Even if you can’t tell by looking at them, a lot of people in your life are probably fighting their own battles. Whether it’s bad news from the doctor or marital struggles, we could all stand to be a little kinder to one another since we never know what someone’s going through.
#1 Figuring Out Life
Diagnosed with two different types of a disease this year. Plus, I need surgery, radiation. Starting to recover and figure out what life will be like from here on out as I turn 40 in three months. I’ve been extremely lucky with everything so far. I still have a lot to learn about my diagnosis of Mesothelioma and what it will exactly mean for me, but I’ve had a very encouraging result on my recent scan. I’m meeting with my oncologist this week and hopefully, I will learn more.
#2 Little Boy
My kid is dying. Incurable, fatal disease. My wife and I decided to tell no one, not even family because at that point our little boy will find out and why does he need to know? He just needs to be a little boy and enjoy the life he has. He's nine and has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It means his muscles are slowly dying. He's weak and continuing to get weaker. The typical progression is that he will be unable to walk and be confined to a wheelchair sometime around age 12-13, and then his lungs and heart will stop working sometime around 20-25.
#3 Still Grieving
It's been a while now since my husband passed away and no one talks about him anymore. I know that that’s sort of the progression of things, but at this point, it's as though he never existed to some people. However, if I’m being honest about how I feel, I still grieve for my husband pretty much every single day.
#4 Your Own Destiny
Going through methadone treatment while my two brothers are still using their substances. I'm clean now, but it's still a tough battle, especially because we live together. I'm in the middle of tapering down already, 30 mg left, and if anyone is facing a similar struggle just know you can do it! You're the master of your own destiny.
#5 What’s Expected of Me
I'm a teacher, so I don't make a whole lot of money. My husband has his own mental health stuff, so income from him is inconsistent. I'm the "breadwinner." I have no savings, my washing machine broke months ago, my car desperately needs breaks, my lawnmower was just stolen out of my backyard (we rent), and I'm just sick of being broke.
I want to be a teacher, but I wouldn't say I love it. It's so hard. My kids (I teach high school in an urban area) are disasters and the homes many come from are disasters. I spend more time doing stupid things mandated by the admin that just wastes time for no results than I do actually teaching. I'm tired all the time, recently diagnosed with MS, and my anxiety is back enough to be dosing out the daily panic attacks again.
I'm grumpy and just want to crawl into bed and sleep, ignorant of money, husband, job. But, see me in my classroom and you'd never know. If you're not "on" in the classroom, they will devour you. Like most people, I just want a break from being whatever is expected of me. Winter break should help, not that I have the money to actually do things.
#6 Former Self
I’ve been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. I survived a car accident at 16 that left me clinically gone and in a coma. I have massive anxiety from that along with PTSD. Last year, I lost my partner because of an inebriated driver. I have horrific nightmares about both incidents. I'm a shell of my former self.
#7 What’s Not There
Psychosis. I’m under immense pressure to try and seem normal, to laugh like I’m normal and react and talk and socialize like I’m normal. But it’s hard when I’m hearing and feeling things that aren’t real, or when I believe things that make other people get weirded out. I feel like I’m in a constant battle with my head. I want so hard to just seem well-adjusted and not be annoying all the time.
#8 Last Holiday
My mother has weeks or months left. Doctors aren’t optimistic, but this is indeed my last holiday with her. Our family is obviously going to make the most of this holiday. The silver lining in all of this is that her siblings will be coming together from over the country again as a whole for the first time in years.
#9 Sleep For Forever
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I just want to sleep for the rest of forever. I was housebound for six months in 2016 (and spent roughly 18 hours a day in bed) but I'm doing a lot better now and can hold down a full-time job. Albeit, it’s one that lets me work from home on the days I'm too exhausted to get out of bed.
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#10 Doesn’t Go Away
18 years of depression and anxiety brought on by the passing of my mom when I was 19. I won’t see anyone or talk about it because I don’t have time. Plus, I put my kids and wife ahead of me. I spent my 37th birthday a few weeks ago getting tipsy and crying all night while my family slept. No one knows about this. The passing of a parent doesn’t go away.
#11 Rejection Letters
I’m currently dealing with unemployment and trying to stay positive in the sea of rejection letters. Luckily, I have an interview coming up but that’s stressing me out because I don't what I'm going to do if that doesn't go well. I recently graduated with my Bachelor's in Computer Science and Mathematics and I’m trying to look for something in software development or something similar.
#12 Ongoing Battle
Loneliness. Although, since I got my puppy, I can say that I’m winning. But it will be an ongoing battle until something changes. By "until something changes," I mean until I'm in a country where I feel more comfortable and where I can speak the native language. Yes, I could learn a new language and I am. But having a full-time job and a puppy to take care of, that leaves little time to learn. Also, the natives here hate the English language — I'm not going to name the country, but I'm sure some of you can figure it out.
#13 So Many Unknowns
I have a baby with serious health issues who will likely have disabilities. There are a lot of other things along with that situation. Sprinkle in my own anxiety disorder and yeah. I’m struggling mightily with life right now. I don't see it getting better. This is my new reality. But, I love this child and we keep moving forward even though things are difficult and there are so many unknowns.
#14 I’m So Tired
My wife has struggled with depression her whole life and it culminated in her attempting to take her life last year. I’ve grown exhausted with the day-to-day struggle. I love her dearly, but I’m so tired. I’m thankful we don’t have children but we do have my dogs for my doses of unconditional love. She’s going through a rough patch, it’s up and down, and I fear I’m in love with someone else.
“Someone else” loves me back. For many reasons, though, someone else will never actually happen for me. I’m not wired that way. I feel as if I’m a captain, knowing full well my ship is doomed. I also know I’ll still be at my post, aboard, as she slips beneath the waves. If you were to know me in real life, you likely wouldn’t guess this truth about me. But hiding the truth doesn’t diminish its reality.
#15 One Day at a Time
I’m not happy. I haven’t had any motivation that lasts more than an hour in the last two years or so. I hate school and when someone asks how I’m doing I just say, “I’m alive and surviving.” I don’t like going through each day because the next is going to just happen with nothing special, exactly like the last one.
#16 Won’t Back Down
PTSD, knowing a lot of my friends lost their lives in a stupid war over oil. Opiates keep me up at night and I have a ruined body (chondromalacia in both knees, ACL tear and plantar fascia tear on my left side, rotator cuff injury left side, and tendon tears in both arms. I’ve also broken all my knuckles at least once, have a collapsed lung, and a broken right shin). Every now and then, I lose a battle. But with God and the internet as my witness, I will not lose the war.
#17 Sticking Together
I want to end my life, but I'm the only person who cares about and helps my disabled friend in another state who is routinely hurt and taken advantage of. I mean, I guess I also don't want to hurt my parents, but they should have thought ahead before reproducing when they knew how bad their heads were. But my friend never asked for a neurological disorder. She doesn't deserve to suffer alone.
#18 Next to Impossible
I decided that I finally wanted kids only to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and a reproductive disease in the same year that’ll make it next to impossible. That was last year so we’ve been trying for a year and a half with no luck. Seeing babies is heartbreaking. I just wanted to point out that I know that adoption is an option. What’s painful for me is that I can’t do the one thing I’m designed to do.
#19 Met With Indifference
I just wish I existed outside of my own head. Attempts at reaching out met with indifference feels like contempt after so long. Three people I love have passed away in the last year. I feel so alone. Nobody is having an easy time and I can barely think of anything positive. When I do and share it, indifference is what I'm met with. It's exhausting. I don't want to do this anymore for no reason.
#20 Seasonal Affective Disorder
At the moment, seasonal depression. It was pretty bad today and I slept all day. I finally got the energy to leave my apartment. But, a song on the car radio triggered a crying spell and I haven’t felt good since. My psychiatrist did suggest sun lamp therapy for me recently and I might seriously consider it this year (it tends to get worse each year). I’ve heard good things about vitamin D also.
#21 A Child’s Life
I have an ex who’s pushing me out of my child's life and using the fact I’m currently sick as an illusionary force. Apparently, my child forgot me despite being four, extremely intelligent and my best friend since birth. I've not processed or dealt with it yet. For the most part, honestly I'm okay. But it’s a hole in my heart if that's true. Something so incredibly precious and important to me forgot me and replaced me with another man.
#22 Taking a Long Time
I’m fighting every day. I think it all stems from my childhood trauma, such as addicted parents and stepparents who hated me and disowned me because of my sexuality. I also went through trauma from my youth. I had disordered eating, was self-medicating and in a toxic six-year relationship. I also underwent a period of homelessness.
There was also a period of self-inflicted trauma through self-sabotage even though I’m trying to improve my life and prospects. I always let myself down. I never go through with what I plan to do. And I can’t afford therapy right now, so I’m still holding on to all of the pain I’ve been through. I’m slowly improving, but it’s taking a long time.
#23 A Helping Hand
I'm the guy who’s never in a bad mood, is always happy and trying to brighten everyone's day. Truth is, I’m constantly doubting myself, work, personal life, dating. I try yo stay positive since its what I’ve always done. But, wow am I depressed, anxious, stressed out, and paranoid that the people around me don't actually like me. I try to make it my goal to help others in need, especially my friends and co-workers but constantly find that I’m on my own when I need a helping hand.
#24 How it Started
Well, it started when the mother of my child got pregnant. She moved in with me and left me five days after. I’ve managed to lose everything including my close personal friends. I’m so broken that I don’t even know who or what I am. I’m also dealing with some severe depression and almost daily thoughts of contemplating taking my life.
#25 Losing All Hope
At this point, I’ve lost all hope that I even deserve to be treated like a human being. I no longer hold the strength or courage to stand up for myself anymore because “that's what's best for the family.” I've been trapped since graduating high school and I don't have any hope that anything can even help me anymore.
#26 Never an Easy Thing
My father took his own life when I was eight years old. I went through years of therapy and medication treatment just to eventually find out that I have bipolar disorder just like he did. He destroyed my family and I feel like I have, too. I’ve attempted three times. The loss of a parent is never an easy thing.
#27 Have to Fight
The battle in my own head. I have heavy obsessive-compulsive disorder (pretty much pure obsession). I’m always wondering if I have another disorder or disease. I’m also fighting to not sink into a research spiral. Then there's anxiety and panic. Panic attacks are a special kind of mess. They’re terrible, many times it's easier to wish for it all to end.
And then this lovely thing I found out the name for: acute hearing. Basically, I can hear everything around me, but can't turn any of the sounds off. One or two conversations I can handle. But when it gets to be more than that, it makes me confused and leads to more panic. I'm determined to fight though, I have to.
#28 Fall to Pieces
I live in a foreign country and was attacked a few months ago. I don’t speak the language, but I went to the police. They found him and CCTV footage of what happened. He hasn’t been taken in, but has been questioned. First, he admitted to what he’d done (after a long ordeal). Now, he’s claiming that I’m a liar and he wants to sue me for defamation of character. I did nothing wrong — I know this. I said no. I said don’t touch me.
But I still worry about what’s going to happen. I somehow feel guilty about what’s happened. I also feel guilty that I might just ruin someone’s life if I’m believed by the court. I go to work every day thinking about this. I cry about it in the shower. I want to call my dad and tell him what’s going on, but I know he will just worry about me. So, I just have to suck it up and pretend that I’m okay in front of everyone when all I want to do is fall into pieces.
#29 On and On
Losing my son three years ago. My husband's family is mostly toxic, my father battles depression, my mother favors my brother over all of my siblings and me. The list goes on and on. I kind of want a do-over, but I don't know that I could do anything differently. Either way, since I lost my son, I strive to make other people's world at least a little bit better. Whether it's checking on someone to make sure they're okay, or just smiling at a random stranger. I try, that's all I can do.
#30 Nothing to Hope For
I can't remember the last time I had a good day. I know I've had some okay days, a few days where I've felt relieved because a trauma was resolving, and a buttload of bad days for a long while now. But lacking from my recent memories is a day in which I've gone to bed with a smile. I'm scared. As things stand in my life right now, I have nothing I'm looking forward to, nothing I'm hoping for.
I've become disillusioned by learned helplessness. So, I'm scared that for the rest of my life my definition of a "good day" will simply be "at least nothing bad happened" or "well, that could have been worse.” Where can I find the strength to carry on when I know life isn't going to get better, no matter how much effort I put in? How can I continue to be the person I know I could be and should be, the person I was before I lost my faith in a better tomorrow, so I don't lose what I have left?
#31 Scars From My Past
I’m trying to undo the effects of my childhood. It’s such a rough battle to overcome and I honestly don’t think I ever will. It makes me feel so unloved and the thoughts of ending my life never end, even with antidepressants and therapy. I’ve become so dehumanized and I’m numb to everything. I’m still better than I was five years ago once I started recovery, but the scars from my past will always be with me wherever I go.
#32 Going Through a Lot
My brother is going through a lot right now. He's going to come live with me and I'm going to help him get his life under control. We're going to go through a very complicated legal process and put an adult bully in his place the right way. He's going to start dealing with his mental health issues and everything is going to be okay.
#33 Terrible Role Model
My dad’s been an idiot since I was a kid. My whole childhood and adolescence he was a terrible role model: lying, stealing, gambling, addiction, borrowing money from me, couldn’t keep steady work and kept making poor financial decisions. As the older brother, I had to figure out how to be a man for my younger brother’s sake and lead by example. My dad couldn’t prioritize being a responsible father over his vices. He got locked up first while I was in high school.
He got locked up again, maybe two and a half years ago. Despite every time he’s let me down, it breaks my heart seeing friends interact with their dads because I know I’m never going to have that privilege. I hate him, yet I still miss having the ability to call him whenever I want to talk without having to schedule an appointment in advance and pay for it.
At this point, I know that my friends rarely catch me struggle with my burden because I always keep it bottled up. Sometimes I wish they knew what it meant to me because I feel like this situation partially defines me in a weird way. It’s just a silent burden I bear and I’ve been shouldering it for a long time.
#34 Leaving Everything Behind
I was in a toxic relationship for two years. I was finally able to leave while he was at work the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, with just my daughter and a suitcase each. I literally left everything else behind and took an 18-hour bus trip back home to my mom in Texas. I got my daughter enrolled in school. I've hit the job hunt hard and haven't had a bite. I had to explain to my daughter that Christmas will have to wait.
#35 Losing a Best Friend
10 months ago I lost my beautiful 14-year-old daughter. She took her own life, but was not diagnosed with any mental illness nor did she show signs of depression. She was a popular, straight-A student who always had a kind word for her friends and teachers when they needed an emotional lift. She was my best friend and I thought I was winning in the parenting area. We did everything together, she even did everything with her dad.
I work as a public servant and have to put on a mask every day, not just for citizens but for my co-workers, my family and especially my son. I had such a horrible childhood, my husband and I made sure we were nothing like our parents and tried to raise our kids so much better. We don't know where we failed her. This is my struggle, to attempt to be normal when I'm not. To not breakdown when I see moms and their beautiful little sidekicks laughing together while out shopping. I’m constantly on the verge of crying.
#36 Cocking the Hammer
I’m outwardly a very normal dad. I’m a father of two young kids, been married for seven years, finishing up a doctorate, normal 9-5 desk job in a pretty fun field of work. And what’s better, I’ve lost 45 pounds recently. I’ve been getting lots of compliments on my weight. I’m also wearing clothes I haven’t been able to wear in years.
But, my recent rapid weight loss is because of bulimia. I’ve been living with it for 12 years and it’s kicked into overdrive. I’m starving myself for days at a time and puking up everything I eat. The average person has no idea what a safe rate of weight loss is and sees no harm in telling me I’m doing a good job, but every compliment I get just cocks the hammer and makes me sicker.
#37 Throwing Fits
Anxiety, possible depression. It sucks, honestly. I get told to stop throwing fits for the panic attacks I can’t control well. I've spent the past two years in and out of therapist offices for outbursts about how badly I want to end my life since I don’t have people I'm comfortable with talking to about my emotions. People would make fun of me for having a bad tolerance when it came to loud noises. They'd even yell in my ear when I took my earplugs out in gym class just to see me flinch so they could laugh. I'm ready to get out of middle school already.
#38 Doing My Best
My mom took her life when I was six and my dad passed away when I was 14. I was in treatment for almost a year and homeless for about a year. I am diagnosed with major depressive disorder and anxiety. I currently live at home and have an amazing job as an apprentice electrician at 19. I have some troubles with motivation and low energy, but I’m doing my best.
#39 Make Her Feel Better
I’m not fighting a battle, but rather helping a friend fight one. She has major depression and is constantly having mental breakdowns and dangerous thoughts. I’ve been trying to keep her mind off of it but it’s only getting worse through the years. I want to say I love her (as a friend) just to make her feel better.
#40 The Worst Things
Imagine any time in your life you've had a muscle cramp or a charlie horse. Now, imagine having that in your face, specifically the thick muscle of your jaw… every hour of every day, to varying degrees. Like a muscle you can't stretch out the stiffness in. The happy things in life, like talking, smiling, singing, those are some of the worst things some days. Caffeine can make things worse.
I’m on multiple medications for it, including muscle relaxers to help with nerve pain. I’ve already had a major surgery that left some wicked scars behind in my mouth and it's only slowly getting worse. It’s to the point where I'm just waiting for the inevitable moment when my doctor, who is one of the best in the country for this problem, tells me there's nothing else they can do.
#41 Out of the Blue
Two months ago, the police came to my parent's house and told them that my grandpa took my grandma’s life. It was completely out of the blue. This was my mom's mom. My "grandpa" isn't my grandpa by DNA. She remarried 30 years ago just before I was born. I don't have a real relationship with my mom's dad, so to me this guy was always my grandpa. I was super close to them both. We'd have dinner, I'd take them to doctor's appointments in the big city. Outside of my parents and sisters, I loved them the most.
My mom has been a wreck ever since. My youngest sister, age seven, was downstairs and heard the police tell my mom what happened. She's had nightmares every night and is really shook up. They're both seeing a psychologist. We all probably should at some point. It still hasn't really sunk in what happened. Her funeral helped a little, at least for me to understand that she's gone. But the how and why is so outside my view of what I thought was possible. I can't really come to terms.
#42 A Lot of Hurt Feelings
My husband is depressed. We have two very young children and over the past year my husband has been grumpy, cranky, and sometimes downright mean. Before we realized what was going on, I seriously considered leaving, but since I was having a very challenging pregnancy and my family was out of town, I was unable to take care of my toddler myself.
It has gotten better since we've realized it's depression. He's stopped blaming me for his unhappiness and he's starting to get help. However, I still have a lot of hurt feelings over his behavior over the past year. I immediately blow up when he's snappy with me and currently have no interest in sleeping with him. Part of that is utter exhaustion and breastfeeding, but not all of it.
Because he's dealing with that, I get very little support with the baby. He does help with the toddler but gets so cranky so easily, I often step in. I'm exhausted, lonely, and completely worn out. I do see him trying and we have good days, but he often makes comments about how life with kids is so miserable, which hurts me deeply. Our friends have no idea, and my close family members have no idea how bad it is. You'd especially have no idea looking at social media.
#43 No Idea What I’m Doing
After my spouse came out as trans, I tried for a year to deal with it. I felt like leaving would make me a bad friend, partner, and LGBTQ ally. Plus, I still like that person. So, I kept piling the guilt onto myself and got physically ill over the stress of it. So, I just left. But, I've been unemployed for years and have tried and failed over the years to get jobs.
I have kids, so I can say I've been a stay-at-home-mom. I'm unemployed, recently separated and have walked away from the life I built with a person I thought I would spend forever with. She has a great job and lives in our house with our kids. She's living her best life as her true self and not as the man I married. I'm happy for her, to be honest. But I'm over here, lonely, scared, and with no idea how I'm going to do anything with my life.
#44 A Planned Rendezvous
My wife of 10 years went behind my back with someone. It wasn’t an inebriated one night stand, but a planned rendezvous. I called her on it about a month ago. I'm considering divorce. She's distraught, upset, apologetic, wants me to stay, wants to fix things. I believe she's being genuine. I've asked for a divorce three times, but every time I asked, we talk and I back off of on it. I don't know what to do, just end it or give her a chance.
#45 Exhausting Lately
Every day for as long as I can remember, I've taken care of my mom because she's legally blind. Lately, I've been taken care of my dad, too, including shaving him. He recently had affected tissue removed from his nose and they had to do reconstructive surgery. He can't see without his glasses, so I shave him, clean him, and dress both the surgical site and the donor site. Naturally, I've been doing all of his chores and mowing, getting the groceries, etc. My parents are my heroes and my best friends, so it's not a battle, but it has been exhausting lately.
#46 Feeling Stuck
I took a really bad job away from home. Before taking the job, I discussed with my wife that this is temporary. I'll do it until "our" credit card bills are paid off. She has barely paid off any of the cards, making minimum payments and doing God knows what with the rest. The kids are doing good at least but they miss me and I miss them. I feel stuck.
#47 Coming to Terms
Multiple sclerosis. I’m fine looking on the outside but have been struggling for years on the inside. I’ve come to terms with it. It was the hand I was given, so I have to fight and keep moving forward. I was diagnosed two years ago and have not “come out” to most friends about it. The only ones who know are my family, a few close friends, and my boss. My symptoms are mild and manageable, but they keep me from doing a lot of things I would have loved to keep doing.
#48 Painfully Alone
I'm painfully alone. I live far from anyone I know and don't drive much to conserve gas money. Sometimes I'll reach out to people, but ever since my best friends moved out of town, very few people have initiated plans with me. Last week, my former co-workers meant to invite me to a game night but forgot to until they'd almost finished.
I have very few online friends, but I also have very little to say because I'm too depressed to be conversational. The only thing I have going for me is the fact that I'm one term away from graduating and there's a group of middle schoolers who love and look up to me. If it weren't for those kids, I'd have nothing to live for.
#49 Lingering Depression
I’m six months pregnant and as much as I try, I feel I can't truly bond with my baby yet. I’m hoping when he's born it changes, but I feel like a terrible mother for it. I’m struggling with depression that never left after my 19-month-old was born. My husband loves me but he only tolerates me now. I feel so alone, worthless, and an all-round failure.
#50 Too Old to Do Anything
I hate what I do for a living but I’m too old to really do anything about it anymore. To top it off, I have gotten used to how much money I make and starting over in careers would mean a significant pay cut. This makes me depressed from time to time. I also know what I actually want to do with my life, but don't have the free time or the drive to actually do it.
I'm to busy fretting over my job as it is now. To be honest, this takes me from being depressed to really hating certain aspects of life in general. I try really hard to stay positive about things, but for the love of all that is holy, I really want to like what I do for a living. I just don't think that’s ever going to happen.