Blog

May1
2019

Black and White 2.0

By To Write Love on Her Arms

May is Mental Health Month in the United States. Last year, in honor of the month, we launched a campaign titled: Black and White. The campaign featured four statements we deemed to be non-negotiable; phrases that embody the To Write Love on Her Arms mission and we feel are not up for debate. We told you that We Will Not Be Silent, we declared that People Need Other People, we offered a reminder that You Are Not Your Pain, and we celebrated the idea that Hope Is Defiant. In combination with those statements, our goal was to begin, inspire, and nurture conversations about mental health throughout the month and well into the future.

It is impossible to talk about mental health without also discussing stigma—the times when silence becomes the loudest voice in the room or keeps the conversation from happening at all. When stigma and fear and misunderstanding thrive, our assumptions become our absolutes and our struggles are left to take root within us.

As we welcome and observe this year’s Mental Health Month, we want to build on the foundation we set last year by offering you four more core beliefs that we feel and believe wholeheartedly apply to you. To us, these statements are Black and White.

I Am Worthy of Hope

Read that again.

Once more, but aloud this time.

You can repeat those words as often as needed until you believe it. But know that we will never hesitate to lend our voice to this chorus. If hope is the quality of believing in better things, then know that we adamantly believe in you.

We believe that hope is universal, that you can’t waive your right to it regardless of place or experience. It is not something earned nor bargained for. It opens us up to the possibility of healing and understanding and growth. Hope plays a pivotal and consistent role in what keeps you alive, and we need you to know that you are undeniably worthy of both its presence and power.

It Is OK to Ask for Help

Holding on to hope is a choice. The pain you navigate and endure is not. While hope reminds us to keep going, pain has a tendency to isolate us. It can replace the loving and nurturing voices in our lives with the lie that says our struggles can’t be shared with others. But we’re certain that other people can and should be part of the equation. Finding healing within yourself does not mean you have to do it by yourself.

Asking for help can be done without shame, without apology, and without a feeling of weakness. What it does involve, is the courage and bravery to know that it exists and that there are people who want to offer it to you. Simply put: It is OK to ask for help. You have never been expected to find a path toward recovery on your own. The story is yours to tell, but this journey involves supporting characters, too, who are cheering for you.

Your Story Is Important

Every story ever told has one thing in common: an audience. This story of yours, pages and chapters of struggle and strength, uncertainty and passion, is worthy of eyes, ears, and collaboration. When we say that your story is important, we’re encouraging you to share it, because in telling your story, you can collide with and inspire others.

Perhaps we’ve grown accustomed to hearing stories in the past tense, prefaced by words like “once upon a time.” But your story, above all else, is captivating in that it is still going. Unfinished, unfiltered, unabridged, unfolding…no matter where you are, your story and your life are important to us. And we’re honored to hear it.

We Need You Here

We say this with urgency: We need you here. What that doesn’t require, however, is your perfection. We don’t need your story to be edited or polished. And we don’t need your recovery to be linear and free from detours and rerouting. It’s just you that we need. Your presence and all it entails—perfectly imperfect with questions and wisdom, stumbles and leaps, heartache and joy. We don’t need to know you personally to find the value in your breathing that feeds the trees, your songs that break the silence, and your waking that every sunrise shows up for.

Ever since you came into this world, we haven’t taken a breath without you in it. Your existence has impacted us to a degree where we can’t imagine this place separate from your presence. So when you feel convinced that you are not wanted or too broken to be cared for, know that you are not only welcome here, but you are needed.

With Hope,
TWLOHA

You can shop our Black and White collection here.

If you or someone you know is struggling, we encourage you to reach out for help. For those living in the United States, we invite you to use our FIND HELP Tool to locate local, affordable resources simply by entering your zip code and the level of care you’re seeking. For international resources, visit our FIND HELP page for a collection of options listed by country.

As the month continues, we’ll be sharing new content in honor of Mental Health Month across our social media platforms. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to stay up to date! We’ll also be premiering four new To Write Love on Her Arms podcast episodes throughout May that are inspired by this year’s Black and White statements. The first episode of the miniseries is available now!

Leave a Reply

Comments (38)

  1. ANNELIES OGGIER

    this is great! i love twloha and their message about mental health!!

    Reply  |  
  2. Connie Swope Wren

    How do I get bracelets that say to write love on her arms

    Reply  |  
  3. Raye lesser

    A beautiful cause to be part of. Makes me very proud to call you neice ,,! Love Aunt Raye

    Reply  |  
  4. SneakersExpo

    Thanks for the work a round it works great

    Reply  |  
  5. GERALDINE Mary MCCLUSKEY

    Thank you for sharing .

    Reply  |  
  6. Brandon Close

    THIS IS AMAZING I suffer from addiction I’m homeless sitting on a wood post next to a outlet plug to charge a phone I found because my but hurts from the extensive sits on concrete. It started out as me wanting to win Bonnaroo tickets to meet Lil Dicky and sharing ur post gave me points/more entries but then I actually read your articles and even said “I’m worthy of hope” out loud like you had instructed me to. Then something happened, I actually believed it and then began to cry and a universe of emotional came over me and I wanted anything and everything to with TWLOHA. How can I share my story because like you said it is important. Thank you so much I love you and will NEVER forget this moment MWA

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Brandon,

      This truly is incredible and we are so glad you found us. Would you email us at info@twloha.com so we can learn more about you and offer you some encouragement and support?

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
  7. Madi

    We need you here, no matter your age, your skin color or ethnicity, your hight or weight, your gender, your religion, or anything else. We need you here.
    This past Thursday, a teenage girl from my youth group died by suicide. Her name was Breigh. She brought joy and laughter in every room she entered, it seemed as though she was liked by everyone. I do not know her story, and I do not know what drove her to make the decision she did. All I know is that she touched so many lives, and she is and will continue to be greatly missed. I wish I knew that she was struggling. I wish she could’ve known that it was okay to ask for help and that she was worthy of hope.
    This is for all of you out there, please ask for help if you need it. We need you here, and your story matters. Hope is real, and help is real. And you are so very worthy of those things.

    Reply  |  
  8. Katie Raley

    It seems like no matter what chaos I have going on, how much it feels like I’m drowning, how defeated and broken down I feel, reading any one of the blogs can somehow manage to allow me to suddenly feel a little bit of hope, just enough to make me think, “I CAN do this. I CAN keep fighting. My story really isn’t over yet..” And it makes me think harder about sharing my story in the hopes that it may give someone that little bit of hope they need to get them through the night. So thank you, TWLOHA. You’ve truly saved my life more than once. I just hope that, one day, I can have the courage to step up and share my story without feeling ashamed.

    Thank you ❤️

    Reply  |  
  9. Lori

    Thank you I needed this?

    Reply  |  
  10. Kaitlin Howard

    This is such a beautiful piece of work

    Reply  |  
  11. Anon

    The 1st paragraph under We Need You Here, is what I think my family would say. Our adult kids know my health issues and have lived though some with me. (Gone for appts, out-patient home only weekends, etc.) Even tho I’m sick and b try to pull it tog when they are home, I think they just want me here, even if I’m sick. Hard to believe I just write that. Good post! Thx! You do encourage me and make me feel not so alone!

    Reply  |  
  12. Charlotte

    Thank you!

    Reply  |  
  13. Jin Lee

    I will be with you forever.

    Reply  |  
  14. Elise

    Thank you!

    Reply  |  
  15. Karly

    Hello
    I suffer from bipolar disorder with severe psychotic symptoms, GAD, and depression. Your page is so inspiring! I wanted to know if you take poems because I have written some. Let me know your thoughts! Thank you

    Reply  |  
    1. Becky Ebert

      Hi Karly!

      Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, and for sharing some of your own experience with mental health.

      We do accept and sometimes post poems! You’re welcome to send your submissions to blog@twloha.com.

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
  16. Dyanna Dolbow

    I don’t know how I came upon this web page. I wasn’t surfing for it, It just presented itself. I read a few lines, was about to close out of the page , because you see, I have a short attention span and very little captures my attention. But then, I had a very strong feeling come over me and the voice in my head urged me to continue reading. So I did, I read it from beginning to end. I am truly moved. This was written with love. The feeling of love was almost palatable. I am so moved. I was in need of this at the moment it presented itself. I am so very thankful for the overwhelming feeling I had, the voice in my head that urged me on, and for those of you who wrote this. Thank you again and again.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Dyanna,

      Thank you for writing this and sharing it with us. We are beyond grateful that you found our site and read this blog post. It was written for you, it was written for those struggling, it was written from a place of love.

      We are so glad you’re here. Again, thank you for reading these words and for caring enough to leave a comment.

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
  17. Wevie Stevie Schweitzer

    I just watched the movie _ it touched me _ I’m mentally exhausted and want to thank Renee _ hope I spelled it right _ you go girl _ I’m no Angel _ but when I detour _ unexpected _ unexplained _ something _ guides me back to some what Serenity _ what keeps me going ???? Thanks Renee !!!!!!!!!!! I would love to just look into your eyes one day _ and not say a word

    Reply  |  
  18. Dylan Rommel

    Submitted

    Reply  |  
  19. Loretta Boyett

    It was about 4am an i was looking for a movie to watch an i came across (Tp write love an her arms ) i just finished watching it i cried all the way through it because i suffer from bypoler manic depression. an i have tried killing myself a few times. an most of the time i don’t know what is realy or its my mind playing tricks on me when i get stuck on something my obsession. An paranoid is so bad i get so overwhelmed because i dont know whats real or its just me I’m 47 years old. I have no friends i keep everything to myself. Because my grandson an daughter depending on me we are all we got where we live i call it my poker fave evan though im dieing in side but i been hiding it for so long its become normal to me i have lost all faith an hope that i will ever get better i made my house my prison ….thank you for this movie it really is inspiring. I’m lost not broken.. This is just a little piece of my story…

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Hi Loretta,

      We are so glad you found the movie and found us. We’re sorry to hear and know that you’re struggling with these thoughts, but we want you to know that you are not alone. People have been where you are and they have found healing, and we believe you can and deserve to too. Would you email our team at info@twloha.com so we can learn more about you and your situation, and offer you some support? You are worthy of help, Loretta. Thanks for being here.

      With Hope,
      TWLOHA

      Reply  |  
  20. shaikha

    i was really impressed by this beautiful site that i entered by accident and this was a really beautiful coincidence i have hope in this life and there is never surrender and thank you for your effort, which you are trying to help everyone is wonderful from you and there are many people i think they are okay and why you’re so gorgeous

    Reply  |  
  21. Erika

    ?

    Reply  |  
  22. M.g

    Your still strong is you ask for help. We have to take care of ourselves and each other

    Reply  |  
  23. Olyvia

    The mission of this organization is a necessity in many communities.

    Reply  |  
  24. Genesis

    The mind is as important as the soul and the body and shouldn’t be ignored out of judgment and fear.

    Reply  |  
  25. Joy A Oconnor

    My existence means everything, to the world

    Reply  |  
  26. Carlotta Minner

    These things are very real. Listen with an open mind and help,don’t walk away thinking there’s no problem.

    Reply  |  
  27. Melissa Munley

    Life isn’t great. It’s the great moments that makes Life worth living.

    Reply  |  
  28. Tina Contis-Quinn

    Thank you

    Reply  |  
  29. Alex

    Good read

    Reply  |  
  30. Nanette Pengelley

    Amazing.

    Reply  |  
  31. Charles Walker

    Wow

    Reply  |  
  32. Tyresha

    Thank You for sharing.

    Reply  |  
  33. Gin C.

    Thank you.

    Reply  |  
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