There were many topics dealt with in my books from alcoholism to rape. My goal in sharing all this with you is to hopefully give you hope and show you that no matter where you have let life take you, no matter how dark it has gotten, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not always easy because nothing worth fighting forever is and I am pretty sure that your life and your spirit are worth fighting for. Here are some good resources to help you on your road to recovery whether you are the one with the need or it is a loved one with the need.
I think I may have a drinking or drug problem.
This is a very common thought and maybe you do and maybe you don’t. It isn’t my job or anyone else’s for that matter, to tell you whether or not you are an alcoholic or an addict. You must decide that on your own. If you are asking the question, then obviously there have been some things that have lead you to this place, to this book, and to this very important question. This admission is a very personal one and the road to recovery which hopefully follows the admission is yours and yours alone. But here is the best part…you don’t have to travel alone. There are so many resources and places to get help and they are all at your fingertips. Here are but a few of them:
Try Alcoholics Anonymous. Hey, it won’t kill ya. Check out the “Is AA for you” section—it will answer every question may have. Maybe Narcotics Anonymous is more your speed-pun intended! Also, look in the yellow pages of your phone book for local phone numbers for AA and NA. People are there waiting to listen to you, help you and even pick you up and take you to a meeting.
If you choose to go to a rehabilitation center, try Hazelden. Since 1949 they have helped people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction using a variety of therapeutic approaches. They are a wonderful comprehensive center and if they aren’t right for you they can steer you to the right place.
Some people use interventions to get help for loved ones, here you can find resources on interventions.
Think you may have an eating disorder?
Just like any other disease, an eating disorder is an addiction and if left untreated can lead to all kinds of problems like liver damage, throat damage, and possibly death.
The National Eating Disorder Association has great resources, or call their toll-free helpline to talk to someone in confidence (800) 931-2237.
Are you or a friend having suicidal thoughts?
This book dealt with not only my own battle with suicidal thoughts and attempts but my best friend taking her own life when I was only 15 years old. I only wish there had been hotlines and resources like there are today. Maybe I would have picked up the phone and called someone? Suicide is no joke and if you are having these thoughts or you have a friend or loved one who has expressed these thoughts-call this number and talk to someone who is trained. Sometimes it is scary and hard to think about reaching out to someone who knows us or the people in our lives. That is why hotlines like these are available. They are free and confidential. You don’t have to suffer in silence, there is help.
1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
The Trevor Project is a judgment-free resource for LGBTQ youth who are in crisis or struggling with suicidal thoughts. Call the TrevorLifeline at 1-866-488-7386, text START to 678678
Are you a victim of a crime?
Do you know that as a crime victim you have many rights under the law? You have the right to be heard in the criminal justice process, to restitution, to be treated with dignity, compassion, and respect, to compensation, to protection, the right to a speedy trial, to be informed of the status of your case, to be present at your trial or hearing and many more. To learn more about your rights as a crime victim check out these amazing resources:
- National Center for Victims of Crime
- Office for Victims of Crime
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center
- National Crime Victim Law Institute
- Rape Abuse & Incest National Network
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1.800.656.HOPE – Free. Confidential. 24/7.
International Crime Victims Services
Are you a victim of a crime in another country? What are your rights? If you are planning a trip, what do you need to know?
Before going on your next vacation or business trip outside the United States, make sure to educate yourself about these services. No one knows when they will become a victim of a crime, the best defense is an informed offense. Educate yourself. Empower yourself. When in another country often times there are language barriers you will have to overcome and services will not always be readily offered to you–you will have to be your own advocate–ensure that you at least know who to call and when to ease the burden if you become a victim.
If you were a victim of a crime while on vacation or traveling in another country, you may have rights you can access. The Office of Victims Services has a webpage that allows you to search for the rights and services you are afforded.
Please find out what rights or services you are legally entitled to. Additionally, here are some great publications and resources to educate you as to what rights and services you have and where to access them.
See International Crime Victim Compensation Programs if you are eligible for financial compensation as a crime victim in another country.
Whether you are just questioning you’re sexuality or gender or you know for certain that you identify a certain way, it is always helpful to reach out and find support. Thankfully there are so many more resources today, but there are still many challenges, fears, discrimination, and hatred in this world. The goal is to keep you safe and to help you find an environment that will foster healthy questioning and development.
Here are some amazing places to look for help!
- Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
- Human Rights Campaign
- National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
- National Center for Transgender Equality
- Gender Public Advocacy Center
- The Trevor Project
Are you struggling with trauma or a mental health disorder?
My story, and those of many others I’ve met, show that healing from trauma and coping with mental health disorders is a reality. I firmly believe that those of us who have experienced deep emotional, psychological or, physical harm must find a trained, licensed, trauma-informed therapist to work through our healing process. The organizations and resources below can help you learn more about the various programs and modalities that are proven to work.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) was created by Congress in 2000 as part of the Children’s Health Act to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for children and families who experience or witness traumatic events.
The Trauma Center, part of the Justice Resource Institute, has a library of resources for people dealing with many different types of trauma.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has amazing resources on their webpage to help you cope with all kinds of behavioral health issues.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides valuable resources on coping with all kinds of mental health issues including support groups for people with mental health disorders and their families.
Some other techniques that have helped me cope with the aftermath of sexual assault and addiction are:
Insight Timer: Insight Timer is an app that can be downloaded onto any mobile device. It contains thousands of mediations, mantras, talks, guided meditations, and music tracks to help calm, soothe, and restore the mind and spirit. I use it often.
EMDR Music: You can find EMDR music in the above app, on other music purchasing apps, or on YouTube. EMDR Music stimulates both the right and left side of the brain to promote harmony. It’s great for times of extreme stress and anxiety. For me, it calms the little storms that can brew in my brain and allows me to focus and breathe better.
Are you a parent who is worried about your adolescent child?
Trying to parent a child who is struggling with any of the above issues can be a thoroughly exhausting and heartbreaking ordeal. Many of the resources listed above can help parents find support for themselves as well as better understand and help their children. I also highly recommend that you seek out your own trauma-informed therapist. Whether or not you have experienced similar issues to your child at some point in your life, talking with a trained therapist can help you process your feelings as a parent and find healing for yourself and your family. In addition, you may want to research some of the following.
The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry is a great resource for parents to educate themselves and find help.
There are now several groups specifically designed to support parents struggling with a child’s addiction, including the closed Facebook support group The Addict’s Mom and the website MomPower.org.
One of the things I have found incredibly beneficial is connecting with other survivors with similar trauma histories. Social media, apps, and other online platforms have exponentially expanded the ways you can connect with others, often without even leaving your home. Attend events in your community, get involved in your local victim services agencies, and meet others who are going through similar experiences.
There is so much power in connection, in knowing you are not alone and finding like-minded people working towards creating change. When you look for resources or groups online, just be sure you are using a service from a credible, established organization, such as those listed above. As I’ve mentioned several times, while peer support can be invaluable, there are many issues that are only safe to process with trained professionals. I hope you find these resources helpful, even if you aren’t sure that you need help.
There is no shame in seeking help. Life is hard and we go through so many ups and downs, especially as young people. Here is one certainty I can offer you as the best resource ever: You never have to go through anything alone again. Reach out, ask for help, and try something, anything healthy, that will help ease your pain or answer your questions.
With much Love and Respect,