www.whyville.net Jul 27, 2007 Weekly Issue

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To Write Love On Her Arms

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To Write Love On Her Arms is an organization that provides hope and support for people involved in self harm, whether it be drugs, alcohol, or any other form of harming yourself. They are a non-profit, Christian organization. The original founder is Jamie Tworkowski. The current headquarters is in Orlando, Florida.

I found out about this amazing project through music, of all things. Their main weapon for achieving wide-spread awareness is through bands. There is a great number of bands involved and growing. Here are just some of the bands involved: Bayside, Bread Of Stone, UnderOath, Anberlin, Switchfoot, Showbreed, Copeland, Sleeping At Last, Thrice, Sullivan, Jimmy Eat World, Meg and Dia, Jonezetta, Paramore, and The Rocket Summer. Some of whom have worn the TWLOHA's T-shirts during performances and photo shoots, spreading the recognition even more. Ryan Ross and Brendon Urie have also been spotted wearing the T-shirts. The bands Alesana and Mayday Parade were also seen wearing TWLOHA's T-shirts this year during the Vans Warped Tour 2007.

TWLOHA was inspired by a 19 year-old girl named Renee, who self-mutilated, and told Jamie Tworkowski her story. But more on that later. Jamie was also inspired by a group of people who brought him to the road of recovery. Since then TWLOHA has been trying to stop self-harm through donations, consoling, and telling the stories of others and how they were affected. The two most widely used slogans are "Love Is Movement" and "Rescue Is Possible". Switchfoot also has a song titled "Love Is Movement", inspired by the organization. The band Between the Trees' song "The Way She Feels" was written by the young girl, Renee, who is also seen in the music video of the song.

The current projects of the organization include selling hats and T-shirts with various slogans to spread awareness and gather donations. They are also working on a street-team designed to tell people about anti-depression and anti-suicide programs. They are also involved in the Vans Warped Tour 2007, sharing the bus with the band Bayside. The original purpose of the group was to pay for Renee's treatment in rehab. They saw all the donations and realized that the organization could be much bigger than just for one person. They could help millions of people who needed help.

Now I bet you are all wondering what the story of this amazing girl, Renee, is. Renee loved the skyline but most of all the stars. She'd sit listening to Pedro the Lion looking at the sky. Music was a safe place to hide from what she felt. When Jamie met the 19 year-old there was cocaine fresh in her system. She hadn't slept for 36 hours and wouldn't for another 24. She had agreed to meet them, listen, and pray. Later she agreed to go to rehab the next day. She had known evil as a child. She had felt the touch of horrid naked men, battled addiction, and battled depression. Only six hours after Jamie met her, Renee felt trapped. Two groups of friends were offering opposite ideas. She drank from her liquor bottle and grabbed her razor blade. She walked into the bathroom and wrote vulgarities on her arm. The nurse at the treatment center found it several hours later. The center had no detox, named her too great a risk, and did not except her. For the next 5 days Jamie and his friends were the salvation for Renee. Jamie decided that if Renee had to be in his rehab it would be the coolest in the country. On Thursday they went to see Band Marino, a local indie-band. The next night Renee had good seats to a basketball game where the Magic beat the Sonics. On Saturday the Taste Of Chaos tour was in town, along with Renee's favorite band, Thrice. Sunday night was church. Their house was filled with thoughts of encouragement towards Renee, preparing her for the road ahead. Later on that night, Renee pulled Jamie aside and handed him a gift. It was her last razor blade that she had used to cut and do her last 5 lines of cocaine with, 5 nights before. Renee is alive and well. February 24 marked a year of sobriety for her. She continues her treatment and is making steps towards a new life. Even as TWLOHA's helps many people, they continue to support Renee.

To sum up this amazing journey of this wonderful organization would be an amazing feat only accomplished by the people involved themselves. The organization isn't only for depression, addiction, and drugs. It's for all people who feel broken. Everyone can relate to feelings of pain and regret. TWLOHA's is not only there for the Christian beliefs, they will help anyone who is in need. They believe being strictly a Christian group alienates those who do not believe in God. The money from the T-shirts now goes to operating needs, such as production, legal fees, and design fees. They also send T-shirts to sick children. Their goal for 2007 is to provide $100K towards treatment, recovery and support for children facing depression, addiction, suicide, and self-injury. They are also working on a copulation CD that will have tracks about pain and hope.

-It is estimated that 15% of Americans, roughly 11 million, suffer from depression.
-It affects young and poor, black and white.
-2/3 are never treated.
-They do not recognize the illness, and see it as a weakness or personality flaw.
-Untreated depression is the most common cause of suicide.
-In Australia, New Zealand, and Japan there is more suicides than murder.
-Suicide is the third leading cause of death in young people.
-Depression is treatable.
-Cutting was a mystery until 1996 when Princess Diana admitted that she had struggled with it.
-Self injures use physical pain to calm or numb physiological pain or stress. They injure on the outside in an attempt to release pain on the inside.
-Self injurers seek the familiar, even if it's pain. This is foreign to most people.
-Self injury is an attempt to stop the hurting. An attempt to be clean.
-Self injurers believe pain is the only option. They use greater external pain as a release for the pain inside.
- There is hope.

If you need help seek a Suicide Hotline in your area by visiting www.befrienders.com

Teen Challenge - "Teen Challenge endeavors to help people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive." Teen Challenge has centers located in 70 different countries.

YellowRibbon.org - International Suicide Prevention Program

Self Mutilators Anonymous - www.selfmutilatorsanonymous.org "Self Mutilators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other, that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from physical self-mutilation."

TeenHelp.org - Advice/Support site for teens

Go Ask Alice - GoAskAlice.com - "An interactive website run through Columbia University. It's targeted for people ages 15-24 and you can post questions or experiences. You will have a response to your question from a health professional within 24 hours. It's awesome because it's anonymous and you can read through the posts."

The Jed Foundation - www.ulifeline.org - "ULifeline is an online resource center for college student mental health and emotional well being."

Mercy Ministries is a non-profit organization for young women who face life-controlling issues. They provide residential programs free of charge designed to address the whole person: spiritual, physical and emotional." There are centers located in Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA.

International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression - www.ifred.org

U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - www.mentalhealth.org

"Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking." Meetings can be found in Australia, the UK and USA.

"Narcotics Anonymous is an international, community-based association of recovering drug addicts with more than 33,500 weekly meetings in over 116 countries worldwide." To find a meeting in your area visit www.na.org. For more informat

ion on Specific Mental Illness' visit the National Allience on Mental Illness.

And of course, www.twloha.com.

If you want more information on these issues try reading these books.

1. American Medical Association's Essential Guide to Depression
2. Recovering from Losses in Life by H. Norman Wright
3. Bodily Harm: The Breakthrough Healing Program for Self-Injurers by Karen Conterio, Wendy Lader and Jennifer Kingsonbloom
4. Cutting (Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation) by Steven Levenkron
5. A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
6. Bloodletting (A Memoir of Secrets, Self-Harm & Survival) by Victoria Leatham
7. An Unquiet Mind (A Memoir of Moods and Madness) by Kay Redfield Jamison

Signing Off, Inspired
This is Kindell.


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