We are stories still going.

By Jamie TworkowskiNovember 18, 2013

There’s a lot of talk of stories these days. My friend and favorite writer Donald Miller has led the way, wondering about the elements that make for a great film or a great book—could those things also apply to the stories that we’re living? Here at TWLOHA, we’re inviting people to consider the possibility that their story is something sacred, something priceless, unique, worth fighting for. And we’ve come to believe that a good story will not just be the story of one person. It will require other characters. It will require people needing other people, leaning on them, loving them and being loved by them, knowing and being known. 

There are parts of our stories that we wish were different, things we wish we could change, erase, forget. We get stuck in moments. Memories turn to ghosts. We try to live in the past, but it never works. And then, somehow, inside the same story, there is good. There are memories that make us laugh and make us smile, relationships and conversations, dreams of jobs and families, and places that we hope to go. Even things as simple as favorite books and songs and films—the way they remind us we’re alive—these things are part of our story as well. And we’ve come to believe that all of it matters, that all of it is significant and the opposite of small. We’ve come to believe that you deserve to be around people who know these parts of you, people who laugh and mourn and celebrate with you, people who remind you you’re not alone in this whole big thing called life. 

Suicide is a story that ends too soon. Our hope and dream is that if you should ever get to a place where your life feels like it’s not worth living, where the pain is just too great, our hope is that you know it’s OK to be honest, and it’s OK to ask for help. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it doesn’t mean you’re something strange or some kind of burden. It simply means you’re human. We pray you’lll be met by friends who remind you that your story is one they too will fight for—with words, and tears, and silence, and whatever it takes. We pray you get to taste the privilege of having these sorts of friends and also the privilege of being this sort of friend. May you wake to the day when life feels worth living, when joy comes back, hope shows up, love returns. May you live to be surprised. 

Here is what we believe to be some very good news: If you’re reading this, if there’s air in your lungs on this November day, then there is still hope for you. Your story is still going. And maybe some things are true for all of us. Perhaps we all relate to pain. Perhaps we all relate to fear and loss and questions. And perhaps we all deserve to be honest, we all deserve whatever help we need. Our stories are all so many things: Heavy and light. Beautiful and difficult. Hopeful and uncertain. But our stories aren’t finished yet. There is still time, for things to heal, change, and grow. There is still time to be surprised. We are stories still going, you and I. We are stories still going. 

Peace to you today.


PS: I wrote this while listening to The 1975’s “Me” on repeat. 

PPS: We have a new shirt called “Stories” available in the TWLOHA Online Store. Click here to get yours.
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Comments (22)

  1. Katelynn

    Your story I shared it with my friend who wanted to kill themself and when my friend read it they told me that because i shared it with them that they did it want to kill themselfs anymore

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  2. Melissa

    Thank you.

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  3. catie

    thank you jamie. ive come to realize that my story will go on, no matter how often i want to give up. twloha has saved me a couple of times with words like these. thanks.

    Reply  |  
  4. Taylor McCrea

    …TWLOHA has posted many many things… between this site… and post secret…the internet has saved my life 5 times at the very least….knowing I’m not all alone facing these things, helped me to overcome a few..i just want to thank the whole organization….truly…you’ve saved my life…well at this point… a few things have….please…never give up on the broken one’s like myself…when everyone gave up on me…you guys were there… whether you know who i am or not…and that truly helped…

    Reply  |  
  5. Ali

    I have been on TWLOHA too many times to count as a teenager I faced lots of bullying in high school and I had some really dark times in my life. I have not been diagnosed with it yet but I have had signs of mania and signs of bipolar disorder since my junior year of high school I’m now a freshman in college and having manic episodes every day and every month.

    Reply  |  
    1. Nms

      We’re here for you Ali 🙂 😀

      Reply  |  
      1. Ali

        Thanks so much 🙂 <3

        Reply  |  
  6. Kim

    Thank you for reminding me that I am still breathing and that my story is not yet done.

    Reply  |  
  7. nami

    I don’t think there has been a single piece writtwn by jamie that I have read & I,didn’t make me cry; this hits uncomfortably close to home. You always know the right things to say and I see them at just the right time. Thank you, jamie.

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  8. William Andrews

    I was exposed to TWLOHA unofficially, I don’t need support but I’ll gladly give it! It’s amazing to know there are such kind-hearted people in this world. I dream to be a therapist, and will achieve. Seeing the fanbase and real lives you’ve affected fills my hear with unexpressable joy. Come to Ky, change lives, inspire, and celebrate life. It really offers so much, the dark clouds hide it. Please respond: [email protected]

    Reply  |  
  9. Peter

    Thank you for your honesty and courage. It’s an inspiration to me. I’m 42, I’m bi-polar, I self-harm, and I’ve tried to end my story seven times. Seven times I was shown the grace from God to fail. Although we, as humans, can’t fully comprehend God’s plan, my gut feeling says He doesn’t want me to end my story. One of the things I’ve learned from failing seven times to end my story is this…..there will NEVER be an eighth time.

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  10. Owen

    Once again TWLOHA has helped me Jamie. I identify with Catie – I’ve been saved more than once by just coming here and reading a blog.
    That idea is so powerful – We are stories still going.
    If I opt out now the story aborts. And I know there are many others in my story and they need me and want me. I could depend on them until I learn to love myself?
    Peace to you also.

    Reply  |  
  11. Emerson

    There is something miraculous here. The power of words to completely change somebody’s life… I don’t know how else to define it.
    And in this community, there is something so beautiful and so pure that we see love exchanged among strangers. This community reaches past so many boundaries.

    I just want to express how important it is that this work is carried forward by each of us. Others need to be loved especially when they can’t love themselves. It’s imperative to their happiness and their security. This community gives us a special place to call home, where we know we’re always loved, and we know that our words always reach someone else’s heart. Thanks to all of you who have made this possible.

    Reply  |  
  12. Vix

    Thank you….. its hard to remember we are strong in our moments of weakness. I was engaged to a horrible controlling person who broke me and i went into the darkness to the point of very nearly giving up. TWLOHA helped me through. I am a surviour and i will keep on survivng for you, everyone who reads this and the life i want to live. Thank you for giving me strength when i needed it. Much love xx

    Reply  |  
  13. Ali

    I am two months free from cutting so proud of myself would not have done it without TWLOHA and my friends and praying to God. <3 🙂

    Reply  |  
  14. Rose

    This message is so important. I hope you restock these shirts – really want one!!!!!

    Reply  |  
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  18. hazel

    Hi. I don’t know if anyone will read this. I came upon the words of the last paragraph a couple of years ago on Tumblr, and it was deeply motivating for me, though I did not know the source. I’ve just been through some difficult times personally, and I thought of the words again, so I googled what I remembered of them (“we are stories still”) and it let me to this page. Then I saw the full name of this website, and I laughed. When I was a teenager, I frequently read stories on To Write Love On Her Arms, and my best friend and I frequently shared stories from there, to keep us going through whatever teen angst we felt at that time. Now I am 27, it’s been more than a decade, and I can’t believe TWLOHA is still helping me walk through life. I want to say things have kind of come full circle – but that’s not really true. Because we are stories still going.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA


      We are so glad you found these words all those years ago and found them once again. We are grateful to play even a tiny role in your story and to bear witness to your courage to keep going. We’re always rooting for you.

      With Hope,

      Reply  |  
  19. Hazel

    Thank you TWLOHA team for your reply and kind words. Your role in my story is not tiny in value. Especially now that I’ve re-discovered TWLOHA and will definitely be checking in to read more often. Thank you for doing what you do for so many years. I wish you all the best. Stay safe.

    Reply  |  
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