‘You’re stupid, and you’re worthless, and you’re a failure, and you should just die.’: College graduate discusses battles with Depression and PTSD

“My own self-worth was now completely dependent on how well I was doing in school. I turned to binge drinking and partying on the weekends to cope with the immense pressure I felt throughout the week. I did not know how to express my pain or ask for help, I only knew to bottle things up and press on, and so I did. I felt dead inside already, I’d hit my rock bottom. I decided I was going to get serious help.”

‘She gets no sleep at all. She has no time for herself. She intentionally loses herself in him, so he knows he is loved.’: Husband pens sweet mom appreciation letter to ‘fierce’ wife, ‘no amount of pain keeps her from loving our son’

“Labor pains, breastfeeding, postpartum hormones. She looks at herself in the mirror, wondering if her body will ever look the same again. I thought I knew what motherhood entailed. Like most new dads, I only experienced it as an outsider. I saw my mother, sister, and friends do it. I got the gist of it. Or at least I thought I did. But what I didn’t know was how little I really knew.”

‘We won’t have a little voice waking us up Christmas morning, no opening presents. We put up lights, even though they can’t express their excitement.’: Special needs mom shares reality of Christmas season, ‘our babies are the gift’

“Our Christmas is different than yours. We get no excited screams when they see what Santa brought. It’s struggling with gift ideas. What do you get a non-mobile, non-verbal child? It’s walking past all the cool toys at the front of every store, wishing our child could play with them. Our Christmas is different, but it’s still so magical.”

‘WHAT am I going to do with a sick baby?’ I was 18. Her heart began to give out, her little belly filled with blood.’: Teen loses daughter to congenital heart disease, donates 455 oz. of breast milk to save sick babies in NICU  

“In 73 days, I never got to hear her cry. I never got to feed her or take her home. I spent the next couple of weeks in a dark hole. ‘We can’t do anything else for you, I’m sorry.’ I couldn’t save my baby, so I decided I would save others. I turned my pain into something beautiful.”

‘I need a favor.’ We had nothing under our Christmas tree. ‘The only thing I was able to purchase was a nail polish. I need you to be OK with that.’: Woman pays it forward after stranger’s act of kindness on Christmas day

“My single mother took me aside one day. ‘I need your help.’ I looked her in the eye. ‘Do not buy me another thing. If you have any money left, get something for the little girls.’ Christmas morning came. I sat quietly as the others opened their meager gifts. It killed me to watch my mother trying to smile. She felt like she’d failed us. Soon there was a knock. We all scampered to the door of our little duplex. It was hard to breathe as I chocked back tears.”

‘Wait. Is this normal?’ He turned his neck. My first thought, as a mama of 10, was lymph node. Then, I touched it. I knew.’: Mom admires 11-year-old son’s tenacity during cancer battle, ‘Told you I’d live’

“My husband and I decided to stop fooling around. I loaded up 10 kids, rented a house in another state, and we hit the road. I waited for the final lab reports. I was making sandwiches. I’ll never forget which step I was on, because that’s how they stayed. Pregnant with our 11th baby, the surgeon’s number popped up on my phone. He asked me to walk away from the children. My heart screamed, ‘NOT MY BABY.’”

‘I didn’t need his permission. I closed my eyes, clicked a button, and finally put an end to my pretending.’: It’s been one year since I stopped faking it on social media

“I posted our most recent family photos, and the comments poured in about how ‘perfect’ my family was. I knew things needed to change. I didn’t want people to just like my photos, I wanted them to like me, all of me—even the painful, grieving parts. I am a child who was abused by her father at 3 years old. A teenager who was the victim of statutory rape. I found my husband unresponsive on the floor with a failing heart.”

‘Yes, Meg. The baby is healthy, stop worrying.’ Coward. She knew. I saw it and felt sick. I didn’t want to hold her.’: Mom unknowingly births baby with Down syndrome, ‘I want to shout her worth to the world!’

“I grabbed a nurse’s arm as she walked by. ‘What’s wrong, is she okay?’ Stumbling over her words, she responded with, ‘Congratulations, she’s beautiful!’ Coward. She handed her to me before quickly walking out of the room, like she was some kind of damaged goods. Her tongue could barely fit in her mouth. I didn’t want to hold her, feed her, or even look at her. I was furious. All I could hear was that damn whispering.”

‘Your wife had a serious head trauma. She may not make it.’ I was covered with tubes and he lost it.’: Woman survives horrific car accident, gets married the same date of accident a year later to ‘redeem the day’

“3 weeks after getting engaged, I was T-boned by a Mac truck. ‘If this continues, we’ll lose her.’ He lost it. As he entered the room, he noticed my engagement ring had been removed. I was covered with tubes. He expected to recognize me. He didn’t. He held my hand and told me I was beautiful. ‘I want to marry you today more than I did the day I proposed,’ he told me.”

‘You’re too young to be that serious.’ ‘It won’t last.’ I ignored it all. I knew deep down it wasn’t just puppy love. It was a lifetime love.’: Teen mom marries young, births 2 kids despite criticism, ‘when you meet the love of your life, you’ll know’

“I met and started dating my husband at 16. I was infatuated with this boy I met at the mall, with Justin Bieber hair. ‘You’re 16. It won’t last forever.’ ‘Be prepared to do this on your own. Babies are hard on couples, especially so young.’ ‘We’re very happy for you, but do you think this is a good idea? To get married? You’re too young.’ Whether you’re 15, or 50, when you meet the love of your life, you will know right away. I’m so glad I didn’t listen.”

‘This isn’t right.’ We crossed the line by having pre-marital sex. We knew it was wrong. It’s difficult when you’re clouded with lust.’: Couple chooses celibacy before marriage, now pregnant with baby boy, ‘I can’t wait to share this experience with our children’

“Stephan always made me nervous. I’d try to dodge him while on campus. It wasn’t that he wasn’t attractive, but I’d been warned to stay away from ‘the frat boys.’ He invited me to his graduation where all his close friends and family gathered to celebrate. Then he just announced I was his girlfriend. I was as shocked as everyone else. His family and friends were ecstatic. Little did they know, my head was spinning.”

‘My mom loves to decorate at Christmas. It’s a big deal to her. She begged me to go outside to make sure they were ‘just right.’ I didn’t want to.’: Daughter ‘couldn’t care less’ about holidays, but realizes ‘there’s always a reason to share genuine human spirit’

“Christmas? Forget it. It’s not for me. I like the quiet. For a girl like me, holidays are overwhelming. But my mom loves to decorate. She puts up 5 Christmas trees. She goes all out. She begged me to go outside with her to look at them. I didn’t want to. I couldn’t care less. Just then it hit me. She cares. It’s important to her.”

‘Oh, are you babysitting?’ ‘They’re mine.’ I’m a 30-year-old single black woman with 3 white kids. Love has no color in my home.’: Woman adopts 1 boy, 2 siblings from foster care, ‘love is love, no matter the color’

“I heard a knock on the door. There, on my doorstep, stood this beautiful, petite little girl. ‘My name is Alexis.’ I realized she was alone. ‘Are you sure about adoption? ‘You don’t think 3 children is a lot?’ ‘You realize this means you will be financially responsible for them, right?’ I was already a single mom, what was I thinking? My heart immediately dropped. YES, YES, YES. I just couldn’t say no.”

‘What am I doing wrong?’ I was left on my own to flounder. My nipples were bleeding and I was in pain.’: Mom ‘so embarrassed’ about not breastfeeding, finally urges ‘don’t ever feel the need to defend your decision’

“I was so drugged and drained physically my milk didn’t come in for days. My husband said, ‘As long as our baby is healthy and happy everything else doesn’t matter.’ But I didn’t feel the same. I was hopeless. We’d get the pre-made formula so we didn’t have to do any mixing when we left the house and no one would know. It was so stressful.”

‘Do you want to join me?,’ Sean asked. I said no. I agonize over that choice. I didn’t say goodbye.’: Woman loses ‘healthy, active’ husband to sudden heart attack while biking, ‘His death makes no sense’

“4 days after Christmas, it was a beautiful sunny day. ‘I want to ride the trails,’ my husband said. ‘Are you sure you don’t want to go?’ It got dark. By 5:30, I was encouraged to call 911. ‘My husband hasn’t returned,’ I told the dispatcher. Panic filled my soul. ‘Finding him is not our priority,’ I was told. I called my kids, who were forced to locate their dad on foot. I’ll never forget their faces. As I walked toward the trail, my son begged me not to get any closer.”

‘I’ve been saving this money. I heard your husband died. I want you to have it because I still have my dad. Merry Christmas.’ It was a child’s handwriting.’: Widow receives unexpected act of kindness, now wants to pay it forward

“As I sat staring at the tree, silently pleading with God for direction, my doorbell rang. I made my way to the door, opened it and looked out – no one stood there. I looked down. To my surprise on the porch sat a glass jar piggy bank full of money. I read the card and started to cry. In a child’s handwriting, scribbled on a makeshift card, read the most beautiful little words.”