ed sheeran

i got nothing.
this song resonates so much with my past, the present, and things to remember in the future.

no, i’m not drinking or taking pills… but i’ve done things in the past… and, well, i almost broke down completely after i finally listened to the song all the way through.

i love ed sheeran, but i couldn’t bring myself to listen to this song.
until now.

xo

I gave all my oxygen to people that could breath
I gave away my money and now we don’t even speak
I drove miles and miles but would you do the same for me
Oh honestly?

Offered up my shoulder just for you to cry upon
Gave you constant shelter and a bed to keep you warm
They gave me the heartache and in return I gave a song
It goes on and on and on

Life can get you down so I just numb the way it feels
I drown it with a drink and out of date prescription pills
And all the ones that love me, they just left me on the shelf, no farewell
So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself

I gave you all my energy and I took away your pain
Cause human beings are destined to radiate or drain
What line do we stand upon cause from here it looks the same?
And only scars remain

Life can get you down so I just numb the way it feels
I drown it with a drink and out of date prescription pills
And all the ones that love me, they just left me on the shelf, no farewell
So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself

But if I don’t then I’ll go back to where I’m rescuing a stranger
Just because they needed saving, just like that
Oh I’m here again, between the devil and the danger
But I guess it’s just my nature
My dad was wrong, cause I’m not like my mum
Cause she’d just smile and I’m complaining in a song, but it helps
So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself

Life can get you down so I just numb the way it feels
Or drown it with a drink and out of date prescription pills
And all the ones that love me, they just left me on the shelf, no farewell
So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself
And before I blame someone else, I’ve got to save myself
And before I love someone else, I’ve got to love myself