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Reflections On A Loveless Childhood
By Mike Harvey - 87 Years Young

I found myself in a predicament. I’d volunteered to clean the washroom before accepting the lift home I’d been offered. I threw a pail of dirty water down the toilet; flushed it and proceeded into the strange building. Eventually I found my way into the parking areas. The people who’d offered me the ride home had vanished.

Perturbed at this I walked around the back to another empty parking lot. Nothing! Not a soul or a vehicle in sight. The building I returned to was empty so I turned heel and proceeded down the nearest street. The only living thing I spied was a grey cat. Read more

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COMMENTS (3) | children, parenting
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This Little Light Of Mine
By Christine Durrant

You know that song, “This Little Light of Mine”? That’s my “theme song”. I’m Chris and I’d like to share my light with you.

My childhood was horrendous. My father was an animal lover but as far as humans, he was a tyrant. He was a raging alcoholic, extreme racist and just plain rotten to society. He was afraid of no one and always ready for a fight. He would do so much for animals but abused and neglected his family. I’m not here to judge him or dwell on his behavior, I am sure he has his demons and I’m sad about that but I’m just trying to paint the picture. He was violent and unpredictable and I would hide in the closet, usually with one of our dogs. He would never hurt an animal so I was usually safe with one of them. My love for animals blossomed from this life I was stuck in. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal companion, animal wisdom, children, learning, self growth
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You Are Enough
By Heather Klem

When I was a high school freshman I was tender and malformed.

I ached for acceptance and validation. I had received the message, as many of us had, in our formative years that we must always be in the business of doing more and doing it better. Behaviors were moralized and the nebulous “good enough” always seemed right outside my grasp, just beyond the next honor roll or cheerleading squad slot. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | bulling, children, enlightenment, learning, self growth
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Ailynne
By John Edward Casteele

It’s a moment like no other.

Seeing your child for the first time on an ultrasound is a major event in any expectant parent’s life; you can actually see that little living piece of you, knowing that he or she is real. Unfortunately, not every child shown on an ultrasound is actually all right.  My girlfriend and I had to learn this the hard way.

It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm.  Everything that you could possibly ask for in early spring.  It was the day that we were scheduled for our first ultrasound, and we were both nervous and excited.  The image of my child came up on the monitor and I was blown away… until the woman running the machine told us that something was wrong.  She wasn’t picking up a heartbeat, and the baby’s heart should have started beating a few weeks ago.  The image on the monitor that my world had briefly revolved around tore my world apart. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | children, grief, parenting, relationships, renewal
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From Ukraine With Love
By Diane Schachter

It is a result of coincidence that I am writing this story about a unique family.   I met Cathy while chatting at a local dog park this past spring.  She spontaneously shared that she and her husband Martin had adopted five children from Ukraine.  “Five kids, that’s a lot of kids,” I remember saying.  But it was not until the ride home that it dawned on me that their story could possibly be a story for Thrive In Life. Too late, I had no phone number or knowledge as to where she lived. She was not present during any subsequent visits to the park.  Now, here is where the coincidence part comes in.  In autumn, I was taking the bus to the airport and just before I was about to dismount, I overheard a man saying to the person beside him that he and his wife had adopted five children from Ukraine.  My antennae went up and I quickly asked if his wife’s name was Cathy, and could I have their phone number.  He looked at me quizzically and provided the information on a small borrowed piece of paper as we exited the bus. Read more

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COMMENTS (7) | adoption, children, parenting, siblings
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Expert Series: A Personal Perspective On Addiction
By Dr. Barbara Sinor

My motivation for writing Tales of Addiction and Inspiration for Recovery came as I was completing Addiction: What’s Really Going On? Inside a Heroin Treatment Program which is coauthored with my friend and colleague Deborah McCloskey. It also comes from my personal experience of living with an alcoholic father and again in my adulthood while coping with an alcoholic son. While researching the field of drug and alcohol addiction, it has become clear that more effort is needed to fully understand the plight of our addiction population, as well as, how this population can help guide younger generations toward the freedom of sobriety through the sharing of their own personal stories. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | addiction, alcoholic, children, drugs, parenting
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Credit Card Angel
By Maggie Airncliffe

The city was sweltering under a heat wave that just wouldn’t let up. Before 10 a.m. on the fourth day, the temperature was already nudging 30C. The prospect of another blistering day on the inner city streets was making me cranky. All I wanted was a shady spot on my little balcony, a good book, and a bottomless jug of iced tea.

At the time, I was unofficial ‘street mom’ to a group of kids trying to survive on the margins. Somehow they had adopted me when, on a whim, I’d stopped to offer them a basket of peaches that I’d picked up at the farmer’s market down the block. The fruit disappeared in seconds, but the impression they made on me lingered. The next week, I’d baked up a double batch of cookies, and gone back. Within weeks, I was spending most of my free time with them.

They’d come to accept my presence, true, but gaining their confidence was another matter altogether. Read more

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COMMENTS (6) | children, inspiration, street kids, tolerance
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I Always Will
By Paige Lougheed - 16 Years Old

I was there the night my sister nearly killed herself.

Sitting down on our cushy chocolate brown couch, I clicked half-heartedly through the channels on our old, beat-up box television. The T.V. had been a gift from one of our old friends. At the time I had thought it generous of him to donate an entire TV. to us for no reason– but now as I stared at its rickety frame and poor signal, I wondered if his motivation was really genuine kindness, or him just using our house as storage space.

As the screen flicked from the family channel to the evening news in the living room, I listened through the thin walls of our basement suite to my mother’s and sister’s argument, coming from the bedroom my sister and I shared. Read more

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COMMENTS (5) | anger management, children, communication, parenting, relationships
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Therapy Dogs Are A Reader’s Best Friend
By Hannah Sutherland

On her regular Friday-morning shift, Katie walks into White Rock Elementary and is greeted by the excited students she has come to help read.

She has two associates in tow – 200-pound, three-foot-tall Chewbacca, whose head could compete with the size of most watermelons, and nine-year-old Dougal, who has been known to sit on students when she senses they are having a rough day.

Despite having a bad back and sight in just one eye – not to mention being a dog – there is no doubting Katie’s ability to engage young learners. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | animal companion, animal training, children, learning
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The Invisible Student
By Casey Lee

Don’t reveal anything about your personal life.

Lock anything that matters to you in the trunk of your car, and make sure that no one knows which vehicle belongs to you.

Don’t worry about their personal lives; if something seems sketchy, refer it to the guidance department and forget it ever happened.

And most importantly, whatever you do, don’t even think about cracking a smile before Christmas.

No, these are not instructions for one’s first week on the job at a maximum-security prison facility. These are supposedly helpful tidbits of advice that I received from seasoned teachers before diving headfirst into one of the most chaotic and stressful experiences one could possibly embark upon: my first year as a high school English teacher. Read more

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COMMENTS (2) | abuse, children, enlightenment, teaching
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Thriving With OCD
By Paige Lougheed - 16 Years Old

I truly believe that I need to get the message of hope out to everyone else stuggling with OCD. I know that if I had read an article like this before I was diagnosed, or even after, there is not a doubt in my mind that it would have helped me understand myself in ways unimaginable. I hope that this article can also reach out to others who know someone who might potentially have OCD, and assist them in seeking treatment.

I’m a 15 year old straight-A student. I am also currently in grade eight piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music. At school, I’m involved in cross country as well as track and field. I live, and continue to live, in constant fear. From the monkey bars to the high school hallways, I have suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember. Although I have made amazing progress in recent years, I have lived with OCD my entire life. Read more

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COMMENTS (6) | children, mental illness, OCD
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Taking Mental Illness Out Of The Shadows, And Into The Light
By Lindsay Thompson

My Personal Story: Learning To Thrive With Schizophrenia

I remember with haunting clarity my first time on a psychiatric ward. I was 17 and scared and confused. My Mom brought me into emergency where I was admitted and brought upstairs to the psychiatric floor. It was night time and walking down that long, dark hallway to my room, catching glances from the other patients induced a fear and loneliness I’ll never forget. I cried all night. The next day, although, still scared and desperate to go home, I was less afraid. The ward was bright and the patients were “regular” people. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | children, empowerment, mental illness, parenting, thriving
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Thriving In The Classroom
By Bev Schellenberg

A revolution is underway in our classrooms. No one’s walking around with pithy statements on picket signs; no one’s blasting headlines across newspapers. But the reality is our school system is undergoing a monumental transition, and you may not even know it. Read more

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COMMENT (0) | children, education, empowerment
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The Happiness Formula
By Beth Rowles Scott

PINCH ME. Why pinch me? So I can be sure that this happiness I feel is not a dream, that my life has really changed so much since I was a fat little girl in Saskatchewan.

Growing up, losing my fatness and leaving my home province was sometimes fun, sometimes painful, often challenging. There were times when I would experience happiness, but then I would lose it again.

But I’ve had enough sightings of this elusive, mysterious happiness to give me a formula. Perhaps you have found your own way to happiness. But if you have not, do taste the ingredients of the Pinch Me happiness brew. May they serve you well!

 A FORMULA FOR HAPPINESS

To be happy you need these three things: someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to. Read more

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COMMENT (1) | aging, children, service, thriving
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I Love Lucy…The Sweetest Dog In The World
By Dorothy Beavington

Christmas, 1945.  My mother and I stand in a long line-up on Christmas Eve to pay a bill.  I cling to her side, a tired and cranky six year old.  I want to go home.  I hate this Christmas.  Daddy won’t be with us.  Daddy built a sailboat with my cousin, Johnny.  They called it “The Skylark” and took it for its maiden voyage on Chestermere Lake, just outside of Calgary.  It was the Labour Day weekend,  Sunday, September 2nd.  A wind came up, the boat turned over.

Daddy wasn’t a strong swimmer. Johnny made it to shore.  He looked back, saw his uncle Kit was in trouble, and went back for him. They both drowned, caught in the weeds in the lake. Read more

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COMMENTS (4) | animal companion, children, loss
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  • Frank Sterle Jr.: Whenever I observe stress in the facial expression of my mother, a typical senior, I also observe...
  • Kim: This was an excellent blog. I have been with my alcoholic husband for 15 years. I felt like I was losing my mind...
  • Alice: Helping someone with this issue is hard. And even more if you love him. I know that very well. We struggled...
  • Union Alarm: The best way is to leave such a person as it is not worth making your life miserable with such a person....
  • Nancy Flora: I think what you mean is a non-drinking member of an alcoholic family. Alcoholism is a family disease....
  • Amanda: The family is waking up Sunday AM and my alcoholic husband again makes another nasty comment to me. The...
  • Angel: I learned how to detach from my drunk husband! Than my mother passed away. All gloves were off after that. My...
  • Lorraine: Married thirty seven and a half years to an alcoholic. But he is a good person. And he does good deeds for...
  • jw: I have been with my husband twenty one years. We have three children together, ages 5,7, and 9. He is a...
  • Richard Berman: A emotional story well written with bright eye ups and sad eye downs. A story I could relate to. My...
  • Gina: Love this. Just what I needed to read. Thank you for your courage to share this.
  • Tired: I am struggling with detaching, but still trying. I have been with my other half off and on for 5 years. The...
  • Debra Grossman: Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. It nourishes my soul to learn of such special...
  • Jack russell: Really enjoyed reading the website. I have also have a website about this great dog.
  • Anonymous: Thank God for your blog. After 37 years of being married to an alcoholic,I’ve finally reached my...
  • Anonymous: Thanx 4 da truth
  • Sandra: I am from USA, i am 36 years old, i want to gladly give My testimony of how a spell caster dr.mac@yahoo. com...
  • g: Thank you for your words. As I navigate through marriage with children (11, 5, 3) and I am a stay at home mom, the...
  • Catherine Ellen Pettway: My husband and I married in 1988. He occasionally drank beer but not everyday. He came from...
  • Nic: Thank you Mike for your honesty and vulnerability. It helps to feel a connection with someone who understands...
  • Robert Goldsmith: Thank you for sharing that very intimate experience and your story. I’m married to an...
  • MANDI: Is this group still going? I love my husband and I knew what I was getting into when I married him. I knew he...
  • Kelly: Dear Keith, I hope you are at peace now. You are missed by many.
  • Delilah Campos: Dear LaVora, Thank you so much for sharing this intimate experience. I am deeply touched and...
  • Mary Ellen Bennett: Thank you so much. I am married to an alcoholic and I have watched him go through rehabilitation...
  • Tracy: Thank you for sharing your story with me Ivor. I’m so glad you had a loving supportive Aunt to guide you...
  • Daniel Fontana: I know those kids,especially Snezana.Please send me their contact information.
  • Neyhaaa: I can’t thank you enough for sharing this. Yet, thank you.
  • Amy: My daughter is five and her dad is an alcoholic. I know we need to leave. We both own our house and I...
  • CPC: I think this is among the such a lot important info for me. And i’m happy studying your article. However...
  • online festival: Every year, people in India find different ways to celebrate the same festival, and perhaps this...
  • Karol: Listening to all the mother’s on here is overwhelming for me. I think about what all of you are going...
  • Vicki Osheka: This is my second marriage and I came from a non drinking family. Didn’t realize what I was...
  • Elle: Wel written article. My husband is walking around totally beligerant. Where he ends up making messes, he has...
  • Maren: Thank you for this! 3rd day on Cipralex and a glimmer of hope.
  • Anonymous: I ‘gave in’ recently. I am more hopeful than ever that things will improve for me after...
  • LindaJane Riley: I apologize to everyone who has commented. I didn’t know this story was still active. I would...
  • Rahulbh28: Dear Members, Please help me. . . I’m sharing my painful moments which my brother and my family...
  • rene: Yes i too lived the nightmare for 45 yrs..when in my marriage the last. 10 yrs my alcoholic lived in the same...
  • Grace: I typed in Google search, overcoming childhood loneliness because I am paying attention to some habits that I...
  • Casadina: I am so thankful that I found this website. I am like others on here and my alcoholic is passed out snoring...
  • Grateful: I cannot express how much I appreciate your story. I have been with my alcoholic for 11 years and I do not...
  • Vic: I stumbled upon this beautifully written article because I just “gave in” today. I just picked up my...
  • Carol: I have recently begun to admit that my husband is an alcoholic. My heart is broken… I am pissed… I...
  • TJ: Thank you for this article. You are the first person who seems to understand why I am still married to an...
  • sariah: I wept as I read your story. I am currently learning to detach as well after 20 years of marriage to an...
  • LaVora: Good luck, N. My experience may not be yours. However, I deeply believe that happiness is our birthright. You...
  • nk: Lavora, I am exactly here in my marriage – trying to turn it around. Rgds, N
  • Suzanne: Hi Martin and Cathy. Watched your documentary. You are a wonderful family. Everyone has their struggles, no...
  • admin: Thank you for letting us know. The link is now set to the their new WEB page. We have our dog from them.
  • Linda Jane Riley: About a year ago I was forced to take a step back from all things related to alcoholism. My...
  • SHerry: Your link to the rescue adoption site is for sale with no other info on the dogs.
  • Marleen: Thank you for sharing your story! That’s real inspirating!
  • Julie: Its 4:50am here. I can hear him snoring in the nursery. I brought the baby to bed with me.. He only snores...
  • ld: I thought I was suffering alone. The advice and comments make me feel better and gives me the strength to go on....
  • Sam: Hi Mike, Very poignant, “There are no grown-ups. We are all children in adult garments” is right on...
  • TJ: Thank You!!! Like “judy” commented above my mind was racing and I felt out of control… My life...
  • Karunakaran: It’s very nice.
  • judy: Thanks for ur writings… it really help my mind to calm down…. where can i go to talk with alot of...
  • Tanya Sousa: We certainly do have to change the way we respond, don’t we Paul? I’m encouraged though. I...
  • Paul Trainer: Thank you, Tanya, this is all so true. As someone who adores starlings too, I know that it is only when...
  • Cathy: In reading I see how difficult it is to be married to an alcoholic husband for 30 years and have now...
  • carrir: You took the words right out of my mouth. Xoxo
  • ceri: What an amazing story of love between step son and step father
  • Caney Texas: Hello! I’ve been reading your site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and...
  • julie: what a wonderful article, she described me to a tee , it was nice to put words to the feelings , I am new to...
  • michele: I am hurting so badly right now, it is taking all the strength and coping ability I have just to get through...
  • denise morini: PLEASE understand that I do not feel redeemed……still 230;……..getting Lexi...
  • Carleen Quesenberry: Denise- It is perplexing that you would write a “feel good” story after you...
  • Jon: While I love the article, I caution those reading the post by “finally AM, me.” I was in a...
  • Wendy Noer: I felt like I was there, good story Melodee, keep writing. Let me know when you finish another one.
  • Anonymous: thank you
  • Sandi: This is great, Mel! Congratulations! I hope to see more of your writings – especially the novel...
  • Katie: My name is Katie. I’m 40. I have only visited your website, haven’t purchased your book yet....
  • Kaylee: Your story helped convince me to start retaking my cipralex! Thank you!
  • gautam khanal: Love actually does not have any boundary of Cast,Religion,Profile,Species, Class etc…..
  • Nayanna Chakrbarty: Dear Kalpana, Thank you for your kind wishes. I do agree with you, when you think you are all...
  • Kalpana: Dear Nayanna, It’ such a pleasure reading your experiences with Ganapthi (as I call him). He is so...
  • Haley: Made my day we have no reason to complain bout anything
  • Melissa: Sorry typo , thank you again …
  • Melissa: Thank you , LindaJane; I will consider joining. Thank you against for your response .. Be well Melissa
  • Linda J Riley: UPDATE — Since I wrote this story, I have created several support groups: Two on Facebook and...
  • Melissa: For 20 years that had been my life! This last time was so bad , he attacked me then choked his 19 year old...
  • Steve Sumii: Joe, What a beautiful story. I visualized the whole story. The ending where you walk with your dad was...
  • JW: The story now the subject of a documentary aired on Knowledge Network. Video can be seen online at:...
  • http://tinyurl.com/kovalane39421: I really would like to book mark this blog, “Turning Trash Into Beauty – Kat...
  • joybells: wow. i am going through the same journey! thanks for helping me & assisting me with that journey!
  • Noelle Sterne: Fangfang– You have been blessed with a husband and parents who understand that nothing is...
  • Fangfang: Wow … what a strong and passionate article!! Really?? Nothing is wasted?? I am feeling like I have...
  • Pushpa Rawat: sooo lovely and feel of very true friendship forever
  • Tanya Sousa: Hi Diane! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I was so blessed to have her in my life AND to have the...
  • Joyce: Billie, I found your story very interesting and well-written. Some people would have been judgemental about...
  • Diane: Shiri, your article is very interesting and brought tears to my eyes. I have been a dog parent/companion to...
  • Diane Schachter: Tanya, I so enjoyed reading the story of your dog sister. I love how you describe your adventures...
  • Acamea: Thank you James. 🙂
  • Basia: what an inspiring story Elinda!…it must have been sooo hard for U to overcome the fear.., i don’t...
  • Basia: thank U for sharing with us Joseph this story, i enjoyed reading it & found it very moving at the...
  • heidi: Wonderful read. I have three very big dogs. They are my furkids. I have to agree with the leash thing but as...
  • Noelle Sterne: Bob, so glad you find this article helpful. I could wish no greater fruition than your ongoing...
  • heidi: Beautiful to find this blog. My alcoholic is passed out as I type this. We had a lovely morning..so I love...
  • Diane Schachter: Tammy, you did a wonderful thing for Trevor. There should be more people like you in this world.
  • Diane Schachter: What an amazing story.
  • Diane Schachter: Joseph, what a beautiful well-written story.
  • Bob: Great article. Its helping to motivate me for some major changes in my life coming up next year.
  • Basia: for all of those who enjoy writing…this inspiring story is for you, and if you are thinking to quit...
  • James B.: Acamea- Don’t let the few out weigh the mindset of the honest, hardworking men are out there. If a...
  • Chris: Muchas gracias, Barbara! Thank you for your kind words of support and encouragement. Love, Chris
  • Bárbara Rivera: What an interesting story, I am proud of all the things you are doing and your writing talent and the...
  • Amara Rose: Dear Barbara, Thank you so much for your words, which moved me to tears. I only recently learned of the...
  • Barbara Ray: Good Morning, Let me introduce myself to you. My name is Barbara and I would just like to say that I am...
  • Pat Underhill: Awesome writing Mel. Just think I am friends with a published writer. Good Job!!!
  • Michael Finn: What an inspiring story. Amazing, well done.
  • Gerald: Looks like you have another “skidboot” : another one of Gods Greatest Gifts:) i love it:) I got 2...
  • donald: People think these drugs are good for you? check out this link. http://www.youtube.com/watc...
  • aw: thank you for the insight. you have put the perfect words to the jumbled thoughts i know to be true. you reap...
  • sebastien: thank you ……….
  • Danielle: Prescription in hand,crying as i read your story.Thank you for giving me hope.I dont feel like i will never...
  • Michelle: May God Bless you and every blissful moment you cherrish in life!
  • Ilene Jones: Thank you so much for this story, I’m gaining a new insite on my karma with a traveling husband,...
  • Anne Wilson: This was so incredibly beautiful. I cried through the whole thing! You, and Angela, are amazing parents....
  • Dr Mamata Surendranath: Thank you I felt I was reading my own story and this practice has helped me thank you to all
  • Nodie Williams: I LOVE Jesse and what you have done for the honor of the Russell Terrier breed- NO they aren’t...
  • diana: It’s wonderful! And happily. Life is beautiful!
  • supra: i am on cipralex since 1 year nikki i m ok when i have 2 stop this medicine only problem i am facing is...
  • Priscilla K. E. Rodriguez: Thank you for writing and sharing this article. I have been separated for almost two...
  • Riley: I started cipralex a week ago – the air already feels different on my skin. less darkness and more...
  • Aleks: Amazing. So well written, and so timely – I’m having a visit from my demon today, and was reaching...
  • Denise: You are so talented! Your writing is beautiful and adolesence is a terrible, confusing time for many people,...
  • angela: this was the best thing i have ever read and it possibly saved my life. i was so ashamed to go back on...
  • the real glen: you had me at bruised apple sunsets, marry me.
  • Virginia: As others have commented, you have articulated the experience that I too had, although mine was more to do...
  • Pam: Very well written description. Congratulations on your courage to share this. My experience is so similar, but I...
  • Kquintrell: Truly amazing…..I’m living the life you have lived…
  • Jessica: Thank you for sharing your story. Its nice to know I am not alone.
  • joyce: WOW Niki, this piece is so beautifully written. Hope that you will use your talented writting skills to be all...
  • Melissa Trotter: So beautiful..and so sweet!
  • Theresa: Wow! It’s like you’re in my head! It’s nice to know I’m not alone but so sad that...
  • caitlin: incredible, thats all i have to say, im on ciprelex as well and my god, every single thing you have pointed...
  • Neil Tessler: HI Ivor Thanks for sharing your inspiring journey and gorgeous photos! Warm wishes, Dr. T
  • Dave: I’m new to Cipralex but not new to antidepressants….30 years experience. I am happy that you...
  • Anonymous: ‘….unlike hairlines, our creative desires don’t recede with age.’ Love this line. Now to...
  • Eva: I enjoyed reading this piece tremendously.The fabulous description of details really make the story “come...
  • Kristie: 2 weeks so far, hoping cipralex helps me like it did you, I have 2 little girls depending on it.
  • Nancy Oloro Robarts: Thank you for sharing such an amazing experience. I am an animal lover too and your article just...
  • Melissa: I’m speechless… truly struck a cord with me. Beautiful writing.
  • lottie: jesse has such an amazing talent and a round of Aplaws to his owner heather brook too !!!!!!
  • Becky: Heather your video is so inspiring for those training service dogs. Our organization would love to purchase...
  • JudithJean France: Well said. Real transparent reader can feel the emotions. You express what some find impossible to...
  • Amara Rose: Thank you, Flo! I hope you’re following yours ~ this is the moment for everyone to step up to their...
  • Flo: Love the article. Great practical advice for following our dreams.
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