I have heard of the ‘To Write Love on Her Arms’ non-profit organization before, and I have heard of Jamie Tworkowski from a beautiful friend of mine who sings his praises. It was not until tonight that I sat down and read Jamie’s first written story that ignited the ‘To Write Love on Her Arms’ movement. Jamie created a Charity with his first written story about a young girl, and her personal challenges with mental illness, self-harm, and addiction. He has inspired me to write of a young woman that I know personally, someone who is one of my best friends.
I do not remember how we met exactly, except that she reached out to me years ago to volunteer for one of our Bipolar Babe Stigma Stomp Days. I did not know her, but her enthusiasm and instant commitment to the cause inspired me, and I called her a friend right from the beginning. I have never taken a moment to truly reflect on the past few years with her until tonight. I recall her coming to the event, she is flustered, and I can tell that she is hiding something. When I ask her if she is ok, her eyes well up with tears. She admits that she is anxious and her delicate hands shake incessantly. I stare and see the fear in her wide eyes, and panic attacks have been taking over her being for the entire day. I know it feels as if the air is being sucked dry from her lungs for hours and she can barely breathe. She tells me that she does not want to go home, but instead, she says “I have to stay.” This young woman was going to faint at any moment, but her perseverance and super power strength pushed her through to the very end. We later laughed and hugged, and I realized,she makes me feel alive and invigorated.
Her inner power widens my own personal perception of what it means to actually live. I have been there in her terrors of post-traumatic stress from a past that brutalized and tried to pain her beyond measure, and she has been there for me during my bipolar lows that crush my energy and will to open my eyes. I would do anything to help her, and to see her in pain pierces my heart.
She does not realize what she has given me, which is a new perspective on what it means to not only overcome life's challenges, but to be an extraordinary person. Her mental illness nags her as of late, mocking her progress, telling her that she does not deserve a life of happiness. I tell her now that she deserves the stars, no, the universe, and all beyond what we cannot perceive. She is a pillar upon which I lean, and although she may not know, God indeed does love her with every ounce of his existence, which is truly immeasurable. Although it may seem that evil forces are holding her in clutches, I believe God is working wonders in her life right now. God does not build someone up only to watch them crumble, and there is always deep seeded meaning in our challenges, and even in our suffering. Each stumble brings us closer to him, and every occurrence leads us to a place where we are exactly meant to be.
It is my belief that through a higher power, we can work within our circumstances, knowing that they always change, transition, and with patience, we will flourish. I want to give her my patience when hers is lacking, share my strength when I possess it, and bring any happiness that my heart will bear. I want to remind her that this is not the end, but truly a new beginning to a life filled with abundance.
This does not mean she will never falter, feel pain or doubt, but I have been told that God will never give us more than we can bear, and I want her to know that I will be there to not only lift her up, but remind her that she is loved by a power much greater than any of us can comprehend.