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‘A bartender who doesn’t drink? You can’t be good at this.’ These bottles nearly killed me.’: Confessions of a sober bartender after she almost lost her life to alcoholism

“Customers get offended when I politely decline a shot. I normally get an eye roll with a response like, ‘I don’t trust a bartender who doesn’t drink.’ Here is my answer. Alcohol nearly killed me. I was a ‘drink til I fall off my barstool’ type of drinker. Hell, I could be taking a tequila shower and I still wouldn’t change my mind.”

‘Alright, I’m cutting open! Get ready to grab.’ Then doctor yelled, ‘He’s out!’ I never heard my son cry.’: Mom rejoices NICU warrior for ‘beating the odds,’ says ‘He’s the strongest person I know’

“All of a sudden, I felt liquid explode out of me… I looked at my nurse. ‘Umm, something just came out of me!’ My nurse lifted up my gown. ‘Her water broke!!!’ Nurses came running in, but the only person who spoke to me was the anesthesiologist. ‘I’m going to stand by your side the whole time. I’ll make sure you’re ok,’ he told me.”

‘I should’ve aborted you when I had the chance.’ Her last words to me. Just like that, a weight had been lifted.’: Woman thanks narcissistic mother, ‘I wouldn’t be this strong without the pain she made me feel’

“I entered a self-portrait competition at school at age 8. I was so excited, I dug out my best coloring pens. ‘I don’t know why you’re bothering, it looks nothing like you. You’re never going to win,’ my mother said. These words hit hard, but I entered it anyway. Deep down, I wanted to prove her wrong. When I won, she shrugged her shoulders. ‘They probably just felt sorry for you.’”

‘Freeze Miss Piggy, spread your legs. Put your hands up.’ That’s what my brother said before the gun went off.’: Woman overcomes childhood trauma to mentor kids, instill ‘wisdom, knowledge’ that ‘no one did for me’

“We were playing cops and robbers and didn’t know the gun was real. It was my mother’s gun. I hear a man’s voice asking, ‘Where the money?’ as I was hiding under the covers. I remember running down the road to the police station in our pajamas. I was 5 years old. ‘I know it’s going to get better, please protect my mommy.’ I never thought it would end. But yet, I held onto a small piece of faith.”

‘We went from 3 to 6 kids in two months. Then all hell broke loose. Our house became a warzone.’: Adoptive mom once on verge of ‘mental breakdown’ vows to do everything in her power to help families in ‘craziest, worst of situations’

“‘I’m dating to find a wife, so if you realize you can’t marry me, let me know. Also, whomever I marry has to be open to adoption.’ That’s how my husband opened our first date. What he didn’t know, was I was an adult adoptee.”

‘I’m too scared to go back,’ I told my mom. His voice paralyzed me. I lived in fear he’d kill my mother.’: 23-year-old adopted by stepfather who ‘never ceased to fight’ for her during childhood trauma with biological dad

“I lived in 2 different worlds. Five days a week I was in a picture-perfect home with a beautiful stay-at-home mom. But the remaining 2 days, I was in survival mode. I remember watching the clock tick by, counting down the time I had left in my safe haven before I’d have to get in the car and enter my second world. My biological dad had trained me well, so I kept his secrets. I’d stare at the window in my bedroom, hands on the frame, trying to build enough courage to slip out of it and run.”

‘I’m one of the lucky mothers. I didn’t have to bury my child. I have my daughter back. For today.’: Mom of an addict says ‘heroin is not picky,’ she still ‘breaks down sobbing’

“I waited daily for the phone call that would tell me my daughter was dead. I planned her funeral. I did not sleep the entire night for years – always waiting for the ring of the doorbell. 18 months ago, she was living in the dumpster area of Taco Bell. She had sold her car for drugs. She weighed less than 100 lbs. Mariah celebrated a year sober yesterday. Do I trust her? Not fully. But she is sober. She is productive. She is happy. For today.”

‘Ma’am there’s been reports of gunshots.’ The cops open the closet, we all stop. I see his legs.’: Woman finds true love after abuse, miscarries, welcomes rainbow baby with man who ‘rocked her world’

“I come home terrified, not knowing what to expect. I walk into each room looking for him, nowhere to be found. There are cops at the door. My heart sinks in panic. The cops pull him out, still alive. He stated he was ‘cleaning his gun,’ and he wanted to ‘hide in the closet.’ WHAT?! ‘Ma’am, you need to get away from him. This is not safe.’ Then I met Michael. I forgot what laughter felt like until that moment.”

‘I took LSD and had a ‘bad trip.’ My whole life shattered. When I began to ‘come down,’ the panic didn’t leave.’: Woman finally ‘free of the prison’ she made for herself after treating alcoholism

“I was living life on the edge; it felt glamorous and sophisticated. Then at 17, everything went horribly wrong. I went into drug-induced psychosis, but at the time I had no idea what was happening. I almost got married to a man I didn’t love because I thought that marriage would ‘save me.’ I eventually went to the doctor and told him everything.”

‘My mom told me my dad was ‘gone.’ I fell to my knees. A nurse asked me to be ‘quiet.’: Daughter sells everything, lives nomadic life in search of ‘peace’ after father’s death to terminal cancer

“I woke up to a call from my brother. ‘Dad is really sick. He has cancer.’ Time stood still. ‘What am I supposed to do?’ In less than 2 months, he passed. My lifestyle has brought concern to others. ‘What do you mean you’re selling everything?’ ‘How are you going to live?’ ‘What about your careers?’ I was in the midst of a breakdown.”

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