I need your help to keep the Strangers Project going! If you can help with as little as $1 over at patreon, I can continue the daily updates as I collect and share stories from thousands of strangers.
If you enjoy the Strangers Project regularly, I appreciate the support!

Getting Sober…..
What a weird thing for an alcoholic. I have never felt so uncomfortable in my skin. The entire world is askew without alcohol in my system. Nothing feels right, so out of place, not a part of, utterly alone. So uncomfortable I can barely stand it. It hurts so bad!!!!
Then days and years pass. I’m still uncomfortable, but not as much. I still feel like I don’t fit in, but not as much.
I have learned to live sober… with much work, writing, reading, praying, meeting, crying, facing things, humility, love, and support from people.
The novelty of sobriety has worn off. Now I live a regular, somewhat productive life. Mostly at peace and content.
Thank you God.

Getting Sober…..

What a weird thing for an alcoholic. I have never felt so uncomfortable in my skin. The entire world is askew without alcohol in my system. Nothing feels right, so out of place, not a part of, utterly alone. So uncomfortable I can barely stand it. It hurts so bad!!!!

Then days and years pass. I’m still uncomfortable, but not as much. I still feel like I don’t fit in, but not as much.

I have learned to live sober… with much work, writing, reading, praying, meeting, crying, facing things, humility, love, and support from people.

The novelty of sobriety has worn off. Now I live a regular, somewhat productive life. Mostly at peace and content.

Thank you God.


I have been battling addiction for what seems, my entire life. In fact it has been. Pot at 12, pills, alc. Mescaline, Tuinals, Quaaludes soon after.Today I am almost 49 years old and I have contracted HIV which I obsess about constantly. I would rather die quickly but feel guilty about leaving my dwindling 2 family members to bury me. For now I just take my meds, deal with the pain (and there is some pretty intense pain 5 years into AIDS).Some days are better than other but I don’t really know how long I can last. I pray for a quick and relatively painless death.

I have been battling addiction for what seems, my entire life. In fact it has been. Pot at 12, pills, alc. Mescaline, Tuinals, Quaaludes soon after.

Today I am almost 49 years old and I have contracted HIV which I obsess about constantly. I would rather die quickly but feel guilty about leaving my dwindling 2 family members to bury me. For now I just take my meds, deal with the pain (and there is some pretty intense pain 5 years into AIDS).

Some days are better than other but I don’t really know how long I can last. I pray for a quick and relatively painless death.


Hi there, I am 27 years old. I moved to NYC from SF 6 months ago. I had been living in SF for 5 years. I left my very close friends that I had made and my girlfriend whom I was very happy with—thinking long distance would work. I moved here for what I thought would be a great job—hedge fund, great company, and intelligent people, good pay, etc. Turns out the job isn’t that great, I miss my friends and my girlfriend—who is having a really hard time with the distance. I’ve made a few friends here, but nobody I’m super close to. I feel lonely, miss SF, and I’m highly regretting my decision to move her. I guess the lesson learned is that never take happiness for granted.
If you’ve found happiness, hold on to it, don’t leave it for something else where you think you might be happier. This experience has taught me this, and it’s made me realize how happy my girlfriend makes me feel, and we get along so well, better than anyone else I’ve dated. This is why I’m not going to get her go, like I let SF go. As soon as I move back to SF, I’m proposing to her! :)
Thanks for reading.

Hi there, I am 27 years old. I moved to NYC from SF 6 months ago. I had been living in SF for 5 years. I left my very close friends that I had made and my girlfriend whom I was very happy with—thinking long distance would work. I moved here for what I thought would be a great job—hedge fund, great company, and intelligent people, good pay, etc. Turns out the job isn’t that great, I miss my friends and my girlfriend—who is having a really hard time with the distance. I’ve made a few friends here, but nobody I’m super close to. I feel lonely, miss SF, and I’m highly regretting my decision to move her. I guess the lesson learned is that never take happiness for granted.

If you’ve found happiness, hold on to it, don’t leave it for something else where you think you might be happier. This experience has taught me this, and it’s made me realize how happy my girlfriend makes me feel, and we get along so well, better than anyone else I’ve dated. This is why I’m not going to get her go, like I let SF go. As soon as I move back to SF, I’m proposing to her! :)

Thanks for reading.


Ever since I was a small child, I’ve been afraid of bridges. Whenever our family would drive across a bridge (particularly tall bridges), I would undo my seatbelt, unlock the door, and be ready to jump from the car should the car accidentally veer off the bridge. I should mention that my fear of bridges is more specifically a fear of bridges over water. I would not jump from a car over pavement, but over water, that’s another story. So perhaps it’s really a fear of drowning. Or of being trapped, knowing it’s just a matter of time. I am also afraid of heights. And of closed spaces. But now I have two small sons who love to climb high, slide through covered slides. We live in a city surrounded by water, connected to the rest of the world by bridges. Adventures away on the other side. I try to be brave so that I don’t pass on my fears to my boys, but sometimes I still have my hand on the handle of the car door.
I wish I wasn’t afraid of so many things.

Ever since I was a small child, I’ve been afraid of bridges. Whenever our family would drive across a bridge (particularly tall bridges), I would undo my seatbelt, unlock the door, and be ready to jump from the car should the car accidentally veer off the bridge. I should mention that my fear of bridges is more specifically a fear of bridges over water. I would not jump from a car over pavement, but over water, that’s another story. So perhaps it’s really a fear of drowning. Or of being trapped, knowing it’s just a matter of time. I am also afraid of heights. And of closed spaces. But now I have two small sons who love to climb high, slide through covered slides. We live in a city surrounded by water, connected to the rest of the world by bridges. Adventures away on the other side. I try to be brave so that I don’t pass on my fears to my boys, but sometimes I still have my hand on the handle of the car door.

I wish I wasn’t afraid of so many things.

Life goes on… when you turn adversity into opportunity.
Manifest the change you want to be.
I am so grateful. so grateful.
—-
1) Have you ever been raped?
☐ Yes☐ No
2) Have you ever been sodomized?
☐ Yes☐ No
3) Have you ever had a mental breakdown?
☐ Yes☐ No
4) Have you ever hated yourself, and the vision of yourself so badly that you wanted to break the mirror every time you look at it?
☐ Yes☐ No
—-
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then please read on for love therapy, from my mended heart to yours.
I was raped—sodomized—twice. Once when I was 19 and recently, in early 2014. The second rape left me with a twisted colon, internal injuries, broken/shattered ribs, anger, fear, sadness, heartache, self doubt, shame, guilt, pain, depression, self-hatred, confusion, and a general inability to function—from agoraphobia to memory loss.
Sounds terrible, right? It’s funny now the way things sound and the way they really are—are often quite different. Looking back, being raped/sodomized, suffocated with a pillow, and treated like a slave, an animal, actually saved my life. And, made it 200x better. Why? Because I chose to longer be a victim. The months that followed spent in solace taught me more about myself than any person or book could. I learned that forgiveness is required. I earned that I am valuable. I learned that I’m beautiful, brilliant, and full of love. I learned that I’m not crazy, I was just having a rough time. I learned that life goes on. I took online classes while I recovered. All of my “issues” subsided and I was blessed with a wealth of abundance. 
And I LOVE who I see in the mirror. I am grateful, I am grateful, I am grateful. I am loved.

Life goes on… when you turn adversity into opportunity.

Manifest the change you want to be.

I am so grateful. so grateful.

—-

1) Have you ever been raped?

☐ Yes
☐ No

2) Have you ever been sodomized?

☐ Yes
☐ No

3) Have you ever had a mental breakdown?

☐ Yes
☐ No

4) Have you ever hated yourself, and the vision of yourself so badly that you wanted to break the mirror every time you look at it?

☐ Yes
☐ No

—-

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then please read on for love therapy, from my mended heart to yours.

I was raped—sodomized—twice. Once when I was 19 and recently, in early 2014. The second rape left me with a twisted colon, internal injuries, broken/shattered ribs, anger, fear, sadness, heartache, self doubt, shame, guilt, pain, depression, self-hatred, confusion, and a general inability to function—from agoraphobia to memory loss.

Sounds terrible, right? It’s funny now the way things sound and the way they really are—are often quite different. Looking back, being raped/sodomized, suffocated with a pillow, and treated like a slave, an animal, actually saved my life. And, made it 200x better. Why? Because I chose to longer be a victim. The months that followed spent in solace taught me more about myself than any person or book could. I learned that forgiveness is required. I earned that I am valuable. I learned that I’m beautiful, brilliant, and full of love. I learned that I’m not crazy, I was just having a rough time. I learned that life goes on. I took online classes while I recovered. All of my “issues” subsided and I was blessed with a wealth of abundance. 

And I LOVE who I see in the mirror. I am grateful, I am grateful, I am grateful. I am loved.


I was about 5 years old when I finally discovered I was black. My family was living in Augusta, Georgia at the time, and when I wasn’t consumed with preschool activities, I spent my time playing in the blackberry field at the end of my street with my neighbor and best friend Davis. One evening, after what I could only imagine as an epic day of blackberry picking, my mother said I entered the room with purpose. I asked her why Davis’ hair moved in the wind. My mom, naturally taken aback by this inquiry begged me to elaborate.
The young me responded by saying that whenever my main man and I were outside, his hair moved in the wind, while mine did not. Mother chuckled and replied with the obvious answer, “Because you are black sweetheart.” Although this appeared to be one of those endearing moments between mother and child, I on the otherhand was confused as hell. Continuing the conversation, my mother explained that Davis was white and that most white people’s hair moved in the wind.
"Can I become white?" I asked my mother.
"NO."

I was about 5 years old when I finally discovered I was black. My family was living in Augusta, Georgia at the time, and when I wasn’t consumed with preschool activities, I spent my time playing in the blackberry field at the end of my street with my neighbor and best friend Davis. One evening, after what I could only imagine as an epic day of blackberry picking, my mother said I entered the room with purpose. I asked her why Davis’ hair moved in the wind. My mom, naturally taken aback by this inquiry begged me to elaborate.

The young me responded by saying that whenever my main man and I were outside, his hair moved in the wind, while mine did not. Mother chuckled and replied with the obvious answer, “Because you are black sweetheart.” Although this appeared to be one of those endearing moments between mother and child, I on the otherhand was confused as hell. Continuing the conversation, my mother explained that Davis was white and that most white people’s hair moved in the wind.

"Can I become white?" I asked my mother.

"NO."


I grew up in the country in a farming family. There were no playdates, no parent-organized activities. My younger brother was my only company and playmate. He was three years younger but we were always good friends, the best of friends. He was fun and impulsive. I was the serious and responsible one. We were a good match. We were competitive and squabbled, but our kinship always prevailed. As we grew, we looked so alike that people often mistook us for twins. I once got him into a bar when I was a senior (and 21) and he was a freshman in college (and only 18), using only my ID and the claim we were twins.
When my brother was 24, he was diagnosed with cancer. He survived and suffered through treatments until he was almost 29. He died official from metastatic cancer. He died in my arms.
I will never understand how people cannot get along with their siblings. How they cannot enjoy that one-of-a-kind connection above all the daily squabbles. I have raised my three children to understand the preciousness of their relationship with each other and how that is unlike any other connection they will ever experience. And I tell them I think of my brother every day, even 10 years after he left my daily life. This is a story I could only tell through writing, even after a decade. it is—and will forever be—too painful to speak it aloud.

I grew up in the country in a farming family. There were no playdates, no parent-organized activities. My younger brother was my only company and playmate. He was three years younger but we were always good friends, the best of friends. He was fun and impulsive. I was the serious and responsible one. We were a good match. We were competitive and squabbled, but our kinship always prevailed. As we grew, we looked so alike that people often mistook us for twins. I once got him into a bar when I was a senior (and 21) and he was a freshman in college (and only 18), using only my ID and the claim we were twins.

When my brother was 24, he was diagnosed with cancer. He survived and suffered through treatments until he was almost 29. He died official from metastatic cancer. He died in my arms.

I will never understand how people cannot get along with their siblings. How they cannot enjoy that one-of-a-kind connection above all the daily squabbles. I have raised my three children to understand the preciousness of their relationship with each other and how that is unlike any other connection they will ever experience. And I tell them I think of my brother every day, even 10 years after he left my daily life. This is a story I could only tell through writing, even after a decade. it is—and will forever be—too painful to speak it aloud.


I fell in love with him, so fast and so hard. The one I want to be with forever. The only problem is that being with him means losing my entire family. Coming from a rigid society where dating isn’t allowed, it was unacceptable. Even worse, I’m Muslim and he’s Mormon. But our love was too great to let it go. And he kept trying to convert me, and months and months of him trying, I gave in. I can admit, only to myself, that I’m Mormon. My family? They would never accept it. my friends? They’d think I gave up my life for the love of a man. But really, it’s for God and my happiness. I love him because he brought me to God. I’ve never been happier. But my road to happiness is also the road to estrangement and being disowned by my family. Shouldn’t religion bring people together? I love my family, but I love God more. I plan to marry my man in three years. He’s been the best for me. I hope one day my Muslim parents can forgive me for the greatest sin in their eyes. Mom and Dad, I will always love you, but I’m sorry.

I fell in love with him, so fast and so hard. The one I want to be with forever. The only problem is that being with him means losing my entire family. Coming from a rigid society where dating isn’t allowed, it was unacceptable. Even worse, I’m Muslim and he’s Mormon. But our love was too great to let it go. And he kept trying to convert me, and months and months of him trying, I gave in. I can admit, only to myself, that I’m Mormon. My family? They would never accept it. my friends? They’d think I gave up my life for the love of a man. But really, it’s for God and my happiness. I love him because he brought me to God. I’ve never been happier. But my road to happiness is also the road to estrangement and being disowned by my family. Shouldn’t religion bring people together? I love my family, but I love God more. I plan to marry my man in three years. He’s been the best for me. I hope one day my Muslim parents can forgive me for the greatest sin in their eyes. Mom and Dad, I will always love you, but I’m sorry.


Wow, this is so weird. I really have no idea what to write, but I want to say something so badly.
I feel like crying. I’m sitting here holding back tears. Really.
And why? I think it’s because I’m afraid whatever I write won’t be good enough or something. That’s very silly. That’s been a thing for me. But I’m working on it. I have an awesome therapist. Okay. Now I feel a lot better.
Ah! The guy next to me just asked me what I’m writing about. He seems like a nice guy. He kind of reminds me of my dad, who is also a chatty guy. We don’t have much of a relationship, unfortunately. I have a twin sister and he’s close to her though.
It’s weird that as a twin I feel like my parents raised us so they could each “have” one. My mom got me and my dad got my sister, and there’s no crossover. And so now, as a 22 year old young woman, I feel as if there is no way for me to build a relationship with my father. There is a wall there. A resentment wall.
Honestly though, I have an incredible life. I’m a privileged white girl—what am I complaining for?
(Yeah, so, now I’m crying a little anyways, but it’s ok :))

Wow, this is so weird. I really have no idea what to write, but I want to say something so badly.

I feel like crying. I’m sitting here holding back tears. Really.

And why? I think it’s because I’m afraid whatever I write won’t be good enough or something. That’s very silly. That’s been a thing for me. But I’m working on it. I have an awesome therapist. Okay. Now I feel a lot better.

Ah! The guy next to me just asked me what I’m writing about. He seems like a nice guy. He kind of reminds me of my dad, who is also a chatty guy. We don’t have much of a relationship, unfortunately. I have a twin sister and he’s close to her though.

It’s weird that as a twin I feel like my parents raised us so they could each “have” one. My mom got me and my dad got my sister, and there’s no crossover. And so now, as a 22 year old young woman, I feel as if there is no way for me to build a relationship with my father. There is a wall there. A resentment wall.

Honestly though, I have an incredible life. I’m a privileged white girl—what am I complaining for?

(Yeah, so, now I’m crying a little anyways, but it’s ok :))


I am a survivor of sexual and verbal abuse from my Father. I’m 38 years old and I’ve just arrived to New York City to rebuild my life after accepting just last year what really happened to be 30 years ago.
I have an enormous sense of humanity and I’m a very sensible human being. I have difficulties regarding my relationships with other human beings, specifically regarding love. But I know for sure that I’m a beautiful person inside of me. I’m discovering that my pursuit of life is giving all the love I have without expecting the same from others. I live with my little me, that beautiful boy when I was just a child. I am here to protect him, to tell him and make him feel safe.
I feel grateful to find this place today and have the chance to write about my story. It is a kind of liberation for my soul, for my heart.
I hope that all my words would help people like me in the process of finding themselves. We are not alone, ‘cause each one of us have ourselves and this is the most beautiful life gave us, we should be grateful for that. Please stay human, to us, to you, to everyone in this world.
Love.

I am a survivor of sexual and verbal abuse from my Father. I’m 38 years old and I’ve just arrived to New York City to rebuild my life after accepting just last year what really happened to be 30 years ago.

I have an enormous sense of humanity and I’m a very sensible human being. I have difficulties regarding my relationships with other human beings, specifically regarding love. But I know for sure that I’m a beautiful person inside of me. I’m discovering that my pursuit of life is giving all the love I have without expecting the same from others. I live with my little me, that beautiful boy when I was just a child. I am here to protect him, to tell him and make him feel safe.

I feel grateful to find this place today and have the chance to write about my story. It is a kind of liberation for my soul, for my heart.

I hope that all my words would help people like me in the process of finding themselves. We are not alone, ‘cause each one of us have ourselves and this is the most beautiful life gave us, we should be grateful for that. Please stay human, to us, to you, to everyone in this world.

Love.