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. 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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  2. Staying 'Quit'

    Pride on my side Frank G. Sterle Jr. Reprinted from Visions: BC's Mental Health and Addictions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 11-12 Every time I coughed, my left lung felt as though it was tearing apart. I was 18 and it was my third bout of bronchitis in ...

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  3. Smoking

    Habit or addiction? Susan J. Katz Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 12-13 I crouched, face to the floor, my eyes burning badly, straining to breathe. I was six years old and following the procedure for avoiding ...

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  4. Smoking My Life Away

    Catherine St. Denis Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 13-14 My throat is killing me, I’ve got no groceries in the house and I’ve got three cigarettes to my name. Even though I’m sitting here telling myself that ...

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  5. The Joys of Smoking

    (Yeah, right) Ronald P. MacIntyre Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 14-15 I started smoking at nine years of age. I still remember my sister and I getting caught smoking these non-filtered cigarettes in our back ...

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  6. Smoke-free Success

    Kathryn Lestage, RSW Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 15-16 At the age of nine, I first shared a pack of stolen cigarettes with three other nine-year-old friends. After that, I would steal cigarettes from my pa ...

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  7. Puffing It Up

    Dawn-Marie Tytherleigh Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 16-17 I started smoking tobacco when I was 13. But that wasn’t the first time I had funnelled smoke down my throat. One cold and stormy Vancouver night, w ...

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  8. Tobacco Addiction

    Cunning, baffling and powerful Marianne Linthorne, RN Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 17-18 I work in an environment where tobacco is treated with respect. It is carefully tied in white, yellow, black and red ...

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  9. Break's Over!

    Lyle Richardson Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), p. 18 A close friend recently said to me: “Lyle, if I know you at all, you’re smoking because you’re bored.” She knew me before I was diagnosed with schizophrenia—in ...

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  10. Quitting

    A journey to compassion and song Rene Rey Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), p. 19 I began smoking cigarettes at 21 years of age, when I won a few packs in a poker game. For the next 20 years I chain smoked two and a ...

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