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Mental Health – My thoughts on 13 Reasons Why

Trigger Warning – This post talks about Mental Health, Suicide, Self Harming and other similar topics.

Like so many other people, I was drawn into the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why“, based on the book by the same name. I binge watched the 13 episode series over 2 days and was warned by multiple people not to watch the last episode alone. I’ve seen a few facebook/twitter posts and read a few articles and I just wanted to touch on a few things. Share my opinion and my story.

Going into the TV show, I knew the basic premise. That it dealt with a suicide and high school students. Even if you didn’t know that before watching, you pick it up pretty quickly. The following episodes focus on Clay listening to a series of tapes left by Hannah explaining the downward spiral that led to her suicide.

Mental Health - My thoughts on 13 Reasons Why

It’s raw and rough to watch, but relatable. I am forever thankful I went to high school in a time before most social media took off. For me, it was emails and ICQ. High school was still a horrible experience for me, but I can only imagine how much worse it could have been. I share some of my thoughts on my high school years over here “Was high school really hell?

I’ve had mental health issues from an early age. I started councilling in Year 3, I started self-injuring in Year 7, I’ve attempted suicide and I’ve had a good friend, as well as a family member, die by suicide. Watching the show, I understood a lot of what Hannah was thinking.

A lot of people are saying that the last episode is too graphic. It isn’t right to show such a detailed suicide scene, that it glorifies suicide. This is the scene I was warned about, and to be honest, it didn’t shock me. You knew it was coming. Sure, you don’t expect to see such a scene in a TV show, but it’s suicide. It isn’t pretty and they didn’t paint it to be pretty. They showed the helplessness of it, the desperation of it, the commitment, the utter resignation that this is the best possible thing that can be done. Through the whole series, you see the aftermath of what this moment leaves behind, but in this last episode, you also witness the moments straight afterwards. The finding of the body, the shock and the heartbreak it causes. I think if anything, it shows suicide as it can be. Sure, it could give someone ideas, but it’s more likely to save someone’s life.

Mental Health - My thoughts on 13 Reasons Why

One thing that sat with me throughout the whole series was the tapes. I guess these are left as a sort of suicide note, a telling of her side of her story, of pointing fingers and trying to make sure that some people knew the truth. I’m not sure what her end goal of making them was, but I feel that a lot of it was very hurtful and selfish. Then again, suicide is both hurtful and selfish. I can honestly say that the main reason I am still here today is because of other people. I’ve felt and seen the hurt that suicide leaves behind. It’s horrendous. In saying that, she is a teenager, and hey, before my last attempt, I would have been very happy to have left a big “fuck you” in the form of similar tapes to a few people who propelled me into feeling that suicide was my best option.

I’ve also seen a few people saying that Hannah is over-dramatic. No. I can’t stop you for thinking that, but YOU never know what someone else is feeling. Everyone feels things differently. As someone who has BPD, I get this, for me, molehills ARE mountains. Hannah does actually have a lot of the BPD traits, and I find it interesting that mental health was never actually brought up at all in the series.

I think mental health and suicide needs to be talked about more, it’s one of those things that gets pushed aside, whispered in secret, swept under the rug. It shouldn’t, suicide is real and it’s something that a hell of a lot of people consider at some point in their life. I don’t know if it’s talked about more in schools these days, but it was never mentioned when I was there. My school counsellor had me talk to my parents because she wasn’t able to give me the help I needed, but I only visited the counsellor because my friends were worried and told my year advisor.

So yeah, those are my thoughts. It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down and talked through my thoughts and feelings on something, but this show left me feeling a lot of things.

Lifeline 13 11 14.
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800.
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

Have you watched the show? What did you think?

White Night Ballarat

On Saturday, I headed into Ballarat for the first time in around 20 years. The trip was a lot easier than expected, I just had to make my way into Southern Cross station and jump on the V-Line. My everyday Myki card works for the trip and ended up only costing like $6 (each way). I had never been on a V-Line train and I was impressed. It was super comfortable and quite spacious with fold down tray tables and toilets in every carriage.

White Night Ballarat

It took around an hour and a half to get to Ballarat. We strolled around the streets a little and stopped by an Irish Pub before heading to our Air BnB. I actually got lost and we ended up on a bit of a detour, but I really enjoyed that as I LOVED looking at all the houses. It really is so beautiful there and as someone who loves architecture and interior design, it was a great place to visit, if just for the buildings and houses.

White Night Ballarat

We had dinner booked for 7, but turned up early, you can read about the amazing meal in my last post HERE. By the time we waddled out, it was getting darker and White Night had starting to get going.

White Night Ballarat

At first, the crowds were kind of mellow, but as it got darker, it became very crowded. Walking up Lydiard Street was a tricky time and I found the crowds a little anxiety inducing. That being said, the reason why I decided to go to White Night Ballarat instead of White Night Melbourne was because the crowds in Ballarat would be a lot tamer than Melbourne. Ballarat had an estimated 40,000 whereas Melbourne had close to 600,000. I would love to see the Melbourne one, but it will have to be at a time when my anxiety is much better.

White Night Ballarat

We wandered around rather aimlessly, we didn’t have a plan and just wanted to experience it. I think my favourite thing was the art projected onto the buildings. The colours were so vibrant it would have been easy to watch the changing scenes for hours.

White Night Ballarat

Fibre Lane was AWESOME, you can watch a short video of me walking through it over on my Instagram. It was what I imagine walking through a room full of jellyfish would be like. I kind of want something similar for my home!

White Night Ballarat

Above and below are scenes from ‘More than 1 Nation‘, a projection film about Aboriginal history, the cultural misappropriation from European colonists, the strength and resilience of Aboriginal people and a reminder that Australia is a land of huge culture diversity. It was a breathtaking display, if somewhat harrowing.

White Night Ballarat

The featured image and the image below is of the White Night Messenger. A 5.5m tall puppet that was strolling around the event. Totally fascinating to watch!

I ended up walking around 12km and had a blister on my foot (my favourite boots are dying, noooo). We found a pub and had a drink (Lemon, Lime & Bitters for me) and people watched for awhile. I actually was on the verge of a panic attack, but thankfully managed to calm down before it fully hit. I think we made it back to our Air BnB around 11ish, so not as late as we expected to be out. All in all I really enjoyed the night.

White Night Ballarat

A few extra things. It was really clean, we noticed people going around with bins and cleaning up constantly. We left early the next day and at 6am the streets were clean of any rubbish. They had portable toilets set up at a few places and I was super happy to see that they had disability/wheelchair port-a-loos. There were White Night volunteers around everywhere, and whilst people watching at the pub later in the night, 6 mounted police walked by! I was excited by seeing horses!

Have you been to White Night or an event like it?

Where to eat in Ballarat – Meigas – The best Tapas I’ve ever had!

When my BFF and I found out that Ballarat was hosting it’s own White Night (more on that later), we decided to head out country for the night and experience what Ballarat had to offer. We booked an Air BnB and asked the host where they would recommend to eat. We decided on Meigas, a Spanish Resturant with some outstanding looking Tapas.

Meigas Ballarat

We chose the ‘Feed Me’ option, which basically meant they would keep bringing out plates until you told them to stop. I didn’t take pictures of all the dishes, these are only a handful of, gees, around 13 or 14. We got to a point where we were SO full, we had to stop them bringing dishes & had the last one, which was dessert.

Meigas Ballarat

When you order, they ask if there is anything we wouldn’t eat or dietary requirements. We said we’d try anything, and that I couldn’t eat nuts, which thankfully was only in one dish. They were really good about that, which I loved.

Meigas Ballarat

I don’t know what all of the dishes were called, but we had a mixed meats/cheese board, calamari with the softest most amazing batter. Chorizo, mushrooms in garlic, prawns, and the crazy padron peppers. Pork, spicy potato chunks, and what I think was beef cheeks in the most delicious mash. I know i’ve missed a couple of dished from that list too. Dessert was Churros with chocolate sauce, alongside peaches and ice cream.

Meigas Ballarat

To be honest, i’m already trying to figure out when I can plan to visit Ballarat next, just to visit Meigas again! I also tried Sangria for the first time and quite enjoyed it! Now, the thing that got me, was the price. The feed me option is $50pp, which is SO cheap for everything we were served. All up, including a jug for 2 of sangria, and a coke, it was $120 (then we threw on a tip).

I was impressed with the service, we booked way in advance, as we figured that it would book up due to White Night. I was a little concerned we might get rushed for the table, but the meals came out pretty steadily and we weren’t pressured to move. We did actually turn up over half an hour early, and they still managed to accommodate us. Oh, and all the staff were gorgeous and so very friendly. I kind of just wanted to befriend them all.

Meigas Ballarat

Where – 33 Armstrong St N, Ballarat, Victoria.
Check them out on Facebook.

Have you tried Tapas before?