The world works in strange ways. I say this because on the night that I began reading this book, I was going through a bout of depression. I know that not everyone faces depression, but for the people that do, it’s no easy feat to take on. It comes in various stages, shapes and sizes and it can come on at any time, with no explanation given as to why you suddenly start feeling like crap.
For me, I felt depressed because I wasn’t entirely sure where I wanted to go with my life. It happens from time to time. I think a lot of people go through moments like these every now and then, but you never feel like there are other people who do. You think that the heroes and icons you look up to, the every day celebrities, have it perfectly made.
Enter “If You Feel Too Much”. To Write Love On Her Arms has been as prominent at music festivals as the artists that populate their stages since I began going to shows when I was fourteen. I’ve looked up to the work that Jamie Tworkowski has been doing for many years; I began a non-profit organization when I was fourteen, so being able to participate in festivals like Warped Tour where TWLOHA always resided was an inspiration to me that I could achieve that same level of success and inspire others.
“If You Feel Too Much” chronicles Jamie’s life, beginning shortly before his world-renowned organization began. A collection of various blog entries compiled and posted by Tworkowski over numerous years make up the body of the book, each one revealing a bit more about his personal story.
This book was the biggest inspiration to me of all. Maybe even bigger than To Write Love On Her Arms itself. Why? Because many of the problems that Tworkowski spoke about during the book were problems that I faced on a daily basis (and still do, occasionally). Reading about the validation of his four-year relationship broke my heart because I had just gone through something rather similar. I know of several people in my life that passed away from cancer, dear family and friends. I had a friend unexpectedly pass away when I was fifteen, an event that shattered my world. While Tworkowski and I didn’t go through the exact same situations, there were certain similarities that made me feel like I could connect with his words and stories. They jumped off of the page. I felt his pain (and joy, when it was present) because I too had experienced heartbreak, sadness, depression, hope, happiness, and excitement in those fashions before.
In a way, reading “If You Feel Too Much” was the therapy session that I never had. Here is a guy that everyone (including me) looks up to whom they think is so perfect and has everything together, when in reality, he’s just like you and I. He’s a human being with flaws and imperfections. He has bad days, just as much as he has amazing days.
The biggest reason this book has become so important to me is because it made me feel. For the first time in a very long time, after college and several life experiences had completely hardened me from the impending actions of the real world, I was able to feel emotion. I got happy when his charity succeeded. I cried when his friends passed away. I understood his depression because I was going through it.
If you ever feel like the world is against you, if you ever feel that the people you look up to have it made better than you do, and if you ever think there are times when you may feel a little too much, read this book. You won’t regret it.
The second I closed the cover and let my thoughts collect, I got up off my ass and felt more determined than ever to accomplish my dreams. As it is, it’s a couple weeks later, and at 12:02 in the morning, after a fourteen-hour work day, I’m bringing this review to a close. Sure, I’m exhausted. I probably need to drink some water. My fingers are aching from typing so frantically since 9 A.M., my back hurts from being hunched over in front of a computer screen, while my eyes burn and ask me for a bit of sleep, or at least a break from the glare of the screen. But I’m happy. I’m content because for the first time, I have an idea of where I want to be headed.
If you ever feel too much, just know this: you’re never alone.
You can purchase "If You Feel Too Much" here: http://twloha.com/ifyoufeeltoomuch/
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