Personal Stories

Personal stories highlight the experiences of people just like you. You’ll find stories from people who experience mental health or substance use problems, people who support a loved one, and people who work in mental health or substance use fields. They share their own experiences and perspectives, and describe their personal journeys to understanding, health and well-being.

Personal stories highlight hope and well-being, not treatment advice. Check out the Self-Help Resources section of this site for info sheet and workbooks, and talk to your doctor or health care provider to discuss treatment options that might be a good fit for you.

  1. Self-Medicating with Alcohol?

    Hey! I was just trying to survive... Murphy Kennedy Reprinted from "Alcohol" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 2(9), pp. 26-27 It doesn't seem like it has been over 15 years since I had my last drink. The memories, good and bad, of my alcohol ...

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  2. The Destructive Path of Alcohol and Mental Illness

    A.M.R. Reprinted from "Alcohol" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 2(9), p. 24 The eldest of four girls, I was born in Montreal into a black, evangelical church-going family of Caribbean ancestry. Starting in my teens, I sensed I had problems: I su ...

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  3. A Daughter's Story

    Donna* Reprinted from "Alcohol" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 2(9), pp. 23-24 I was 13 years old when I realized that alcohol had taken over my dad's life. One day, when I was 10, I walked home from my grandma's house to find our fro ...

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  4. A Family Story

    An insider’s look at growing up in a family unaware of problems with depression, anxiety and alcohol Murphy Kennedy Reprinted from "Families" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(3), pp. 42-44 As far back as I can remember, I felt like an outsider, ...

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  5. Drowning Pool

    An editor's journey with alcoholism Paul Sullivan Reprinted from "Alcohol" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 2(9), pp. 18-19 I think I realized I was an alcoholic as I was trying to convince myself I wasn't one. I was a young man and qui ...

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  6. Me and Detox

    On beating my demons Patrick Schnerch Reprinted from "Alcohol" issue of Visions Journal, 2006, 2(9), pp. 20-22 Prologue On a Friday night in November 2004, I was so drunk leaving the bar that I didn't know how to get home. I staggered the s ...

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  7. The Varied Faces of Addiction in My Life

    Delma S. Robles Addiction is not alien to me. During my childhood days I became aware that addiction is a vital part of my family tree. I was barely eight years old when I learned that my grandfather's compulsive gambling, womanizing and alcoholism t ...

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  8. Insurance Reassurance

    Disability income a must for recovery Ross Taylor Reprinted from "Workplaces" issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (3), pp. 14-15  In 2005, I was in the hospital for six weeks and off work for four months. I cannot imagine trying to get through tha ...

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  9. My Portfolio of Support

    Ian Chovil Reprinted from "Social Support" issue of Visions Journal 2011, 6 (4), p. 14 In the beginning My onset of schizophrenia was what is called “insidious,” meaning a gradual onset of symptoms. For me, this occurred from ages 17 to 25 (betw ...

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