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. “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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  2. “Get Your Motor Running, Head Out on the Highway”

    A mindfulness journey Alexandra Hillman Reprinted from "Mindfulness" issue of Visions Journal, 2016, 12 (2), p. 27 When I was 33 years old, I lost my job. I didn’t see it coming and I was devastated. I struggled with feelings of loss and abandon ...

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  3. Youth Detox—and a Taste of Healthy Home Life

    Barrett Carter Reprinted from "Housing" issue of Visions Journal, 2013, 8 (1), pp. 18-19 Over the past three years I have been working at a detox facility for youth, located in south Vancouver. Unlike the clinical setting of a medical detox, our ...

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  4. 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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  5. You Probably Don’t Know What I Did Last Summer …

    A teen’s experience with a mental health crisis  Jessica Wiechers Reprinted from "Families and Crisis" issue of Visions Journal, 2017, 12 (4), p. 15 Ah, summer. For many people my age, summer vacation is a time to relax, hang out with friends an ...

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  6. You Go, Girl

    Tiffany Reprinted from "Eating Disorders" issue of Visions Journal, 2002, No. 16, pp. 16-17 Eating disorders are not necessarily related to having a problem with food. When I was 13, I experienced my first puppy-love crush on a boy who was 15. F ...

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  7. You Are Mother

    Dawn-Marie Tytherleigh Reprinted from "Women" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(4), p. 21 Though the pain is overwhelming, my heart knows that I have been the best mother I could be. After all, I am their mother and God chose me to be their moth ...

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  8. Writing My Own Lyrics

    Overcoming depression, anxiety and country music Kim Wilson Reprinted from "Families and Crisis" issue of Visions Journal, 2017, 12 (4), p. 9 You could walk past me on the street and never guess that I struggle with depression, anxiety and panic ...

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  9. Working with Ayla

    A school counsellor’s story about student self-injury and recovery Nicole Paley, BEd, MA, RCC Reprinted from  "Young People: Self-Injury"  issue of  Visions Journal, 2017, 13 (2), p. 26 I work as an elementary school counsellor for the Vancouver ...

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  10. Women Need Community Support to Survive

    Laraine Michalson, RN, MSN Reprinted from "Women" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2 (4), pp. 22-23 A story of Hope Hope is a 28-year-old Aboriginal woman, pregnant, in her first trimester. She spent her youth in and out of foster care and group ...

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