self love

‘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.”

‘Excuse me, my child has a question about your face.’ Others pulled their kids away like I shouldn’t be looked at.’: Woman with Craniofacial differences reminds us to use ‘kindness’ to approach uniqueness

“In middle school, kids started to stare and ask, ‘Why does your face look smooshed? What’s wrong with your nose?’ My mom would tell me how pretty I was and I’d always say, ‘You’re my mom, you have to say that.’ I’d spend so much time buying cuter clothes, different makeup, more jewelry to overshadow my face. But when I stripped it all down, my confidence was gone.”

‘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?”

‘I have the perfect body. I really do.’: Mom shamelessly celebrates ‘thick, swollen’ body after multiple pregnancies, admits it’s ‘pretty darn incredible’

“My breasts are downward, swollen, and veiny, but they’ve supplied 4,560 meals. My thighs are speckled with cellulite, but they’ve walked 1.8 million steps carrying a toddler or pushing a stroller. My stomach is a big white balloon ready to pop, but my babies lived and thrived in it for 27 months. My arms are twice as thick, but they’ve rocked a newborn to sleep 1,200 times. And that happens to be pretty freaking awesome.”

‘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 was 45, divorced, childless. The single, desperate, drunk girl at the bar. My biological clock was DEAFENING.’: Woman battles depression, addiction for decades, now ‘healthy’ and ‘loving life’

“I stumbled through my 30s drunk, suicidal, barely eating, and pill-popping. My shopping list of life didn’t have ONE tick on it. I felt incredible pressure to ‘do’ life in the right order, by the right age. School, college, career, man, marry, house, kids and then live happily ever after. Yet, I didn’t have any of it. I clung to the only thing I had going for me, my skinny body and long hair! Now, smack on a new ‘label’ of mentally ill. Proof I was indeed broken and had to correct what was ‘wrong’ with me.”

‘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.”

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