Dear Body: Brieanna
This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. In honor of this week, we will be posting “Dear Body” letters written by our members throughout the week. If you’d like to submit your own, please upload your letter to our “Submission” or “Ask” links on our Tumblr homepage. _________________________________________________________ Dear Body,

     I think it is very safe to say that we have had our ups and downs. You have stuck with me through it all. I’m not sure why, but I have always been far too critical of you.

    Whether it was because of the media; because of bullies or peer pressure; or even because of my own incorrect perceptions, I have always viewed you asFat, Ugly, and Repulsive. For this, I am so so so sorry. I have treated you so badly… I have used alcohol to “loosen up” and  razor blades to “kill the pain.” I deprived you of food in hopes that some of that weight would just magically fall off and you would transform into this perfect reflection of the skinny, beautiful woman I see every day.

    I’m sorry that it took me so long to see it, but our beauty lies in our imperfections. The crookedness of our smile, the crazy way our hair looks when we first wake up, the way we stick out our tongue we are concentrating… It is simply and utterly beautiful. 

   I love you. I know it has taken a long time, but I love every part of this beautiful vessel you give me. I promise that I will treat you better. You deserve to be worshipped like the temple that you are. Thank you for putting up with my naivety. 

Stay Beautiful <3

Brieanna May

Wednesday night around 6:45, we will have a brief meeting to discuss the final events of the year (Hug Day, the Community Builder and the Bake Sale), then we will head out as a group to hang up the flyers for the Inspire Movement on Elmwood and Allen just to leave a little love, light and hope for our Buffalo community!

So. Feel free to make up some tear-off flyers like the ones seen here.

And - Dress warm!

It shouldn’t take long, and we’d like as many of us as possible to go! (We’ll cram into a car or two.) This program could end up being a great community builder and will have many fun photo ops!

here is a link to a Spotify playlist of our Song of the Week cd for 2015. There are two songs that are on the cds that couldn’t be found on Spotify so I will also post the manual playlist :)

Disc 1
1.Placeholder- the Story So Far (Casey Gillingham)
2.Swing Life Away- Rise Against (Sammie Kovacs)
3. We Found Each Other In the Dark- City and Colour (Haley Anderson)
4. This is Home- Switchfoot (Miranda Matejka)
5. Change- Blind Melon (Courtnee Bratton)
6. Style/Blank Space Mashup (Robbillie Stevenson)
7. People Loving People- Garth Brooks (Sam Jenney)
8. The Sound of Silence- Simon & Garfunkel (Adam Knapp)
9. Invisible Prisons- Zeale ( Julisa Gendren)
10. Home- Gabrielle Aplin (Erika Thompson)
11. It’s Your Life- Francesca Battistelli (Ally Blunt)
12. Our Father is Missing- From Indian Lakes ( Alex Bogan)
13. A Life Worth Living- Villian of the Story (Abbi Lane)

Disc 2
1. A Better Place, A Better Time- Streetlight Manifesto (Theanoe Christos)
2. Clair de Lune- Claude Debussy (Henry Kathman)
3. Keep Your Head Up- Ben Howard ( Patience Fehribach)
4. Seasons of Love- Rent Cast (Allen Lemons)
5. Best of Me- A Day to Remember (Laura Bird)
6. Sloppy Seconds- Watsky (Sam Risley)
7. Come to Me- Goo Goo Dolls (Kyle Reid)
8. Tragedy + Time- Rise Against ( Erin Gillingham)
9. All Will Be Well- The Gabe Dixon Band (Danika Dooley)
10. Wired Wrong- Steam Powered Giraffe (Alayna Gersic)
11. Superheroes- The Script (David Wilkens)
12. Stronger Than You Think- Fireflight (Jillian Taylor)

(Pictured: Me (in the purple pants) and two of my best friends at the top of the Duquesne Incline in Pittsburgh, PA.)

Who am I?
They call me Jenna Lou.
I’m the founder and president of TWLOHA-Canisius College.
I have a cat named Tomato and a penchant for words.
And I’m in my last semester as a psychology major then headed whoknowswhere to get my Masters and license to work as a clinical counselor or social worker.

My Story?
Though I’ve never received treatment, I’ve known for quite some time now that I struggle with dysthymia - a mild but more prolonged and chronic kind of depression and mild anxiety. I manage to keep myself in check and know when and how to reach out when things get particularly rough for me. However, a few years ago things went downhill and they went downhill fast…

A few friends, a few relatives and a profound muse all passed away within 10 months of each other. I reached my breaking point. June 2010, upon hearing of yet another tragic passing, I locked myself in my room and started planning how to make the pain go away. I had all but lost hope when, on a whim, I texted one of my best friends - my safe home, “I’m not okay.”

Within 15 minutes (which is impressive because I live in the middle of nowhere), he was at my house with arms full of hope. No words quite yet. But a sincere presence. A live and beating heart near the one in my chest that wanted to give up. And that saved me. After conversation and encouragement, he reminded me that I’m here for a reason - that my journey is nowhere near over-that I’m made to love and meant to have my heart broken…probably a million times…so I can better understand the ones I dream of saving.

With that message in my heart, a few weeks later, I attended MOVE Boston. I met incredible people (that I proudly call “forever friends”) with similar stories and passions and became inspired to launch the first TWLOHA UChapter in WNY. Now, I had known about TWLOHA for years and there was some minor movement on campus through the Counseling Center, but that flicker hadn’t become a flame until I met those MOVErs and witnessed the bonds that were created just from sharing our stories. From that point on, I was determined to do what I can to bring the movement to Canisius and create a community centered around hope. And, thanks to a few friends showing support every step of the way, I like to believe we’ve pulled it off! More than that, I genuinely believe we’ve had an impact on our campus community and will continue to do so for years to come.

That being said, it breaks my heart that I’ll be graduating in just a few weeks and leaving this UChapter family we’ve built. But I have faith in anyone who’s passionate about an organization like TWLOHA, so I know the UChapter will be in good hands. Plus, the bonds I have with members here won’t disappear post-grad. Like the MOVErs, they’re “forever friends” and I have no doubt in my mind our stories will happily tangle over the years.

Sometimes I remember how historically homophobic, classist, misogynistic and generally problematic TWLOHA is. And I get so sad, because it’s fucking problematic and I WANT to like it (because of mental health and discussions about mental health are important), but I don’t think I can.

Anyway, if you’re supporting this organization, please critically analyze it.

10/17/11 Meeting: Community

This week’s meeting was about Community. We began the meeting by showing the video we made for last week’s Living Your Story for members who couldn’t make it to the event. We hope to have this uploaded to youtube soon.

At the start of the meeting, Erin asked everyone to share something good that happened to them during the week. Alot of people had gotten really good grades on tests, gotten paid or started new jobs and had fun times with friends. We then started talking about community and the different types of community.

The 4 stages of community

  •  Psuedo-community - This is the “play nice” stage of community. People present the best side of their personality.
  • Chaos - When people move beyond the first stage and feel comfortable enough to begin showing their “shallow self”. This is often the stage where people begin to get on another’s nerves.
  • Emptiness - This stage moves beyond attempts to fix and heal the chaos stage. People within this stage begin to acknowledge their own brokenness, and can accept one another’s faults.
  • True community - The process of deep respect and true listening and caring for one another. Reflects a deep yearning for understanding and compassion.

We stayed in one big group and discussed different types of communities and how they affect us. We also talked about our own experiences with community, and what the healthy aspects and benefits are of community. Many people agreed that our chapter has become a close community.

We finished this meeting with a group activity. One person held a ball of yarn, and while holding a piece of the yarn, tossed it to someone else. They would then tell the person what they liked about them and what makes them special. This game went on for awhile, and after alot of tangles and some confusion, we finally formed a web, linking our community to one another.


  • Our next meeting is next Sunday, Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. Next week’s meeting topic is Abuse.
  • We want to say Thank You to everyone who has been involved in our events the last few weeks. Our group has been very busy with the AFSP Walk and Living Your Story and we appreciate all of the hard work everyone has put into the events to make them such a success.
  • Next Monday, Oct. 24, we’re hosting a Halloween Fashion Show and Dance Party in the Student Life Lounge at 8 pm. If you’re interested in being a model for the fashion show, please let Erin know a.s.a.p.
  • We’re looking for meeting/activity ideas. We’d love to hear from you if you have an idea.

Last week, TWLOHA-USI members have been busy asking the members of our community this question: If you could say one thing to the world, what would you say?

We invited them to make signs, and we took pictures of them holding their sign. We displayed these photos at last night’s Living Your Story event. 

Here are some of the things TWLOHA-USI members want to say to the world.