In a recent email exchange with a certain family member about mental health (ok, my mental health), it didn’t take long before finding myself in familiar and somewhat frustrating territory.

With feeble attempts to illustrate how clinical depression is so much more than just “having the blues”, I Googled articles on the subject, forwarding anything I could find that would help explain my brain.

After a few minutes, I receive the inevitable reply thanking me for sending the information, in assurance they understand a bit more. But the amount of truth to their statement is directly proportional to just how much I believe it.

This hamster wheel of grasping for vindication (for my thoughts and behaviors when treading the waters of despair) exhausts me – yet again – and I’m left alone to shut my computer down and accept the facts when it comes to mental illness: some people will never get it. And who can blame them? It’s my crazy-coated DNA, and I barely understand it myself.

But just because the people in our lives are unable to fully grasp why we can’t get out of bed (or take a shower, do the dishes, take the garbage out, or do laundry for days on end), doesn’t mean they love us any less. And to be clear, when we are in the throes of this utter darkness, it’s not that we physically can’t do those things – it’s that we won’t. We’ve lost the ability to

Christine Macdonald

Parents: would you do this?

A letter written from a father to his son. 

If only all parents would be this way.

Would you?


I overheard your phone conversation with Mike last night about your plans to come out to me. The only thing I need you to plan is to bring home OJ and bread after class. We are out, like you now. I’ve known you were gay since you were six, I’ve loved you since you were born.

– Dad


Christine Macdonald

Pants on Fire

I’m a liar. There. I said it. Feels good to say it out loud. Although, not much of a surprise, considering I’m a [recovering] drug addict. A drug addict saying they’re lying, is like the Ocean saying it’s salty. It just comes with the territory.

I don’t remember where I first heard the saying, “How do you know when an addict is lying? Their lips are moving”, but it sure did hit home, under the covers of shame, and behind the mask of denial and reckless abandon, where I was having such fun living – for so many years.

When I was in third grade, I walked up to my sister after school and announced, very proudly, I was going to go steal, asking her if she’d like to join the fun.

“What? You shouldn’t do that. That’s wrong.”

I know, it’s so exciting 

“So, no then?” I dismissed her warning, and wanted an answer. I wasn’t keen on the fact she turned down my awesome

Christine Macdonald