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13 Reasons Why Not To

Hi, I’m Chris and I am a survivor.

I wanted to share my experience of watching the TV series “13 Reasons Why.”

You may be asking “why are you sharing this?” Well, for those that haven’t seen it yet and are thinking about watching it, I just wanted to give a little insight and health warning; as a survivor I found that watching this series was harrowing. I also suffer with depression and anxiety and have come back from a dark place, and within this series there are some very graphic scenes which could easily cause upset and trigger painful thoughts and feelings that you might feel overwhelmed by. I had these thoughts and feelings, however due to the support that I have had from RSVP and from family and close friends, I have the awareness and tools to understand what I was thinking and feeling and be able to process them.

For those who have seen it, you might know what I’m talking about. When life is trying to throw its worst at you, sometimes it can be hard and you feel alone, and dark thoughts and feelings can take over. This series tries to deal with topics such as suicide, bullying, drug use, self-harm and cutting, sexual violence and also includes scenes of rape. Although this is a TV series, it is realistic in parts, and can be very thought provoking, I know it made me think of my dark times.

To help you and other survivors, I’ve collated “13 Reasons Why Not To” in the hope that if you watch the series and find things tough, or dark thoughts start setting in, you can read my words so you don’t lose hope and give up.

1. It really is ok not to be ok; dark times, despair and crying are not signs of weakness.

2. You might not know where to find it yet, but there is still hope.

3. There are people who believe in you and will listen and care.

4. Even if you don’t realise it yet, you have the strength to move beyond this temporary despair and pain.

5. Don’t be ashamed to talk to someone who will listen, your friends or family, a neighbour, a counsellor or the RSVP helpline.

6. Things will begin to get better, light always follows darkness.

7. You deserve much more than ending your life this way, you are precious and have a lot to give the world.

8. Hurting yourself, will also hurt the ones that love and care for you.

9. Nowhere in the world is there anyone else like you; the world needs you, so embrace your uniqueness.

10. A permanent solution is not a good fix for a temporary issue.

11. The way you feel right now will probably not be the same in a day, month or year, you never know how you might feel in another moment.

12. Write down your thoughts, they will look different on paper.

13. Last but not least, to be able to experience life in its fullness, even if things are not good right now, will give you the chance for things to be different and positive in the future; you just don’t know what could happen.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If “13 Reasons Why” has already affected you, please talk to someone, especially if you have experienced any of the topics within this series, there are people that will listen, believe and support you. Chris.

‘…Hope…’ by Darren Tunnicliff and reused under a Creative Commons licence

Posted 4 May 2017

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