find your joy

‘I heard his sweet, crackly voice whisper, ‘Mama, I don’t want to go.’ He burst into tears and lunged toward me.’: Mom urges ‘cheer them on, congratulate them, tell them how proud you are’

“It was his very ‘fourst’ day of hockey. ‘What’s wrong, buddy? You were so excited.’ As I held my little trembling man, feeling his warm tears falling from his eyes onto my own cheek, every fiber of me felt his fear. A tiny part of me wanted to let him stay home. My heart ached as I watched the car pull out of the driveway.”

‘Lindsey, you have a problem.’ I shuddered in fear. I was lying on the bathroom floor. ‘No, no, no. Not again. Is this really happening?’: Woman 401 days sober after grueling addiction to alcohol, ‘I promise you, life gets easier’

“The night before, on my 21st birthday, I participated in an escapade that led my boyfriend and I into a terrible fight at a country club. The cops had to break us up. Nobody knew I’d spent hours in a holding cell after being arrested. Or that I’d blacked out on the highway and cheated on a few of my boyfriends. Or even that I’d drink a bottle of wine after my nursing shifts and show up to work hungover, my patients’ lives in my hands. I didn’t want to believe I had a problem.”

‘I’m a sucky wife some days. He gets the leftovers, life gets the main dish. Most nights, I’m asleep before he even graces the bedroom.’: Woman ‘thankful’ for husband who ‘doesn’t ask more of me than he knows I can give this season’

“I don’t have that same twinkle in my eye. I can no longer give him my full attention like I used to. My energy goes into playing hot wheels and throwing together loads of laundry. We share half-hearted conversations as we each scroll through stupid Facebook videos at the end of a long day. I pour so much of myself into every area of my life that my husband often gets the drips of what is left. It’s not fair. But I’m thankful.”

‘We placed my son in the back of a black SUV and said goodbye. I lost all hope. Just before I drank myself to death, I found out I was pregnant.’: Mom’s harrowing journey to recovery, ‘It’s up to you to break the cycle’

“Right after I turned 15, I met the absolute love of my life. Apparently, we were never really exclusive. In the summer going into my senior year, I got pregnant. I learned alcohol numbed the pain. After my daughter’s father left without telling me, I started partying more. He had no more fight in him. Days after his 4th birthday, we brought him home on hospice care.”

‘No one else has the guts to tell you this, but you look like a crack addict.’ I was surrounded by a looming cloud of self-hatred.’: Woman beats lifelong battle with eating disorders, ‘I get up every day and fight for my life’

“Every time I leaned over my toilet and stuck my fingers down my throat, I would tell myself this was just what a disgusting person like me deserved. I was a shell of myself. I was too scared to kill myself. “Please don’t let me wake up.’ On the morning of my grandma’s funeral, I knew I was next.”

‘Tell me about when you CAME OUT.’ We left the interviews feeling a sense of ‘otherness.’ ‘Why does that even matter?’: LGBT couple adopt medically-complex baby boy from NICU

“I was at lunch with friends when my phone rang. I didn’t pull it out of my coat pocket. Soon, I got this overwhelming feeling to check it. My heart literally stopped. ‘It’s the adoption agency.’ I could barely get the words out. Both my friends yelled, ‘IS IT A BABY?!’ I rushed outside. There was a 2-pound baby born 3 months early. ‘He’s not breathing.’ We were presented a long list of medical issues. ‘Are we ready? Can we even do this?!’ We decided to let fate take over.”

‘My mom said, ‘You have to leave. I’ll kill myself if you stay in this house with us.’ I was given one week.’: Woman overcomes neglect, eating disorder, ‘I wake up every day and choose recovery’

“When I had my first period, I felt I was confessing to a huge crime. I asked her, ‘Why?’ She simply said, ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’ I moved into a rundown bed where nobody spoke English. There was no lock on the front door and I frequently saw and heard people doing drugs on the roof of my bedroom.”

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