self care

‘Where’s my phone?!’ My arms, legs began to shake. I lost my vision. I lay on the bathroom floor, alone, no cellphone.’: Woman says mental illness ‘humbled’ her, reminds us ‘it’s okay to be different’

“I woke up feeling a little off, but brushed it off. I signed my kids into their classes, headed upstairs to find a seat in the auditorium. Then, I felt the shift. ‘This is where I needed to be.’ I had commitments, and I needed to be okay. But heat flooded my body. The beautiful music became an overwhelming noise. I decided to escape. There was no warning, no time to prepare.”

‘I could never enjoy date night with my husband. Guilt was always there to haunt me, to blame me for being relaxed and lazy.’: Woman learns to accept her ‘imperfect life,’ says today is ‘the perfect time to feel happy’

“I thought happiness could be measured by my achievements. I pushed to get good grades in school, to get a high-paying job. But after all of it, I still wasn’t happy. My excuse was always, ‘I’ll be relaxed and enjoy my life only after [x]. I’ll do that after I achieve [x].’ I always had something to pursue. I was never good enough for my own love, or anyone else’s.”

‘I bought a rope and began to hang myself.’ I was living a fantasy of mine. I didn’t see myself living past 30.’: Young woman survives addiction, multiple suicide attempts, says suffering has been her ‘greatest teacher’

“I was addicted to the act of numbing myself from the anxiety. I was so desperately seeking attention outside myself, not knowing I needed to learn to give it to myself. I have tried everything in my power to end my life. And, guess what? Nothing worked. Hi, I am still here! Life has seasons, just like us. What’s a sunny day without the dark clouds and rain?”

‘Why did you cut her?! She didn’t give you permission to do that.’ My blood boiled. He just stared, his face blank.’: Doctor performs episiotomy on mother without her permission during childbirth because he had ‘somewhere to be at 7 p.m.’

“Snnniiipppp. My doctor used scissors to cut me open ‘down there’ to make it easier to push the baby out. ‘What did you do?!’ I asked the male, 50-year-old doctor, with fear in my voice. Even the nurses paused. Just 30 minutes before, my doctor told me, ‘I have somewhere to be at 7 o’ clock, so you better be able to push this baby out soon.’ My husband’s rage was rising. I squeezed his hand. ‘We can’t do this now.’”

‘I went to get my hair done, sat down with my stylist, and the chair BROKE. I needed to make a change.’: Woman starts world’s first ever plus-size salon, reminds us ‘beauty has no weight limit’

“Strangers vandalized my business out of hate. Destroyed air conditioners, smeared human poop on our windows. I received death threats. But through it all, I let it roll. off. my. shoulders. I was creating a safe space for women of all shapes and sizes to feel glamorous and pampered. The world is such a cold place. I can’t change that. But what I can do is keep a positive attitude!”

‘After that baby was inside me, it was over. Heroin was no longer an option. I had no choice.’: Woman beats childhood addiction, now ‘8 years sober’

“I was addicted to heroin at 15. It was no longer enjoyable. No longer an escape, but a hell I was creating for myself. Maybe a few seconds of serenity, then reality always slapped me in the face. I’d feel so guilty about the damage I was causing to people that loved me, the pain I was inflicting on myself, the hatred and anger I felt from all the things I had no control over. I thought this was the only way to feel this good. That little heartbeat was the sound of a chapter of my life closing.”

‘The weird looks. Names. Disgust. Laughter. Violence. I just couldn’t fit in.’: Woman with Congenital Melanocytic Nevus claims ‘beauty is diversity,’ learns to love her ‘endless birthmarks’

“Before I could prove myself, they already knew what they thought of me. Judgement straight away. To be honest, nothing feels more discouraging than not even getting a chance. Over the years, teachers just accepted the bullying. I can’t even remember how many times my parents spoke to the principal, but I’ll always remember him saying, ‘We don’t care.’ I was alone, scared, broken. It was my son that got me through the worst. When everyone else left me alone, he always offered a home to my soul.”

‘Mama, please!,’ my daughter cried. She got in the tub, held me in silence, patting my back, giving me kisses.’: Daughter’s intuition picks up on mommy’s ‘debilitating anxiety’

“My husband swiftly removed her multiple times, as I said, ‘Mommy will be done in a minute baby, I am right here.’ I need someone to look me in the eyes and say, ‘I know you’re not okay.’ My daughter did just this for me. I try to hold it together for my child, but she knows. We sat like this for an hour. It was one of the most beautiful gifts anyone could give me.”

‘I didn’t remember I had my shirt off. ‘Mama, can I take a picture of Bowie?’ I vaguely remember shifting him on my hip so she’d see him better.’: Mom felt ‘disgusted’ after postpartum photos, says it’s ‘normal to mourn your body’

“Alas, a picture was taken. I scrolled through the 50 she took of us and I was not thrilled with what I was looking at. Why? Because of my stomach. The little house this baby grew in was the reason for my disgust. It took me 3 days to even look at those pictures again.”

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