St. Elmos Crier

I just finished watching St. Elmo’s Fire. It’s been twenty years since I saw it last and boy, what a difference the decades make.

I always loved this movie because I was attracted to the tightness of the friendships. I also identified to Demi Moore’s character “Jewels”.  Back then, I thought she was the fun one. Tonight, I saw her as much more than the party gal. I saw myself in exactly the same way. It hit me by surprise and delivered much introspection.

All the signs of addiction, depression and mental instability were wrapped up in Moore’s husky voice, fire engine red hair and black lace tights. I loved the Billy Idol mural in her apartment and those hot pink walls were awesome. I started to cry a little during the scene where she locked herself in the apartment and sat on the ground shivering. I’ve totally done that.

It’s amazing how some old movie from your 20’s can make you appreciate how far you’ve come in your 40’s. Some movies just stick.

So tell me, what movie from your childhood (or 20’s) sticks with you?

Christine Macdonald

Universal, Part II

Most people think it’s just the addicts who get lost in their own web. As a follow-up to my recent post about seeking validation, here’s another excerpt from my forthcoming book that may shift your perception.

Or not.

Document4

CoverIt’s true that addicts have a brain disease. That’s why our actions are so insane when we aren’t in some type of recovery. I’m not a 12-stepper myself (and carry no judgment with people who are), but I’m taking the steps to recognize my shit, and am trying my best to stay on a healthy track.

You may or may not have the disease of addiction. But isn’t it true we all – at some point in our lives – have tried to mask our pain with something?

It used to really piss me off that I was different. That I couldn’t just party like everyone else. Sometimes it still does.

But the more I work on my book, the easier it is to see, we’re not that different, all of us. None of us are immune to the longing of laughter, and a desire to evolve with whole and happy hearts.

It just takes some of us longer to get there.

* * *

Here’s the part where you tell me: addict or not – what have you done to mask your pain? Please share in the comments below. As always, being anonymous is an option. Your words may just help someone. At the very least, it helps us all realize we are not alone.

With love and gratitude,

Christine Macdonald

A safe kind of high: My unexpected relapse

You would think after fifteen years, my memories of “rolling” and free-falling inside myself would be strung together on a distant, blurry line, for which I am older and wiser living clear on the other side. For the most part, this is true.

I can’t remember my last night taking Molly (we called it ecstasy, or “X”), but it’s been so long, my cravings are nearly non-existent. There are times when I allow myself to enjoy a memory or two – and those flashes in my mind are always wrapped in a glittery bow of reckless abandon, stitched together with youth and frivolity. These warm and fuzzy emotions are always balanced by the harsh realization that thanks to a solid five-year, six-pill-a-day habit, my brain is now permanently damaged. My docs and I have a good thing going now, with regular maintenance of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) therapy. It’s a pain in the

Christine Macdonald