transformation

‘Goodbye Jaci,’ I scream at the fragments of glass. ‘I can’t continue on this path. I must cut myself free of all of you, if I want to fly.’: Woman describes her rebirth, ‘I have found myself.’

“In a panic now, I pray. I put my hands up to my bloody mouth and pray long and hard and more fervently than I have ever prayed before. I can’t go back. I won’t. ‘Please help me.’ I will not look behind me anymore. There is no going back. I must break free from the cage I have held my self in for so long.”

‘I keep telling them to give up on you. I don’t know why they won’t listen.’ The officer grabbed my black and blue arms. I was a walking zombie.’: Former addict transforms her life, ‘I was never hopeless. I was never unworthy.’

“The electricity had been turned off. I was enrolled in Cosmetology school, but hadn’t gone in weeks. I was so tired. My grandparents were on vacation, so I thought I’d go to their house and shower. My intentions were good. I sat in their shower for what felt like an eternity. I remember each individual drop of water hitting my body as I cried out to die. I was fighting the demons, doomed to lose. I lost that day. I didn’t go to school. Instead, I stole $7,000 worth of jewelry from my grandmother.”

‘Look, she’s eating something!’ I hear the whisper. I feel the cold gnawing at the bottom of my stomach. I hate it and I love it.’: After 12 years battling anorexia, ED survivor learns to accept new plus-size body

“My brother makes me a sandwich when he sees I didn’t eat lunch. My bones poke up under my skin. ‘Please eat it,’ he begs. ‘You need to eat.’ It is so sweet of him, so I eat a few bites. But when he leaves, I give the rest to the dogs. They leave no evidence. Nothing in the trash for my dad to find when he empties it, nothing to clog the toilet. I have become clever in the ways of secret self-destruction.”

‘I’m not going to sugar coat it. His file is so big, no one will even look at it anymore.’ He was pencil thin, eyes sunken so deep. He was ours.’: Couple adopts 16-year-old runaway after his birth mom called police on him, ‘His story didn’t end how the world told him it would’

“She was dancing around the facts, and we could tell. She wanted to see if we would scare. He’d run from his previous placement, was failing all of his classes. She had no other place to turn. We asked to FaceTime him. We saw the emptiness in his eyes and the face of a kid who didn’t even know what hope was. He couldn’t make eye contact. His skin was covered with sores, his hands curled and tremored. He was 15. He was ours. He told us the drugs he’d done, the girls he’d been with, and the things he’d seen, and I couldn’t help but see the beginnings of a boy who would leave that past behind.”

‘I shouted to my husband, ‘I think I’m having a heart attack!’ There I was, lying naked on the table as they announced my weight. ‘249 pounds.’: Mom of 3 loses ‘whopping 125 pounds’ after nearly fatal heart attack

“I remember feeling the most horrendous pain shoot up my left arm. ‘Please, God, don’t let me die. My three children still need me.’ An overwhelming sense of doom came over me. All I could see were the dark eyes of my doctor hovered over the rail of that hospital bed. He told me, ‘This is a wake up call, Adrienne.’ I was alone, naked, vulnerable, and helpless. The only thing I could do was pray.”

‘I think I have heartburn.’ He winced, shook it off. ‘As long as it’s not my pancreas!’ We laughed, having no idea.’: Woman loses partner to pancreatic cancer, ‘I walked with him, through life and death’

“As the days passed, he couldn’t eat or sleep. Then came the shocking weight loss. This body I once knew was now all bones and sharp edges. I could see his ribs through his t-shirt. ‘We see a large mass,’ the doctor informed us. I cried silent tears. I could no longer touch any part of him, except his hands. Everything hurt too much. We were no longer laughing. We were hoping for one more day.”

‘I was prostituting. We had sex, he paid me, but I didn’t leave right away. I was infatuated.’: Woman credits abusive relationship for sobriety after meth addiction, ‘I got sober for a man, stayed sober for my baby, now I stay sober for me’

“I became pregnant at 16. The partying escalated. To pay for my habit, I started prostituting. Most of the guys were married men wanting to cheat. They disgusted me; but then again, I disgusted me too. One night, I got a text from someone new. A John that would become more than that. I got pregnant with our daughter. It was awful. I lived in fear of him taking her from me, and when she was 6 months old, he tried and failed.”

‘I grew up fat. I’d gotten down to eating only 1 orange a day. Then I got the phone call. My mother had died.’: Woman overcomes eating disorder, childhood trauma, ‘Cheers to a new year. And a new me. Everyone loves a good comeback, right?’

“My mother was an addict. My senior year of high school it got bad. One day she called me from rehab and told me to get out. I was 17 years old. I packed my bags and have been on my own ever since. My world spiraled out of control. I didn’t know how to cope. The only thing you can ever control in your life is what you put in your mouth. So, I went the opposite direction. I would see how long I could go without eating. I was sick. I knew what I was doing was wrong.”

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