recovery

‘I knew something was wrong just by looking at him. ‘It’s not a blood clot. You have a 5-inch mass in between your heart and your lungs.’: Woman diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma fights to live for her daughter, ‘I’m too young to die. I have a 3-year-old daughter who needs her mom.’

“My first symptom hit like a ton of bricks. I felt heaviness in my chest I couldn’t explain. We had to run to catch our connecting flight. This is the exact moment I knew. I could not run. I WANTED to, but my body wouldn’t let me. I ate well and exercised often, so I knew something was very, very wrong. My friends said it sounded like I was having an anxiety attack. ‘I’m only 32 years old. How can this happen?’ Our lives changed forever.”

‘Oooh tough week? What happened, honey?’ I was 15. Women I’d never met were commenting on my weight.’: Woman discovers intuitive eating, self-love after struggling with weight for years, ‘My children will see a vibrant, smart, STRONG woman’

“’Really? That’s what you’re going to eat for breakfast?’ I vividly remember holding my two pieces of cinnamon toast in my trembling hands. Every single one of my siblings had already toasted their bread, buttered it, and sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar. Yet, I was the only one singled out by my grandpa. Age 15, I began attending meetings every week with my mother. Strange adult women would applaud and beam at me. I was given jewelry to celebrate my ‘hard work.’ Women twice my age would ask what my ‘secret’ was.”

‘Who are you hiding from?’ I was forbidden from closing the door while I showered or used the restroom. I wasn’t daddy’s little girl anymore.’: Woman overcomes childhood abuse, ‘You will survive. Your life is worth saving and fighting for’

“My dad was a dangerous man. After I was born, he endeared himself to me. ‘I’ve seen 100 girls like you,’ he said. He found my diary. He read it. Humiliated me. They tracked my periods. They would time how long it took me to walk from the bus stop to the apartment. I hid who I really was. I got smarter. I knew how long it took to go from the bedroom window to the front door, which I’d deadbolt when he left. I hid notes in menstrual pad packaging. I tell myself, ‘You tried to break me. You told me to kill myself. But YOU WON’T WIN.’”

‘I stepped onto the bus and felt a ‘release.’ A warm sensation and then a POP. I lost my balance, my eyes closed shut.’: Woman beats breast cancer after losing her mother

“I’m often asked the same question. ‘What was your reaction to the news?!’If you really really want to know, I was ecstatic. I knew I had cancer. Something lit up in me like a light bulb. A vision of me on my death bed. I remember a tear dropping in remembrance of my mother. The joy of knowing that after losing her at age 14, I could finally meet her again. There I stood, 25, receiving the best news of my life, standing in a bus, in pain, weak.”

‘You should feel lucky to be with me. No one else would love you.’ My first year of marriage wasn’t ‘rough.’ It was hell.’: Woman leaves ‘prince charming’ abuser to advocate for others, ‘I feel freer than I ever have in my life.’

“‘How much longer are you willing to live like this?’ My mind screamed. This CHRISTIAN counselor was introducing the option of me leaving my husband. ‘He is a narcissist. This won’t stop.’ He was driving extremely fast and irresponsibly down the highway. I was crying, begging him to stop. Then he’d take pride in being the one to ‘comfort’ me. I didn’t believe in divorce. What were my options? Lifelong suffering? It dawned on me – I was being treated horribly. I deserved so much better.”

‘Not today, honey, Mommy doesn’t feel good.’ I was lying, manipulating, hiding how much I was drinking. I had terrible anxiety.’: Woman relapses due to brother’s ‘tragedy’ cancer diagnosis, insists ‘relapse is not a death sentence. You can come back stronger than ever!’

“I blacked out, refusing to leave the shop. My husband had to carry me out. I woke up to use the bathroom the next day, but I didn’t make it. I fainted. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. I panicked. ‘I can’t see!’ My temperature was dropping. He called an ambulance. My parents had just brought our kids home and here I was, being taken out on a stretcher. I could not make my children witness such a horror. I HAD TO STOP.”

‘Your legs are covered in FAT.’ I bought diet pills from China. They made my heart race. ‘The risks are worth it,’ I thought.’: Woman battles anorexia, describes it like an ‘abuser who is hurting you, yet you want to protect him’

“I had no idea what the ingredients were! They made me feel weak, extremely thirsty… The pills even made the news as a girl ended up with a colostomy bag because of side effects. This didn’t scare me. ‘The risks are worth it,’ I thought. ‘I am not THAT sick!’ I had huge arguments with family. I was never afraid of dying.”

‘It hurts,’ she’d cry telling me. I noticed a significant change in my daughter’s posture. My mother’s intuition told me to seek a 2nd opinion.’: 12-year-old girl endures 8-hour surgery for scoliosis, ‘This girl’s strength amazes me’

“We were hit with the bomb. ‘She definitely needs surgery,’ the doctors said. I was sick to my stomach. My baby girl has never even been to the ER. She’s always been a very active girl that cheered, danced, competed. How was this going to affect her? ‘This will be the roughest 8 hours of your life while she is in the OR.’ He would end up being right. I was numb the whole time.”

‘I got a message on Facebook from our local fire chief. ‘You need to call us immediately.’ My heart stopped.’: Community rallies to help couple after shop destroyed by reckless driver

“‘He was going 90 mph. He hit the trailer, the shed, and drove through the entirety of the 40-foot building, and landed on your desk before fleeing.’ I shivered. If I wasn’t on vacation, I would have been right there, in that spot. ‘How can we survive this catastrophe?’ Soon, a couple stopped us. ‘We’re getting older. We’d like to give you something for free.’ I stopped. My breath hitched. I took a few moments to repeat the words in my head.”

‘Liza, stop crying.’ He headbutted me. I thought our unborn child would make him stop.’: Woman fights for justice from domestic abuser, ‘I will be the last girl he lays his hands on’

“He kept telling me how beautiful I was and how any man would be lucky to have me. I began hearing the rumors from a few people about the girls he’d been with. ‘This isn’t true,’ I kept telling myself. I barely recognized him anymore. I told him, ‘It’s better if we just stay friends.’ He grabbed my head and slammed it into a car window. I prayed to God to keep me safe. I didn’t want to leave my daughter alone. Within 3 weeks, I found out I was pregnant.”

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