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. Limitations and Complexities of my Self-Management

    Sarah Hamid-Balma Reprinted from "Self-Management" issue of Visions Journal, 2003, 1 (18), pp. 15-16 I recently learned that my mental disorder (unipolar depression) will be a life-long battle. It was hard to hear, after seven years on medicatio ...

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  2. It’s Not a Burden

    Caregiving, mental illness and declining physical health Amanda Reprinted from "MInd-Body Connection" issue of Visions Journal, 2014, 10 (2), p. 11 My dad has been ill for my entire life—I’m 31 years old. He has struggled with alcohol dependence ...

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  3. Is There Love After the Psych Ward?

    Victoria Maxwell, BFA, BPP* Reprinted from "Couples" issue of Visions Journal, 2015, 10 (4), p.17 I’ve been with my husband Gord for 14 years and married to him for eight. Nine years before I met him, I was diagnosed with my mental-illness trife ...

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  4. Adulting

    Reham Cojuangco Reprinted from "Young People: Transitions" issue of Visions Journal, 2015, 11 (2), pp. 24-27 Transitions in life are a time for self-discovery, so I’m learning. I am in a generation where phrases like: “I’m having a quarter life ...

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  5. The Imposter

    Emmy Reprinted from "Workplace: Transitions" issue of Visions Journal, 2016, 11 (3), pp. 20-21 I’m an impostor. That was all I could think as I shopped for a business outfit to wear for a meeting three hours later with a former colleague who wan ...

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  6. Allowing Life In

    Mindfulness as an alternative to alcohol Maureen, BA, MPA Reprinted from "Mindfulness" issue of Visions Journal, 2016, 12 (2), p. 16 I’ve been a worrier and prone to anxiety for as long as I can remember. Both my late mother and my sister have b ...

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  7. Moulding Mindfulness

    How to maximize the practice of mindfulness for bipolar disorder wellness Jeanne-Michelle Lavigne  Reprinted from "Mindfulness" issue of Visions Journal, 2016, 12 (2), p. 18 I was first introduced to the concept and practice of mindfulness when ...

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  8. Getting Rid of the Hamster

    A clinician’s journey learning mindfulness Susan,* MA, RPsych Reprinted from "Mindfulness" issue of Visions Journal, 2016, 12 (2), p. 21 When we are anxious, it can feel as if we have a hamster running on a wheel in our brain. Our thoughts go ro ...

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  9. Waking Up to Clarity, Wisdom and Gratitude

    How mindfulness practice saved me from myself Yeshe,* RN (retired) Reprinted from "Mindfulness" issue of Visions Journal, 2016, 12 (2), p. 24 I was raised to be a “nice girl” and had a naturally open, compassionate heart. Both of these aspects o ...

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  10. “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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