Sunday, March 30, 2014

TWLOHA Matters. My Story Matters. I Matter.

Today, To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) turns eight.

I first learned about TWLOHA on Myspace.  I think the year was 2007.  I learned about TWLOHA at a time when I felt alone, lost, discouraged and hopeless.  My life was spiraling downward, and I didn’t see a way out. 


From the moment I read the story that inspired the movement, I myself was moved.  TWLOHA gave me hope and inspired me to take my recovery seriously.  It wasn’t always easy, and there were times when I was moving backwards.  But I never gave up because I knew that recovery was possible.  I learned that people need people, and we need to share our stories.  The stories of hope and recovery were what got my through it all.  I don’t think I’d be here today without those stories.

Eight years after TWLOHA was founded, I still struggle.  I’m not 100% better, and I don’t think I’ll ever be.  But I’ve always known that.  I always knew that even when I was better, I would still struggle.  And that’s okay.  But now I know when to ask for help and when to lean on others.  I know now that I don’t have to go through it alone.

I’m so thankful for everything TWLOHA has done over the past eight years.  From concerts to blog posts to speaking engagements.  All of it has mattered.  Their story matters.  Their mission and vision matter.  And because all of that, I know I matter too.

I’ll leave you with an excerpt from TWLOHA’s vision statement:
“The vision is the possibility that your best days are ahead.  The vision is the possibility that we’re more loved than we’ll ever know.  The vision is hope, and hope is real.  You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story.”

To learn more about TWLOHA or how to get help, visit

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Get me out. I'm stuck.

It’s been awhile since I’ve felt this way.  For anyone that’s read my blog, you know that I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety as well as struggled with self-injury (cutting) and suicidal thoughts.  Although all of that’s “behind me” (it’s never really behind you), lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m back in that place of pain, sadness and helplessness. 
Don’t get me wrong – I am NOT saying I’m depressed or that I want to hurt myself. But I’ve been thinking about it all a lot lately, and if I think about it long enough, I feel like I’m back in middle school and high school.  I feel like I’m back in the place where I was being bullied and tormented because I was different.  The place where I took an x-acto knife to my wrist and made small, shallow cuts from my wrist to my elbow.  The place where I just wanted to end my life because I didn’t see the point of living.
And then, the feelings fade.
I’m not really sure how to explain it.  And I don’t know why it’s happening.  Recently, I came to the realization that I’m not happy with my job.  I don’t know if it’s that I don’t like what I do or that I don’t like where I work.  But when I go to work, I’m miserable.  When I come home, I’m happy.  It’s almost like I live two different lives.
All of this has made me think about other times in my life when I’ve been unhappy, and the first thing that comes to mind are all of those things I listed above.  I think to myself, “how did I get over it back then?  At what point did I say ‘something needs to change,’ and at what point did I change it?”  THAT is when I go back to that place.  THAT is when I remember all of the pain I’ve been through.  But THAT is also when I remember that I can get through it, and I will figure this out.
I’m stuck in a rut, and right now I’m having a really hard time getting out.  Given my past, I know it’s going to take time.  But in the meantime, I need to find a way to cope.  Because I can’t go to work and be snippy and bitchy with my boss and coworkers.  It’s not fair to them.  And it certainly isn’t going to help my career.
I wish I could snap my fingers, figure out what I want and make it happen.  But I can’t. What I can do is figure out what’s making me unhappy and then fix it.  It won’t be easy, and it may involve me making some hard decisions.  But I owe it to myself to be happy.  I deserve it.  I know I do.