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05:33 PM on 02/14/14
TWLOHAjamie
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It is the fifth year joining this chat. I am very happy of chat's existance. I approached to twloha for the first time five years ago when one of my best friends was struggling with depression

thanks for your support TWLOHA!!

a big hug for all of you
Hope is real
Greetings from Uruguay

Meli
Meli. Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for coming back year after year. i'm really glad we've been able to keep this going. V-Day is a tough one for a lot of folks and i like that we get to create a space where people can come together and feel less alone.
05:34 PM on 02/14/14
WiggingOut
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Jaime/TWLOHA,

I know you guys are a small organization out of Florida, but:

1) how often/do you guys hire?

2) have you ever thought about expanding your organization? maybe a branch out west?
05:34 PM on 02/14/14
Girlonfire
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Hi all...Tabitha from NY here! I just want to say TWLOHA has always been there for me when I've struggled with self injury and depression. I've done well though...thanks to my antidepressants I've only self harmed once in the last few years. The last year had been so hard for me. I went through a difficult breakup after a 3 year relationship, had major surgery, got in a car accident and had part of my family cut themselves out of my life. Everything going on has been so hard for me to deal with, and I'm so afraid I will fall back into old habits....especially on days like today that remind me of how my life is not where I has hoped it would be. Hopefully I can stay strong..and I hope you all do too. Much love <3
05:34 PM on 02/14/14
Jordanwoiteshek
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Hey Jamie

I work with middle school and high school students at a church and I've been talking with one of the girls over the past year about a lot of the hurts in her life--a broken home and a molestation that I believe had led to her using self-injury as a way to cope and anorexia as a way to have control. I've had multiple conversations with her, as well as her mom, and she has been in treatment before but she always ends up pulling herself out. I whole-heartedly know this is a battle she cannot fight on her own, and she needs to know she has the support of others around her while she works on understanding those deeper hurts in her heart, but yet she feels like she doesn't need help and she can go through this alone. I know I can't change her heart, I pray that God does, but do you have any advice on how to love her through this?

Thank you for always speaking with such delicate, deliberate precision. :)
05:34 PM on 02/14/14
TWLOHAchristina
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So I've been on the road to recovery for many years now and as years have come and gone, so have different diagnoses, and even this last time in the hospital (just a few weeks ago) has brought everything into question again.

People keep saying, "Focus on the treatment" but I want the pieces of the puzzle to match, so to speak. Does anyone have any advice as to how I can be validated in my concern?

Thanks!
Okami
Hey Okami,

Thanks so much for hanging out with us tonight!

Each journey is unique to the individual and none or more important than another's, but that definitely doesn't mean they are easy. We can relate to times not making sense or working in our favor, but you can't let that define who you are. You are a beautiful individual. No matter what form the "treatment" takes, you are not the treatment. You are definitely validated in wanting to understand what is going on, but also know that sometimes we will never understand why things happen they way they do. There are so many moments that seem to pass without explanation, but please don't let them define you. You are not alone and we love you!
05:34 PM on 02/14/14
nicoleinatl
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So, I lost a friend to suicide this week. She and I are in very similar situations. I am old enough to have experienced the complete rejection of my family... I have a sister 5 years older than I am and we weree best friends for a long time. She has not spoken to me in almost 9 years. It is crazy how the distance and time has affected us. I miss her terribly and I don't really miss my mom, because I never really had a lot going on in that relationship, but I miss the idea of what your mom and dad are supposed to be like. I don't have either. I have been in a relationship for the majority of my adult life, and the man that I really believed I was going to marry very abruptly pulled away from me over the Christmas holiday and chose not to speak to me for almost 6 weeks. I am not so great on the self esteem issue at the moment, but even I can say that that is completely unacceptable and I know that I deserve more than that. He and I officially ended things a week ago today.my friends passing has made me think about a lot of things. Life seems to be so hard right now and it doesn't look like things are going to get way better anytime soon. I keep rereading her last few messages on Twitter and they continually break my heart. Some of the last things that she wrote were meant to encourage all of usto remember that life is a fight and you have to stay in it. I'm trying. Thanks for listening.
05:34 PM on 02/14/14
TWLOHAjonathan
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Thank you! It's hard going through a lot of transitions at once. I started grad school across the country from my hometown and moved out on my own for the first time ever simultaneously so it's a lot to take in. My depression and anxiety have been through the roof, but the one thing I'm grateful for is you guys. I went to Heavy and Light in ATL last year, and after talking to Jamie and him telling me I was capable of reaching my full potential, I realized there is no place I'd rather be but here in the present and doing what I want with my life. Things may not always go as planned, but I'm hopeful that it'll work out eventually. For anyone struggling with change, everything happens for a reason, and we are where we are because there's something great in our future. Even when I wake up feeling hopeless, I feel blessed just to be alive.
Your welcome! Thank you for sharing with us. You are capable of reaching your full potential, Austyn, and we are stoked that you feel blessed to be alive. We appreciate the respect you've given us and we want you to know that you matter. You are right that things do not always go as planned but there are always better days ahead. We wish you the best in grad school and all of your endeavors, Austyn.
05:35 PM on 02/14/14
dreamersfly
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I had a friend who was struggling with depression and anxiety and I was helping her through it as well. She always loved my Fears vs. Dreams bracelet that said "I'm living a story. I will not give up" and I ended up giving it to her as a little inspiration. She still wears it everyday. The littlest things can mean the most to those who are struggling to find hope <3
Wow, that is so awesome! Def. agree with that. Ever since Jamie and TWLOHA came to our school she never stops wearing her bracelet. That is so sweet of you as well. :)
05:35 PM on 02/14/14
TWLOHAkayla
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I have seriously attempted suicide twice now and have dealt with self harm for 10 years. I can say that it is a super hard journey in combination with a personality disorder, depression and post traumatic stress disorder i feel sort of defeated and like giving up. :(
Hey there, we are so glad that you decided to join us tonight. We are so glad that you are alive. We want to let you know that we believe your best days are still ahead of you. Your story is important, and your life certainly matters. If you have not already done so, we urge you to reach out to someone about what you are going through. We wanted to share our Find Help with you. Here you can find both local and national resources of you that could be of use as you continue your journey into recovery. Please do not give up. We have so much hope for you. We also wanted to share this blog as well. It is written by an individual who is recovering from self-injury. We hope that their words will bring you comfort and remind you that while recovery is difficult, it is most certainly worth it. Please know that we stand with you as you continue towards recovery.
05:35 PM on 02/14/14
TWLOHAChloe
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Hey everybody - Hannah here from NY
Hi Hannah! :)
05:35 PM on 02/14/14
TWLOHAliz
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Hey guys! My friend has been struggling with suicide and depression and it breaks my heart every time. This time of year is just not the best for her right now. I am so happy and proud for her that she has been able to go 10 months without self harm and next Saturday she will be heading towards 11 months. Whenever she sees my shirt, she gives a good look at it and says, "I like your shirt" :) I'm so glad to be able to talk to you guys.
Thanks for messaging us! First we want to say that you are doing more than you know for your friend by being there for her, walking along beside her. So many people try to fix, when what is actually desired is a friend who takes them as they are, loves them as is. Your friendship and support of her through her journey is powerful and needed, so thanks for being that for her, possibly in times that you didn't even realize you were being that pillar of strength. It is great to hear about her nearing on her 11 month anniversary of being self-injury free - help her to find a way to celebrate this moment with people she trusts. Be sure to forward her to our Find Help page for resources she may be interested in, such as the Self-Injury Outreach and Support site. Many of our supporters have found these beneficial in their walk towards recovery. Thank you again for being a friend to her, and for your support of TWLOHA's message!
05:35 PM on 02/14/14
haikit
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Hey I'm Megan. I know things seem dark right now cause I've been there. I understand all of it and I just want you to know that it is SOO incredibly worth it to keep fighting. I've been out of that dark place for a few years now and it gets so much better. You are stronger than anything and everything that is dragging you down. When you reach the other side of this you will realize just how strong you were the whole time and just how amazing it feels to be alive. Keep fighting and I promise it'll be worth it!

Thanks, your encouragement means a lot. i was near giving up about a week ago, and the past few days have been unbearable again. Part of me is tempted to take a leave of absence from my university for this semester, to get back on track, but breaks have never helped before and i can't see myself getting better anywhere else, either... Guess i'll keep trudging along. or something.
05:36 PM on 02/14/14
Allissa
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At first, there are going to be a lot more hard days than easy. Its a long journey. But look to what you love. When I want to sink farther into the hole, I try to find even a little spot of light to keep me up. Most of the time for me, that is music. I use concerts as mile-markers. I have countdowns on my phone until the next one. I get through the bad days by listening to new albums or thinking about that awesome show I saw last month. Find what you are passionate about. It doesn't have to be music, but something like that. I ended up street teaming for tons of bands and working for my college radio station and eventually getting a part time job at a record label because music is what kept me afloat. Throw yourself into your passion and it will heal you.
That is actually awesome advice. "Throw yourself into your passion and it will heal you" is great line and I'm totally putting it down in my journal as a reminder. Thanks!
05:36 PM on 02/14/14
TWLOHAlindsay
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Just a question to anyone who has dealt with this kind of stuff: how have you kept on track with your recovery? I'm in the beginning stages of mine, and I know it's really difficult so I'm just wondering what were the keys, if any, in helping you get better?
Hey Allissa, we're glad that you joined us tonight for the chat. We've had the privilege to hear from a lot of people who've found help and a road to recovery. This road looks different for everyone, each person with a unique journey and story they are writing. We know that for a lot of people recovery involves seeking help from a counselor. For some, it might look like taking medication. We don't know or claim to know of a "key" to this process. But, we do know that people need other people. We know that you will need people around you, that you can share with honestly, people who can share in your victories and triumphs, but also people who can be there when you're struggling, and life feels hard. We hope you have those people in your life.

We've also heard that some people like to write or create art that they can look back over to see that journey unfold. One example of this is Renee Yohe's book "Purpose for the Pain". This is Renee's story in her words; a collection of handwritten journals documenting her journey from addiction to sobriety and pain to hope. If you want to check it out, you can find it in our online store here http://store.twloha.com/collections/...-the-pain-book.
05:36 PM on 02/14/14
mellyonline
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so i am within five months of graduating high school and having to start the next chapter of my life. i've applied to two universities and have been accepted (conditionally) to both. however, the last few months of school i have fallen into a depressive state (that i recently admitted to my mom, and im in therapy and medication now). schoolwork started slipping by way too quickly and i started slipping gradewise in a course i usually excel at. I came out of the class with a 56 percent and I feel so insanely disappointed with myself and i am scared to tell my mother my grade because she will be disappointed also. i'm also nervous that the universities will take back my acceptance and i don't know what i will do if that happens. everything slipped out of my control and i feel so distraught and apprehensive about the future and recently i just cant see myself in it anymore. does anyone have any encouraging words they could share?

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