13 Reasons Why

I finished 13 Reasons Why this eve. It’s probably one of the fastest series I’ve ever watched.

Things like this always devastate me. Any depiction of the darkness of High School always breaks me. This was one of the most honest depictions of what your kids go through. I think it’s incredibly important for parents to watch things like this. Yes, it’s often this bad. Yes, sometimes it’s your child hiding this kind of pain. Yes, sometimes your child is the one hurting others. In its message of making you consider what people may be carrying, and our awareness of how we treat one another, it succeeds in its story.

But I worry that it promotes a sense that suicide is the best way for people to know how badly they hurt you. That somehow suicide will help those who’ve damaged you see the light.

I want to beg anyone whose ever been drowned in the depths of personal despair, justice can be had in this life. People will fight for you because people love you. People need to hear about your pain. It’s not your fault and it’s okay to talk about it. Often times the solidarity that comes from sharing our story is the most healing thing for another person. The ugliness of the world, our pain, gives us an opportunity to draw near others who share our suffering. But this can only happen when we speak out. Your voice could not just save your life but someone else’s. You may fear being shamed for speaking out about what someone has done to you. You may worry that nobody will trust your story. We need it anyways. We need your story. Others need your story. We want to hurt with you. When you are at your loneliest or most vulnerable know that help can still be found. Don’t just wait for the pain to hopefully go away. There are people who will help. If you’re worried about what your peers may think, call a hotline.

So many friends over the last few years have shared stories of their abuse with me. I cannot express the admiration I have for their bravery to do this. I know how hard it was for them. I’ve had friends come out to me. I’ve had friends share some of the hardest pains of their lives. And the most devastating mistakes.

I say this to say there are people who will listen. Their stories make me better. Their stories make me love others with more sincerity. Would you share yours with someone? Would you help us love brighter? Would you give us more awareness? You belong here. I don’t want to just fight for existence, I want to fight for abundant life. My heart breaks for anyone not experiencing that. It’s the reason I work with kids. There are so so many of us who want that for you as well.

I want you here. I want you to have abundant life.

I hope you would always feel comfortable reaching out.

Suicide Prevention Hotline:

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