to write love on her arms {316/365}

For most of my life, I’ve been that girl.

The one you come to when something’s wrong.
The one who can solve the problem.
The one who can make you feel better.
The one who can fix it.

I’m an optimist.  Always hopeful. I’ll show you the bright side of anything.

I’ve had more than my share of curve balls tossed at me.  I’d catch them all, and yours too, and juggle them high in the air like nobody’s business.

And then one day, there was one curve ball too many.

And they all came crashing down.

  • At this moment, there are over 120 million people worldwide, suffering from depression.
  • 1 in 5 women can expect to develop clinical depression at some stage of her life.
  • Women experience depression at roughly twice the rate of men.
  • Fewer than half of the women who suffer depression will seek help.
  • Over 50% of the population view depression as a personal weakness.


A personal weakness.

I saw it that way too.

So when it happened to me, I put on my happy face and soldiered on. I kept doing what I do.

And when the happy face didn’t work, I looked for other ways to get happy. Other ways to get through the day.

And then? there was no more happy.

  • Among adolescents, one in eight suffer from depression.
  • 30% of teens suffering from depression also develop substance abuse problem.
  • Depression in teens may sometimes lead to acts of self harm.
  • Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide, the third leading cause of death among teenagers.


When I heard about TWLOHA – To Write Love On Her Arms –  it struck a chord.

And having come back from such a dark, nasty place, and come back even stronger than before, I wanted to do something today to give hope to others.  Today, because TWLOHA put out a call.

Literally, to write love on your arms.

And so I did.

to write love on her arms 316/365

There is always hope, and I’m grateful to have mine back where it belongs.


You can find my 365 project on flickr or check out the flickr group for Shutter Sisters and Designer Digitals.
For all daily photos posted here – Click project365 in the Category list in the right sidebar.

  • AndMilesToGo
    Posted at 21:54h, 12 November Reply

    I love this. Thank you for sharing part of your story.

    • janice
      Posted at 22:46h, 12 November Reply

      Thank YOU :)

  • Rachel
    Posted at 22:41h, 12 November Reply

    Thank yo for sharing a part of yourself… I hope your life is nothing but light & joy these days. Beautiful image, fits the theme perfectly.

    • janice
      Posted at 22:45h, 12 November Reply

      Thanks Rachel. I’m happy to say that it is :)

  • kim
    Posted at 23:55h, 12 November Reply

    Just wanted to let you know that I appreciate you posting this. My daughter has had her dark times with depression and I understand through her the strength it takes to come back.
    Funny how I always think of you with your photos and writings as such a strong and upbeat person, someone exactly like you have described yourself above, the type of friend I would come to when I needed encouragement. Sometimes the person that gives the best shoulders to lean on needs to lean on someone too.
    Take care Jan and have a beautiful weekend my friend!

    • janice
      Posted at 09:36h, 13 November Reply

      That’s it, in a nutshell.

  • vicki
    Posted at 02:33h, 13 November Reply

    Hi Jan, I really admire you for sharing your story. I’ve been struggling with depression myself lately due to my health issues (MS) and the feeling of loss I’ve been experiencing. My kids have also been making some foolish choices which just adds to my grief. Anyways, looking forward to seeing the light soon and I’m so happy you’ve found it. Big Hugs!

    • janice
      Posted at 09:38h, 13 November Reply

      Awww, big hugs Vicki.
      I can relate a little bit, having Crohns Disease. Illness certainly takes a toll on your mental health.

  • CP
    Posted at 04:27h, 13 November Reply

    This was beautiful…I love that you intermingled statistics with your own personal story. The photo, as always, was gorgeous.

    I have suffered with rapid cycling BPD I since I am 14 years old. While I can handle the manic episodes with grace and I am super productive, albeit a little hyper and crazy…the crashing depressions that always accompany it after I “come down” were debilitating. Literally crippling.

    I read about the TWLOHA movement about 3 years ago during a moment of complete despair…when I lost my one of my dearest friends, Derek, to suicide. Now the movement has become personal. I walked around with a Sharpee marker all day long today, writing “love” on the arms of any one who would let me and talking to them about TWLOHA. It’s a sad story, but one of hope, enlightenment and self awareness that everyone should read.

    I am glad you wrote “love” on your arms. You wrote your own special brand of love in my heart a long time ago. xoxo

    You are a beautiful person, J. Inside and out. You are a very strong lady…but once in awhile, it’s okay to literally wear your heart on your sleeve or, in this case…

    love on your arm.

    • janice
      Posted at 09:43h, 13 November Reply

      You? You helped me do this.
      I might’ve seen it in passing and thought about it and moved on, but YOU made me aware of it. This post had you, my friend, front and center.
      Strength in sisters, y’know?

  • Sue
    Posted at 08:04h, 13 November Reply

    I think it’s beautiful. The photo, the story, and the woman who told it. Still waters run deep, and they also hide great treasures.

    I love this, J.

    • janice
      Posted at 09:44h, 13 November Reply

      Love YOU! <3

  • Monybean
    Posted at 08:38h, 13 November Reply

    The photo~Is beautiful. The focus, the lighting, the soft pink tones-well done.

    Your words~Well written. Honest. Heart felt.

    The subject~Important.

    My hope~Even in the dark and twisty times, there will be rays of light.

    l o v e

    • janice
      Posted at 09:49h, 13 November Reply

      Thanks girl.
      Your hope was always my outlook. So when there were no more rays of light, it floored me. I didn’t know how to deal with that, at all.
      Not a natural state for me and I hope to never be there again. My heart hurts for those who suffer with this.

  • Tug
    Posted at 14:50h, 14 November Reply

    Beautiful J. <3

  • maureen @ cottage 960
    Posted at 00:20h, 15 November Reply

    Thanks for sharing this. A very important topic. I didn’t know about TWLOHA, sounds like a wonderful idea. I certainly hope your dark days are all behind you, my friend.

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