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