recovery is possible

‘I heard two words: ‘fugitive felon.’ I caught my son’s eye. His shackles made my stomach flutter uncontrollably. His public defender smoothed her beige suit, and approached him.’

“The severely criminal charge was, in fact, a reference to my 24-year-old. I never imagined that term would apply to him. An unexpected call helped me through his transfer to prison. It had been weeks without contact when I answered the unfamiliar number. I fought back tears. He told me how much my son loved me.”

‘Miss, I have your father’s autopsy results,’ the coroner said. ‘He felt absolutely nothing.’ I quickly asked, ‘It wasn’t an overdose?!’ ‘No drugs were detected, ma’am.’ I cried hysterically.’

“‘We can’t reach him,’ he said. My grandpa was at my dad’s apartment trying to get in. Police arrived. ‘Do we have permission to break in?’ The officer kicked the door down. ‘Dad!,’ my sister screamed. A police officer held our grandpa back. ‘Dana wake him up, get him up!’ All she could say was, ‘Grandpa, I am so sorry.'”

‘I wasn’t the stereotypical addict on the streets with no teeth, begging for money. I had children. I was functioning. I’d get up, eat, go to the gym. Then, I’d go on a bender for days.’

“I’d do whatever I could to distract myself from the fact that I felt alone. I always wanted to stop, but I didn’t know how. People around me knew, but never said anything. It made me feel like it was okay. I didn’t realize I needed to change until I lost my children. I decided if I couldn’t beat this and see my kids again, I’d kill myself.”

‘I didn’t get a date to our senior prom. I went instead with a gay classmate of mine. There was no one to shield me from the bullies.’: Woman details journey with cerebral palsy, aggressive ovarian cancer

“Every time a breeze blew by, I could see strands of hair falling to the ground. All I could do was sleep. Every time my brother tried to carry me, I would scream in pain. He rushed me to the nearest hospital, and I begged them to operate on me. The tumor burst inside of me and spread cancer cells all over.”

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