What I didn't realize most during my teens was the valuable resource I had right in may hands: my own ability to write and let out everything that I was feeling on paper. Until I was 17, and an extraordinary teacher started taking some of her own time each day to sort through my poetry (Patti Rust-Kovacs, wherever you are now, I thank you deeply), I had no ideas that what I was putting down was anything worthwhile, nor did I understand the value of the catharsis it gave me. My pen would become one of my closest friends in life, and a very valuable one I still treasure today.

Writing can't cure depression, or drug-addiction, or help find you a home when you don't have one, or keep someone from abusing you. But it can help you work through those things once you've gotten yourself in a safe place. So, below are some resources to find those safe places should you or someone you know ever need them. After that, keep your pen handy. It can be a lifesaver.

  • TeenLine: 1.800.522.8336
  • Family Violence Prevention Center: 1.800.313.310
  • Alateen Hotline: 1.800.344.2666 
  • National Crisis Pregnancy Helpline: 1.800.521.5530
  • Samariteen Hotline: 1.888.SOS.TEEN or (888-767-8336)
  • Suicide & Crisis Hotline: 1.800.999.9999
  • Children of the Night, Short term crisis: 1.800.551.1300
  • Grief Recovery Helpline: 1.800.445.4808
  • National Runaway Switchboard: 1.800.621.4000

Or, if you need help finding help, or just want an ear, feel free to email me, anytime.