Just Finished, Up Next

Just Finished

If You Feel Too Much, Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For, by Jamie Tworkowski.

Jamie Tworkowski is the founder of the non-profit organization, To Write Love On Her Arms or TWLOHA. In 2006 Jamie wrote a story about a friend that was struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and thoughts of suicide and posted his piece as a blog on MySpace. The post went viral, and soon thereafter, he started selling t-shirts to raise money for her treatment. A movement was formed. TWLOHA now has one of the largest online audiences of any non-profit, and has also donated more than $1.5 million to treatment and recovery. (p. 181)

TWLOHA, as an organization, stands for hope. It stands for help. It wants people to know that they matter. That they are loved. That their story is important.

I learned about TWLOHA from my daughter. I looked it up online and have been a fan ever since.

I bought Jamie’s book because I was interested not only in the story of how he started TWLOHA, but I was curious to know more about his personal struggles. I wanted insight into his journey to hope, to help, and to understanding that recovery can be real. Messages I believe in deeply and want also to help spread. 

The book is a collection of his blog posts that spans the years 2005 – 2014. He writes in the Introduction that he didn’t know where to start, which story to tell. (I, for one, can relate to that!) He writes, “i [sic] needed to go back, to read these words and retrace the steps, in order to move forward.” I thought that was lovely. He goes on to write about sadness and joy, death and life. He writes about love, a lot, and broken hearts, too. He writes about compassion, hope, grace and forgiveness. He writes about the bravery required to heal, for the afflicted and their families, and he writes that the most important thing we can do is to be there for one other. So yes, I recommend Jamie’s book if you’re interested in the subject matter. It reminded me that I want interactions in my own life to come from a place of love and compassion.

If someone you care about is struggling and if you’ve had a hard time finding a way to start a conversation, grab a copy and read it. Then give it to your loved one. If you’re the one struggling, read Jamie’s book. One thing you’ll learn for sure is that you are not alone.     

Tarcher, Jamie’s publisher, is donating a portion of every sale to TWLOHA.

Check out TWLOHA’s website: “Hope is real. Help is real. Your story is important.”

Read the full text of the story that started a movement here.

Up Next

Women, Food and God, An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything, by Geneen Roth.

This New York Times bestseller was published in 2010. I can’t believe I didn’t hear of it sooner. In my book, I’m writing about my relationship to food and how it impacted my body image and my self-esteem. So far, my journey to acceptance and love of my body has been S-L-O-W.

I hope Women, Food and God will not only inform the writing in my own book, but will also be a link in the chain for me to lasting acceptance of my body and to ending my own conflicted relationship with food. In the way it may help and inspire me, I hope I can also use the information to help my daughter.    

I think this one’s going to be a doozy. Geneen writes “. . .[the] philosophy I’ve developed over the past thirty years [is]: that our relationship to food is an exact microcosm of our relationship to life itself.” (p. 2) Yikes! I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I can’t wait to find out.  


  1. I can't wait to read your thoughts about Women, Food and God once you've finished it. I haven't felt completely accepting of my body since I was in elementary school. Back then, I was not concerned about weight, but about my stomach's appearance. At the pool, I saw how most girls my age had flat, hard tummies, but mine was more like my mother's. Looking slim in pants, but not so buff in a bathing suit. It's haunted me ever since.

  2. I definitely want to pick up a copy of Jamie's book, especially since it donates a part of their proceeds to TWLOHA. The book sounds fascinating. And you know, I read Wonen, Food and God and I don't remember too much about it, EXCEPT for the fact that I felt pretty dang frustrated every time I read some of it. It was 2010, one of the most difficult times in terms of my depression, eating and body image. I remember being so furious one night, I started crying. Hard. The kind of hard where you wake up to two tiny slits for eyes. I had heard such great things about the book, therefore, I had high hopes, but I didn't find any help in it. Very bummed out.Terrific post Tracey. You are so talented!!!

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