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Love

Love is all you need

‘I woke up in a hospital bed. There was a $100 bill on the bedside table with a note that said, ‘GO HOME.’ My miscarriage left me almost dead.’: Woman quits alcohol and drugs ‘cold turkey’ after addict husband’s death

“I had never smoked a cigarette, never drank a beer, never had a real boyfriend. I was a naïve, 17-year-old virgin. I went to a party with my friends. I paid the guy at the door $5 dollars. ‘The punch is in the kitchen, don’t lose your cup.’ I was found on steps, lying in a pool of vomit. I fell off the Dean’s List. Then I met the man I would marry. I had a front-row seat to the most terrifying horror show imaginable. I was penniless, homeless, trickin’ on Main South for a 40 piece.”

‘What will you tell your kids? They look trashy.’ I’ll tell them what my tattoos mean to me.’: After lupus diagnosis, sexual assault survivor uses to tattoos to ‘help me reclaim myself’

“Unsolicited, I have been ‘advised’ on my body art. I’ve been asked, in horror, ‘What will you tell your kids?’ I’ll tell them what my tattoos mean to me, and when they’re older, they can get tattoos if they want them. ‘You’re inviting people to judge you.’ Actually no, I’m not. ‘Can you get a job with those?’ Firstly, none of your business. Secondly, yes. Then there are the people who find my tattoos TOO appealing. ‘Where ELSE are you inked?’ ‘So, you like pain, huh?’ ‘Wanna see MY tattoo?’ Seriously, be less sleazy.”

‘A month before my wedding, I woke up unable to see 2 feet in front of me. I chalked it up to a fluke. I was so naive.’: Woman shares emotional battle with Uveitus, ‘I’ll do whatever it takes to persevere’

“I woke up with blood-shot eyes. Everything was a blur. ‘This is going to go away. It can’t get worse.’ This is when my eyesight started to deteriorate. Here I was, 26 years old, a month before my dream wedding day. I had the most beautiful wedding dress, and desperately wanted to look good in my wedding photos. ‘How could this be happening to me?’ I was so angry at the world.”

‘My home isn’t special. We don’t have the high-priced items to entertain, or space for the masses. And yet, no one cares.’: Mom has ‘open home policy’ for friends and family, ‘It’s not about the place, but the people’

“I am not a good cook or a great hostess. I often wonder if I’m doing it all right. You’ll find me making bulk Mac and Cheese in gym shorts and t-shirts, un-showered or made up. The couch is sometimes dirty and it gets too crowded at times. And yet, no one cares. All anyone really needs is a heart that says, ‘Welcome, you’re important here.’ THAT is the gift you offer when you open up your home.”

‘When are you going to try again?’ I was still unable to wipe after going to the bathroom. My baby was being reduced to nothing but a ‘try.’: Couple births second daughter one year after first is stillborn, ‘I already WAS a mother’

“As my belly grew, I began being asked the ‘Is this your first?’ question by anyone, from the cashier at Target to the waitress while out for dinner. My answer was, ‘No, this is my second. My first child died.’ You could tell by the uncomfortable look on their faces that my response was always unexpected, met with pity and also toxic positivity. I already WAS a mother.”

‘My beautiful, newborn girl looked me dead in the eye and smiled. Minutes later, I was in the parking lot getting high.’: Man overcomes life-long addiction, ‘My recovery is nothing short of miraculous’

“I grew up in the heart of America’s opioid epidemic. By age 12, I was incarcerated for the first time. I was so violent, I’d attack my dad, punch holes in the walls. Soon, my daughter had to come visit me in a prison visitation room. Even the most beautiful of situations couldn’t fix how broken I was. One day, I posted about how desperate I was. A couple named Adam and Valerie reached out. These 2 people, and their 6 children, decided to give me a chance.”

‘This is easy, just wait until they’re older.’ I cried into her bib. I struggled to say ‘I love you’ to my baby. I shut down completely.’: Mom suffers postpartum depression, fights for help, ‘Every day is a battle, but I know I can win’

“I asked to be put on medication. My doctor said to me, ‘Are you sure it’s not just the pressure of Christmas?’ ‘NO!’ I wanted to scream, ‘This is why mothers don’t speak out. Because people belittle us. They tell us to cope.’ I was so angry. I accepted the prescription and left. I knew I needed to do something more than medication. I felt like the worst mom ever.”

‘I’ve been seeing a boy for a year.’ I wasn’t changing. My family was going to be disappointed. We are Catholic.’: Gay twin brothers come out to parents, ’We struggled with the fact we could lose family for being who we are.’

“‘Do you have any crushes on girls in your class?’ It was hard to get away with answering ‘no.’ I thought of sending myself to conversion therapy. We couldn’t understand why we weren’t sexually attracted to women. Having this picture embedded in our heads of a hyper-masculine culture messed us up. We knew sooner or later something, or someone, would have to give.”

‘I keep telling them to give up on you. I don’t know why they won’t listen.’ The officer grabbed my black and blue arms. I was a walking zombie.’: Former addict transforms her life, ‘I was never hopeless. I was never unworthy.’

“The electricity had been turned off. I was enrolled in Cosmetology school, but hadn’t gone in weeks. I was so tired. My grandparents were on vacation, so I thought I’d go to their house and shower. My intentions were good. I sat in their shower for what felt like an eternity. I remember each individual drop of water hitting my body as I cried out to die. I was fighting the demons, doomed to lose. I lost that day. I didn’t go to school. Instead, I stole $7,000 worth of jewelry from my grandmother.”

‘Just give her time. She’ll come around.’ My mom has yet to use my correct pronouns. To her, I’ll always be her first ‘daughter.’: Trans man finds courage to live his truth, ‘Transitioning was the biggest act of self-love’

“Everyone kept telling me I was a girl. When my mom would take me clothes shopping, I found myself cutting looks to the male section, wishing I could cross aisles and pick something I’d feel confident in. I struggled so much with trying to feel ‘pretty.’ Now, I miss being able to pick up the phone and just say ‘hi’ to my mom. Years pass, with little to no communication. I’ll always be her ‘daughter.’ No amount of hormones or surgeries will ever change that.”

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