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. Having It All, Together—A Love Story

    Sara Levy Reprinted from "Having a Baby" issue of Visions Journal, 2012, 7 (3), pp. 10-11 It was May 9, 2010, when I kept thinking, "Why don’t I want to drink?" Finally, at the end of May I found out I was pregnant! If I hadn’t been pr ...

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  2. Young, Bipolar and Addicted to OxyContin

    An insider’s perspective John Charles Hilderley Reprinted from "Opioids" issue of Visions Journal, 2018, 13 (3), p. 11 In 2000, when I was 18, I was prescribed OxyContin for two painful kidney problems. The drug was relatively new then. The firs ...

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  3. How Did We End Up Here?

    Holding on through a close friend’s opioid addiction Astrid* Reprinted from "Opioids" issue of Visions Journal, 2018, 13 (3), p. 14 It was 4:00 on a Friday evening, about 24 hours since anyone had last seen Gwen. She had been given the opportuni ...

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  4. Living a Good Life—With or Without Opioids

    It all comes down to decent, safe housing Al Fowler Reprinted from "Opioids" issue of Visions Journal, 2018, 13 (3), p. 17 I first started using heroin in the late 90s. I was in Matsqui Penitentiary, so it was just a way to get high and escape r ...

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  5. It Takes a Recovery-Ready Community to Keep Loved Ones Connected and Healthy

    And to Reduce the Harm from Substance Use Sherry Vaile Robinson Reprinted from "Opioids" issue of Visions Journal, 2018, 13 (3), p. 17 My son Tyler fatally overdosed on heroin laced with fentanyl in a friend’s hotel room on January 27, 2016. He ...

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  6. “It helped me forget”

    A young mother’s journey through loss—and finding hope Farren Whitford Reprinted from "Opioids" issue of Visions Journal, 2018, 13 (3), p. 23 Growing up, I lived with my mom until I was about 12 and then I moved in with my grandma (me and my ste ...

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