I’m crying right now. For lots of reasons, but mostly because I finally found a charity that resonates so strongly within my heart and soul, a group of people that I genuinely want to help if for no other reason than because I think, in some way, that I can help a hurting soul.
The group if TWLOHA. That stands for To Write Love on Her Arms, it’s a non-profit that is currently partnered with PostSecret to try to start the first online suicide support group, the IMAlive Network.
If you’ve talked to me at all recently, or read my Year 2009 in review, you’d have heard me say this:
I learned that people are broken. I don’t think there is a single person on the earth that doesn’t occasionally look at the ceiling before they go to bed and feel completely lost, broken, or hurting. It’s a result of the fall and none of us are exempt. Life is tough, but it’s what you do in that toughness and in that adversity and pain that defines who you are. Running from your problems, refusing to deal with your emotions and your pain, only compound the problem. Dealing with emotional issues is critical. Sometimes people don’t, or can’t, and they break.
And if you go to TWLOHA’s website, under 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.
We live in a difficult world, a broken world. My friend Byron is very smart – he says that life is hard for most people most of the time. We believe that everyone can relate to pain, that all of us live with questions, and all of us get stuck in moments. You need to know that you’re not alone in the places you feel stuck.
I’m crying right now because I know I need to help them, and other than praying, I don’t know how. I’ve never been suicidal, so how can I relate to suicidal people? I’ve never done drugs, so how can I relate to drug addicts?
I can tell you about loss. I can tell you about watching your brother, strung out, cry for help. I can tell you about watching your sister cut herself because it bleeds the pain away. I can tell you about hearing how you’ve lost someone you loved because they needed a fix. I can tell you about rushing my sister to the hospital with hundreds of self-ingested pills coursing through her system trying to kill her. I can tell you about losing your grandfather to suicide, the way your mother’s body slumps to the floor in grief. I can tell you about losing your parents to murder and to suicide, I can tell you about being that person who slumps to the floor in grief. How you literally feel your heart ripping, and I can tell you about how ever-so-slowly it mends. I can tell you about lying awake at night wanting to help someone and not knowing how.
I’m crying right now because I miss my parents and I miss my brother. I’m crying right now because my heart breaks so hard every time I think about it and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has given me strength for this season and I feel like I abuse his gifts. I feel like I need to be there holding someone and I don’t know how to get to that point. I don’t know how to use this. I wouldn’t know what to say.
And, besides that, I don’t know that my calling lies in talking to someone on the phone or online about their depression, addiction, or suicidal tendencies. I talk on the phone every day to people with real emergencies at work, and I don’t know if I could handle doing it 40 hours a week and then on volunteer basis. But I can talk to people about my experiences. Is there a need for that? Because trust me, dear internet, you can see that I have no problem being open and honest with the pain and loss. And if my story can help people, it’s worth sharing.
So this is my pain right now. This is my grief. That I want to help, so badly. And since I don’t know what to do or where to start, I start here. I tell you. And I ask you to support TWLOHA on my behalf, on the behalf of Daryl Threet who I lost to drug addiction… to Fredrick Threet who I lost to suicide… to Leonard Charles Sechrist who I lost to suicide. For my step-sister’s cousin Joey who they lost to suicide. For the parents and sisters and brothers and loved ones that have been lost to the brokenness of the world.
These people are reaching out to the broken. I’d like to help them succeed.