Please Stay

By Jessica MorrisDecember 19, 2016

This month, we’re looking back on the top 10 blog posts of 2016. This post was originally published on October 9,2016.

The following is an abridged version of a chapter that appears in Jessica’s book, which you can order now.

Please stay.

Choose to believe that the sun rises each morning—because this promise is fulfilled daily, and it will give you the hope you need to keep breathing.

Hold fast to what is good. To the little surprises in your day that you never noticed before—the smell of coffee, the scent of your mom’s perfume, and the way flower petals unfurl and reach toward the sunlight.

Stretch out your spirit; let it move toward the light. It will find the light just like the light will always find you. Just like hope will always find you.

Please stay. Your story isn’t over, I promise.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I can’t guarantee you a life free of pain, but I know you are here for a reason. I know that without you, there is a gap in the atmosphere—a vortex of space that can never be filled. Can you not see the joy that abounds from you? Your smile changes hearts and minds; it nourishes the wildflowers of people’s imagination and gives them peace.

You are needed here. Please stay.

This moment may feel unbearable, but it will pass. The thoughts, the ones that haunt you incessantly—they will cease. They are not you. This illness is not you. This pain is not you. You are beauty and pain, love and fear, struggle and peace.

Yes, there is peace for you here, but not just peace. There is still so much more for you here—please stay.

I know you are sapped of energy. Yet still, there is strength inside of you. It is immovable. You can go on. You will go on. Take my hand. You’re not alone.

I’ve been here before; I know it hurts. Your hurt is not mine, but even in the times when I don’t understand, I am still here. I will walk beside you in this darkness and join you when you rest. I will be waiting for you.

One day you will sing again. You will feel safe in crowds. You will be assured of your identity. You will tell someone about your scars. One day you will dance again. You will cry happy tears. And you will look forward to tomorrow.

Fight for these moments. Please stay.

Stay and discover these new lands. These new people. The hidden gems you didn’t even know existed. Stay and find out what you were made for. You are not a failure. You are not irreparably broken. Step forward now, crawl if you must, into a grace that shines light into the shadows of your soul. You are safe here. In fact, this is home.

There are no prerequisites to your existence. You are here, and you are enough. You do not have to go it alone anymore. Let people see your scars. Find the exquisite souls in your life who have also been fractured and let their love heal you. Because you can be healed.

Whatever thought or plan you have to leave, please stop it. If you need a sign, this is it—a flickering neon light, a billboard, a booming voice from heaven. This is your sign to stay. This is the world turning to you and reaching out its hands.

Please stay. There is so much more life for you to live, and you will live it. This is your time.

Please stay.

You can order Jessica’s book here.

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Comments (35)

  1. Ramona

    Thank you! I kinda stumbled onto your page. Your words have touched far deeper than you will ever know. Whether I needed them for myself or someone I don’t know yet that needs them, but your words reached a place in my heart. Thank you!

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  2. Lauren

    Beautiful, I love this thank you

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  3. Grace

    This really moved me, thank you. I needed to read that.

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  4. Liz

    Just bawled my eyes out… Thank you. I needed this and need this. Really badly.

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  5. Pingback: When Hope Speaks | Exclusive excerpt on To Write Love On Her Arms

  6. Laura

    Good God. These tears. I cannot fully explain them.

    I’ve said similar words to people. I’ve been the voice of life and reason for others – but needing that myself, hearing your words speak life directly to my heart – just, wow.

    Thank you for taking the time to share these incredibly beautiful words. If I had funds, I’d own your book. And, one day, I will.

    I’ve been really, really struggling lately. This is like a healing salve on a fresh wound. Thank you for that. I hurt. My heart is shattered. But somehow, so much light shines flows through these words.

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    1. Jessica Morris

      Hi Laura,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I’d love you to DM me on twitter @jessmorris47.
      Jess x

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  7. Kristina

    I’m struggling everyday with overwhelming medical conditions that have sapped me of whatever it is that makes me, me. I’m 36 but feel like I’m 80, the struggle is real and seriously minute to minute. Thank you for your words of hope. I really needed them tonight

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  8. Tim Roberts

    I needed to read this. I appreciate your words. I’ve seen the light of hope. It’s helping me heal. I to have struggled with anxiety, depression, and addiction. I guess I’ll never stop struggling, but today I want to know what the rest of the story is….that’s enough for me. For today I’m glad I’m here and I’m choosing to stay. As I entered into this season of my life, 18 months into it my wife of 11 years filed for divorce. It’s been 15 months now. It’s been a real hard time. I have found a void to fill in my community and find peace and blessings in getting out of my own head and I serve. I’m gifted to serve. I do love people, not always comfortable around them but I continue to try. 42 year old, white male, father of two from Florida.

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  9. Casey

    I watch the movie to Write Love on Her Arms at the suggestion of a friend, one who apparently has idea that something is going on with me. I was apprehensive to be honest, but it was really good. I was then linked to the site and started to poke around and found this post. I read it and it was like it was direct towards me. I have struggled and continue to but this post has given me a reason to keep on trying. I did not even know I needed it tonight but I apparently did. I have saved the link and am sure I will read it many more times and intended on sharing it with anyone that I am concerned about. Thank you.

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  10. Andrew

    Oh my gad. this is so lovely and inspiring.

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  11. Gerry Barclay

    Ok, I’m just going to make this like an AA meeting. Hi, my name is Gerry Barclay and I have PTSD. There, I’ve said it, it’s out in the open and in the light – that feels better. I’m a Canadian Army medic with a tour to Afghanistan working at the multinational Hospital at KAF ( Kandahar Air Field ). Much of my work was working at the trauma centre. Our training prepared us for our duties and in some small way for the horrors of war that we may face.
    One thing I was not prepared for was the children, the seemingly endless line of children, who from no fault of their own found themselves in the crossfire of madness and now have unspeakable wounds to their bodies and souls. I loved those children and I still do. It wasn’t quite the same, but when I was missing my own kids, vicariously I would hug one of those precious Afghani children. Often when the opportunity presented itself, I would be found reading stories, singing to them or just holding and praying for them. Love and unfortunately hate, know no nationality, it is understood regardless of the barriers that exist either real or perceived. The reputation I had there was that I was good with kids, so one of the privileges I had being there was that after a child would come out of surgery, I would be asked to be with that child and to comfort them when they awoke. I never loved a place I hated as much as Afghanistan.
    For many years after returning, I knew that something wasn’t quite right, in fact, I knew exactly what was the problem, but soldiers don’t like to admit to weakness, just like the lie that big boys don’t cry. But cry I did, I couldn’t get the images of those kids out of my mind and I was often woken to the sounds of their cries as they haunted me in the night. So finally I said those words that in some ways still feel like a foreign language, ” I need help. ” They really are 3 of the hardest words to speak in a society that values self-sufficiency as the military does. But I spoke them and I have and continue to receive the help I need. but healing is not easy, more like debridement surgery as the effects of war are stripped off but not quite away.
    Isolation and hopelessness became an ever present companion repeating over and over again that there is no hope, there is no one that cares. I remember one day searching for something that resembled hope. My search took me to “To Write Love On Her Arms.” The first page I saw was “there is still time print.” As I read those words, I didn’t feel so isolated anymore, instead I felt like someone gets me. As I read more of what TWLOHA has to say and stand for, I immediately knew that I found a place where my voice mattered and that my story is not something to be hidden in the shadows. As I came bit by bit and day by day more into the light, I started to find a freedom that for the last few years I was denied. Am I better now, no and that’s ok. Although on the outside I may appear fine, on the inside I now walk with a limp. But once again, that’s ok. I now join with Jacob as he wrestled with God and came out with a limp. I too have wrestled with and depending on the day continue to wrestle with God. And with each time that we wrestle I find more and more freedom as I give up the notion of independence, and find freedom in the interdependence I’ve found with God as well as with others. Thank you to everyone there who has had the courage to tell their story, for in so doing, I as well as many others know that their story matters, they matter, I matter.

    Gerry Barclay Semper Pax – Forever Peace

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  12. Areez Ahmad

    Thank you.

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  13. Bella

    Love this. Thank you for your blog post and thank you to all the interns and everyone kind enough to help others and have compassion. God Bless.

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  14. Gabrielle

    Thank you so much for this post. As someone who is struggling with depression and struggled with suicidal thoughts in the past, this brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

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  15. Tracey

    Wow thats was beautiful.
    It made my heart fill with love and ease.
    Thank you for this beautiful gift to read.

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  16. Melissa Adams

    Perfect, and perfectly timed. Thank you.

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  17. Donna

    I needed this Thank you

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  18. Jessica Morris

    I’m so grateful for you guys and what you’ve taught me about telling my story. Peace x

    Reply  |  
  19. Alissa G.

    Thank you, so very much..I needed to hear this

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  20. Srishti

    This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Thank you for saving a life 🙂

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  21. Jasminanderson2282001

    Thank you… I really needed this. So beautiful it made me cry. You made me see the light. Depression is a boat in the middle of the ocean. Yesterday I stepped out, and now I’m headed towards shore. The currents might pull me back multiple times. I might go under, but I will swim back up. I might get cut by rough waters, and uncontrollable storms, but I swear to you that I will control them. I am headed to shore. I am headed to shore, and I will not let depression be me. I refuse to sit in that boat, alone and dying slowly, when shore is so close. Happiness I’d so close. I chose to live.

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  22. Kim

    This is So beautiful and important! Wishing my dearest Angel would have read this, Please share….

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  23. Emmaly

    I’m so glad I came across this tonight. thank you.

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  24. Kay

    Really inspiring, it helps me to move forward each time i feel like there is no hope.

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  25. Colette Pretorius

    Hurting so badly tonight. Don’t know if i can find any light. Then i read this and rejoice. Life is there to hold on by choice. Gonna take it steady and slow. Gonna give myself time to heal and grow. This sadness will in time disappear. Thank you for caring and posting here. Much love.

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  26. anonymous


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  27. Kaylei

    I’m 14. A girl who was never really cared for by her family nor anyone at school. The hatred that everyone gave me was taken home with me and then put onto my skin. It got to the point where I wouldn’t wait to be home, I’d do it at school in the bathrooms. People always told be that I do it for attention, or to stop, etc. I always said I would. I’d cry and say “I’m trying!”…but I knew that it would still happen. I’ve tried killing myself 2+ times, and I’ve been in counseling for years…but it leaves me empty and I feel worse about my problems and/or myself. I sit in my bed crying and rocking my shaking body back and forth because I’ve always thought the peoples life’s around me would be better. I started starving myself a couple days ago, but my friend showed me this page and told me that she thought I would really love it. I started crying while I was reading this because it made me feel a kind of support that I’ve never really felt before. Thank you for telling me that there is something waiting for me in the future, and making me want to officially put a stop to me hurting and starving myself. Thank you.

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  28. Petra

    Ive been feeling so alone. So forgotten. Reading this just for those short few minutes. I cried in pain but I felt like I had a friend. Someone who cared for me to stay. Its so scary to want to go. Im scared. Thank you. Thank you so much.

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    1. TWLOHA


      Thank you so much for reaching out, and for sharing this part of your story. Please know that you’re not alone. You have a friend in us, and we so badly want you to stay. It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to lean on other people. You are absolutely not alone, and you are absolutely not forgotten. We hear you, and we’re with you. If you’re comfortable with it, we would love to offer you some encouragement and talk more with you. Please email [email protected] so we can speak more there. We look forward to hearing from you. Keep fighting, Petra. We believe in you.

      Reply  |  
  29. Matthew

    That’s beautiful. Thank you

    Reply  |  
  30. Debbie downer

    I feel like this is bad advice. You aren’t here, you’re not holding my hand through this, I am alone. Telling the few people I trust didn’t help at all. Now they look at me like I’m broken and don’t understand. Maybe we have different people around us, but one thing is for sure, you are not here. We are not going through this together. I am alone. Maybe others around feel the same as I, but they sure aren’t opening up to me. Why would they, we want answers, advice, an open unjudgemental ear. The very few people, and I mean very few, that have talked with me and had similar thoughts and feelings as I, have nothing to offer other than nodding their head in agreement about how we don’t understand why it is we feel the way we do. We may be going through similar things in life, feelings, and our heads, but make no mistake, I am alone. You say things that sound great, but we don’t know each other, and nobody I know is telling me how my smile changes hearts and minds, that it nourishes the wildflowers of people’s imagination and gives them peace. It doesn’t. And even if it did, then what? I gotta live for them? I just want to be fixed, and hearing stuff like this just feels and sounds just like the fake smile I put on everyday to match my ridiculous acting that is in fact my life. I’m truly sorry because I know these words in fact help some people, if even just for a moment, but not me. And I don’t know what prompted me to write this out, but I’ve come this far, so I’m not going to delete it. I don’t mean any disrespect at all, I just felt like saying this. To someone, anyone. Huh, and after all this typing on my phone, what have I accomplished? Nothing. I don’t even feel better typing this out. Poor me, right? I’m gonna go ahead and fuck off now.

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    1. TWLOHA

      We at TWLOHA may not be there with you physically, but are in the same fight, the same battle against mental health and stigma. No, we cannot hold your hand across the internet or sit with you one-on-one to speak in person, but we are here and we are reading your words with concern and care. We appreciate you coming forward and sharing your thoughts with us. You aren’t being rude or a jerk, you are being honest as to how you feel. If you are seeking help in the immediate physical sense, we suggest that you visit our local resources page at: Also, there is always a trained counselor available to talk with via the Crisis Text Line. Just text TWLOHA to 741-741. Another option is to e-mail us at [email protected]; someone from our team will reply back to your message as quickly as possible. Thank you for your honesty to share and bravery to live.

      Reply  |  
  31. Anonymous

    I can’t even count what number time this is rereading this post thank you so much it has gotten me through so many hard days
    i still get emotional every time I rreread it

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  32. Alyx

    Nearly a year after this is written, i needed it. Thank you.

    Reply  |  
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