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‘My biology teacher said, ‘You’re lying. There’s no way you’d be alive without a pancreas.’ I held back tears, mortified. She accused me of my disease not being real.’: Diabetic woman details journey, ‘Our stories need to be heard’

“She tried to embarrass me in front of the class. ‘You’re wrong. I know what was done to my body.’ The room grew quiet as I sat there in shock. She accused me of my disease not being real. I knew right then and there I needed to make a change.”

‘My best friend said, ‘You’re too depressing to be around. All you talk about is your pain and sickness. You need to hold it all in, or I won’t be your friend anymore.’: Woman written off by society finds ‘unconditional love’ in chronic illness community 

“For 8 years, I couldn’t get the medicine I needed because doctors suggested I was complaining about nothing. They dismissed me with, ‘It’s all in your head.’ I became an expert at denying my own pain. I resigned from my job. Being sick was not something people wanted to hear about.”

‘Why are you involved? Isn’t it depressing?’ I was dying and it wasn’t the cancer. It was the state of my life.’: Woman survives esophageal cancer, jumpstarts organization to help others

“I was separating from my husband, all the while wondering whether I was going to live or die. I was sharing a room with a woman who’d been told, ‘You have an incurable blood disease. Death is certain.’ I recall shrinking beneath my blankets, not wanting to bring attention to myself on the other side of the thin layer of privacy hanging between us. She told them ‘I have no family to call,’ and when the doctors left, we sat there in silence. I knew I was destined to do more.”

‘My left hand went numb. It crept to the side of my face. ‘I think I just had a stroke?’ I turned to my boyfriend in fear.’: Woman begins weight loss after stroke-like symptoms, PCOS diagnosis

“I was labeled an ‘attention whore.’ Things took a turn for the worst. The urgent care doctor kept asking, ‘Can you tell me your name?’ I was unable to speak. I kept trying, but only jumbled words came out. I started to panic. After the diagnosis, she replied, ‘Well, I can put you on birth control.’ I said, ‘That doesn’t address what’s causing this. What can I do to fix this?’ She grew increasingly annoyed. I broke down right there. It felt like an absolute robbery to have to leave that exam room.”

‘My mom would say I was ‘ballooning.’ I was in 4th grade. She’d implement some new weird food rule for my ‘health.’: Woman is ‘blown away’ by body positive community, ‘I learned to love myself, heal my relationship with my body and soul’

“Maybe my mom thought I wasn’t smart enough to hear what she was really saying: ‘My daughter is broken, how do I fix her?’ I was working out. I was doing everything right, wasn’t I? ‘Why am I still fat?,’ I asked myself. I was 10. Eating 500 calories a day, no cheating. But it was there, in that despair, that my life started to change. I came across a plus-size woman’s account and was… blown away.”

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