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. Carrying On

    My struggle for a different life Michael O'Shea Web-only article from "Housing and Homelessness" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (1) Doing drugs for the very first time will give you a high that you never had before, but after that, drugs ...

    read more
  2. Finding a Way Home

    One man's experience with homelessness Jake Adrian Web-only article from "Housing and Homelessness" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (1) Mark Willis is a 48-year-old Polish immigrant. He came to Canada in 1989 seeking a better life. At the ...

    read more
  3. Homelessness—Not Good for My Mental Health

    Aaron Zacharias Web-only article from "Housing and Homelessness" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (1) I had already been through more than my share of trauma, beginning with an abusive childhood. But it wasn't until I became homeless in th ...

    read more
  4. Life After Death

    Troy* Web-only article from "Trauma and Victimization" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (3) My father died when I was eight years old. All I can remember is crying for two weeks straight. Going to school during this time was out of the question ...

    read more
  5. My First—and Hopefully Last—Hospitalization

    Barbara Bawlf Web-only article from "Trauma and Victimization" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (3) For many years I experienced periodic bouts of depression. I’d get through each one on my own, without any medical intervention. Usually there w ...

    read more
  6. When Sorry Is Too Late

    Amanda's story Amanda Johnson Web-only article from "Women" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(4) "Cow!" Justin shouted at the top of his lungs. "Go graze in the field with the rest of your family," he added. Everyone lau ...

    read more
  7. Perennials

    A survivor and thriver of manic depression Tara Web-only article from "Families" issue of Visions Journal, 2004, 2(3) One might think that after 3 "nervous breakdowns" it's time to give up. Well, the first one occurred when I was ...

    read more
  8. A Parent's Story

    Loving and supporting an anxious son Keli Anderson Reprinted with permission from AnxietyBC's STRIDES newsletter, April 2004, pp. 2-3 There is hope.... There was a time not so long ago (five years ago to be exact), when I thought my 10 year old son w ...

    read more
  9. Nurturing the Fire

    My life with schizophrenia Punkaj Bhushan Reprinted from Storm Breaking, 2002, pp. 64-68, CMHA BC Division I have gone through difficult times like many of you. In my story, I am going to write about my past, my illness, the lessons I have learned and my ...

    read more
  10. One Family's Back-to-School Story

    Reprinted from HeretoHelp media release, August 2004 Heading back to school is tough. It can be hard for everyone — young people and their families — and it’s even harder for British Columbia families already facing adversity… The Robertsons of Maple Ridg ...

    read more

Pages