Nov 13

TWLOHA Day: My Story


I’m cheating and posting what I wrote for Blogathon, because it concisely sums up how I feel about TWLOHA.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had bouts of depression, mania, suicide dreams, the urge to hurt myself or break things. It got really bad when I was in high school and I knew something wasn’t right, that living like that couldn’t have been normal; and the school’s social worker knew that something wasn’t right, but it was something that my family just didn’t want to hear. Still, my mom abided by the school’s wishes and got me into therapy, though she held true to her theory that this was all “because of a boy.

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But it wasn’t because of a boy and it was the first time things started making sense to me. Depression, bi-polar, any mental illness, wasn’t something that was being talked about that much and it wasn’t like I could call up a friend and be like, “Hay girlfriend, how ’bout that chemical imbalance, oh hahaha.” I did a lot of suffering in silence pre-therapy. If I tried to talk to my family about it, I was laughed at. Accused of trying to get attention. Well, um, yeah. I kind of was. Attention to the fact that I needed help.

But then my mom pulled me from therapy. I went back to being unmedicated and it didn’t take long at all for the heaviness to come back over my heart and the noise to refill my head. For years and years and years, when people would ask me, “Why did you drop out of school?” I would say I didn’t know.

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But I do know. It was that. Depression was making going to school into a horror show for me. And my family still laughs at me when I try to talk about how I feel. Still. Because they don’t know how to handle taking it seriously.

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These days, kids talk about it. And if their family is as close-minded as mine, they have other people to go to. It’s not taboo anymore. And with organizations like To Write Love on Her Arms, kids are starting to realize that there is help, and hope, available to them. And becauseTWLOHA is very tightly affiliated with music and Warped Tour and you see bands wearing the shirts, I think that makes it even better for the kids because it gives it less of a clinical help-line feel and more of a haven for kids to know that it’s OK, that they WILL BE OK.

I wish To Write Love on Her Arms was around when I was in high school.


Yeah, this picture wasn’t hard to accomplish AT ALL. No, I just had to bribe my son with a shitload of chocolate, threaten to get Santa’s fat ass on the phone, and promise a lifetime of wedgies until he finally conceded. I dont know WHERE he gets his bull-headedness. And the unfortunate inability to stand tall under bribery’s iron fist.


7 Comments so far

  1. Ronda November 13th, 2009 2:59 pm

    Ok ok I will finally go read about this thing I’ve been hearing you mention forever. I prefer to stand behind the wall called DENIAL and tell the world I am fine and they are all fucking retarded but I suspect they know the truth. I remember in HS when I had to have a friend skip class to take me to the doc’s to have a blood test for my lithium levels… hard to explain that one to people without having them avoid you like the plague.

    Hey you didn’t include a link? Slacker. <3

  2. Tuna Tar-Tart November 13th, 2009 5:45 pm

    D’oh! I went back and added it, but here it:

    Thanks for sharing that with me, Ronda, <3.

  3. Jenn November 13th, 2009 6:11 pm

    I started group therapy this week, dealing with self esteem, emotion and anger management, boundaries, trust, and harm reduction. It’s amazing how good it feels to talk to other people who understand. The group I’m in is amazing. It’s like each of us is a mirror for each other, our problems and behaviors are so much the same. It’s a relief to know that I’m not alone in feeling this way.

    Thanks for sharing, Erin. <3

  4. Tuna Tar-Tart November 14th, 2009 11:24 am

    Jenn, that’s great! I’m glad you have support there now. And thank you for trusting me enough to let me in. :)

  5. Misty November 13th, 2009 11:07 pm

    I think the thing that hooked me when I first read your blog is that your a very “real” internet person.You may be many many states away but show me that I am not the only one who people just dont always “get’And you know what? I am 34 years old and only now can partially say FUCK THEM. It is okay to feel. We dont choose what we are given in life, but the best thing is being able to accept ourselves, and screw anyone else who doesn’t.I actually am quite amused that with all my issues i am such a less mess than all those “hot girls” and the cheerleaders when I was growing up.The blessing of being in the same crappy town I grew up is I get see how they turned out.It is a laugh, even if it is quite pathetic to witness.Your doing great girlfriend!!!

  6. Tuna Tar-Tart November 14th, 2009 11:28 am

    Misty, that means a ton to me! Thank you. I used to be on LiveJournal for years and years and one day I realized that I was censoring myself, just like I used to in high school when I was afraid to let people know that I wasn’t happy and my life wasn’t perfect. I just try to be as open as possible about it now because I really do want people to know me.

    “We dont choose what we are given in life, but the best thing is being able to accept ourselves, and screw anyone else who doesn’t.” — YES to this!

    I’m glad we met on the good old Internet:)

  7. Tuna Tar-Tart November 14th, 2009 11:28 am

    P.S. What happened to your blog??

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