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‘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.”

‘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.”

‘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.”

‘Why are your legs so fat?’ She laughed. I took my headphones out. ‘Pardon?’ Passengers watched.’: Woman brought to tears by stranger’s rude comment, realizes her ‘fat’ legs have ‘done her well’ in life

“I sat between two teenage girls. They were getting louder, being obnoxious. She repeated, ‘Why are your legs so fat?’ The woman next to me berated her for being so rude. I could still hear them giggling. I could feel my face burning. I couldn’t get off the train fast enough. The first thing I did was call my husband, crying, barely able to get my words out.”

‘I was 32 when my husband suddenly died. I wanted to have children with him. Being without him is terrifying.’: Widow finds the ‘beautiful balance of life after loss’ with 2-year-old son

“A counselor I met with looked at me and asked this simple question. ‘Would Albert want you to grieve with fear, or grieve with hope?’ I immediately knew the answer. As I sat there on the couch, tears streaming down my face, I knew I needed to live. Just because Albert died, doesn’t mean I have to as well. That would be the last thing he would want me to do.”

‘Mama, please!,’ my daughter cried. She got in the tub, held me in silence, patting my back, giving me kisses.’: Daughter’s intuition picks up on mommy’s ‘debilitating anxiety’

“My husband swiftly removed her multiple times, as I said, ‘Mommy will be done in a minute baby, I am right here.’ I need someone to look me in the eyes and say, ‘I know you’re not okay.’ My daughter did just this for me. I try to hold it together for my child, but she knows. We sat like this for an hour. It was one of the most beautiful gifts anyone could give me.”

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