Acceptance, A Bitter Pill to Swallow

What happens when you are forced to re-evaluate your life, and one realizes that the life you had been living is no more? And all those parts of life, that make you, who you are, no longer apply?

When I “Came Out,” I came out into a world that was segregated, to itself. There was a particular door, I needed to walk through, and there was only one location, where that door existed, according to the man who told me this piece of information.

For the whole of my life, I consumed every piece of reading material that I could find, in the home I lived in. Reading material that I found titillating and erotic. I knew, I was Gay, before I knew what Gay was, because the media I consumed, via radio and print, was specific.

I had an idea of the life I wanted, because it was fantastical. It was, a Fantasy.
A Fantasy that would never materialize. Never …

If you are gay, sex is part of who you are. it is what we do. It is how we express love and attraction. If you were gay, then you were sexual. That was a given. And in my twenties, I was pretty, desirable, sexual. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that there was only one way into the Gay Community.

That One Way, was through a bar. A location where like minds drank and socialized.

I was told, to go to a particular bar, Uncle Charlies. A bar I knew well, later on in my story. But I went to this bar, parked my car, and set my resolve that I was going to go inside and have a couple of drinks, because I was told, that IF I DRANK, fireworks would happen.

For a decade I did that. I would go to a bar, and I would drink, and eventually, fireworks would happen. I knew, that if I showed up, people would notice me, and notice me they did.

I made numerous mistakes. I met all the wrong people. And I did stupid things, when I drank. I was a tornado in the lives of people. I became a selfish liar.

Now I know, I was sold a delusional bill of goods. Being gay, for me, was a selfish lifestyle. But it was all that I knew. because for the time being it worked for me, until it stopped working.

I never knew where I was going to end up, once I started drinking. What house I would end up in, or in who’s bed. That drinking charade lasted, until one morning at 7 a.m. I was sitting in a bar in Fort Lauderdale, and I entered into an agreement, an alcoholic agreement.

That one sexual event, was the event that changed my life. I took me a very long time, to realize that on that morning, the Proverbial Bullet was shot. And evidently, I was the target, I did not know I was the target, but in the end, it was Me who Lost.

Meanwhile, James was on his way out of this life. I had separated and began to figure out what I was going to do after falling for a serial liar and cheater. He would eventually commit suicide. I would find him five days too late.

Up till now, the fantasy life I had imagined, had yet to materialize.

One night, I decided to go to the Old Stud. A kid in jeans and t-shirt, walking into a rough and tumble leather bar. I knew, it was trouble I was looking for. I went there on purpose.

That was the night that Todd stepped out of heaven and wrecked my world.

He knew, why I was standing in his bar, with a drink in my hand. His first impression took me by surprise, but it was love at first strike.

And you know, that fantasy life I so wanted, died that night.

Todd saw fit to never allow me to entertain my darkest fantasies. Ever. He knew the trouble I sought, and in ensuing years, after I got sick, and sex all but dried up forever, he knew the trouble makers out there, and he knew that if I went there, there would be even more trouble for me. Trouble that I would never survive.

And survival was the thrust of our relationship, Todd and I. He worked very hard at making sure I lived, when everybody else died, slowly, miserably and addicted.

I got sober. Because I was dying of AIDS.

I turned my will and my life over to the care of Todd:read:God, on a nightly basis. I learned Step Three on a nightly basis. Getting sober, came in a distant second to surviving AIDS in the 1990’s.

I did stay sober. I never had sex again. I did try, but men are evil. That was a bitter lesson.

How was I going to survive as a gay man, and never have sex again? I had no idea, but as long as I had something to do, to stay out of my head, and work, I did not have time to think about sex.

When Todd moved away, and I relocated to Miami for a doctor, AA, did not welcome me. It was just the opposite. AA told me to go away and never return.

That was sick, evil, and could have killed me in the end.

When they told me to go away, my ego and my selfish pursuits rose in my throat. It consumed me, and the next decision I made, SOBER, was to pursue sex.

I pulled a geographic in sobriety. 1000 miles away. For SEX. Point. Stop.

I did not find it. However I found more addiction, drugs, and alcohol. I did not only drink, I used drugs. Until I hit the moment that the cops showed up and took me away, and sent me to a rehab house in another state to dry out and sober up.

I was there for a month.

The life I lived in the past, the life I knew, was used against me, and I almost lost my life, in the selfish pursuit I was on. You cannot have sex, with an individual who is addicted and mentally unstable. You don’t know what you don’t know, and I did not know the state of the man I was after, before I got there. it was plainly, a total surprise.

A month later, I returned to Miami. On a bus, across the United States.

I was still drinking, thankfully, I never touched another drug.

9-11 happened. And that stopped the taps for a couple of weeks.

But once we started drinking again, it only got worse. I knew I could not drink every day, so I chose to binge on Saturday nights.

At age 34 … I had pissed away four years of sobriety and was on the end of my eighteen month slip.

I would go to Salvation, a nightclub in a big hall, with big sound, and Pretty Men.

I knew the drill. Arrive at 11 p.m. wait till midnight, when the main hall opened, start drinking. At 1 a.m. the bells would ring, and the liquid nitrogen was dropped on the club, wherein men of all stripes would strip their shirts and get down to business.

I figured that if I drank, someone would notice, and sex would happen.

I did drink, until I fell down.
Somebody noticed; and got me from the club into my bed, across several weeks,
Sex never happened.

I prayed to God for the Solution. The solution came.

Troy took me to my next First Meeting, at SOBE. December 2001.

I got sober, and have been sober ever since.almost eighteen years in December.

11 months into Sobriety, I met my now husband. In short order, we dated for a month, I moved into this apartment over Christmas 2002, and I never left.

I became a Canadian Citizen on February 13th, 2003.

For a short while, before mental illness took the man I met away from me, we had sex a handful of times. As of that date, we’ve never had sex, ever again. Bi-polar medication does things to ones brain, when medicine is pounded for a year, without fail, until the correct mixture was found.

What was a sex life, became non-existent. We don’t talk about it, and we don’t have sex, it is not at the top of either of our personal lists.

Cue to April 1st, 2019.

I have the third prophetic dream and in that dream, Chastity becomes a solution. I knew, that if I did not act on this dream, I would be making a mistake. Ignoring God a third time, would end up, a wall falling down on top of me, because I ignored Him three times.

I was not going to ignore Him a third time.

It took me six months of selfish wrangling about my sex life, to finally turn it all over, and accept that I am not a sexual being any longer. I am not having sex, with anyone, because I’d never cheat on my husband. So masturbation was the constant.

A constant that had to come to an end. And I had to be ok with that.

Like I said, it took me six months to ACCEPT this little truth about myself. But Accept I did, without reservation. I turned this last portion of an old selfish idea of myself over to God, as I understand Him.

Acceptance keeps coming up in meetings, and several times over the past few months, I’ve had to eat this word, bitterly. Acceptance IS a Bitter Pill to swallow, when one realizes that the person you thought you were, when this journey began in my twenties, no longer exists. This is who I am today.

I want to rid myself of character defects and shortcomings.

Being Selfish is an old idea I really need to shed, today, and not tomorrow.

I need to believe that God has my back. No matter how hard I trust God, I still second guess Him, to my own peril.

Let’s just say that I am openly admitting my selfishness, and how ugly it is, and that I cannot abide in God and retain selfish motives or needs.

Giving up of myself totally and without reservation has to be the final Godly order.

I know what is right. I just need to believe that I can do the right thing, even if I do not want to do the right thing, because the right thing, takes away the final part of what makes me a gay man, and what will I be when I take away everything that made me who I was when I came out of the closet all those years ago ?

I have no idea. But I am on the way to finding out.

My best friend and I are participating in Locktober.

Change is coming. As long as we can see the truth.

I Can’t Save Every Kid !!!

I’m terribly upset tonight. I don’t know what to do now. I’m angry. The beginners group I had my meltdown at a couple weeks ago, failed another kid.

There is a young boy. A Hard Core drug addict. He is always by himself, though he shows up, weekly. I didn’t see him the last time I was there. Because I took my leave immediately after said meeting.

I don’t have a drug story. I did not use hard drugs, so I Cannot say those words:
I know how you feel, let me tell you how I dealt with that …

This young man, when he goes down the rabbit hole, goes to the bitter end, and usually ends up in the back of an ambulance. He has been in several rehabs, and still, he hasn’t kicked the habit, totally.

Tonight I gave the chip away, and wouldn’t you know it, he got up and took a chip and said that he had a moment a couple nights ago, depressed he said those words: FUCK IT !!

Used, and ended up in the back of another ambulance.At least he showed up and took another chip. Sadly, he was on the cusp of a year clean and sober.

That meeting failed another kid. None of the old timers in that meeting will lift a hand and offer help. They just sit in piety listening to misery and woe.

I can’t save him. I don’t have the experience to make it work. I don’t know if I have it in me to go down that road, knowing what I am dealing with. I know the story, and I don’t have an analog.

Fuck me.

I’m terribly disappointed. This young man is number 15 …

He could have died, again. And nobody has lifted a finger to help him.

I said hello when he walked in, odd that he would show up tonight. He usually doesn’t come to the Thursday meeting. But he was there for a reason. And in the end, it was me that handed him his next beginners chip.

What am I supposed to do now

Addiction is a life and death business. This is not a joke. And people who can help DON’T.

FUUUUCK !

Jardiance – Drug Failure Report

A few months ago, when I started my chastity run, I started having medical issues, that went un-diagnosed until today. I thought, when talking to a couple of “men in the know” who advised that it might just be my problem and to stop. I persisted.

I am on a massive regimen of drugs, both for my HIV and my Diabetes. Both programs must work in concert together. The failure of a drug is not common for me, because I usually tolerate medication without side effects. I really do not focus on the negative, which helps me move forwards every time we begin new medication.

This time, I did not heed the warning that had been in process for almost two months.

Because I do not see my physicians until later this summer, however, I did get medical intervention via phone and fax, and took the two rounds of Fluconazole in late April and early May. The infection was stemmed, but it was not apparent that a particular drug I was taking was failing.

One of the side effects of Jardiance, a Diabetes drug, is genital infections, that, if not addressed quickly, can spin out of control and can cause serious problems, both for MEN and WOMEN.

I’ve been watching the JARDIANCE drug commercial on television here, and they do speak about all the side effects of the drug in the ad.

For some reason, I was paying closer attention to the commercial.

This morning I called the Diabetes clinic and spoke to my nurse assistant who assigns my drugs and has been working with me for many years.

The pain and problems grew over the last 2 weeks, to the point that the pain I was feeling was getting out of hand. We spoke this morning and right away she knew that I had failed the Jardiance. And she said that we would stop the drug immediately. She got me another round of Fluconazole and some creme, that I got at the pharmacy tonight.

It is important to share this information because if you don’t catch a drug failing quickly, that failing drug can cause extensive medical issues for you.

As of tonight, I am off the Jardiance, full stop. I have my Fluconazole that I took earlier and then next time I see my primary care physician at the Diabetes Clinic, we will find a new drug to put in place, because now I am off a drug that not only maintains my A1C and my sugars, and helps my heart health.

I got my new CB-6000 a couple of weeks ago, and I like it much better than the previous chastity incarnation I had, at first chosen. I am unlocked until I finish this drug treatment and my body responds to medical intervention, again.

HIV and Diabetes are critical medical issues, and if you are on certain HIV or Diabetic drugs right now, you need to know that certain side effects can rear their ugly heads and cause you unnecessary medical problems.

So take this as a warning.

Be mindful of whatever is going on IN your body or ON your body. Genital issues, yeast infections can devolve into serious problems that can affect your body, both for MEN and for WOMEN.

BEWARE …

Thursday – HELP

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It is a sad day in the music business today. It is always sad when a trailblazing genius of musical craft, dies. Prince was the ultimate Master of musical craft. There will never be another like him, ever.

It has been an interesting week so far.

I try, every day, to do the right thing, and give the right advice. But it seems that not everybody listened, or is communicating when needed, and with that, some have sunk into a funk, and only when the pain gets too much to bear alone, do they ask for help.

All along, everybody knows what they could do, and should do. The problem is that many forget what it was like before The Work, or past conversations and past experiences, and complacency and laziness take over, or maybe it is just that life takes over, and in the busyness of school, work, families, significant others, they loose sight of what they should be doing to make sure everything else in life works well.

Depression is a bitch. And I know a bit about depression, and other forms of it, because of personal experience here at home, and over the years working with kids with disabilities and functional problems. People are suffering across the board lately, and I do what I can to help them.

If you are sad, or you are in difficulty, or you seem to be in a hole that you can’t find your way out of, there is HELP. You are not alone. There are people out here, who can help you. You just need to reach out and make that call.

Sadly, this past week, we have seen example after example of people, in certain mediums online who have no idea how much some people, and kids suffer on a daily basis with depression and suicidal tendencies. And add insult to injury by shooting their mouths off.

Here at home, In Canada, a First World Country, we have failed thousands of kids, families and entire populations of native, and indigenous people who live in Third World communities, live off grid, in places that are difficult to reach, are not connected to Big City Centers, who have no running water, homes that are falling down around them, and recently rashes of kids committing suicide has reached terrible proportions.

The Attawapiskat community located in Ontario has issued an emergency call for help, because scores of their children are dying at their own hands, this epidemic of youth suicide is a scourge on the face of our First World Country.

Canada is NOT doing enough, we have FAILED to help.

The solution is very simple, but because of bureaucratic red tape, native treaties, and policies that really need to be scrapped all together, we could do right by these communities that have nothing, and need so much and go without every day.

When you can’t have WATER, or HEAT, or HOUSING that is solid, and you can’t afford simple food, because of the jacked up prices they pay for food, THIS is unconscionable.

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what has to happen to guarantee that generations of kids stay alive. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that if we don’t connect the lost to communities that can help, more kids are going to die.

I don’t know what else to tell my folks, to get them back on the bus and reengage in their sobrieties.

We spent an hour tonight talking about relapses, and slipping, and staying sober in the long term, because one of our number is stuck in that proverbial door of do I keep the pot on the living room table, do I smoke it, or do I flush it?

We all offered to get rid of it for her, and she said no.

At some point we all made that choice that we wanted to get clean and sober and were willing to do anything to get there. Sadly, some seem to not take addiction as serious as their fellows, and have begun to use again.

I don’t know what to do now, but be present and available when my phone rings.

So much sadness in the country that has so much to offer.

Nobody is immune. Get on board the bus, and listen.

 

 

Saturday – Triggers

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It is written, in The Book, that:

At some point, the only thing that will stand between you and a “Drink/Drug” will be your Higher Power …

Because I straddle the lines between fellowships, I can speak to both arenas, with clarity.

The Saturday meeting, is usually sparse in attendance. But we sat a small group.

It seems, that even in sobriety/clean time, nobody is immune to the occasional mind fuck that takes us by surprise, when we least expect it.

When the weather gets good, and terraces are open, folks congregate on sidewalks, and they drink/drug and shoot the breeze. And I can tell you that, within 50 feet of where ever you are, in Montreal, someone is “smoking up.”

The Tams opened up a couple of weeks ago. This is an institution here in the city. At the foot of Mount Royal sits a park with a huge statue and obelisk. On Sunday afternoons, people congregate for “The Tams,” (read:Drums).

I enjoy this Sunday event. I hit the Mount Royal Metro and walk up to the park, at the foot of the mountain, I participate in the frivolity and drumming. Law enforcement usually tends to stay away, even though folks smoke up and play their drums and dance.

This came up in conversation on the way home tonight.

After a while, one tires of the drums, and so we take to the trail, and climb the mountain up to the Chalet House at the top. It is an afternoon event. When it is nice outside, one makes use of every hour of sunlight and warmth.

I went through the leftover topics from Thursday night, because the chair could not stay, so that left me to chair the meeting. A friend showed up and the topic I had picked came up in conversation before the meeting, so I went with it, which lent to the hour’s conversation that took on a life of its own.

The day I reach my geographic endpoint, I was given a choice between a joint and a beer. It wasn’t a trigger moment, It was a what do I do first moment.

When I put down the drugs finally, in my rehab house, a month into clean time, a friend offered me a joint, which I calmly declined. I never touched pot again.

When I moved back to Miami, it really wasn’t an issue. The drink was an issue still.

I lived alone, and had few friends, so triggers were almost non existent.

When I moved here, clean and sober, I was warned about certain facts.

Only twice, in early sobriety, was I hit with serious triggers, that were substantial.

One was on Jean Baptiste Day, the first summer, I was sitting on the pier at the Old Port, and folks were double fisting beer, I had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Along with quitting drugs/alcohol/AND cigarettes, I was attempting impossibility.

They say quitting smoking is as bad as quitting heroine.

A few months in, like I said, I was at the Old Port, in a celebratory, atmosphere, and watching folks drink and drug around me, I got thirsty and I wanted to smoke.

I was told that if I had a choice between a drink/drug or a cigarette, that the cigarette was the lesser of the evils.

I maintained my sobriety. But I walked off the pier and bought a pack of smokes, and that was that.

When I met hubby, the first job was to cleanse this apartment of the take out containers strewn all over the apartment, to get rid of 300 beer bottles stacked on the balcony, and to rid the apartment of his old drug paraphernalia.

Little by slowly, we returned the beer bottles, and over the next few months, I got rid of the rolling papers, the rolling machines, and left over baggies.

Over the long haul of sobriety, alcohol was something we avoided. But how can you avoid pot, when your neighbors smoke up, they deal in the hallways, and on every corner and alleyway, folks are smoking up outside ?

I don’t often think about smoking pot or drinking. But I dream about both incessantly.

I either drink or drug in my dreams, and I have conversations with the folks who were there, that I never got to speak to, in the end. And that all takes place in my head, when I am sleeping. And usually I wake up with a sick feeling and the residue of those dreams.

Sometimes, and it is often, at the end of a sleep period, I go into a dream, and I see it, smell it and feel it, I know I am dreaming, and sometimes I carry the dream out of dream state into waking up.

This drink/drug dream situation is common among folks getting clean and sober.

Which usually facilitates, a beating ones self up for even considering using, a feeling that we HAD INDEED drugged or drank, then a hurried call to someone close or to our sponsor, and then a tenth step in addition.

The other night, I was coming home, and I passed the alley way next door, and some kids were smoking up, and as I passed them to the building, the thought came …

I JUST WANT ONE HIT …

When was it ever just one hit ?

As quick as it came, the thought left, and I came home.

Some folks who are new to us, have problems with filling drinking/smoking time with something more substantial. Like calling others, or getting out of the house, or even, hitting a meeting or just doing something new.

Problems such as, “Oh, it’s Friday night, I should smoke up.” or “I am feeling down and stressed, let’s smoke up,” or “That exam is done, let’s celebrate, let’s go smoke up.”

Triggers and slipping are very prominent with many folks.

Those of us who came once, went back out, and then returned again, can attest to these things, quite clearly.

Another problem we see these past few years are old timers, going down the drain.

Old timers are one of two people. ONE, they are engaged and going to meetings, and maintaining fellowship and are IN The Work. Or, TWO, they are disconnected, they stop going to meetings and they avoid fellowship, because the young people, and those in the mid range aren’t connecting with them.

Once they disappear, the forgone conclusion is that it is highly likely that they would drink again, or use again, never return, and end up DEAD.

Over the past few months, we’ve seen it time and time again, old timers who just disconnect and end up down the drain.

It is sad, but entirely avoidable.

But I’ve heard from some old timers, how they are lacking in fellowship and are hitting meetings, filled with young people, but the young people don’t connect with them.

So it is falling to those of us in the mid range, to try and help them, by creating connection.

The One Certain Truth about those early first 100, and even Bill W, himself, the connection of one alcoholic and these days, one addict, with another is of prime importance.

The Connection between two suffering souls.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.

I work to keep in contact with the old timers in my social circle, even though I call them and encourage them to return to the fold, many of them are resigned to self isolate and bemoan the fact that they are old and they believe they they are unwanted.

This is also entirely false.

These are some of the things our population is dealing with today.

It all begins with prayer and meditation. Hit those meetings. Find a Home Group, Get Connected, Find a sponsor, and sit down and get right into The Work, right away.

Because these things will save a life, even if they don’t see it now, eventually they will, because they stay clean and sober, in the long haul.

In the end everyone left a little bit stronger, after the discussion we had.

And we even had a five minute meditation, which was new for us.

It was a good evening.