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‘Take some Advil. You’ll be fine.’ I looked down to see half my fingers had turned completely white. I spiked a 104 fever.’: Woman receives Lupus diagnosis after brushed off multiple times, ‘You’re capable of crushing every obstacle in your path’

“I was sleeping 16+ hours a day. Every time I took a breath, it was like someone was squeezing my lungs. I went to the ER with my long list of symptoms only to be met with, ‘Just go home and rest.’ That afternoon, a group of doctors huddled at the end of my bed. I vividly remember overhearing, ‘She’s so incredibly sick, we just can’t figure out what’s wrong with her. She isn’t going to make it to the end of the summer.'”

‘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.”

‘I told him to stop! He pushed him again. So, I punched him, hard,’ my son said. I took him for ice cream.’: Mom proud of son for sticking up for bullied classmate, ‘My child has full permission to rock your kid’s world if they’re bullying them’

“I walked in to pick my son up from kindergarten. There was a crying child, holding his face, looking embarrassed. On the other side of the room, my child, arms folded across his chest, eyebrows touching in the middle, a teacher squatting down to talk to him. ‘There’s been an incident’. The teacher was asking him the wrong questions: ‘Did you hit him?’ I watched the teacher’s expression change.”

‘This picture was taken 2 hours before I was bullied in front of my entire school. They made a mockery of me.’: Teen stands up against bullying, ‘I cheered in front of them with a smile’

“Friday afternoon, a group of kids decided to embarrass me. It was my senior year pep rally, my senior cheer night. This was the day they decided to put me down. Even after standing up for myself, they continued on with their foolish comments. I couldn’t stop wondering, ‘Why me?’ Then, I realized I was asking the wrong question. ‘Why do it at all?’ It doesn’t matter that it was done to me, it matters that it happened. It’s unacceptable.”

‘Does he own a firearm?’ I told the operator ‘yes.’ They found it hidden, loaded, in my daughter’s toys.’: Woman leaves abusive marriage to set strong example for 3-year-old, ‘My daughter’s smile is worth every struggle’

“What they said next sent chills down my spine. ‘It seems he had it loaded and ready to threaten you in case you came back.’ He was arrested and booked that night. I loved this man, madly. I received a call from my husband in jail. ‘Hello?’ His response, ‘I’ll never forgive you for this. You ruined my life.’ I hung up. I knew I had to pull all my pieces together – if not for me, then for her. My daughter would never get to know this side of me.”

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