You may feel like your relationship has run its course, but don’t give up just yet.

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Why is it that when we first find someone, everything’s so magical?

Life looks completely different than it did before, doesn’t it? Everything starts to revolve around that person: they can do no wrong. This state of eupohria just seems to surround you all the time, and it’s amazing.

So why doesn’t it last?

Things may be amazing for a while, but the longer you’re with someone, the more complacent your relationship becomes. …

But isn’t all we really want for them to try to come in?

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People build walls: it’s what we do.

When we’re hurt, when we’re jilted or feeling sad, our natural reaction is to retreat within ourselves. We think that by doing this we’ll somehow be protected from future pain or heartache, as if keeping ourselves away from the situation will keep us away from feeling bad.

I learned this at a young age. When adults would hurt me with their neglect or lack of interest, I’d keep my pain to myself. …

The statement that forever changed my perspective on gratitude.

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I’ve never thought of myself as an ungrateful person.

I say please and thank you, I make sure I acknowledge when someone does something for me, and I appreciate where I’m at in life.

And yet, a statement I heard a few weeks ago showed me that I am, in fact, extremely lacking in the gratitude department.

I was reading a book when a notification popped up on my phone. It was a link from a friend, telling me to go watch a video she loved. …

It takes more than chemistry to create a lasting romance.

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My grandma used to tell me, “Look for someone you can work to have a happy relationship with.”

I always thought that was kind of silly. Why would we work to have a happy relationship? Shouldn’t that just be a given? After all, there’s enough things you have to work for in life and love is what comes easy, isn’t it?

Now, 20 years later, I wish I could go back and thank my grandma for her advice. She didn’t sugar-coat relationships and she didn’t tell me all would be well once I found “the one.”

She told me to…

Getting offended and upset is a choice you don’t have to make.

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If you’ve ever thought what you think was fine as long as you kept it to yourself, you’re not alone.

After all, you’re not saying your thoughts out loud, right? You’re a kind person who’s easy to get along with… at least on the outside.

On the inside you can think whatever you want about someone, unfavorable or not, because they’ll never know. It’s fine if you’re nice to their face and then bash them internally, it’s not hurting anyone.

Except it is. It’s hurting you more than you know, more than you would have ever thought possible.

The thoughts…

Opioids had taken enough of me.

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I was in a world of hurt. My body felt like needles were pricking me every way they could, the shaking was uncontrollable, and my mind was screaming for relief.

I hadn’t had a pill in 8 hours — the longest amount of time I had gone since I started taking Vicodin over two years prior.

“What’s wrong with her?” a little boy whispered to his mom, staring at me curiously. “Shh,” she said. “It’s not nice to stare.”

I was in the hospital waiting room with my dad and boyfriend, soon to see my surgeon for the first time…

But I’m not going to hide who I am — and you shouldn’t either.

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“So, what were you doing before you got married?”

I had just met this woman a few weeks ago. Our children were the same ages and happily playing together, and all the usual questions had been exhausted.

Do I tell her the truth? I wondered. Or do I gloss over all the details to make my life look how most expect it to?

After mulling over it for a bit, I decided I am who I am. I have nothing to be ashamed of, and I’m not going to hide anymore.

“I was actually addicted to opioids,” I said. “I…

We want our relationship to last.

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When I lived in Japan, I was struck by the number of unhappy couples I came across.

A woman I worked with told me how happy she was one day — all because her husband had moved to another area 5 hours away for work and she didn’t have to deal with him anymore. Another woman had her home built so two people could live independently on each level, and that’s what she and her husband did.

“Do you ever see him?” I asked her one day, curious how their set-up worked. “No, maybe once a week or so, but…

You’ll never find happiness if you stay in the same old rut.

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Although we know the only thing that’s constant in life is change, we don’t like it when it comes.

We get comfortable in our current circumstances, if not necessarily happy. We know what to expect, and we’re content to dream and talk about what we would change if we could.

We know there’s a way to better our lives, and we know that doing so would bring us greater happiness and contentment. But we worry that things won’t turn out the way we want, and are so scared to take that leap into the unknown — we don’t even try.

Mayo, eel, broccoli and seaweed as pizza toppings…yum.

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A few months after moving to a small town in Japan, I was ready to eat something familiar. Don’t get me wrong, I loved all the new Japanese food I was experiencing, but, well, I just missed my regular foods. The only options around us were Japanese, Japanese, and (you guessed it) Japanese.

As much as I loved sushi, rice and ramen, I needed something familiar. Pizza topped the list for what I missed; I would’ve done anything for a slice of that gooey, cheesy goodness.

My cravings were starting to get uncomfortable, so when one of our Japanese friends…

Ashley Walker

Writer. Advocate for recovering opioid users and Japanese ramen junkie. Check her out at

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