Monday, May 18, 2015

If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski #TWLOHA

If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For by Jamie Tworkowski
Published: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Tarcher
Pages: 224
Received: for honest review via publisher
Find Online: Amazon | Goodreads | B&N

In 2006 Jamie Tworkowski wrote a story called “To Write Love on Her Arms” about helping a friend through her struggle with drug addiction, depression, and self-injury. The piece was so hauntingly beautiful that it quickly went viral, giving birth to a non-profit organization of the same name. Nine years later, To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is an internationally-recognized leader in suicide prevention and a source of hope, encouragement, and resources for people worldwide.

Jamie’s words have been shared hundreds of thousands of times online. They’ve shown up on T-shirts and posters and even tattoos. Now, for the first time, Jamie’s writing is available in the form of a book. If You Feel Too Much is a celebration of hope, wonder, and what it means to be human. From personal stories of struggling on days most people celebrate to offering words of strength and encouragement in moments of loss, the essays in this book invite readers to believe that it’s okay to admit to pain and it's okay to ask for help. If You Feel Too Much is an important book from one of this generation’s most important voices.

This was the book I was first tempted to write in the margins of, but since I'm not quite ready for that idea yet, I just tagged a ton of pages and put sticky notes everywhere. No joke. This book is filled with some of the most quotable thoughts lately and I just had to mark everything that made me think or feel something amazing, regardless if it was happy or sad.

How I had never heard of TWLOHA before, I do not know. But after reading the original story online and in this book (section two in the book), it is inspiring to know that people everywhere are willing to help you no matter what you are going through. Some of the college girls I work with knew about TWLOHA as soon as they saw me reading IYFTM during my lunch hour and told me that it's very prominent in schools, so I had to do a little background work for myself.

When searching about TWLOHA I came across a post about a tweet that Jared Padalecki (of Supernatural fame, though he will always be Dean from Gilmore Girls to me) wrote which had some followers very concerned and then after having read some more about him and his campaign, I found Always Keep Fighting, that supports TWLOHA and this just amazed me that Jamie could inspire so much with his story and foundation.

The stories you will find in Jamie's book are real. They are hard core emotion and they are wonderful. His writing is inspirational, because he is so honest with what he says.
"We are all in this together. It's okay to be honest. It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to say you're stuck, or that you're haunted or that you can't begin to let go.... You are not alone."

There are some wonderful moments captured in time within If You Feel Too Much. Jamie recalls times spent with family and friends both before and after helping others through bouts of depression and losing those he held close. 

Remember that life and love are worth fighting for. You matter. And for those not directly struggling, remember that you can't always tell what battle another person might be fighting, so think before you speak and be supportive to those who seem to be having a difficult time. 

Be sure to keep some sticky notes and tissue with you when you go to read this book as you'll be inspired to keep track of the thought provoking parts and need tissues for the most touching sections. It brought out a lot of emotion in me and I'm glad that I was asked to review this book. I'll be sure to be watching for more campaigns from TWLOHA.

Right now $1 for every book purchased and pre-ordered through May 26th will go to TWLOHA as part of the Tarcher Cares initiative. 

About the Author:
Jamie Tworkowski is the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and thoughts of suicide. TWLOHA has one of the largest online audiences of any non-profit, and Jamie has been interviewed by NBC Nightly News, CBS's Sunday Morning, and Rolling Stone magazine, among others. He is the only nonmusician to win an MTVU Woodie Award. Jamie speaks frequently, telling the TWLOHA story and encouraging audiences at universities, concerts, and music festivals. A proud uncle, Jamie lives in Melbourne Beach, Florida, and loves surfing, music, and basketball. (source)

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