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Woman shares startling before-and-after photo to give recovering addicts hope
via V Ginny Burton / Facebook

Virginia Burton, 48, has over eight years and five months of sobriety under her belt and that's the longest stretch she's gone without using. She was first introduced to marijuana at the age of six and by the age of 15 was a "full-blown addict."

She was incarcerated three times, twice with her mother.

She desperately wanted to stop, but couldn't do it on her own. But finally, she found sobriety after getting arrested. "If not for the police, I wouldn't be where I am today. They gave me an opportunity to change my life when they arrested me," she wrote on Facebook. "On my own, I wouldn't have stopped."


"I honestly thought I'd die on a park bench with a needle in my arm or by gunshot to the head," she wrote. "I would've never in a million years thought my life would look the way it does today."

However, things have changed.

A photo she shared on Facebook is going viral for showing the dramatic change she's gone through. The photo on the left is of her strung out on heroin and cocaine in 2005. The right, Burton after recently graduating with a political science degree from Washington State.

"How's that for motivation?" she captioned the photo.

Last year, as a junior, she was awarded the prestigious Truman Scholarship which recognizes future leaders driven to make change at the policy level.

An avid mountaineer, she told the University of Washington that she tackles each task in life like she approaches a summit.

"Making the decision to return to school so late in life was a challenge for me," she said. "I thought I might be too old to start my life over again and that learning might be harder than I imagined. I decided that I would tackle each challenge I faced with the same drive I tackle mountains. There is no excuse to stop moving forward. If I want to reach the summit, I must keep climbing."

Burton hopes her miraculous transformation will show people that anything is possible. "Stop selling yourself short," she wrote. "You don't know what tomorrow might bring so you might consider starting today."

Recovery Talk with Ginny Burtonwww.youtube.com

"If you would have told me that my life would look like it does today eight and a half years ago, I would have called you a liar," Burton told 10 TV's Bryant Somerville.

Burton hopes her transformation will show people that even in the direst of situations it is possible to turn one's life around.

"I want people to know that there is hope," she wrote on Facebook. "No one is disposable. You don't have to die in addiction. You can stop using, lose the desire, and find a new way to live. There are so many of us out here willing to help."

The post has clearly done its job. It's been seen by people as far as the Middle East, Switzerland, and Spain, and her inbox has been filled with countless messages from people thanking her for her hope and perseverance.

"I can't tell you how grateful I am to share my life out loud," she wrote.

Burton is looking forward to changing more lives by pursuing a master's degree at the Evans School of Public Policy in Seattle so that she can help change the prison system. Since 2011, she has worked as a volunteer with the Post Prison education program which works to support former prisoners.

Her long-term goals are to realize her childhood dream of becoming a lawyer, run for elected office, and to restructure prison time. Given how she's approached life for the past eight years, I wouldn't bet against her.

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75.

Lynch is part of a growing crowd of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory.

At first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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Images provided by Pacifico

Making waves in the best way

True

At last, summer is here. And for many people, that means it's time for heading to the beach and maybe even catching some waves. Surfing is a quintessential summertime activity for those who live in coastal communities—it’s not only really fun and challenging, it’s also a great way to celebrate Mother Nature’s beauty. Even after a wipeout, the cool water mixed with warm sunshine offers a certain kind of euphoria. Or, you know, just hanging back on the sand is plenty fun too. Simply being outdoors near the ocean is its own reward.

pacifico quiksilver beach cleanupLet’s protect the places where outdoor adventure happensAll photos provided by Pacifico

However, it's well known that our beautiful beaches are suffering the consequences of overcrowding, pollution and littering. What was once a way of playing in nature is now slowly destroying it. And of course, this affects beachgoers everywhere. The sad truth is—without taking action to preserve all the natural joys the earth provides, we will eventually lose them.

But there is hope. Two popular brands that both have roots in surf culture have teamed up to help make trips to the beach a more sustainable pastime. The best part? You don’t have to know how to hang ten in order to participate.

Pacifico®, a pilsner-style lager originally brought to the U.S. by surfers, and Quiksilver, an iconic apparel company loved by both surfers and beach goers alike, have created a brand-new range of clothing and accessories with sustainability in mind.

Take a look below. These threads are great for all kinds of fun in the sun, without compromising the environment.

pacifico quicksilver beach cleanupsReady to make some waves

The collection launches on July 5 and includes tees and woven shirts, boardshorts, hats, flip-flops and a special beach towel and tote bag. The unique collaboration features the vibrant, colorful designs that are the hallmark of Quiksilver combined with Pacifico elements, created to make a positive impact.

Each item has been thoughtfully curated to minimize an environmental footprint and protect the outdoors. The hats, for example, are made from NetPlus® by Bureo®, a raw material created from South American recycled fishing nets. Additionally, the board shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles, and tees are made with 100% organic cotton. Pretty rad stuff, to put it in surfer lingo.

The prices on these pieces are equally rad, ranging from $28 flip-flops to $60 boardshorts.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos and protecting the places we play, Pacifico and Quiksilver will celebrate the products’ launch by hosting two beach cleanups. The first is on July 5 at Sunset Point in Malibu, California, from 4-5:30pm, and the second is on July 9th at Deerfield Beach in Florida from 8:30 – 10:30am.

pacifico quicksilver clothing lineCleaning up and looking good while doing it

Theses beach cleanups are open to anyone over the age of 21 who’s ready to have some fun while taking care of nature’s playground.

Those who can’t make it to the beach (bummer, dude) don’t have to miss out on all the fun. The new collection will be available on July 5th at www.quiksilver.com/mens-collab-pacifico. And even if you don’t surf, never plan to surf, have no desire to even be near a surfboard, rest assured, the apparel is still cool. Plus sustainable choices are always good fashion.

Our planet provides us with an endless supply of beauty and adventure. But without more mindful actions from humanity, its natural wonders will eventually diminish. Fortunately Pacifico and Quiksilver are making it easier than ever for people to enjoy the great outdoors without jeopardizing it. That’s a wave worth riding.

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


Being married is like being half of a two-headed monster. It's impossible to avoid regular disagreements when you're bound to another person for the rest of your life. Even the perfect marriage (if there was such a thing) would have its daily frustrations. Funnily enough, most fights aren't caused by big decisions but the simple, day-to-day questions, such as "What do you want for dinner?"; "Are we free Friday night?"; and "What movie do you want to see?"

Here are some hilarious tweets that just about every married couple will understand.

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