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 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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  4. Lost and Found

    Gaining an understanding of the power of compassion through experience Gordon Harper Reprinted from "Concurrent Disorders" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(1), p. 25 Some years ago, I found myself driven to my knees by my own addiction. Oh, wha ...

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  5. Discovering My Dragon

    And starting to tame it Neil Reprinted from "Concurrent Disorders" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(1), p. 22 In some ways I've just landed, treading solid ground instead of shifting sands. I'm a landed immigrant, having arrived from ...

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  6. View From the Ruin

    Julianne Kim Reprinted from "Social Support" issue of Visions Journal, 2011, 6(4), p. 11 I came to Canada in 1975 from Seoul, South Korea. I was 19 and too full of bravado to admit anything of the pain, fear and anxiety I felt. I was anxious all ...

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  7. 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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  8. Vernon's Gemini and Phoenix Programs

    From personal experience to practice Ron Nichol (with Les Storey) Reprinted from "Concurrent Disorders" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(1), pp. 26-27 In 1979, after a life of frustration and despair, from either chasing the dragons of addictio ...

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  9. Reflections from the Field

    People with concurrent disorders are first and foremost, people. Although they are frequently people with serious mental and sometimes physical health issues, they are also grandparents, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends and neighbours. They ar ...

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  10. Double Trouble

    People diagnosed with both a mental illness and an addiction are falling through the cracks of the public health system because of a lack of coordinated services David Carrigg Reprinted from "Concurrent Disorders" issue of ...

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