"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars." - Kahlil Gibran
I fill various roles in my daily life: Retired WNBA player, daughter, college basketball coach, big sister, mentor, author, Twitter addict. Now I'm proud to add one more: advocate.
The minute I found To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA), I knew I wanted to get involved. I think part of it was their statement about being an organization for broken people, led by broken people. If we're honest with ourselves, we're all broken in some way or another. And we continue on, trying to hurry up and fix it before anyone notices while simultaneously attempting to disguise the need for any such efforts at all.
The other day a young lady told me I couldn't understand why she is the way she is because I don't know what she's been through. And she was right; I don't. But then she doesn't know me either. She can't imagine that I could possibly empathize with any of her experiences because I have a resume that would imply otherwise. You see, a resume skips everything you went through and goes straight to the success.
But I get it. Truth is, I understand wishing you could hate someone you're biologically forced to love. And I understand what it's like to fill a void with the closest available whatever, or cause a pain you can control to distract you from the kind you can't. I understand looking in the mirror at a stranger, or finding a way to blame yourself for someone else being a monster.
I also understand the resolve to create your own happiness. And I understand finding a way to discover and then appreciate the peace of just you, and embracing your joy by letting God show you exactly where it is. I understand perseverance, and getting through at any cost, and balancing wishes with reality, and living your dreams. Yes, I get it.
That's the reason I'm so excited to represent To Write Love On Her Arms. I'm sick of people suffering and successfully overcoming in silence because they think no one around them can relate. Their stories need to be told and heard. Because whether you notice them or not, these issues aren't just on "reality" tv or in the lives of strangers. Depression, self-injury, addiction and suicide happen everyday in your neighborhood. Your circle. Your house. Your life.
To Write Love On Her Arms is a non-profit organization that provides hope and treatment for anyone dealing with these issues. The work they do is amazing and I'm so excited to team up with them. Thanks to support from my head coach, Dennis Wolff, one of our Virginia Tech Women's Basketball games will be a benefit game to raise money and awareness for this very important cause. This will be the first time TWLOHA has teamed up with any athletic organization and we are happy it's us!
I'll keep you all posted on when the game is as soon as our ACC conference schedule comes out and we pick a date. For more information or to donate now, please visit their website, www.TWLOHA.com. With our help, TWLOHA will be able to continue their work in reminding us all that we are in this together. Stay tuned. And thanks in advance for your support!