Sunday, June 7, 2015

"There Is Still Some Time": A Moving Essay from a Powerful Book

Yesterday I finished reading Jamie Tworkowski​'s book, If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For. For those of you who don't know, Jamie is the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms.​ (TWLOHA), an amazing organization whose mission is "presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide."

The book is a collection of some of Jamie's writings from between 2005 and 2014, many of which appear on the TWLOHA blog (a blog I was honored to write for in March of last year). Even though I had read many of these pieces before, I wanted to take them in all at once, in book form. And I'm so glad I did.

If You Feel Too Much is a book of hope, for sure. It should be required reading not only for people who may be struggling, but for everyone. The messages Tworkowski's essays convey are so important.  They tell us what is actually important in life, and how we should live and treat others. If more people thought and lived like Jamie Tworkowski, the world would be such a better place.

Of all the selections in this book, a couple of them really stand out to me. Of course, there's "To Write Love on Her Arms," which is the piece that gave birth to the entire TWLOHA movement back in 2006. Jamie wrote the story about then-19-year-old Renee Yohe, who was battling depression and addiction, frequently cut herself, and had attempted suicide. After Jamie posted the story on MySpace, it went viral. The rest, as they say, is history.

But of all the writings in If You Feel Too Much, I was most moved by "There Is Still Some Time." It's a short piece. Under 300 words. But those words are so impactful. Here is the essay in its entirety:


If you feel too much, there’s still a place for you here.

If you feel too much, don’t go.

If this world is too painful, stop and rest.

It’s okay to stop and rest.

If you need a break, it’s okay to say you need a break.

This life--it’s not a contest, not a race, not a performance, not a thing that you win.

It’s okay to slow down.

You are here for more than grades, more than a job, more than a promotion, more than keeping up, more than getting by.

This life is not about status or opinion or appearance.

You don’t have to fake it.

You do not have to fake it.

Other people feel this way too.

If your heart is broken, it’s okay to say your heart is broken.

If you feel stuck, it’s okay to say you feel stuck.

If you can’t let go, it’s okay to say you can’t let go.

You are not alone in these places.

Other people feel how you feel.

You are more than just your pain. You are more than wounds, more than drugs, more than death and silence.

There is still some time to be surprised.

There is still some time to ask for help.

There is still some time to start again.

There is still some time for love to find you.

It’s not too late.

You’re not alone.

It’s okay--whatever you need and however long it takes--it’s okay.

It’s okay.

If you feel too much, there’s still a place for you here.

If you feel too much, don’t go.

There is still some time.

(Copyright © 2015 by Jamie Tworkowski)

If you need some hope, pick up a copy of If You Feel Too Much and read it. And if you know someone who's going through a difficult time, no matter what the reason, maybe grab a copy for them and suggest that they read it. It is truly powerful.


"You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people, and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things." --Jamie Tworkowski (from the essay "Happy Birthday")

Me and Jamie Tworkowski in Detroit in February of 2013.

No comments:

Post a Comment