I moved to Alabama seven years ago, and it’s been nothing but heartache. Three years ago, my son was shot. Thank God, he’s still with us, but he’s legally blind, he has a lot of obstacles, and I have a lot of medical bills to pay. And I take care of his son — my grandson — because his mother died. I recently filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy. Mentally and physically, I was drained. I’m also a five-time cancer survivor — I’ve had 32 surgeries. 

The only family I have left are my kids and grandkids.

My sister just passed away. Talking about all this makes me very emotional. I’m 49, and I needed to find a more positive outlook on life despite my situation and lack of stability. So I downloaded the Thrive app.

Thrive gave me the courage to leave a narcissistic, toxic relationship.

When I left, I was homeless and living in my car. It was so hard and embarrassing for me. But even though it meant me having nowhere to live, I could begin to put one foot in front of the other and raise my chin up and know that I am somebody. I repeat affirmations. I tell myself I am worthy. I love watering my plant every day on the Thrive app. It gives me hope that something is growing — and I am growing.

Money Microsteps are helping me start to get back on track.

I took a financial course to learn more about budgeting, which is key for me. I save money by shopping in the clearance section when I see a great deal. I’m being disciplined about the money I spend on food. I don’t eat out for lunch — I usually have some crackers or a healthy sandwich. I’m doing my best to save out of every paycheck, so I can get myself a small place to call home. That’s my dream.

At work, I’ve learned to be more positive with Microsteps.

I take the time to connect with my co-workers and find out how they are doing. I’m a very compassionate person, and I’ll always listen to people and support them, like one of my friends who has been battling breast cancer. I love my work and I can’t wait to get there every day because when I’m at work I feel safe, and I feel valued. I am also working on sharpening my skills on the computer, so maybe I can get a second job. I have a degree in business administration, and I’m a certified pharmacy technician via Walmart, so I remind myself that I have great skills.

Writing about my experiences helps me deal with my emotions.

I’ve been writing daily since I was young. One day I would love to publish my story to help others.

I love watching Thrive Resets which are helping me to lower my stress and stay calm. 

And I’m doing breathing exercises, even if it’s just taking five minutes to inhale and exhale, or do a short meditation. It has all been working because I’ve been able to lower my blood pressure, even though I still have to take medication. 

I’ve lost a lot of weight. 

It was hard eating well because I was homeless, and living in my car, but now it’s easier because I’m staying with my daughter. I do my best and eat as much salad and natural food as possible. And I get a lot of movement every day. I usually put in over 12,000 steps a day at work alone. 

Connection Microsteps are helping me repair my relationship with my adult children.

It was difficult due to the toxic relationship I was in. But now, I can focus on bonding with my family.

Having the chance to tell my story about my Thrive Challenge means the world to me. 

It has helped me realize that I do matter. I tell myself I am a strong woman. I’m hopeful that I will have a home of my own. I already feel more peaceful and hopeful about the future.

Tammy Rader, Walmart Supercenter #1124, Hartselle, AL; $5K Winner