Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff: Stories of Tough Times and Lessons Learned

Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff: Stories of Tough Times and Lessons Learned

Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff: Stories of Tough Times and Lessons Learned

Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff: Stories of Tough Times and Lessons Learned


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Being a teenager is difficult even under the best conditions. When bad things happen, the challenges can be overwhelming. But tough times can turn into great times. In this book, you'll see how you too can find meaning in your life, improve your family and social relationships, and achieve your dreams.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623611194
Publisher: Backlist, LLC - a unit of Chicken Soup of the Soul Publishing LLC
Publication date: 08/28/2012
Series: Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul Series
Edition description: Original
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 70,541
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Jack Canfield is co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, which includes forty New York Times bestsellers, and coauthor of The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. He is a leader in the field of personal transformation and peak performance and is currently CEO of the Canfield Training Group and Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Foundation for Self-Esteem. An internationally renowned corporate trainer and keynote speaker, he lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Mark Victor Hansen is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.


Santa Barbara, California

Date of Birth:

August 19, 1944

Place of Birth:

Fort Worth, Texas


B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973

Read an Excerpt

Our Song

You asked me to sing to you. I complained, "Aw, Mom, I'll wake people up." Once again, I let my ever-present stage fright come before you. Looking back, it's hard to believe I was so selfish. But you persisted, and eventually I caved.

I sang our favorites—Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt and Bette Midler. My voice was quiet and hushed, commiserate with the dim light in the room. I made sure the sound didn't penetrate the walls. You listened with your eyes closed, then thanked me, and told me how lovely and peaceful it was.

When we brought you home that last week in January, I would sit with you in the evenings. I read to you from The Tragedy of Richard the Third, knowing it was your favorite. Of course, I made sarcastic comments along the way. "Lady Anne was the biggest idiot in the world." My eyes searched yours for a response, hoping they would open and smile at my glib attempts.

I read you poetry from Robbie Burns and Walt Whitman, and rubbed lotion on your hands. Finally, I worked up the courage to sing to you again. You weren't able to ask me this time. Grandma peeked through the door and gave us a tearful smile. I stopped. "Keep singing to your mother," she said. When I finished Dad asked me, "Would you sing at the memorial service?" You were lying right beside me, and suddenly it seemed so perverse to have this conversation in front of you. "I don't know if I can. I'll try." We didn't speak of it again.

That Saturday, after you were gone, I went home and practiced with a little help from the Absolut bottle. I needed you to hear me one last time, beautiful and unblemished.

And then there I was, standing at the podium. I didn't tell anyone what was planned in case I chickened out. While the minister told me when to come up during the service, Shirley, who was giving the eulogy, asked, "But what if someone stands up before Jennifer?" I shot back, "Well, now, they'll just have to wait, won't they?" She laughed, "You are just like your mother." I smiled and thanked her for the compliment.

My hands shook as I faced the microphone. I spoke a few words to gather my courage and compose myself. Then, very quietly, I sang "Somewhere over the Rainbow."

I thought back to when I was a little girl. You would call me on the phone during one of your trips to watch The Wizard of Oz with me on TV. Miles apart and racking up the long-distance charges, we would both squeal during the tornado scene. We sang duets, and trios when Ashlea rode in the car with us. It was our song.

I finished the last line, "If happy little bluebirds fly, beyond the rainbow, why oh why can't I?" Then I whispered, "Mom, you have beautiful wings now. May they take you wherever you want to go. . . ."

At least a hundred people witnessed the most difficult moment of my life, but only one person mattered. Of course, I will sing for you, Mom. Feel free to ask me any time.

—Jennifer Dalrymple-Mozisek

What She Doesn't Know

My friend has a problem, and sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who notices her when she's lost and she's tormented and she's alone in the world. And when she's high. She comes to me and she tells me what she's done today, whether it's speed or cocaine or something bigger and faster, something harder and louder, something else that takes the person I laugh with and depend on somewhere she can't stay.

She is ripping herself away from her truth, and the only way I can reach her is to let her know that I care about her. All I can do is listen to her babble when she's high and weep when she's coming down, because I can't fix her. All I can be is a friend to her until she realizes she has a problem, until she stops running from her daytime self to the lure of things that make her worries rest. I can't make her stop. So it's been hard to have her pass out and the line go dead. To have her come to my house running on speed—not to be with me, but so that she doesn't get caught.

It is my right to help her. And to point out to her how strong she is, how real and breathing and clear she is to me, and to everyone. Because she is calling for help, but doesn't know it yet. She is yelling and swallowing her tears, because somewhere she knows that she can't keep packing herself away. Sometime this anger or fury or sadness will find her, and she needs to stand in its torrential downpour and get filled by it, because somewhere inside her she is empty. I can't be her mother, and I can't be with her all the time, telling her what she can put in her body and what she can't. So she has gotten lost somewhere in the deep end, and I can't pull her out, but I can show her how she can do it herself.

I am watching her, and I am hugging her and trying to remind her of the countless reasons why I am so much better from knowing her. I can listen to her when she needs me, and when she doesn't. I can let her know that no matter what she does she is my friend, and nothing will change that. I can take a step back and see what's taking parts of her away. I can encourage her to answer honestly when I ask how she is. I can remind her about moderation. I can point out the people who love her. I can show her how much she needs to stop for herself. I can be a positive influence on her. I can listen to her when her voice hints of this thing that she is missing and can't find. She needs to see for herself that her daytime self is alive and beating and multi-colored. I can help her remember what her life was like before the dealers and the midnight fixes. I can help her stand tall and strong, on feet and legs and ankles she trusts. I can help her see that life is not about three-hour solutions that make her wake up feeling dead. I can be someone safe to her. I can care about her so much that I point her to the exit and hold her hand as she gets there.

My friend has a problem, and I am helping her. I am listening and I am talking and I am working with her and I am learning how to be the best to her. I have unshakable confidence in her, and I know that she can stand where she is and she can stop. I can be the person she turns to, because she can't see right now that she can turn to herself. She can't see it yet, but soon.

Kate Reder

Our Song ©2000 Jennifer Dalrymple-Mozisek. What She Doesn't Know ©1998 Kate Reder. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff ©2001 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

1 On Self-Acceptance

I Kiss Like a Horse Rebecca Woolf 2

Have You Ever Tiffany Blevins 7

I Am Lord Loni Taylor as told to Cynthia Hamond 9

Again Teal Henderson 14

Why I Have to Take U.S. History Again Tal Vigderson 16

Good-Bye My Angel Dear Tyler Phillips 21

Applying Myself C. S. Dweck 22

2 Drugs & Alcohol

The Last Song for Christy Rebecca Woolf 28

The Final Act Lisa Teller 33

A Sobering Experience Sarah Jackson as told to Jennifer Braunschweiger 36

Hitting Bottom Jenny Hungerford as told to Susan K Perry 40

That Warm Night Sarah Woo 44

What She Doesn't Know Kate Reder 48

The Man My Father Was Kristine Flaherty 51

A Sobering Place Monique Fields 54

3 Family Matters

What Siblings Know Danielle Collier 60

How to Scare a Big Sister Natalie Atkins 65

Sixty-Second Flashback Tiani Crocker 69

Change Carrie Hill as told to Cynthia Hamond 73

Table for Three Isabel Philley as told to C. S. Dweck 77

A Most Precious Gift Jessica Colman 81

Memories of My Mother Amy Jo Johnson as told to Linda Friedman 84

The Last Months Traci Kornhauser 89

Our Song Jennifer Dalrymple-Mozisek 92

It's Been a While Catherine Starr 95

Reaching Mom Analise Antone 97

4 Suicide

I Never Knew Rosanne Martorella 104

I Am Krysteen Hernandez 110

Beyond Surviving: Suggestions for Survivors Iris M. Bolton 111

Learning from My Past Rachael Bennett 113

Another Statistic Amanda Parmenter 117

5 Tragedy

An Unbreakable Bond Sara Preston 122

Losing the Best Garrett Drew 130

Turn It Upside Down Jessie Williams 136

Sorrowful Lesson James Kisner 139

Someone to Watch over Me Eva Unga 142

A House Is Not a Home Zan Gaudioso 146

Building Bridges Charlie Simmons 152

6 Abuse

Losing Myself Jenny Deyo 158

Help Me Hawon Lee 162

Nightmares Kara MacDonald 166

7 On Courage

The Birth of an Adult Jonathan Krasnoff 170

Unstoppable Nick Springer as told to Stephanie Booth 177

The Long Journey Home Phillip Thuss 182

Born to Win Jake Repp 187

Lumps Christina Angeles 192

Go for the Gold Michael Munds 197

The Walk That Changed Our Lives Maggie McCarthy 200

8 Learning Difficult Lessons

What My Father Wore Bret Anthony Johnston 204

The Graduation Speech Cheryl Costello-Forshey 208

The Purse Tal Vigderson 212

Friends to the End Jenny Michaels as told to Cynthia Hamond 218

I'm Sorry… Teal Henderson 223

A Different View Zan Gaudioso 225

It's Just the Way We Are Kristy Glassen 229

My Greatest Teacher William Elliott 231

9 Eating Disorders & Depression

Starving for Control Jamie-Lynn Sigler 238

Just One of Those Days Jenny Sharaf 243

Suffering in Silence Ruth Greenspan as told to C. S. Dweck 245

Cookie-Cutter Hands Kelly Peters as told to Rebecca Woolf 250

Numb Jessica Dubose 254

10 Death & Dying

This Too Shall Pass Kimberly Kirberger 256

Seize the Day Teal Henderson 262

Some People Come Lauren Anderson 263

My Guardian Angel Meghan O'Brien 268

And Then I Tell My Story Maria Piñedo 272

I Wonder as I Wander Hilary Begleiter 276

The Death of a Friend Cassius Weathersby III 277

Timeless Friendship Andrea Wellman 281

Grandma's Words of Wisdom Heather Deederly 285

Smiles in My Heart Sara Tylutki 287

Let's Go Dancing in the Rain Claire Hayenga 289

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me David M. Romano 293

Wherever You Go Kari Fiegen 295

11 Growing Up

Somewhere in the Middle Liza Ortego 300

Losing Becky Gwynne Garfinkle 302

Something I Couldn't See Caroline Smith 306

My Grandma Told Stories William Elliott 311

Where the Locks Click Open Stephanie Hsu 314

Rolling Down Summer's Hills C. S. Dweck 317

Who Is Jack Canfield? 323

Who Is Mark Victor Hansen? 324

Who Is Kimberly Kirberger? 325

Contributors 326

Permissions 333

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