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. The Varied Faces of Addiction in My Life

    Delma S. Robles Addiction is not alien to me. During my childhood days I became aware that addiction is a vital part of my family tree. I was barely eight years old when I learned that my grandfather's compulsive gambling, womanizing and alcoholism t ...

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  2. Being Out About It

    Bruce Saunders I know an artist who works four days a week at an art therapy studio. He keeps a notebook to keep straight who he's told what about what he does with his time. His family and friends all seem to have different stories. He has revealed ...

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  3. The Consuming Beast

    Michael Catney The "beast" has controlled my life for most of the last 10 years. Sure, there were times of clarity, where I could function normally—hold a job, date, enjoy friends, feel as if I was a contributing member of society and not just a ...

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  4. The Dark Side of the Moon

    Monique Stocker I was 12 years old, sitting on my friend’s bed, when I saw a crow and thought to myself: “Something bad has happened.” Twenty minutes later, my Dad was at the door telling me that my mother had an accident and that he had to take me to the ...

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  5. Little Red Riding Hood in the East End

    Turning her back from drugs Jane Woolfe My grasp has always exceeded my reach. I chastised myself bitterly when I 'dropped the balls.' Drugs softened the pain. Three years ago in the spring of 2003, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Initial ...

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  6. My Woman Under Plastic

    Claire Hurley Reprinted from "Housing and Homelessness" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (1), pp. 19-20 One December Sunday in 1995 I spoke to a shopping cart surrounded by black plastic in a doorway behind a Kitsilano supermarket. “Hi, I’m Cla ...

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  7. A Mother's Perspective

    Martha Scales Reprinted from "Housing and Homelessness" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 4 (1), pp. 24-25 My story isn't what you might call a "good news" story. Yet, it has elements of very good news. My 40-year-old son is homeles ...

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  8. Staying 'Quit'

    Pride on my side Frank G. Sterle Jr. Reprinted from Visions: BC's Mental Health and Addictions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 11-12 Every time I coughed, my left lung felt as though it was tearing apart. I was 18 and it was my third bout of bronchitis in ...

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  9. Puffing It Up

    Dawn-Marie Tytherleigh Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 16-17 I started smoking tobacco when I was 13. But that wasn’t the first time I had funnelled smoke down my throat. One cold and stormy Vancouver night, w ...

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  10. Tobacco Addiction

    Cunning, baffling and powerful Marianne Linthorne, RN Reprinted from "Tobacco" issue of Visions Journal, 2007, 3 (4), pp. 17-18 I work in an environment where tobacco is treated with respect. It is carefully tied in white, yellow, black and red ...

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