One Organization Making a Difference
"I hope you feel like it's okay to be honest and it's okay to ask for help. It's simply part of being human."- Jamie Tworkowski, Founder of TWLOHA
For the past 4 years, it has become a tradition for me to attend the To Write Love on Her Arms, Heavy and Light tour. A tradition I hope to introduce to my future children.
This organization is very close to my heart because my first love was a drug addict and I myself have struggled with mental illness.
I first heard about TWLOHA when they released the TWLOHA movie in 2012. Ironically, it was the last movie my parents saw together before my father passed way.
Each time I attended the concert, I was in a different place in my life. This year was the first time I was actually in a good place. This is not only a night of songs, conversation, and hope, it's a night of community. It's a night for people to come together and express things they are afraid to say out loud. It's a night for people to know they are not alone and that we are not meant to do this alone.
I want to share a great exercise the attendees participated in. Each person could fill out a card and share it on the wall. There are two types of struggles; heavy and light.
Each person wrote down the heavy they were carrying and the light they would like to share. For example, my heavy was depression, anxiety, and grief. My light was surviving the worst and believing I'm going to be okay.
As I read all the cards, it put into perspective that we all have obstacles on this roller coaster called life. At times we can become so isolated, feel so alone, and feel as if no one can relate to us. However, last night was a reminder of how similar our struggles are.
This exercise inspired me to create my own and reflect on how I have grown in a positive way over the past 6 years.
I never thought I'd be where I am today. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you're in a dark place. With each experience I've grown stronger, wiser, and that I am worthy of happiness.
So, I encourage you to try this exercise. On a piece of paper, write down your hardest battles and the year they began. Now, write down what you have accomplished and where you are now.
This exercise will make you realize what you've been through, how you overcame the impossible, or maybe you are still on this journey.
It’s not until we reach a positive place and cross over the bridge can we finally see the progress we've made. It’s like climbing a mountain. When we’re at the bottom, our view is blocked. It’s not until we get to the top, we can finally see how far we’ve come. We’re not able to see the beautiful open space; the journey that lies before us.
TWLOHA is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.
To learn more information visit www.twloha.com