The New York Times Bestseller
In 2006 Jamie Tworkowski wrote a story called “To Write Love on Her Arms,” about helping a friend through her struggle with drug addiction, depression, and self-injury. The piece was so hauntingly beautiful that it quickly went viral, giving birth to a non-profit organization of the same name. Now, To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is an internationally recognized leader in suicide prevention and a source of hope, encouragement, and support for people worldwide.
If You Feel Too Much is a celebration of hope, wonder, and what it means to be human. From personal stories of struggling on days most people celebrate to words of strength and encouragement in moments of loss, the essays in this book invite readers to believe that it’s okay to admit to pain and okay to ask for help. If You Feel Too Much is an important book from one of this generation’s most important voices.
From the Hardcover edition.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
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|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
From the Hardcover edition.
Read an Excerpt
NOTE TO SELF
The only justice is love. Just let it go. You don’t have to write back. You don’t have to explain. This is not about being right. There is something true inside the song you can’t stop listening to. You don’t feel at home anywhere, but you feel at home when Aaron sings that song. Someone calling you a criminal does not make you a criminal, just as someone calling you a hero does not make you a hero. Nobody gets to name you. Find your identity in the one true place. If someone gives you something, and then takes it back—that’s okay. If someone says something or sees something, and then they don’t—it’s okay. Do not be like some broken lawyer making the same argument over and over again, always reaching for rewind. Guilt and regret, those are awful places. You know that. So don’t live there. Do not despair. Do not be afraid. Grace is the interesting thing. Hope.
And God must be a pretty big fan of today, because you keep waking up to it. You have made known your request for a hundred different yesterdays, but the sun keeps rising on this thing that has never been known. Yesterday is dead and over. Wrapped in grace. Those days are grace. You are still alive, and today is the most interesting day. Today is the best place to live.
These things deserve your attention: your family, your friends, the people you will meet today, the strangers with their stories. They say, “We are all in this together.” It is absolutely true. That girl with cancer in her stomach and chaos in her mind. She’s with us. That guy with tears in his eyes and ghosts in his heart. He loved her, and you could see it. You could see it and you told him that it wasn’t his to carry. You told him about grace, and you told him about the song. And you believed it. You were certain of it. So if it’s true for him, then isn’t it also true for you?
Wake up. You’re alive.
PS: And that diamond ring, i know you think about it a lot. i know you don’t know what to do with it. That ring does not define you. It never did. Then or now. You can wear it around your neck. You can throw it to the sea. It doesn’t matter. It’s not your name. You are free.
What People are Saying About This
"Since meeting Jamie, I’ve heard countless stories from people who were hurting, lonely, confused, and even suicidal who were able to find a toehold in his words. They love him because he accepted them as they were, told them they didn’t have to act, and let them know their story contributed to the beauty."
—from the foreword by Donald Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Blue Like Jazz
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski is a collection of short essays detailing Jamie's life, travels, projects and beliefs. It is Jamie's personal story, but feels very much like it could belong to anyone. Every person living their life with a question or a worry or a hint (or more) of sadness, of loneliness. The story told in If You Feel Too Much is Jamie's, but it has the power to touch, to connect to so many. To give hope, to spread love. It has the power to make a reader believe it's okay to ask questions, without trying to give them answers. IYFTM is just a man's thoughts and experiences, put to paper. Thoughts and experiences with the power to spread a message of love to anyone willing to listen. Jamie has a gift for conveying his feelings about a situation, without airing all of his dirty laundry. He can make you sympathetic to an event in his life, without sharing too much. It's a gift that leaves you wondering "what" at times, but his stories are always relatable. His words don't need to be gossipy to engage the reader, and it was something I deeply appreciated about his writing. It's an easy thing to slip from trying to use one's religious beliefs to impart hope, to coming off as self-righteous. In another writer's hands the stories within If You Feel Too Much could have become tedious or preachy, but Jamie Tworkowski treats God as a thing of beauty, not a thing of judgment or hate. His religious beliefs are solidly sold as his religious beliefs, not meant to be forced upon the reader, but taken as part of his view of the world. I enjoyed Jamie's candidness about his beliefs and would imagine that most readers, despite their own beliefs, can look upon Jamie's words and see the message in them. Hope and love. Maybe you agree with Jamie's ideas and maybe you don't, but there's something inspirational that comes from being privy to someone else's thoughts. I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but whenever I do I'm always inspired in some way. Whether it's because I agree with them or passionately disagree, there's something to learn from everyone, and that is a huge part of Jamie's message. If you are a fan of non-fiction or, perhaps, need a little inspiration, a little hope, in your life, If You Feel Too Much is a journey through one man's life, and a sign that love and hope exist, if you'll allow yourself to see it.
Jamie Tworkowski has a unique way of making the reader feel an incredible amount of love from him. By the time I was done reading this book, I felt like I knew Jamie on a personal level!! Jamie takes the reader through a personal journey in which he learned to grow and heal his own struggles. He is raw and real and his stories are relatable and enjoyable. This book is perfect for people who are struggling or who have struggled with a mental illness as the author is skilled in helping people feel normal and worthy and unique. Jamie Tworkowski’s words are so inspiring, uplifting, and humbling. He helps people realize that they are not alone in the struggles that they are facing. I have read this book multiple times and each time I gain something different out of it. I have even highlighted my favorite parts to come back to at different times in my life. It is packed full of inspiring words and quotes that can be tailored to fit anyones individual life. One of my favorite things about Jamie and this book is that he puts his own spin on things throughout the whole book by never capitalizing his “i’s”. For some reason, every time I saw the lowercase i, it made me smile. It was an original way to make the book his own. I highly recommend this book. You will not regret reading it. I wish I could give it more than five stars
I remember underlying a phrase that Jamie used in telling one of his stories. He spoke about a girl that he met and again, the topic was birthdays. He recalls that 'she said that birthdays made little sense aside from love, without a person to share them with.' (page 82, If You Feel Too Much) Maybe life feels like that at times. Maybe it seems like it isn't worth it or it makes little sense without love or a person to share it with. That is why I think that this book, but ultimately the message found within its pages, is meant for strangers as well. I think it's important to know that we are not alone and that our story matters but it is just as important for others to know that as well. I hope to be someone who comes alongside of strangers and helps them push back the darkness a bit. Life is a beautiful thing when Hope and other people are involved. Read more of this book review here: http://www.courtneyfricke.com/book-reviews/book-review-if-you-feel-too-much-by-jamie-tworkowski
I'm a huge supporter of TWLOHA and of Jamie Tworkowski. This book is a great read for anyone and I highly recommend it.
A wonderful, inspirational book - whether you need/want the lift or not. The book contains stories that anyone can find themselves in, told in a gentle, hopeful manner.