I read 13 Reasons Why in the eighth grade. Not necessarily when I was going through the hardest time of my life, but when I had started becoming more aware of the things that happened outside of my life. Now that Selena Gomez has become the producer of a new Netflix series based on the book by Jay Asher, I've found myself looking at the book in a  new light.

13 Reasons Why tells the story of a girl, Hannah Baker, who kills herself. She leaves behind 13 different audiotapes to be passed amongst a group of people within her school. A list of 13 people, a list of 13 reasons.

Hannah says that every story has thirteen reasons, and in a way, that's true. Every story has 13 reasons, at least, but they may not all add up. Selena Gomez said she wanted to produce this series because of her own struggles with mental illness, and because it affects everyone. As someone who struggles with mental illness, I understand.

This is not a suicide note, nor a plea for attention after someone's death, but in my mind, a way of looking at a problem that too many people ignore. The book taught me a lot about myself and my own mental illness, as well as those in general.

It's hard to pinpoint the start

For me, I could never really pinpoint exactly where my mental illness started. Instead, it was a pile up of issues and problems that went unresolved and unaccounted for. Hannah documents thirteen different people's impacts on her life, and the ways they've negatively affected her. There isn't one single starting point, just as there may not be a single end point.

The little things affect people more than you think 

Maybe that one time you called that girl in Calc stupid seemed insignificant to you, but maybe to her it was reaffirming what she had been told all her life: that she wasn't worth it. Clearly, these people on Hannah's list didn't think that they should be there, or didn't know that they should be. But things affect people, no matter the way they were intended. 

Talking to someone is important 

Imogen Marshall

If there's one thing that rang true with me through entire book, it was that Hannah talked too late, and spilled her problems too late. By no means am I suggesting that talking to someone is easy or for everyone, but by telling her story, in a way, she was talking. The hardest part about this story is that she talked before anyone thought to listen, and after anyone could do anything to help her. 

Mental illness has warning signs 

Sometimes, when people suffer from mental illness, they think a solution to their problems is to change something drastic in their lives. For Hannah, this was changing her hair. And for her, the scary thing was that no one seemed to notice. But, people care, and people notice. Warning signs aren't the same for everyone, but for everyone, they're there. 

More people are affected than you know

Clay, the subject on Hannah's list who the book focuses on, is affected more than she would have thought by her death. Even when a suicide is not involved, the pain you feel is felt by the ones who love you the most. They feel your pain, and they want to do anything to help. And remember, you are not the only one who suffers.

The 13-episode series will air on Netflix beginning March 31st, 2017.