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Deborah’s story

My name is Deborah and this is my story of recovery. 

I was in the CMHA Ottawa Familiar Faces program for five months, from February to July 2020. I have progressed to the point where I can now move forward independently and no longer need weekly support from CMHA Ottawa.  

It was wonderful to hear my worker say that my file will now be closed. It meant that I had done the work necessary for my growth and recovery, and can now stand on my own two feet.  

My experience with CMHA Ottawa has been nothing but positive and life-changing because of all of the support I received from my worker. She helped me through a very difficult time in my life.  

She guided me to the different resources available to me. Were it not for her, I honestly do not know where I would be today. I had become suicidal. I was basically out on the street and I had lost all hope.  

She found me a place to live temporarily. Having that huge support from her weekly made all the difference for my recovery and the progress I made in the last five months. I believe the CMHA Ottawa Familiar Faces program is so needed, and it worked for me in leaps and bounds.  

It saved my life, literallyspeaking! 



I have kept motivated through the COVID-19 pandemic by writing my autobiography. I just kept writing daily; it was the best therapy. I am now a firm believer in the power of journaling.  

I am a writer at heart and I believe my strength is to motivate and encourage others to realize their full God-given potential. We only get one life, so I want to make the best of what has been given to me. 

I have also watched motivational videos and listened to positive sermons weekly, surrounding myself with only positive and encouraging people around me.  



The saying, “we are who are friends are” is very true—if you show me five of your friends, I can predict where you will be in five years’ time. Filling our lives with the right people around us is crucial for our progress because, as they say, iron sharpens iron.  

Spend time only with those who motivate you to become a better person. If you are the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room! That means you should always seek the company of people who will lift you up. 

When we struggle and find ourselves deep in a pit of despair, trying to get out of it alone, we have to remember the saying “no man is an island.” We have to be willing to ask for help and seek it from others—the right people to guide us—so that we can recover and progress instead of staying stagnant and never growing. This is called just merely existing; you’re not truly living.  

I have learned that making healthy and stable choices in my life, and learning to self-care, have been crucial for my personal development.  

My advice to people who are struggling is this: chase after the positive and run far from any negatives. Surrounding ourselves with winners will make all the difference in our lives.  

If you hang around five millionaires you will probably be the sixth one, and if you hang around five broke people you will probably be the sixth one. It truly is the law of attraction at work.  



Seeking help from professional counsellors and/or social workers, etc., does not mean we are weak, it actually shows a sign of strength and courage when we reach out for help because we are recognizing that we cannot do it alone and need outside guidance.  

If we are ready to be taught, the teacher will show up.  

“When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change!” —Author unknown 

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