Get the 45-page actionable guide, Restart Your Life, for FREE!

HOPE IS REAL: My Big Dream Revealed

hopeisreal

 

Today, I am starting a movement,

and I want you with me.

 

If you’ve been reading Strong Inside Out for a while, you know my story.

I’m not just a fitness trainer. I’m not just a happy girl.

I’m a recovered drug and alcohol-abuser. I’m an ex-clinically depressed and obsessive compulsive despairer. And I’m a survivor of the darkness of hope lost.

My life had always been about waiting until the point at which I would finally gain the courage to leave this world. It had always been a certainty. In fact, it’s the only thing I was certain of.

There are 350 million people in this world who suffer from depression, and only 2/3 of those people ever seek treatment.

I know that, when I was younger, I felt that I didn’t have anyone to talk to who would understand where I was coming from. I talked to a lot of disbelievers thinking I was overreacting. I got a lot of lectures from adults who couldn’t relate.

I didn’t think there was anyone out there who could feel compassion for what I was going through, and have the strength to help me out of it.

After finding the right therapist, being more open with my family, and discovering fitness, I healed my life on my own. But I was lucky. I made the choice to see my diagnosis of clinical depression as an obstacle, not a life sentence when most are told to accept it as such.

There are so many people out there who still struggle to find support, who aren’t as lucky as I was to have that realization, a supportive family, and the knowledge that a better life is possible.

I discovered To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) years into my recovery, while I was surfing through flickr. I came across a moving photo of arms drawn all over with the words, “Love is the movement.”

I followed the link through and found that it was a fan photo for TWLOHA. When I first saw the site, I was blown away. It was as if I was looking at a rockstar’s website.

twlohapost

 

Every detail speaks directly to the person who is being swallowed by the darkness. I searched further and discovered that they host rock shows to bring awareness to the struggle; they have programs within high schools that offer peer support from people who have struggled before; their blog posts are exceptionally moving, and could inspire even the most lost person to hope.

They make reaching out for help cool. It is unlike any nonprofit I have ever come across.

I immediately felt regret for not having discovered them when I was personally in despair. I think I could have avoided a lot of pain. I could have saved a lot of other people whom I hurt when trying to escape my own demons.

I knew I had to help them spread their message, because it was my message, too.

After The World Domination Summit this past summer, I came away with $100 from Chris Guillebeau, and an epiphany.

All that pain & suffering I went through was for this…

It is with hope, elation and fire that I present to you My Big Dream:

To celebrate the 30th birthday I almost didn’t have, I’ll be doing a 30-city tour across the US and Canada called The 30×30 Project. In each city, I’ll be hosting donation-based bootcamps to benefit To Write Love On Her Arms.

30x30revealvideolink

Everything I’ve gone through, every knife-twisting moment of anguish I suffered was so that I could show others that–as dark as it gets–there is always a way to overcome.

Hope is real.

Today, I launched a campaign on IndieGoGo (a site that gathers donations for charities and creatives) to fund my tour and movement. I would love to have you fighting alongside me in this.

Help me show those who are losing hope that they can overcome, that they are needed, and that their story is important.

My $100 investment will go to my first plane ticket, but I’m afraid I’ll need a bit more help than that.

With travel, lodging, food, and modest living expenses, I’ll need to raise $18,000 to make this tour happen.

I’m not big on asking for money or being sales-y. That’s why I didn’t like corporate personal training. But in this case, lives will be improved and even saved if I can get over the fear of asking for help.

I simply ask that you navigate over to IndieGoGo to watch the video. If you feel moved, please donate whatever you can, even if it’s simply sharing with people you love.

Click here to open the IndieGoGo page and ignite this movement with me.

… If nothing else, check out the production value on that baby! I’m über-proud of it! :)

Are you going to kindle the sparks of this fire alongside me?

Tell us. Let’s start this right now.

Most of us have been affected by depression and suicide, but we don’t talk about it. It’s taboo. It’s “self-indulgent.”

That stops here. I told you my story. Now you tell me yours.

How has depression or suicide affected your life? What do you wish you could say to that person who you have lost, or who is still struggling?

Have the courage to share so that another may feel less alone.

See you on the front lines…

Stay strong, guys,

Amy

This is a safe, supportive place to encourage hope. Any comments that seek to destroy that element will not be approved.

P.S. If you want to see more of me, I’m on Nerd Fitness, Live Your Legend, Skool of Life, Blogcastfm, The Change Blog and VicMagary.com today. Click on each to get non-stop Amy all day long!

23 Responses to “HOPE IS REAL: My Big Dream Revealed”

  1. Hans Hageman says:

    I loved listening to your interview with Srini on Blogcast FM. You’ve inspired me to try something on Indiegogo for my girls school in India http://SalusFoundation.org

    Thank you!

  2. Tammy R says:

    So important, Amy. Congratulations. CJ and I will spread the word and look forward to hearing of your journey. We also can’t wait to check out TWLOHA.

  3. James says:

    Awesome, Amy. Very awesome. :)

    James

    • Amy says:

      I thought you’d dig it, James. :) Hope you’re doing well!

      • James says:

        Whenever you make it over to New England during your tour, I’d definitely make the effort to come participate. I’ve never in my life gone to anything like such an event, it would be an exciting and positive experience for me. And I’d get to say hi to you too! I wish you nothing but the best on this endeavor!

        -James

  4. [...] and positive lessons across the United States on a workout tour called The 30×30 Project. Please check it out and consider contributing to this amazing cause, benefiting To Write Love On Her [...]

  5. Chris says:

    I’m excited to discover your blog. Looks like a lot of good content based on positivity and health and fitness. I look forward to reading up. Best of luck with your initiative.

    Regards,
    Chris

  6. Hi Amy,

    Great to hear your story and congrats on your new launch!

    I wrote a somewhat controversial post called, “Proof Your Weight Is Not Your Fault,” discussing genetics as a main reason for why we are the way we are. I’d love to get your perspective on it as it seems you have straddled both issues.

    Best,

    Sam

    • Amy says:

      Thank you for the congratulations, Sam!

      I do not believe that genetics is completely to blame for one’s weight. I think it plays a large role, sure, but I believe (and have experienced first-hand with my clients) that you can turn your body around with consistent action. Even if you don’t completely make over your body TYPE, you can get healthy, no matter what your genetic predisposition.

      We have a choice to accept what people tell us we will deal with for the rest of our lives, or do what we can to change the situation. There is always hope, and with action, there is a way.

  7. Shola says:

    Amy, this is an incredible, world-changing action that you’re taking here–I absolutely love it. I have known many loved ones who have suffered through depression in the past (some, currently), and there’s no doubt that TWLOHA could help them when they’re ready to reach out for help.

    If there’s a Los Angeles bootcamp session on your tour, I’ll do everything I can to be there to participate. In the meantime, I’m going to share your 30×30 Project with my community because I’m sure they’ll love it. Keep doing your thing Amy, the world needs you.

  8. Janet says:

    I just wanted to comment on how awesome this is and congrats! I know you’ll make the fundraiser! I’m also turning 30 this year and feel like I need to do something epic now. :)

    • Amy says:

      Thank you so much, Janet! It’s off to a good start. At just above $4k in and on the 3rd day, I have high hopes!

      What’s your something epic? :)

  9. Hi Amy!

    Wow–so glad I found your blog and your story via Think Traffic. I’m a psychotherapist and one of my missions through my blog and my brick and mortar (private practice) is to bring awareness and de-stigmatize mental health. As you eloquently stated, so many people suffer in silence. It’s amazing how many sufferers are adept at keeping their psychological pain on the inside.

    I’m thrilled that you connected with a therapist. I wish more people would do so…talking to friends or visiting online forums are not the answer, especially when you’ve reached the despair of contemplating suicide.

    Mental wellness requires a holistic approach–we need to get to the origins in order to make meaningful and long-lasting change. Diet and exercise are huge factors in the war against depression and anxiety.

    I hope your bootcamp will travel to Los Angeles, CA. I’d love to sweat it out with you and other amazing and grateful fitness warriors.

    Good luck with your campaign–I’m sure it will be a resounding success.

    ~Linda

    • Amy says:

      Linda, thank you so very much for the encouragement and support. We’re definitely fighting this battle together!

      I’m IN LA! I plan to kick it off here, so be sure to sign up on the 30×30 page (in the bar at the top) to get tour dates and locations.

      With gratitude for you and what you do every day,

      Amy

  10. Hey Amy,

    This post is powerful and so is your work! I love your story and especially what you’ve done with it! All the exclamation points this post would allow can not express how excited I am for you and your adventures in making this world a better place.

    I share a similar story of overcoming mental illness that was driven by the cultural illnesses that reality suffers from. You’re a real inspiration to me, because what you are doing with fitness is what I want to do with creativity. I’m so happy you get to do what you do, and that you’re doing it so well.

    Thank you for sharing the happiness and hope :)

    Love and Magic,

    Melody

    • Amy says:

      I’m with you, Melody; creativity is just as important an outlet as the physical one. I actually talk about that in Make This Your Moment. :)

      Thank you for all you do as well! We are grateful to have you as part of The Strong Inside Out Community!

  11. Stefanie says:

    I am so very proud of you, Amy! You are a wonderful example of how to follow our hearts and go after our dreams. I would like to tell my story with depression, but for some reason the words won’t come. So let me just say that your work and your encouraging words mean a lot to me and I will do what I can to support you in the pursuit of your dream.

    Stefanie

    • Amy says:

      No worries about not feeling comfortable sharing, Stefanie. The fact that you acknowledge it and have reached out at all shows the strength you have to overcome it. I appreciate all your support and kindness!

Leave a Reply