Some of you already know me, but for many others let me introduce myself – my name is Aaron Moore. My wife Michelle and I both work as professional counselors in the Orlando area. We first got involved with TWLOHA a few years back, back when there were only a few of us. Being a counselor, I have always loved the vision of the organization and our common desire for helping others find hope and healing from the issues of addiction, depression, self-injury and suicide.
One of the things that we often talk about with TWLOHA is that we want to begin a conversation about issues like addiction, depression, self-injury and suicide. A conversation about things that are not usually talked about, but instead kept hidden. All too often, these issues carry with them a deep sense of shame, which only keeps them in the dark. We have attempted to start a conversation that begins in hard and dark places, but one that continues in hope, and ultimately moves towards healing.
We believe that hope comes in the context of relationships, in a place called community. One of the questions that we usually ask whenever we are on the road is, “As a friend or family member of someone struggling through hard issues such as these, what makes it so difficult to talk about?” While there are many different answers, one of the most common things that we hear is ‘fear.’ Often it’s the fear of not knowing the right words to say to someone or what to do or say to make sure they get help. Sometimes we fear our friends might get angry at us for talking about it, or worse, we fear that if we talk about these issues in their life then we might have to face the issues in our own.
Our hope is that these conversations battle the stigma and shame by bringing these issues out of the darkness, but also that they fight the fear by helping us understand and know the truth about issues like addiction, depression, and self-injury.
To continue these conversations this year, TWLOHA is hosting MOVE conferences that will allow small groups of people to dig a little deeper. At these conferences, we want to look at each of the issues relevant to TWLOHA in order to gain a deeper understanding of them, as well as what help, healing, and treatment look like for each. The goal is not to learn how to counsel our friends or to learn the right steps that will solve all of these issues and fix everything. Instead, we want to educate ourselves about the issues, while looking at how we can go deeper in caring for those around us and allowing others to care for us in community.
Our hope for the MOVE conferences (this spring break) is that we can all walk away with greater understanding, and while we won’t have all the answers, we can have confidence that we can move together towards hope and healing.
For more details on dates and cost for MOVE 09, CLICK HERE.
We hope to meet you there.
Aaron and Michelle Moore