Posts by racklesspress

What We Can Learn from National Bullying Prevention Month

October is Bullying Prevention Month

Why do we dedicate the entire month of October to raising awareness of the dangers of bullying and how to prevent them? Because bullying is a BIG deal, and prevention programs go a long way in helping stop it. About 20% of students between the ages of 12-18 have experienced bullying in the US, whether that be in school, online, or elsewhere. That’s a LOT of people. 

If you haven’t experienced bullying firsthand, someone you know well probably has, and sadly a lot of victims are afraid to speak out. That fear is exactly why we come together in the month of October to speak out for them. So, what can you do this October to help?

Educate Yourself

Because of initiatives like National Bullying Prevention Month, awareness about bullying has come a long way, which means we have tons of resources out there to help us learn about this complex problem, how it shows up in our daily lives, and what we can do about it when it does. Check out sites like The Pacer Center and and read articles on bullying.  We have a wealth of articles on bullying on TheHopeLine. Knowing the facts about how prevalent bullying is, the psychological effects it can have on victims, how bullies work, and what your rights are when you’ve been bullied can set you up for success in case you ever encounter a bullying situation.

Speak Up for Yourself

Now that you understand bullying a little better, it’s time to take a look at your own life. If you think you may be getting bullied, know your rights! Lots of schools and states have strict rules in place to protect you from bullying, separate you from your bully, support you in your situation, and put an end to the negative interactions you’ve been having. You are not alone, and even if the first adult you talk to about your bullies doesn’t know what to do, it’s important that you understand your rights and fight for them.

Nobody deserves to be bullied, and that includes you! If you think you may be the bully, take this helpful quiz to determine if that’s the case. If it turns out that you may have been treating people poorly, and you want to change, there are a couple of things you can do. First, look above and click on the link to make sure you’re aware of the rights that the victims of bullying have. You need to be familiar with those so that you understand whether you’re at risk of getting in trouble with your school or the law. Second, reach out to a trusted adult or a Hope Coach and come forward about your behavior. Together you can create a plan for moving forward in a healthier, kinder way.

Speak Up for Others

About 57% of students who are bullied never report it. Maybe they’re afraid. Maybe they’re embarrassed. Maybe their self-esteem is so low they don’t think they deserve help. Maybe they don’t believe anyone can help them. That’s where your advocacy can come in. 

You can make a difference in someone’s life just by paying attention to what's going on around you and calling out anything that doesn’t seem right. Too often, victims of bullying feel too ashamed or afraid to tell anyone about their situation, or sometimes, they’ve tried to put an end to it, only to receive inadequate support or encounter a new bully not long after the old one is gone. You can help simply by making sure you notice when someone seems a little too quiet, alone most of the time, or often being heckled by the same group of kids. Befriending them, asking them if they’re okay, or speaking with a trusted adult, could be all you need to do in order to change their lives.

If you don’t believe that you really have the power to disarm a bully or help someone, just take a look at some of these anonymous stories from victims who appreciated finding a friend.

Words vs. Self Esteem

January 5, 2021


“I’ve been bullied a ton as a kid, probably starting from the first grade for multiple reasons such as my ethnicity, my physical appearance, the food I eat, the way I talk, etc. People found anything to criticize about. I never had friends or people to talk to, because the only form of social interaction was the harmful words that came out from my peers. I never realized how insecure I’ve become since then until I was in the 7th grade and developed a severe anxiety disorder and depression. Even up to now, nothing has changed about my mental illnesses, but it really sucked that some people had to make my childhood environment so painful. Things add up bit by bit, you don’t realize it but eventually, it piles up to a point that it breaks you apart. I’m about to graduate high school and I sometimes think about how different I could have been if some people didn’t bully/harass me for me just being myself back then. Giving some advice, especially to the younger ones out there: if you really think someone is being targeted for bullying, I sincerely ask you to do anything to help them because they might just need emotional support.”


April 16, 2021


“Hi kids at the age of 11 this boy Antonio was getting bullied he could not hear or see in 1 eye. So, these boys were picking on him and i said stop and one boy said what is this your boyfriend? i said no but I'm his friend and they all started to pick on us just because we were friends. and it was this one day i told the teacher that they kept messing with us and they would call me a snitch and i just ignored them until they had got SUSPENDED. and my friend Antonio could hear i was so happy and he told the teacher on them and said he was getting bullied a lot and he thanked me for even being his friend and that's why you should always be kind.” 

It’s hard to be yourself

May 5, 2021


“It all started in 5th grade because this was when I transferred schools. So, I’ve always been an extroverted kid, and in 5th grade, I went to what I’ll just call stonewall intermediate. This school was known to be the best school district in my state, but the problem was it had tons of spoiled kids. I was a good kid but would get in trouble a lot and got lunch detention and Friday night school often. but I never meant anything, but they did ……the boys. but these boys bullied me for having a Samsung, being chubby, having acne, and calling me names. The bullies pointed out anything they could point out, and this was especially hard on me because I didn’t have any friends well close ones, and little by little I showed less and less emotion and became very introverted. I wish I had reached out for help sooner because in my freshmen year of high school I made a real friend and she helped me reach out to get them suspended for a few weeks luckily because my school had a strict bullying policy.” 

All three of these stories show that anything from a simple act of kindness to an actual bond of friendship can change, or even save, the life of a person being bullied. Together, you have the power to report the problem and make sure that the bullying stops. So never underestimate the impact you can have, simply by asking a question, offering a smile, or sitting next to someone new on the bus. Or, if you’re being bullied, see these stories as proof that telling someone or reaching out for a friend’s help could actually work! You’re not alone, and there is hope.

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Make sure everyone at your school, your workplace, and your neighborhood knows that you won’t stand for bullying, and neither should they. 

  • Check out the Pacer website for opportunities to participate in or volunteer for events. 
  • Ask your school administration to take a stand and observe National Bullying Prevention month by holding seminars, requiring classroom activities, and inviting Pacer experts to work with them to improve any bullying situations going on in your own hallways. 
  • Start an after-school club that can help keep the administration accountable for preventing bullying, and advocate with your local officials and state representatives to make or keep good anti-bullying laws and policies in place.
  • Wear orange! Sure, somebody might assume that you’re wearing orange in October because you’re excited for Halloween or because you really wanted to match your Pumpkin Spice Latte… but if they ask about it, that’s another great opportunity to let them know that you’re part of a huge community of people that won’t ever let victims of bullying feel alone again. Plus, if someone is struggling with being bullied but afraid to come forward, that orange shirt may just let them know that you’re a safe person to talk to about it.

You Are Never Alone

We hope you know that you have a personal friend in us when it comes to bullying, too! We partner with Pacer because it is our duty as Christians to “defend the defenseless,” and National Bullying Prevention Month is a huge part of the work that needs to be done to create an awareness of the many ways bullies can hide in the shadows, hurt themselves and others, and leave a lasting mark on 20% of our country’s young people. So, if you’re struggling with bullying, and you’re not sure what to do, reach out to a Hope Coach today. We can walk you through the resources available to you and provide you with a safe source of emotional support so that you never have to feel alone.

Want to know what to do if you are being bullied? Click here for five helpful tips. Step number one is "Do Not Fight Back!"

Always Believe in Yourself,
Terri Henry

Read More
The First Steps to Addiction Recovery

Break Free from Addiction

If you live with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, to pornography, to cutting and self-harm, I know you must be scared and hurting. But there is hope. There is help. And you can start on the path to addiction recovery.

Recovering from addiction will not be an identical journey for everyone with a history of addictive behaviors. But there are a few “first steps” to recovery that are likely to help you feel more confident breaking free from addiction, no matter your unique story or struggles.

Admitting It’s an Addiction

Admitting that you are dealing with an addiction, rather than just a bad habit or a series of mistakes, is a key step toward fuller recovery. An addiction requires a specialized approach to treatment, support, and diagnosis that is more thorough and complete than curbing an unhealthy habit. There’s a difference between “that was a bad idea” and “this is something harmful to me and others in my life that I want to stop doing once and for all.”

Admitting you have an addiction is a courageous first step that will give you a clearer, more accurate picture of the journey ahead of you, and a more effective set of tools with which you can find greater healing.

Building a Community

Addiction support groups are an effective way to move forward with your addiction recovery. It is helpful to know you’re not alone in what you’re experiencing. When we try to grapple with a major struggle, we benefit from the wisdom of others who are fighting similar battles.
And it’s great to have accountability. Addiction support groups often use a sponsor or peer mentor system so members can hold one another accountable and help encourage each other to say no to harmful behaviors.

Finding a sense of community with others in recovery is also very helpful when it comes to avoiding relapse triggers. You have a group of people committing to enjoying themselves in sober spaces, so you can still have fun without having to grapple with people, places, and substances that may trigger your addictive patterns.

Keeping the Faith

Spiritual healing can be a tremendous help in your recovery. I have been comforted time and time again by reminding myself of God’s love for me, his forgiveness, and his plan to give me a life full of joy.

Not every recovery program has the same structure, but many incorporate prayer and other spiritual guidance and encouragement. Whichever program you decide on, and wherever you are in your faith, you are never abandoned by God, and there is always hope.

Getting Expert Support

One of the kindest things we can do for ourselves when we feel overwhelmed by a challenging situation or problem is to reach out for support.

While it is crucial to let friends and family you trust know your needs during recovery, getting help for addiction requires connecting with people who are trained in recovery techniques. Recovery programs have years of experience in helping people find greater clarity.

A trained addiction counselor has the tools you need for a fuller recovery, and they can advise you on your struggles in ways that build you up emotionally and keep you going strong.

If you’re not sure where to start, or which recovery group would be the best fit for you, we can help. Talk to a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine for confidential support. We are here for you whenever you need help in your recovery, and we believe in you.

Do you feel your drinking may be out of control, but wonder if sober life will be fun? Read Trevor McDonald's story, 7 Reasons Why I'm Happier Living a Sober Life

TheHopeLine’s partner, Banyan Treatment Center, helps those struggling with substance abuse and addiction reach their goal of a healthy, happy and productive sober life through an array of professional treatment services.

Read More
How to Support Your Parents from Afar

Parent relationships can be so special and can make a huge difference in how you get through the tough seasons of life. And as a parent, I can tell you something for certain. Your relationship with your parents helps them, too.

Parent Relationships

But as you grow up, life, school pressures, and work might move you and your parents apart. So, how do you support your parents from afar? How do you let them know you love them and are grateful for their influence in your life when you can’t come to visit or spend time at home?

1. Connect for Chats

I love chatting with my family, even when we can’t be together face-to-face. And while nothing can replace the joy of being together in person, it helps me a lot to receive their messages, hear their voices, and see their faces.

Supporting your parents can start with something that simple, and it can make a big difference in how they feel. You can call, text, or video chat with them to check in with one another. Let them know how things are going at work, at school, and in life. And of course, tell them you love them whenever you can.

2. Get Creative

Connecting digitally makes things easier and allows you to quickly connect with your parents to support and encourage them. But there’s more you can do to show you care for them. You can get creative. Sending cards and letters gives them something from you that they can hold on to and cherish for years to come.

If you enjoy crafting and artistic pursuits, create something for your parents that they can display or use in their home to remind them of the happier times you spent together.

3. Plan for the Future

Sometimes when you’re separated from family, it can seem like you’ll never be together again. This can be tough on everyone’s feelings. But you can still hope and plan for the future. You can look forward to things to come. Holidays, and other time off work or school, are a great opportunity to get together and reconnect. If possible, during one of your check-ins, put time on the calendar in the future when you can see each other again.

4. Take Care of Yourself

I admire how much you care about your parents, and that you want to support them. Making efforts to do that will go a long way toward lifting your spirits when you have to spend time apart.  But don’t forget to take care of yourself.

When you start struggling with the reality of being separated from your family, it can help to root yourself in your faith. Don’t forget how much you are loved by God, and that He never abandons you. Make sure you are nourishing yourself with food, water, and sleep. Make an effort to do things you enjoy, spend time outside, and unplug from the notifications and pings. Recharging is crucial if you want to support people you love.

5. Get Support When You Need It

Supporting your parents from afar is important. But sometimes it’s hard to know how to move forward. After all, they cared for you for so many years, and you likely don’t know how to support them. TheHopeLine offers mentoring to strengthen your parent relationships, and to make sure you’re caring for your own needs. Talk to a Hope Coach today for ideas about how to support your parents, and how to sustain your heart during difficult separation. We are here for you, and hopeful you and your family will get through this together.

Are your parents against your relationship? Listen to my podcast as I talk to Calvin, Erin and Chris on what to do when your parents hate your boyfriend or girlfriend.

Read More
Tell Your Story (Video)

Spoken Word Inspiration from Jon Jorgenson

In "Tell Your Story," Jon says: "I did everything I could to hide the life I was really make sure that nobody knew and I was succeeding." Then by eventually telling his story, he gave others permission to speak and tell their stories. No one is perfect. No one is free from sin and mistakes. And by sharing your story, you will find freedom and support.

Tell Your Story - Jon Jorgenson | Spoken Word - YouTube

When Jon first told his story, he discovered he was not alone.

"Somehow I opened my mouth and I spoke and I spoke and I spoke until I cried. And what happened next I'll never forget instead of casting me out with their judgmental stares, after sharing my story, others started telling theirs. Everyone was struggling, everyone was weak,  just needing someone to give them the courage to speak...Everyone has a secret that needs to be spoken. Everyone has a silence that needs to be broken. Someone has to be brave enough to share their walk."

What's Your Story?

Do you want to tell your story?  Has your life been tough?  Have you walked through some difficult things and yet found hope? Have you learned something that you think could help another?  If this is you, then you can be a part of helping others if you tell your story. Please share your story with us here: Share Your Story

Also be encouraged and learn from others' stories on our STORIES PAGE!
Jon Jorgenson  is an author, speaker, and spoken word poet whose YouTube videos have been viewed by more than 15 million people. View more videos from - HERE.

Related Posts:
5 Amazing Reasons Why You Matter
Confessions of a Dyslexic Pretty Girl
‘Identity’: A Chat with Christian Recording Artist Colton Dixon

Read More
Moving Past Relationship Mistakes

This article has been updated. Click here to view the new post.

Getting past relationship mistakes

Trust and Security

After 25 years of taking countless phone calls on my radio show, I've heard thousands of stories about heartbreak due to relationship failures. What is so often lacking in all these relationships is a foundation of trust.  And without trust people have no sense of security and can never rest secure in their relationship.

So, let's look at some key factors needed to build trust before a relationship even begins.

4 Ideas to Help Find Someone You Can Trust

So often I hear of people who are deep into relationships emotionally, physically, or even sexually, but still are not sure they can trust their partner. They don't know if they can trust their BF/GF with their true feelings, or if they will be faithful, or even if they are who they appear to be.  I remember an interview with Taylor Swift where she was asked about the most difficult thing she has learned about relationships. "It's when you think you know someone," she replied, "then later find out that is not at all who they were."

Passion wrote: I've been dating this guy for 5 months and i found out he gave his number to another girl, I dont even see him the same as i used to, i look at him and wonder if everything is a lie.

LittleShorty wrote:  He tells me he loves me and that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me... But my problem is that he thinks i am cheating on him... but i am not cheating on him... What i wanna
know if he is cheating on me or not...

HARD TRUTH: No relationship is going to succeed or survive without a strong foundation of trust.

So, how do you arrive at trust? How to know if you can trust your BF/GF? No simple answer to those questions, but here are a few ideas:

1. Start by simply avoiding relationships with people you already know are untrustworthy. That might quickly eliminate a few possibilities.

2. Look for someone who will talk to you about common interests, as well as personal stuff like like faith, values, and what you want to do with you lives. You can't always go on what people say but talking about those things gives you a momentary glimpse of what is really inside that person. What if they don't want to talk about that kind of stuff? It's not a deal breaker, but unwillingness to let you see inside makes you wonder what's really in there.

3. Observe what they do and how they act under pressure. That's when our real selves begin to show.

4. Set your standard high and look for a BF/GF who wants to know you, be with you, love you for who you are not for access to your body, not to hitch a ride on your popularity, and not for something he/she wants to turn you into. Before jumping in with both feet, be sure they Love you for who you are, just as you are, right now.

Insecurity is another big issue holding relationships back...have you ever worried your BF/GF was going to leave you?

How do I get past the thought that my BF/GF will leave me?

Fear of abandonment is very common, especially if you have finally met someone who you really like, or if have been abandoned in the past. It's natural to want to hold onto things that mean the most to us. But still, we are never given permission to own or control another person.

This means other people are always free to do whatever they want, even if it means leaving the relationship. There's a fine line between wanting to have someone in your life and wanting to possess them. Many people don't have enough belief or confidence in themselves to ever imagine being alone. This can cause a person to hold on too tightly. Loyalty is one thing--fear of being alone is another.

To get past the fear of being left, you need to get to the place where being alone is not the worst thing that could ever happen to you. This will take time, but it's worth the effort. Spend some time trying to figure out what kinds of things you enjoy. What kinds of things make you feel really alive? As you get to know yourself, you will have more of your complete self to bring to a relationship.

Most people do not want to be in a relationship with someone who is extremely insecure, negative and clingy.

Thank God for every day you have with your BF/GF. You have today, tomorrow will take care of itself.

Related Posts:
How To Find A Meaningful Relationship
4 Ways To Avoid Heartbreak
Sex And Father Hunger
8 Signs Your Relationship Is Unhealthy

For more on how to heal emotionally and move forward after cheating in your relationship, download TheHopeLine's free eBook.

Read More

Tired of The Problem?  Try the Solution.

Privacy Policy / Terms of Use
© 2024 TheHopeLine, Inc. Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 20-1198064
© 2021 Powered by OxyNinja Core