Everywhere you are, Saturday, 13 November 2010 will be To Write Love on Her Arms Day!!!
To Write Love on Her Arms—the main site: TWLOHA
To Write Love on Her Arms: Facebook
To Write Love...on Twitter
TWLOHA used to be on MySpace, "where it all started."
I'm basically re-blogging my own backstory from last year:
The subjects of addiction, self-injury and related are very close to me and to my heart. You could say I've been close to it in various forms most of my life; biologically and probably environmentally I've also inherited some of it.
Compulsive, stereotypical, addictive and similar behaviors frequently seem to defy effective treatment and although there often is an underlying biochemical imbalance or other brain dysfunction that's frequently coupled with negative or sometimes even positive psychosocial experiences, the behaviors themselves quickly carve deep, indelible neurological paths.
For generations the side of my biological family I know something about has been captive to diseases, illnesses – "disorders" – of this type. Despite my dislike of labeling, I know the apostle Paul insisted on order, not disorder and Martin Luther says the Church isn't really there without order, in other words, when it is disordered (theology blog, remember).
A huge part of reluctance to reveal, discuss and seek intervention for substance abuse/addiction, compulsivities, self-injury and panic is their seeming uncontrollability along with the fact insight usually comes quite easily yet barely makes a dent because of brain pathways that have formed. Whether or not they met clinical DSM criteria, most people have experienced an episode that would make them look depressed, but if you haven't been there, done that, from the outside looking in it looks as if the person with OCD or addiction needs to get a little discipline and control though often they're among the most disciplined, productive and accomplished. In the many creatives who struggle with addictions and compulsions, their creativity and productivity essentially emerge from the same source as the undesired behaviors.
Incarnational theology is one of the labels/tags to this blog post and in all this my prayer for myself and for each of us - addicted, compulsive, mood-disordered, self-injurious, suicidal, simply creatively different and/or differently creative - is a community of embrace that will celebrate our presence and encourage everyone's full participation and that God will allow all of us to become wounded healers, the divine presence of the crucified and risen Christ we were baptized to be. As I was watching and listening to Patrick Kennedy at Ted Kennedy's funeral I realized that even for someone in a large, supportive family that also has sufficient resources of every kind, this kind of illness still takes a huge toll and is immeasurably costly to society and to the individual.
for every one of us to write love on each other's, others or others' arms...
Another version of my urban graffiti poster for TWLOHAD 2009: To Write Love on Her Arms Day too