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.


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

The Customer is Always Trite

Customers of strip clubs are like used cars in auto malls – there’s always a variety of inventory, and each wishes you would ride them.

The majority of this hodgepodge of horny were harmless, lonely men. Not surprisingly, I describe my old stripper-self the exact same way. Perhaps both ends of the stage simply wanted an escape. Always making for an interesting adventure, the different characters in the audience would never disappoint. Allow me to paint you a picture of just a few.

The College Guy

This type of customer was a classic example of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. On second thought, they were more like boys in men’s clothing. At first glance, I’d think he’s young and clean-cut, so I would rest easy working my way up to them on the stage. Once positioned and face-to-face with the darlin’ scholars, I’d smile, dance a little, and lift my garter for them to place a tip. More often than not, College Guy smiled, kept staring at my ta-tas, but made no attempt to fetch their wallet. At this moment any stripper realizes, College Guy is a euphemism for Poor Guy – not to be confused with Cheap Guy, who is much lower on the stripper-tolerant scale.

If College Guy really liked you, (and you had patience) you could get a dollar bill from him after about four songs (that’s about 20 minutes, people). It was a lot of work for a buck, but you had to respect a guy for squeezing in mid-terms with strip-bars, not to mention fitting in a stripper tip on a Raman noodle budget.

Drug Dealer Dude

Steadfastly calm and rarely perched directly under the lights on the stage, Drug Dealer Dude was a subtle and loyal fixture within the walls of stripper debauchery. Although neatly tucked in the shadows, spotting them in the club was never hard. Drug Dealer Dudes were usually surrounded by a bevy of beauties donning not much more than a g-string and smile. Count me in as one of the gals in line to schmooze for some mind-altering merchandise.

In 1990’s Waikiki, the hot substances in the skin trade were cocaine and MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine), commonly known as Ecstasy, “E” or “X” (now, called “Molly”). Occasionally you’d smell pot back stage, but the real action was in pills and powder.

Always the consummate salesmen, Drug Dealer Dudes were a blast to hang out with, but not

Christine Macdonald