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In his contribution to The Globe’s First Person series, Jack Altman eloquently shares his struggle with mental health. Today’s comments were all selected from his piece, I’ve learned to live with my mental illness, for the openness and kindness expressed by their authors.

Jack, thank you for sharing your heart. As a teenager I worked at Concordia University in Montreal while battling mental illness in the latter part of the 70′s. I moved to Vancouver with my parents shortly thereafter and my battle still continues with mental health issues even though I am now in my 60′s. Thank you for sharing and encouraging me in your own way. That is a gift to people like us who suffer from mental illness. You have also encouraged me to continue writing. I have kept a diary since I was 15 years old. I stopped writing, but I need to continue on as you have inspired me. - Ann-Marie Regis

I read this with great interest. I admire your courage and hope that you continue to write. I also admire your discipline and determination. You have inspired me to write something for this column. Thank you and I wish you well on your journey. - J.Charles

Jack, I feel like I could talk with you about so, so many things. Keep writing, keep telling your story. I found your perspective on the relationship with oneself something I’d never put my finger on before. I have some ideas that closely match what you say about changing yourself, or your world, but you gave me words, sentences and phrases that I’m looking forward to tossing around and really thinking about. Thank you so much. If you do have a blog, or are thinking about starting one, even if it’s only intermittent posting, it’s clear from other comments that people are inspired by you. I hope for the best for you. PS: Your retreat to the bathroom because of dizziness from large social gatherings? Oh, do I know what you mean! I learned to arrive late and leave early to mitigate that sense of “too much”. Too many people, too much noise! That sudden overwhelming feeling...crikey....XoL - VancouverLindsay

Jack, you are an incredibly gifted writer and share your journey in a powerful way. If you don’t already do so may I encourage you to consider writing a blog....you will be able to touch and encourage many people. May you be blessed in many unexpected ways and find a sense of peace unique to you in the days and months and years ahead. - JenniferParr

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