To Write Love On Her Arms is a wonderful non profit organziation that is harbored out of Melbourne, Florida as of right now. They specialize in helping those who struggle with addiction, depression, self harm, and sucidial tendencies and help inspire people to realize there is always help and that they are never alone. They originally began in 2006, and have helped millions of people in many different ways over the years.
Their music and events coordinator, Chad Moses sat down to speak with us about his adventures with TWLOHA, and gave quite a lot of insight. He, and everyone else involved with this organization has a goal of helping others and its a beautiful thing. Read on to find out what he said.
1. What would you say are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of helping TWLOHA?
This tends to change every time I get asked that question, which is in and of itself something that I love about my job. At this point, I would say the greatest challenge is also the greatest reward: the fact that I get to bring my heart to work. That serves as a beautiful and regular role of "checks and balances." My job encourages me to be emotionally honest so that we can inspire others to live more connected lives. This takes time and practice and discipline, but the challenge of living a connected life turns into it's own reward in time.
2. What sort of advice do you often find yourself giving to people in need?
Most frequently I encourage people to seek wise voices that can be recurring characters in our lives. It is not rare for myself, or any other staffer, to be on the receiving end of some heavy stories. Often times, these people are sharing their stories for the first time. And so, I like to take some time to acknowledge the courage that sharing took. The next step is to push these people in the direction of consistent and intentional relationships where this story can continue to unfold, and in the midst of perspectives that we value.
3. Is there any particular quote you remind yourself and others of when the tough gets going?
Lately, I've been returning again and again to a line from a poet named Rumi. He said "Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." This quote reminds me that as people, we will always be more connected than we will be alone, we just don't always aware of that. The quote kind of goes back to the last question, in that the seeking Rumi refers to is only made easier and more beautiful when done so in the company of friends.
4. Music is everything. What songs do you personally love and why? (Which ones do you find highly inspiring?)
Well...music is certainly a lot. I think music does a great job of pointing us in the direction of things that are Everything. Music reminds us that there are things in life worth singing about, worth screaming about, worth dancing about, and worth sharing with one another. A few songs that remind me of a sense of Everything and connection are "You Have My Attention" by Copeland, "In The Wake of Pigs" by Oh, Sleeper, and "Staralflur" by Sigur Ros. All of these songs have a way of transporting me back to moments that I felt cared for and safe and connected to others...that, to me, is everything.
5. Have you ever heard a story so touching that its stuck with you this whole time?
Absolutely, and I tend to carry these stories with me wherever I go. It's hard to pinpoint a favorite, but for this particular interview my mind goes to a tour I did through Canada in 2011. On that tour in Calgary, I met a man named Roger. He didn't have a ton to say, but was there to accompany his friend Chelsea. We shared about 30 minutes and at the end of it, Roger shook my hand and transferred a medallion that signified his sobriety. That was cool. But a couple weeks later, Chelsea sent me an email and told me that the medallion Roger gave me was actually the first one he ever received upon graduating from his in-patient drug treatment program. Roger gave me his first mile marker of recovery. I still have that coin and I am still looking for the next person to pass it on to.
6. We recently started a project called the This Is Me Project, which encourages people to show the world who they are and how music has impacted their lives. So, we were wondering, who are you and what has deeply impacted your life?
I am Chad and I am a direct product of the love that has been poured into me. I am who and what I am in spite of myself. I have learned that in life, you can choose who you love, but you cannot choose who loves you, and allowing that fact to sink in has made all the difference in my life.
7. What do you personally do for TWLOHA?
I work in Music and Events for the organization. So while that takes on many forms, it is easiest described as being a physical manifestation of the organization and one of the people who plans and staffs events that TWLOHA is present at.
8. Other than stuff for TWLOHA, what do you do?
I travel, I speak, I email, I make friends, I tour, I stage dive, I read, and I write. All of those things in excess. :)
9. What inspired you to get involved with TWLOHA in the first place?
I sort of hit on this earlier, but I am on this planet and at this organization because I know first hand what it means to struggle with the issues we deal with. But my story doesn't end there. I also know the difference it can make to ask for help, submit to the process of growth, and stubbornly pursue hope. I am alive because people decided to walk along side me in an extremely vulnerable time, and I began working for TWLOHA in the hopes that the crap in my life could positively impact someone someday.
10. What sort of music are you into?
Oh man, I listen to just about everything except Country Radio. I grew up on hardcore and metal, but I think I am most drawn to lyrics rather than genre. I love stories and layers. On my most played list, you'll see:
- Oh, Sleeper
- Touche Amore
- Further Seems Forever
and recently I've been really digging Animals As Leaders and Sleepwave.
11. Is there anything you would like to add?
The only thing I would like to add is for the reader: I want you to know that I am glad you are reading this. That we celebrate your life, and that your story is important. If you are curious about who we are, or what we do, or where you can find help for yourself or a loved one, then please visit TWLOHA.com or sent us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are not alone, not now or ever.
These are interview that I myself have done. They have not been found anywhere, they have not been done for me. They are my work.