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. A Big, Strong Man

    Spencer McDonald Reprinted from "Men" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(5), p. 17 Life is good. I run my own company, give talks on workplace depression to business leaders, and appear on radio and TV. But it wasn't always that way. I' ...

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  2. Doing Time

    Curtis Arthur Reprinted from "Criminal Justice" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(8), pp. 18-19 My name is Curtis. I'm a federal inmate doing five years for crimes that I accept full responsibility for; crimes that stem from an eight-year a ...

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  3. My Fall From Grace

    Exercise, well-being and medication side effects Cynthia Row Reprinted from "Women" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(4), p. 26 For 25 years, rigorous physical activity—and its cosmetic effect on my body—brought me relief from symptoms of severe ...

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  4. Self Control and Bipolar Disorder

    Erika Reprinted from "Self-Management" issue of Visions Journal, 2003, 1(18), p. 21 "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." — Rei ...

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  5. Sometimes Only on One Wing

    Life and illness over a 40-year span Rhea Alexander Reprinted from "Seniors" issue of Visions Journal, 2002, 1(15), pp. 26-27 My name is Rhea. I was born in Fort St. John in 1933. I've spent most of my life here in Fort St. John with my par ...

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  6. A Lesson for Me, Dear Sister

    Peyton Brooks* Reprinted from "Suicide" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(7), p. 20 I've always had a bit of a fascination with suicide- though not in a dangerously morbid sense. My codependent 'fix it' nature lent itself to relat ...

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  7. My First Suicide Attempt

    Faith* Reprinted from "Suicide" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(7), p. 18 My 'demons' I knew my illness was developing. I worked in the health system, so knew that isolating myself, having thoughts of despair, frequently complaining ...

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  8. Inside My Suicidal Mind

    Patrick Schnerch Reprinted from "Suicide" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(7), p. 18 There is constant conflict between my depression and my will to live. One moment I am at high risk of falling victim to suicide, and the next moment I am ratio ...

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  9. Parenting and Social Work

    A route to recovery Kathryn Lestage, BSW Reprinted from "Parenting" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(2), pp. 17-18 My story begins in 1985. I am 21 years old. Since high school, I have spent two precious years of good mental health attending co ...

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  10. Adjusting Our Dreams

    Karen Reprinted from "Stigma" issue of Visions Journal, 2005, 2(6), pp. 28, 30 Two years ago, when my son Wayne* was 16, he was a handsome, well-rounded young man, destined for a healthy and productive adulthood. He had great talent in his liter ...

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