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Happy

‘Two months before college graduation, my symptoms returned. The bloat, the blood, stomach pain, and fatigue.’: Young woman diagnosed with severe Ulcerative Colitis, ‘I felt I would never get my life back, now I embrace it all’

“‘Natalie. He died.’ I can still remember it like yesterday. Being woken up in my freshman year dorm from a call. All I remember next is screaming, ‘No, no, no, no, no!’ Dead. Died. Gone. As time went on, I started feeling sick. Very sick.”

‘I was scared she’d die. They said it’s ‘new mom jitters.’ I didn’t want to be the ‘depressed, baby-less mom’: Mother experiences postpartum depression, PTSD after first son born still, ‘I was hiding it well’

“I was losing clumps of hair. I assumed it was stress because we just moved for my husband’s job. My doctor asked about my children. She was the first doctor who actually had a conversation with me. Then she dropped a bomb. ‘I’m prescribing you an anti depressant.’ I left the appointment bawling. ‘Who does she think she is!? She didn’t know everything I’ve been through!'”

‘I’m young. Doesn’t everyone drink?’ I chose to be homeless. On the streets, no one could hold me back.’ : Young woman gains back ‘self respect, dignity’ after overcoming alcoholism

“I traded a life of steady income and comfort for a life on the streets in order to support my addiction. I slept in homeless camps, under bridges, along railroad tracks, and in strangers’ houses. My sign, ‘Support my whiskey right for a frisky night,’ made more money than any other sign asking for help. I was living on the street, so no one cared. It came with the territory.”

‘Someday, I hope we meet again.’ She didn’t forget me. They regretted the adoption. ‘We can take care of you.’: Mom re-adopts baby she gave up at birth 18 years later, learns to ’embrace the journey’

“I shared my story as a birth mom. ‘Will you adopt my baby boy?’ I broke into a smile and said, ‘Yes!’ Later the child I gave up previously was instructed to choose between us and her adoptive family. I am a birth mom of one adult daughter. I am a biological mom of three boys. I am an adoptive mom of one eleven-year-old boy. I didn’t realize dreams could be rebuilt, and emerge as something brand new and, one day, beautiful.”

‘You had the baby 15 days ago. You’re in the hospital.’ Was he kidnapped?’: Mom births baby in medically-induced coma after frightening flu symptoms, ‘They knew I was dying’

“I remember multiple vivid dreams of violent rape. As I woke, my ‘dreams’ transitioned to reality. The sorrow I felt was indescribable. I was devastated I’d missed those precious moments after birth. I wept, begged the doctors, ‘Please downgrade me out of the ICU so I can meet my baby!’ FINALLY, after 24 days in the hospital, I met my precious son. I smelled his skin. I’d almost died, and was now reunited with him.”

‘Your baby’s heart is on the wrong side.’ I cried. ‘PLEASE be with him, I don’t want him to be alone.’: Mom devastated to learn of newborn’s heart defect, wishes she could ‘take his place’

“The sonographer went very quiet and kept putting her body in strange positions. She said the baby was laying awkwardly. We had to sign papers prior to his surgery warning us of the risks… death being one of them. We were so helpless. He was so tiny. It didn’t seem fair. I was so excited to see my little boy and give him a big kiss.”

‘How dare she take away my unique quality?’ I was the ‘girl with one arm.’ I was MORE popular.’: Young woman with missing arm always embraced her difference, ‘My sparkle is who I am on the inside’

“I was scared boys wouldn’t want to date me because of my arm, and I was scared of going in public because I did not want strangers to ask questions. I remember one time a kid got angry with me and said, ‘You one-armed freak!’ It hurt. People would say, ‘You are so brave! You are so inspiring!’ It was annoying! I wasn’t doing anything different than the other children.”

‘Who are you and what are you doing in my house???’ She’d get sad. ‘I feel like I’m in prison.’: Caretaker befriends elderly woman with Alzheimer’s, ‘Just love them, they never forget how to love’

“I would re-introduce myself every 5 minutes. ‘I am your new friend. We are going to spend the day together!’ She would smile. ‘Thank you for being here.’ She’d tell me about her first love and all the trips she’s taken. Then all of a sudden, she’d backtrack. ‘All the men I loved were in the war, and none of them came back.’ She’d forgotten so much, but whenever I’d say goodbye, she always thanked me.”

‘The first year of marriage is supposed to be hard.’ I caught him in a lie, and he broke. ‘That’s what bad people do.’: Woman escapes abusive marriage, comes ‘full circle’ and re-marries

​“I stood in the dark, gravel parking lot, sobbing, hoping he would follow me and tell me to come back home. That everything would be okay. He never came. Instead, my friend showed up and put her jacket around me. It was cold. I didn’t understand why she did that, what I’d done to deserve it. ‘Because I love you.’ My breath caught. It hit me that I didn’t understand that kind of love. He was determined to sink. I had to choose whether I’d go down with him.”

‘Oh, it’s just my skin.’ I’d stare in the mirror, worrying how to look as pretty as the other girls.’: Young woman born with vitiligo skin condition develops eating disorder to look as good as her peers, finally learns ‘recovery is worth it’

“‘As soon as someone notices something is wrong, I will stop.’ I was waiting for the attention. Girls would run away from me because they did not want to ‘catch my disease.’ Every day, while throwing away my lunch in school, or doing sit-ups in my bedroom, I started to feel proud. I was 13, and weighed 60 pounds. Your passions cannot be accomplished if you are struggling yourself.”

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