mental health matters

‘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.”

‘Come out tonight! Drink!’ Next thing I remember was a police car coming my way. I hung my head.’: Woman overcomes alcoholism, ‘drinking will not help your depression, put the glass down’

“My husband and I were no longer together. I was drinking every day. A police man stepped out of his vehicle. I could hear his shoes crunching leaves as he walked over to me. He got down to my level and said, ‘Do you need me to take you to the hospital?’ I couldn’t find words. Shame washed over me. I nodded yes.”

‘Why are you home early?’ my husband asks. I haven’t showered in 6 days. He didn’t know. People with depression are great at hiding it.’: Woman candidly shares the reality of mental illness

“I’m smelly. There’s oil and debris gunked on my face. I have knotted hair, armpit hair. Other hair. I’m disgusting right now. There’s no other way of saying it. Mental illness sounds cute when you put it on a post with a person staring in the distance saying they’re ‘depressed.’ But depression is more than just sadness. It’s raw. It’s not showering for 6 days, then collapsing in your bed, exhausted, when you finally do.”

‘It happened. My husband messaged a woman I didn’t recognize. What I saw made me cry.’: Woman celebrates mental health growth after discovering her old texts, ‘I am nothing like that woman now’

“He was showering after a long day with our kids and happened to leave his phone on the table. Unlocked. For some reason, I felt compelled to look at his messages. I scroll up, hoping to see some cute old texts we sent months back. I wanted to re-read them, to smile. What I saw, made me want to cry. The person he was texting was a very broken woman.”

‘Your son cut class today.’ I got the phone call no parent expects. ‘Excuse me?!?!’ I was LIVID.’: Mom comforts teen son battling depression, ‘we should treat mental illness the same as physical ailments’

“My first thought was, ‘They have the wrong boy.’ My son loves school! Frustrated, I yelled, grounded him. Then, the next morning, I heard it. Sobs coming from the shower. ‘Mom, I’m not feeling okay.’ He told me he felt extremely depressed. That it was so bad he contemplated killing himself and had skipped class to find a quiet space to cry alone and breathe. Instantly, I felt a pang in my heart.”

‘Nicole, I had NO IDEA.’ I almost took my own life. I hid it so well. No one knew.’: Woman reminds us to ‘always be kind’ after battling suicide, ‘you never know the battles someone is facing’

“If it weren’t for my sister calling me right before, I wouldn’t be here. She had no idea I’d just written a letter saying ‘goodbye.’ No one knew I was suffering. No one asked if I was okay. I shared only the good parts of my life, never the struggles. My family thought my life was beautiful and amazing.”

‘You don’t cook enough. Your husband would be better off without you.’ I’m suicidal, but I don’t want to die.’: Woman battling suicide urges us to ‘speak out’ during mental turmoil, ‘it will save your life’

“I am an outgoing and relatively happy woman, but my hormones were out of whack. I was sleep deprived. ‘You talk too much. You slacked on the laundry and now look at this pile! Your car is disgusting. Your friends are tired of your complaining.’ Something inside said, ‘Tell your husband.’ I was scared. If I lost my battle with my mind, he would never forgive himself.”

‘Unlock the door!’ I begged you. We had a big fight. You wrote your goodbye letter.’: Woman loses veteran husband to suicide, ‘I see you everywhere I look’

“I heard our bedroom door shut. I thought you were just going to shower. Your body hit the floor. You were struggling. I tried to kick it in. ‘How the hell do people do this?!’ I ran downstairs and knocked on the neighbors’ doors. They didn’t answer. I was terrified. Before I could even react, EMTs were rushing upstairs. They put the flag over you.”

‘No one can take this pain away, so I must take it away myself. Lay me next to my daughter.’: Mom speaks candidly of ‘suicidal thoughts’ in wake of stillbirth, ‘I wouldn’t wish this on anyone’

“There are no visible wounds, but the pain courses through my entire being. I breathe in through my nose, blow out of my mouth. I’m alive, but being alive without my daughter hurts. I can’t wipe the tears away. It’s too much effort. I can’t move, even if I wanted to. I don’t want to pee. Eat. Shower. Brush my teeth. I see my dad’s face, and he wants me here. To hold on. To live.”

‘Eff the PTO!’ I wanted to throw my computer against the wall. I was DONE. AA meetings? I stopped going altogether.’: Mom quits PTO to focus on sobriety, now works on ‘being present with kids’ instead of ‘giving too much’ to make up for ‘past failures’

“For 20 years, I drank. I missed birthdays, sports, parent-teacher conferences. My kids never knew if they were getting the calm, sober mom or the angry-drunk mom. Guilt ate me alive and my sobriety turned me into a new person: the yes mom. Volunteer as a coach for my daughter’s softball team? Sure thing! Soccer team needs a manager? Oh, me, me. I’ll do it! I was in over my head. I thought this PTO gig would make it up to my kids, but I was DONE.”

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