So, first off, I have to apologize. I started this blog and for a while I kept up with it faithfully, but over the last few weeks I have slacked tremendously. For that, I am so very sorry.
On to my new topic, one of which is very close to my heart: To Write Love on Her Arms. It is an non-profit organization dedicated to spreading awareness about depression, cutting, suicide, and addiction and to provide support and help for those suffering from these issues. I love this part of their vision: “You were created to love and be loved. You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you’re part of a bigger story. You need to know that your life matters.”
Part of the reason I adore this organization so much is based on how tightly they hold onto that idea of loving each other through the pain. It’s unbelievable to me how this group of people can simply love complete strangers because they know those strangers are worth something and need to understand that.
TWLOHA reaches my heart on an even more personal level, though. For quite a while I have struggled with the concept of self-esteem and whether or not I deserve to be loved. It was never something people would have known. I work hard at being the ever-pleasing people person and encourager that I was made to be, but for some reason that encouragement I love to pour out on others doesn’t seem to touch my own heart. I have a tendency to set myself up for failure and let depression kick in when I succeed at failing. I have taken major steps toward being self-confident and a more positive person toward myself. I haven’t cut my wrist in 2 years and 6 months. That’s quite the accomplishment. I am working hard at never doing it again, but it can be quite the struggle when things get emotionally rough. So far, so good, I guess.
I am also working hard at understanding that people really do love me and want to be my friend. I have never truly had stable friends. Part of it is my fault because I either pick bad friends or become flaky to the ones who actually mean something to me, but I have never been able to hold onto a friend for very long. I just never really thought that people wanted to be around me for extended periods of time because I truly could not see anything good about myself. I am getting better at that. A solid support system has helped a lot.
My faith and relationship with God has helped tremendously with my recovery as well. Though I may forget it more often than I would like to, I keep reminding myself I was created for a purpose and that God loves me no matter what. I don’t always grasp those concepts very well, as my husband would quickly let you know, but he (my husband) helps me to remember how much God loves me as often as he can, and he tells me how much he loves me as well. Love keeps me together. Family, friends, God. Without their love, I wouldn’t make it day-to-day. Because of my constant need to be reminded of this love, I have decided to get the word “love” tattooed on my wrist for several reasons: 1) TWLOHA – the name is so very fitting; 2) the only reason I haven’t cut myself again in the last 2 1/2 years is because of love – God’s love, Chris’ love, my parents’ love (and in-laws’ love), and friends. I know where I could wind up again and I don’t want to go to that dark place again, but I need their love to survive and push through; and 3) I will always be able to share my story when someone asks why I have “love” tattooed on my wrist. I have given this idea over a year of thought and consideration because I know having a visible tattoo might change how people view me. That is something I will just have to deal with. If that little piece of skin covered in ink will cause people to judge me, that is ok. I need to do this, if for no other reason, then for myself and to keep me on track.
So TWLOHA is a pretty personal thing to me. I understand the loneliness that is out there within people that suffer with these problems. I love that TWLOHA exists! I really do! There are generations of hurting kids around the world who just need to know how much they’re loved and how important they truly are. I hope I can help this movement to the best of my abilities. I know helping is by telling my story. As simple of a story as it may be, I need to share it, both for my sake and others. Each time I tell my story, I heal a little more inside and I let someone else know they aren’t alone. No matter how they may feel, they aren’t alone.
Here’s the link to the story that started it all: