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‘Honey, can you come pick me up? I think something is really wrong with me.’ I felt strong vibrations all throughout my body.’: Woman shares tips for managing anxiety, ‘I used to think self-care was mani-pedis and face masks’

“I pulled over. I was sitting on the side of the road, shaking as I held my son’s little hand – completely unaware of what was happening. Cars sounded louder, the sunlight brighter. The back of my neck felt like a claw squeezing me. I could no longer take a deep breath. I was holding on for dear life.”

‘I was sleeping 16 hours a day. I felt someone squeezing my lungs every time I took a breath. ‘You’re fine, just go home and rest.’: Woman battling Lupus urges ‘you’re capable of crushing every obstacle in your path’

“A group of doctors huddled at the end of my bed. I overheard them say, ‘She’s so incredibly sick, we just can’t figure out what’s wrong. She isn’t going to make it.’ I spiked a 104 fever. I was writhing in pain, grunting, moaning, begging for it to stop.”

‘You’ll never get out of this hole. Just go back to your old friend, heroin.’ I spent the night in jail, tying bedsheets around my neck.’: Man who battled addiction 9 years now owner of state’s largest recovery center

“I put the sheet around my neck and waited. I just couldn’t let go. I could hear the voices in my head saying, ‘You can’t even do this right.’ When I was released from prison, my family wouldn’t take me in. After too many broken promises, they were done with me. I owed $33,000 in child support and $100,000 for my crimes. ‘You’re going to be okay.’ My prisonmates saved my life. They took me in when I was too far gone.”

‘He relapsed and started dating someone behind my back. I was completely blindsided. His secret turned out to be the best gift.’: Woman recounts emotional divorce from husband, ‘Your future is so much bigger than current circumstance’

“Months went by and I found myself falling back into him again. The codependency ran so deep, we honestly didn’t know how to be apart. But this wasn’t the man I’d married and chosen to spend my life with. ‘I’ll do anything to get my family back,’ he preached. He was faltering with his rehabilitation. Things started to derail. He was supposed to get better for us, for his family. I was caught in his web.”

‘After rehab, I manipulated my mom into dropping me off at a bar. ‘I’m not an alcoholic.’ I got drunk and high that night.’: Woman overcomes heroin and alcohol addiction, ‘God put me on this earth to make an impact’

“I knew nothing about heroin. But I did it. That missing feeling I had inside of me for so long was gone. It felt warm and like I was being hugged. It felt like I had arrived. In my mind, I was a heroin addict, not an alcoholic. I got drunk and got high that night. I would share needles with whoever. I found out I had contracted Hepatitis C. One of my best friends, who I used with, had been sober for 18 months. If she could do it, so could I.”

‘Here, I’ll get rid of it for you,’ he put his fist up to me and my baby belly, filled with rage. I knew this baby would save me.’: Woman breaks cycle of abuse, leaves cheating husband to gain full custody of kids, ‘Let yourself be what you are, a Queen, a warrior’

“He’d been living a double life. I was his girlfriend at church functions, family gatherings and his house. That was strictly it. He brought her camping, to parties. Then, he began bringing her into the house. The first night he brought her back was our anniversary. His phone accidentally ‘pocket dialed’ me while he was in bed with her. I went into panic mode. I couldn’t breathe. But it didn’t stop there. I found out I was pregnant with our daughter.”

‘Let’s teach mom how to do this so she doesn’t need a man.’ I handed the little girl the tire iron.’: Mom empowers women to know they don’t ‘need a husband’ to get things done

“We came across a mom and daughter with a flat tire. Mom was crying. ‘Can I help?,’ I asked. ‘Yes,’ she replied, but looked doubtful. She also said she doesn’t have a husband. She mentioned no less than 3 or 4 times in front of her little girl how she doesn’t have a husband, but needs one for moments like this. It crossed my mind to say something, but instead, I approached the little girl.”

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