The New York Times Bestseller
In 2006 Jamie Tworkowski wrote a story called “To Write Love on Her Arms,” about helping a friend through her struggle with drug addiction, depression, and self-injury. The piece was so hauntingly beautiful that it quickly went viral, giving birth to a non-profit organization of the same name. Now, To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is an internationally recognized leader in suicide prevention and a source of hope, encouragement, and support for people worldwide.
If You Feel Too Much is a celebration of hope, wonder, and what it means to be human. From personal stories of struggling on days most people celebrate to words of strength and encouragement in moments of loss, the essays in this book invite readers to believe that it’s okay to admit to pain and okay to ask for help. If You Feel Too Much is an important book from one of this generation’s most important voices.
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Jamie Tworkowski is the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. He spends much of his time on the road, telling the TWLOHA story and encouraging audiences at universities, concerts, and music festivals. Jamie has been interviewed by NBC Nightly News, CBS Sunday Morning, and Rolling Stone magazine. A proud uncle, he lives in Melbourne Beach, Florida.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
NOTE TO SELF
The only justice is love. Just let it go. You don’t have to write back. You don’t have to explain. This is not about being right. There is something true inside the song you can’t stop listening to. You don’t feel at home anywhere, but you feel at home when Aaron sings that song. Someone calling you a criminal does not make you a criminal, just as someone calling you a hero does not make you a hero. Nobody gets to name you. Find your identity in the one true place. If someone gives you something, and then takes it back—that’s okay. If someone says something or sees something, and then they don’t—it’s okay. Do not be like some broken lawyer making the same argument over and over again, always reaching for rewind. Guilt and regret, those are awful places. You know that. So don’t live there. Do not despair. Do not be afraid. Grace is the interesting thing. Hope.
And God must be a pretty big fan of today, because you keep waking up to it. You have made known your request for a hundred different yesterdays, but the sun keeps rising on this thing that has never been known. Yesterday is dead and over. Wrapped in grace. Those days are grace. You are still alive, and today is the most interesting day. Today is the best place to live.
These things deserve your attention: your family, your friends, the people you will meet today, the strangers with their stories. They say, “We are all in this together.” It is absolutely true. That girl with cancer in her stomach and chaos in her mind. She’s with us. That guy with tears in his eyes and ghosts in his heart. He loved her, and you could see it. You could see it and you told him that it wasn’t his to carry. You told him about grace, and you told him about the song. And you believed it. You were certain of it. So if it’s true for him, then isn’t it also true for you?
Wake up. You’re alive.
PS: And that diamond ring, i know you think about it a lot. i know you don’t know what to do with it. That ring does not define you. It never did. Then or now. You can wear it around your neck. You can throw it to the sea. It doesn’t matter. It’s not your name. You are free.
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