Hi Jamie and TWLOHA staff,
thanks for having this chat, even year after year. means a lot.
the first time you did, i met some lovely people that helped me immensely to stay alive for the subsequent year or two of my life, and i'm not sure i would have made it without that. (we were the ones in the comments of your postsecret blog post. i hope you have an archive of that saved, it'd be sad if such beauty got lost forever.)
i hope you're all well, tonight. and with loved ones, whoever those people may be, however far they may be.
Thanks! i'm happy to be here with our team all of you : )
I probably sound like a broken record occasionally positing about this, but here it goes. I suffer from clinical depression and social anxiety. Alongside this, I also have no friends. Basically, I'm lost. I have no idea what to do with life, and the loneliness doesn't help either. All I'm interested in is music, ha. I'm probably sounding a little like a whiny dude here, but my town isn't that great, either.
I've received 'help' in the past in terms of therapy. I'm currently on antidepressants. It's just hard, ya'know? I struggle to get through the days. Recently, I self harmed again for the first time in a while. Sorry, I just like to vent my frustrations. I'm kinda crying right now as I type all of this. Anyway, I want to thank you guys for being there for others, and inspiring people. You've probably so many lives, and that's something to be seriously proud of. Keep being you guys, and doing what y'all do.
i can relate to that. i too struggle with depression, have been to counseling, and have been on anti-depressants for the last few years. It hasn't been easy, but i do believe it's worth it, to get help and to keep trying. Leaning on other people is a huge piece to the puzzle as well, not trying to do life alone. We're glad that you're here tonight, glad that you're alive and joining us tonight.
Do you all believe that there's someone out there for you and you'll find them eventually? Or would it be better to just find acceptance and happiness being alone?
i think you try to find the second on the way to the first : ) i think both are important. i gotta believe that we all deserve love, the valentine's kind, if we want it. But i also think it's important to fight to be healthy no matter what life looks like, and no matter what hurts or what's missing... Here's something i wrote three years ago, with some of this in mind. It's called "Dear Valentine's Day." http://t.co/ifK82vJdKZ
Also on another note, Jamie that Valentine's day blog that you posted is amazing. I read it a few years ago but seeing it again is such a great reminder. I'm in college and it so happened that 2 of my roommates are dealing with tough breakups this week and I showed them the blog and they wanted me to tell you how much reading that blog helped them. Thanks for everything you all do. Every one of my posts tonight are filled with thanks for you guys. Like I said in an earlier post, I wouldn't be here, I wouldn't be on the track toward recovery, and I certainly wouldn't be this hopeful about my future if it weren't for all that you guys do. Thanks again:)
Very cool. Thanks for sharing all of that. i'm glad you guys were encouraged by that blog. My Mom says it's one of her favorites : )
Hey! Thanks for being on here to chat :) My question is this:
In circumstances that are difficult to explain, could you give any tips to somebody who had feelings for somebody but just was unable to tell them?? I know for me music usually helps but not always. And a lot of times I find myself with anybody to talk to about this. It's like beating yourself up every single day that you had feelings for a particular individual, and then there is that fear that it will never happen so you're basically just wishing on a miracle at that point. I know it sounds kind of odd, but certain circumstances prevent you from confessing how you feel. So how could someone deal with that sort of stress?? I hope this make sense lol I know this sounds a bit ridiculous. Thanks.
The friend zone is a tough one!! i've spent a lot of time there. My advice would be to be honest. In the long run, it will get you where you're going, instead of this confused limbo that you're in right now. And i know what you mean about music. Music reminds us it's okay to feel and our favorite songs have a way of being friends when we feel alone.
Jamie, I'm so inspired by everything you do. As someone who has not only struggled with anxiety, depression, self harm, and suicidal thought myself but also seen others that are so close to me struggle with the same, I'm constantly looking for ways to spread hope and healing through my words and actions. Your heart for the hurting is incredible and your advice and words of life are some of the best I've ever read. Never stop doing what you're doing :)
Thanks for the kind words. i appreciate the encouragement : )
I realize you get hundreds of these types of messages but I wanted to say that it's an honor to have met you twice, heard you speak 3 times and become a uchapter leader for this organization.
I've been following/participating in the TWLOHA story since '07 and it truly inspires me to see what love and compassion can create and how many lives can be touched by seemingly simple concepts like loving others unconditionally.
I'm also proud to have my tattoo in your writing. (my first!)
You are an inspiration to many and a hero to some as well.
However, tonight I would like to simply thank you for being a decent human being and challenging the perspective of so many people and allows them to open their arms, hearts, and eyes to the world in a way that may be completely new for them.
So cool!! i'm honored. Thanks for sharing these kind words.
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. 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.
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?
1. Our team is pretty small - around 15 staff + 5 or 6 interns. We always make noise when we're hiring and here's the link: http://twloha.com/jobs
2. We love the west coast and we participate in lots of events out there - the most recent being HEAVY AND LIGHT in LA on Jan 11. No plans for a west coast office - maybe someday - but we will definitely continue to visit for events as often as we can. Keep an eye on our website & social media for updates.
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. :)
Such a tough one. It sounds like you guys are doing a great job of loving her. The hardest part of these equations is that we can't control the response our love/advice is met with. My advice would be to continue to love her, and to do so in a way that balances compassion with honesty. Honesty meaning continuing to tell her the truth, encouraging her to get the help she needs and deserves. And hopefully there are multiple voices in her life, multiple people inviting her to believe better things. We definitely believe in professional help, so that's definitely the hope or the goal, that she would end up getting great help, and staying. Peace to you and thanks for joining us tonight.
Hello to the Jamie and the TWLOHA team ..
I don't really have a direct question but just wanted to say thank you for what you do..not sure if you guys are still live..hard to judge the time difference from Sydney, Australia...but thank you for being who you are and continuing to encourage and inspire so many xx
Thanks Megan!!! We love Australia! i love Australia! i've been to Sydney and i'm definitely a fan. Thanks for the kind words.
It's so hard to believe Valentine's Day won't suck every year. I'm very cynical about the holiday and refuse to celebrate it. I lost a family member today to cancer and five years ago yesterday I lost my dad to cancer. I was 17. He didn't see me graduate high school, never saw me graduate from undergrad, will never see me graduate with my masters, walk me down the aisle, watch my children grow up… The pain is still unbearable after all these years. Living in a world without him is full of sadness and pain. I'm on the road to moving past the pain and living for him, but it's not that easy. Having to give someone that you love permission to die is the hardest pain imaginable. I stayed strong for my family, but I didn't want to be alive. I didn't see a point, didn't feel worthy of being alive because he wasn't alive. I wanted to take away his pain and let him live for my family. They deserve that. I'm very fortunate to have such a supportive, loving, strong family, but the pain is still real. The hurt is real. Things could be much worse, but this is my worst. TWLOHA always gives me hope, even when I don't want to believe it. I hate complaining to a world full of strangers, but it's hard to find friends who listen and help you through the tough times.
i'm sorry for these great losses. i can't imagine how hard it's been. Makes perfect sense that this would be a tough day for you. Glad you feel like things are gradually getting better. We are huge believers in counseling, and huge believers in community as well - the idea that people need other people, that we all need a support system. You definitely shouldn't have to walk through all of this alone. Peace to you tonight.
Hey Jamie and the TWLOHA team, I love what the organization does-very near and dear to my heart since I have friends who have battled with self-harm and depression. Just want to say thank you for what you guys do day in and day out.
You're very welcome. Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for being here with us tonight. Peace to you.