How have you been? It's been like 4 days now since I left Sweden to be with Ben, and boy do I have stories to share. However, this post is not about the trip. This post is about a specific show (read: book) that I want to share with you. I guess most of you have already seen it or at least heard of it. So me and Ben went to the book store, mainly because I wanted to get a book to practice my English grammar. We went around looking and I came across the Teens Section where my eyes went straight for a title that I've been looking for in Sweden. Thirteen reasons why, I knew that I had to get it as soon as I saw it.
When we came back from the store I immediately started reading it. I got hooked just as I got hooked watching the show. Now, I will warn you here that this post will contain spoilers. If you haven't read or watched Thirteen reasons why... I either recommend you to do it or just stop reading from here if you're not interested in it.
There's a few things that differ from the two, the book and the show that is. In both you get to know Clay Jensen and you get to see a lot from his perspective. However, in the book it all happens over one night. He still walks around the places that Hannah marked on the map and he still listens with the old Walkman he borrow (read: stole) from his friend Tony. Int he series he does a lot of things and it does not happen over one night. In fact, I believe the show takes place of the course of at least 5 weeks after Hannah's suicide. Clay keeps confronting the rest of the people (Hannah's 11 reasons) that is on Hannah's list on her tapes. The rest of the people does not really want Clay to keep listening to these tapes because according to them, Hannah is lying about everything. Clay ends up not knowing (this happens a few times) what is true and what is not. They end up starting a group trying to keep Clay's mouth shouted when they get too scared he might tell everyone about the tapes.
That does not happen in the book. Clay keeps to himself, Tony gives him a ride since he does not want him to be alone when Clay listens to his own tape. His mother even joins him for a few minutes at Rosie's (the diner where Hannah talks about Marcus). But that's about it, no more people that he really talks to. Skye also meets him on the bus, but no one from the other tapes except for Marcus who sits by Tyler's window just like in the show. That's about it...
Something that I really did like about it is that it became two different versions och the same story. In one of them you you more personal, also knowing that Clay thinks about Hannah's story. You read his mind as he sits there and listens. Some of the thoughts are embarrassing but some of them are heartbreaking. He wanted to be her friend so bad but he got too afraid of her reputation without even knowing that it wasn't true. He got too scared to ask and now he regrets not talking to her about it. You get to know Clay in a more sensitive and intimate way than in the show. However, in the show you get more sight of what's happening to everybody and not only Clay. You see how Justin's fighting alcohol to make it through the day after knowing what Hannah went through and that he was one of the reasons why she took her own life. Alex get more and more depressed each day and by the end of the show he tried to commit suicide. Jessica finds out that Bryce raped her at the party but Justin lied about it all. All these teenagers, trying survive each day now after knowing what they all did to a girl who only wanted friends. In the book, you are not aware of anyone other than Clay's reaction, emotions and thoughts about it.
I don't really remember, but in the book Hannah even tells everyone on these tapes of the ways she thought about taking her own life. Hanging is not an option because she did not want her parents to go through that. In the book she took her own life by swallowing a bunch of pills, that way it was less painful. In the show however, you get to see a really graphic scene where she slits her wrist. No music in the background and no talking. Just Hannah in the bathtub slitting her own writs. You see, a lof of people said that the producers where glorifying suicide by making such a graphic suicide. Their respons is that, that was not the plan. They want people to know the brutal way it can happen and they want people to see it with their own eyes. Truth be told, this is not an uncommon way for suicide. I like the fact that they didn't censor it, they put in there for people to be aware of the topic of suicide.
After I watched the show I was left with this heavy feeling that I haven't felt for a very long time. I used to bullied when I was in 5th grade and then in gymnasiet (the swedish equivalent to High School) I spent most of my time alone because I thought and felt that no one wanted to be with me. In 5th grade I got depressed to the point where I really did not want to go to school. I was different than everyone and they knew it. My friends watched me as the bullies made fun out of me in the hallway on recess. The bullies put notes in my desk and they made me feel unwelcome at school. Until out school decided to move the one that bullied the most and all of sudden they were all nice to me? I never trusted them again of course and after that I felt alone everyday even though I had my friends. I kept a heavy feeling around me for 2 years until I moved to a different school and got new friends, who were just like me!
So here comes the question: Which one did I like the best? I can't answer that question really. I like the fact that it was the same story but told in different ways. You got to see everyone else other than Clay in the show but in the book you got more emotions from Clay. You were with him in a different way as Hannah's story unfold. You could see the damage a suicide could make on a large group in the show but you also saw the personal damage that was left with Clay. So... I like both of the sides of telling a tragic story. The book where more personal but the show had a greater impact in showing the damage on different people instead.
One thing that I really want to point out with this post is that we need to be more open about the topics of depression, anxiety and even suicide. Depression and anxiety is something that is truly scary but if we don't talk about it... It won't minimize the risk of more people getting depressed. Dealing with depression and anxiety is not fun, let me tell you that. I deal with it every single day and I probably will for the rest of my day. Small things can give me anxiety and it could ruin the day for me. There was a point in my life where I felt like I couldn't talk about it with anyne, because they have never been there themselves. No one talked about it in my school, no one wanted to talk about it anyways. I kept to myself and got even more depressed. I felt so left out from things and I tried my best to be this happy little mooooop that I am. I'm struggling with that even now when I'm soon 21 years old.
My advice to you is... Talk to ones around you about it. Make people more aware of depression and anxiety. It something that is real and it's not just to '' get over it and be happy! '' becuase , excuse my french, it's pure bullshit. I hope you never tell anyone that is dealing with something mentally to get over it and be happy. Just don't.
This post turned out a bit personal but hey, that is what the show did to me. It made me think and it made me feel.