Category Archives: Nonfiction – Through The Cracks

Mental Health and Addiction – From the Outside Looking In

A young woman with a dark past enters my life, creating emotional tornadoes and spiritual realizations. The struggles of mental illness and a drug habit never hit so close to home.

Through The Cracks – Chapter One

“The sprouts of justice and mercy are always struggling
to grow through the cracks.”
Muhammad Yunus


Sitting in the cab of my Jeep with the heat blasting from the vents, I closed my cell phone after confirming her address. I resisted the urge to light up a cigar, not wanting to stink up the cab, as I waited nervously outside her home. I wanted to meet her at the door. It was a big night for me; a milestone, of sorts. It had been too many years since my previous actual date. I involuntarily live the life of a monk, but my most obvious discrepancy is my not-so-piousness. I don’t consider myself lonely, just comfortably alone. Continue reading Through The Cracks – Chapter One


Through The Cracks – Chapter Two

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The world that I pushed away, the part where people were wronged and nothing could be done about it, had ransacked Garnette’s first Christmas dinner. Holding her strong to console her, I sensed that I was about to face some very harsh truths. That night had an impact on my life beyond anything I could possibly imagine. These children lived on the fringes of life, a thought that stole the show of my mental stage. It clicked in me that I needed to protect society’s innocents. It wasn’t enough to act on it, but I was aware. Continue reading Through The Cracks – Chapter Two

Through the Cracks – Chapter Three

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Before all this started, I had a pretty short fuse. In fact, my freak-outs were legendary, especially amongst the unfortunate witnesses/passengers of my infamous road-trip rage-out on the Vancouver freeway. A word to the wise: never lip off semi-trucks or any vehicle that is bigger than yours. The week following Carrie’s going away party, I lost it. Continue reading Through the Cracks – Chapter Three

Through The Cracks – Chapter Four

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My first revelation was an eye opener: You can’t change other people, you can only change yourself. My attitude had to change, which was no simple feat. I had to pay attention to my words, body language, facial expressions, and especially my tone of voice. My temper was Garnette’s worst trigger, and it was best to avoid setting off those opportunities at all cost. Continue reading Through The Cracks – Chapter Four

Through the Cracks – Chapter Five

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Ten years in the battle trenches of bachelorhood can scar your mentality. Over those single years, my home became like a half-way house for some, for others a through-point for their neverending travels. With each addition, my home’s social scale required re-juggling and the house rules discussed. With Garnette there, an entirely different scale of change took over. Continue reading Through the Cracks – Chapter Five

Through the Cracks – Chapter Six


After the night out with Big Bertha, Garnette cleaned up her act. She started going to church and attending her Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings again. I started to see the return of the balanced Garnette. As before, she could brighten up a room with her lively chatter and quick wit. We were happy. Continue reading Through the Cracks – Chapter Six

Through the Cracks – Chapter Seven

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April arrived and our job at Big White was finally complete. Surprisingly, I was assigned my own crew to build a garage out June Springs, up in the hills just outside the city limits. I didn’t miss the hour-long winter drives to and from Big White each day, but these upward curves didn’t do much to shorten my morning commute. Continue reading Through the Cracks – Chapter Seven

Through the Cracks – Chapter Eight

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I always felt like I had to be a stoic individual and show no weakness. Society promotes this masculine façade, hardening men to face life’s confrontations and repress their grief. Of course, women can be just as strong. When I let this guard down, I realized how my mother’s death affected me. I thought that I’d moved on and dealt with the issue. I was deluded. Continue reading Through the Cracks – Chapter Eight

Through the Cracks – Chapter Nine


School ended in June, six months into our relationship. We had the downstairs rooms prepared for when Alex and Brook were to stay overnight. We started with Saturdays, visits which were to eventually expand into full-time home care by September. Garnette started out attentive and helpful with, yet fairly authoritative, with the children. But by mid-June, as we started getting a handle on things, Lindsay dropped another bomb. Continue reading Through the Cracks – Chapter Nine