As some of you know I recently took a trip to Orlando, FL to celebrate 10 YEARS of To Write Love On Her Arms. This organization has drastically changed my life and while I’m being honest, SAVED my life once not all that long ago. I knew I couldn’t miss this special Anniversary edition of their Heavy and Light show. It was time for me to give back to them and not just monetarily. I headed out to the House of Blues in Downtown Disney Saturday night expecting a decent sized crowd as it was all general admission. I still don’t truly know how I managed FRONT ROW but I was standing directly in front of greatness all evening. Ya see, these people…a thousand people…were all a part of me. We all shared the same stories in some aspect or another. In between bands they would come out and speak in reference to the causes they support: Depression, Anxiety, Self-Injury, Suicide, Addiction….and every word I wanted to memorize. I found myself crying during opening credits and when I looked around I noticed I wasn’t the only one. I can’t count how many people I hugged or put my arm around or whispered words of hope into their ear. I just knew that I was going to be forever changed. This shit is serious, people and you MUST be willing to understand it. This community isn’t like anything you’ve ever imagined…it’s so, so much more. I, myself, spent April 2, 2016 with my heros. All thousand of them.
When sadness curls itself at the foot of your bed.
When grief finds home in the basement of your chest.
When your hearts garden swears it cannot grow here.
When the day feels too heavy.
When the balcony is a thieving distraction.
When the drawers in the kitchen siren to you.
When the night is as heavy as an anchor
and you cling to your own shore.
Remember: you are the ocean. A single drop in a child’s hand that can hold up a ship.
When you make a mistake. When you misstep or misspeak.
When you find yourself underneath the strains of being human (because you ARE human). When the heavy of it all calls to you like a wailing animal.
Remember: there is nothing wrong with you.
There is everything significant about you.
From your shoulders to your shins,
from the galaxies in your irises to the orchestra in your throat.
When the friends seem so few.
When the phone doesn’t ring.
When it does but you are too afraid
to answer—too afraid you are too quiet
or take up too much space.
Remember: your name does not begin
or end in silence. Your story is not over.
There are still chapters in this book.
There is still time to fall in love. To fall out.
To shatter and mend. To forgive
and be forgiven. Keep reading.
Crown your failures.
Scream “I Am Worthy” until the stars
collapse upon your brilliance.
Know if depression is the verse, then hope is the chorus.
Allow yourself to exist in this melody even when the instrument of your body is tired of playing. Self-love is not selfish. It is the mantra of someone who recognizes where they
have been and where they need to go.
Find your love in the lake. See how it ripples. How it continues.
It is the Earth’s way of saying “you are important, you are endless.”
Be good to you.
Tell yourself I deserve the keep.
I deserve to love and be loved.
I deserve the whole show, the encore,
the darkness that falls like a curtain and
the morning that will always follow.
We will be the voice that sings behind you.
The receiving end of a phone call
“no, you are not alone”
“no, you are not broken.”
We will run forward to greet you
and together, we will dance like wild fire
because there is reason to celebrate.
We will be. We will finally be.
I will see you tomorrow.
~Sierra DeMulder and Tonya Ingram