mental health

‘We still have to invite uncle Tommy to Thanksgiving.’ I will not be part of a family who chooses my abuser over me.’: Rape survivor ‘thankful’ for second family who takes her in during the holidays

“For years, my anxiety was high during the holidays, my emotions an all-time low. Nobody knew the cause. After I came out about my sexual assault, my family didn’t know what to believe. My uncle was a ‘great guy.’ When, the shock wore off, my mom hugged me. ‘Everything will be alright.’ Yet, she continues to invite him to every holiday. No one should have to exist in the same room with the one who makes them want to vanish within it.”

‘I couldn’t see him that way. ‘This is not real, this cannot be real.’ I didn’t go in, my beautiful boy was gone.’: Mom makes ‘brave’ decisions in her grief after losing son to suicide, ‘I choose not to torture myself’

“I chose not to wear black. It was the last occasion I would get to dress up for him. I wouldn’t attend his wedding, so I chose an outfit that would honor him and be celebratory. He was gone. All that was left of him was the shattered remains of a beautiful, perfect body he no longer wanted to be in. He chose his angelversary. He chose to leave us all behind and graduate to Heaven.”

‘Girls, stop rushing to get your life started. Marrying the right man matters. You glow brighter when you’re loved properly.’: Woman re-marries, urges ‘do not follow society’s timeline, follow yours’

“The girl on the left lacks confidence. She’s hived up, feeling like she’s running out of time. Even her smile is nervous. She’s marrying the only man she’s ever known, but her gut is telling her something isn’t right. The girl on the right? Her posture speaks volumes. No hives. She knows her heart is safe and she is loved. Too many girls are rushing this life and ruining theirs.”

‘Call my mom,’ he’d written on his shirt. He just hung himself off a bridge. I did not believe it.’: Mother urges ‘you are not a burden’ after losing ‘beautiful, smiling-faced’ son to suicide

“We woke up to find him gone. We’d just gotten into an argument because he was caught sneaking out. We couldn’t call him because he had his phone taken away. Panic set in. Was he running away? Or just hiding out for a bit? We turned the corner to police cars, fire trucks, and road closures. ‘Are you Jennifer Chappell?,’ the police officer asked me. ‘Yes.’ I was too late.”

‘She was 50 pounds lighter. She looked like she had it all, but was an absolute wreck inside.’: Woman loving life 50 pounds heavier, ‘I sleep next to a man who loves the soul within my body’

“She walked to class day after day conscious of how she carried herself, hoping to draw attention from the athletes. She’d come home from another expected night of being taken advantage of and destroy herself — she was too fat, too quiet, too loud — too much, yet not enough. She fell into the arms of men who only loved the body she hated. Now, I sleep next to a man who loves the soul within my body.”

‘I left my husband after being together for 8 years, and it made our marriage stronger.’: Woman says ‘mental health break’ saved her marriage,  ‘it made me realize how much we love each other’

“I forgot how to be a wife. Or, at least a good one. I lost my temper at absolutely everything. I was hurting him, because I was hurting inside. So, I left. I got my 2 kids, and moved in with my parents. I needed to stop blaming other people for my struggles and look in the mirror.”

‘Bets were made whether I’d last in the ‘boys club,’ or how long until I quit. Things got bad really quickly.’: Woman forced to quit her job after horrendous workplace bullying, ‘I finally put myself first. I am only human’

“I aspired to be a ‘businesswoman’ and make my family proud. I had no idea I was about to join a small team of all men who were both equally hated and respected by everyone in the department. People in the company started to wish me ‘good luck’ and apologize for ‘what was to come.’ The third stall in the women’s bathroom became my second home.”

‘Get back in the car!’ I almost killed my boyfriend. Screaming, threatening his life, I was blackout at 3 p.m.’: 27-year-old overcomes severe alcoholism, loses 40 pounds, ‘I couldn’t have given myself a better gift’

“I was leaving work to go to the liquor store, buying fifths of whiskey and drinking them in the parking lot. Taking shots by myself. In my drunken rage I drove off wildly. With no regard for anyone else’s safety. I don’t remember it. Hell, I don’t want to. I stayed in my room for 3 days and cried. I couldn’t look at anyone. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t even move. I was done.”

‘Don’t try to fix me, or tell me it’s in my head. Just show up. Just love. I promise I’ll do the same.’: Woman pens letter to friends explaining anxiety, ‘true friendship is loving each other in ups and downs’

“When anxiety rears its ugly head, everything can look perfect. But all of a sudden, normal things feel like end-of-the-world things. Dirty dishes a mountain, laundry a tsunami, fighting kids a start of the third world war, bills are the crash of the stock market, relationship issues are the end of me having friends. Even though you can CLEARLY see it’s not, for me, that’s what the world feels like. You, my friend, can help me. You can love me in that space.”

‘I know you didn’t want this. You didn’t want this for us. The pain. I miss the way you loved me.’: Woman’s painful recollection of losing husband to suicide, fighting for him to stay, ‘I miss you’

“I want to pretend you’re in the other room, so I’ll even call your name. I want to taste it on my lips again. You fought, though. You fought so hard. But then you got so tired of fighting. The scars on my knees are a painful reminder of how I wouldn’t accept defeat with your last breath.”

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