My Experience With Emotional Support Phone And Chat Lines
My life has been stressful as of late. I cannot pretend everything is smooth at all times. My mother was my main resource for the longest time, and she still is. A quote that my mother uses, “You’re only as happy as your saddest child.” My stress can wear her down. She has her own problems, and she’s a fixer more than a listener.
Emotional support or crisis hotlines have been around for years. I have thought that they were hokey or that my problems were unimportant so I didn’t try to use them… until recently. My therapist, mother, and friends are all great resources – they will help me stay in one piece. At times it feels like holding me together is a burden to them. I will not let everything out because it feels as though they cannot handle dealing with me.
A friend of mine understood the way I was feeling, and he sent me two phone numbers. One of them is a number you call, and they will speak to you for ten minutes about anything you can dream of. It is for people who feel alone. The first time I utilized this number was a day I was working. Feeling stressed and unable to cope, I used it.
My first instinct was to call my mother, but instead, I gave one of those numbers a try. The worst-case scenario I would not enjoy it, it did nothing to help me, and I never used it again. That was not the case. I was nervous, but the voice on the end of the line was wonderful about making me feel comfortable and at ease.
I spilled my guts to this stranger. It was easier than talking to people I knew because I also knew she did not know me. She knew nothing other than my zip code. This woman was a stranger, and they could hold nothing I said against me. I let everything spill out.
Initially, I believed this to be hokey and awkward, but I felt much better after trying it. My emotions were more in check. I could finish going about my work day with little stress. This became a new resource I can use. The woman I was speaking to told me people call two or three times a day.
It was comforting knowing other people used this hotline. It took away the overwhelming feelings I have been carrying on my shoulders. I know that during trigger warnings and other things, people may see advertisements for things like these hotlines or for 7Cups. My suggestion is to try it. What have you got to lose?
List of hotlines:
Teen Health and Wellness
Suicide Hotline: 800-784-2433
Immediate Medical Assistance: 911
Crisis Call Center: 800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863
Crisis Text Line (the U.S. only): Text HELLO to 741741
Youthspace Text Line (across Canada): Text 778-783-0177 from 6 p.m. to midnight daily.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Nacional de Prevencion del Suicidio: 1-888-628-9454
Options for Deaf/Hard of Hearing: 1-800-7999-4889
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 or text: 838255
Boys Town Hotline
Crisis Text Hotline
Depression: Text CONNECT to 741741