When Is Accommodation A Step Too Far ?

The Literature we read in every meeting, was codified into being when the fellowship began, and the meeting scripts and literature were finely tuned.

Being gay in A.A. has not been pretty. I’ve been told to leave meetings, and not come back, because some alcoholics found me “a human who was not condoned to sit in the same room with them.”

That caused a Slip back into drinking and drugs, that almost killed me.

When I moved to Montreal, that happened a second time, in a meeting in the West End of the city. I never went back to that meeting, and in as many years, I’ve never stepped into a meeting with any of those men and women, to this day.

Back when I first got Sober, there were dedicated GAY meetings. For Gay men. Even so, there were also dedicated meetings for the GAY Women. Over the years, as gay men died, I was and still am the only surviving man living with AIDS on the English side.

Over the years those gay meetings closed, because they could not be populated to sustain a meeting. And in the early years, LGBT men and women began to assimilate into Straight meetings, into general population.

I know, for a fact, that way back when, there were TRANS men and women, in the system. And I made sure I knew who they were, so that if I was present in a meeting, they knew that that meeting was safe to attend, that nobody was going to harm them or disrespect them, so long as I was there.

Many of those TRANS people have disappeared. I’ve not seen many of them in a number of years now. My folks on the spectrum, have more than alcohol in their stories, those making transitions, so forth and so on. Many of them went back out under pressure and never returned.

In the last year, we have seen the LGBT Spectrum widen. More than we had seen in as many years. With the broadening of the sexual orientation spectrum, the terms Gender Neutral or Non-Binary have become stock.

We have a handful of kids in this gender non-binary grouping. Along with the Gay men and women, and TRANS men and women.

The discussion at business meetings and Group Consciences has turned into fighting matches to AMEND our hallowed literature scripts to accommodate everybody in a meeting.

We’ve now reached the point where the words MEN and WOMEN have been removed from the preambles across the city. The word GOD has been removed to Higher Power, for those who do not even deign to say the word God in community.

AA Preamble. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help other to recover from alcoholism.

This is the way the script has been read for over 80 years.

We’ve now amended that script to say “People.” And Not Men and Women.

Tonight … Was a business meeting that got heated and contentious.

At the Group Conscience a couple of weeks ago, the issue of wording came up and the script changed, voted and with a majority of support is what we read right today.

There are two TRANS women in our group. They come tonight to the business meeting because they had a bone to pick, because they are upset the wording was changed with out THEIR approval or discussion.

They did not attend the group conscience meeting, so they did not get the opportunity to be dissenting voices to the changes.

They came tonight and wanted to verbiage to be changed BACK from “People” to “Men and Women, AND People.” Words were spoken, curses were offered as well. The discussion got very heated.

At one point, I put the motion on the table to change the verbiage back to Men and Women and People.

Sadly, our NON-BINARY kids were in the meeting. Those who offered the change to “People” at the meeting.

I put the motion on the table and we voted.

The motion was voted down. So the verbiage remains “People.”

Our two TRANS women left the meeting in tears, because they feel slighted that Men and Women have been removed from the script, and they, as trans women want inclusion as Men and Women stated in the original.

They left, after Myself and my friend Jim spoke to them. I was outside with one of our women, and Jim was inside with the other. We tried to smooth it over and talk openly and honestly.

We both failed at that.

They will come to the next business meeting next month and try again to raise the issue to put it to a vote to change the wording back to

“Men and Women, with the additional People.”

We’ve tried with difficulty to open the meetings to everyone and not single anyone out or intimate that Everyone is not welcome. That sexual orientation and identity are outside issues, and this is a meeting, and we do things one way and one way only.

We’ve been very accommodating to everyone.

But the Non-Binary camp is powerful and they want things the way they want it, and they don’t want to bend and see that the trans community is just as welcome as they are, and that if we are going to amend the literature as they would like, we have to accommodate everyone equally.

This is the issue of the week right now.

I don’t know quite what to do now.

Suggestions are welcome.

Intervention Update

I wanted to write a medical update from the other night. I’ve been off Jardiance for 4 days now. I have 150mg of Fluconazole in my system. They gave me a one pill dosage, instead of the 5 day treatment regimen.

I also have a topical creme that I use at night before bed, it’s a little messy, but it is what it is. I’ve cleared up and my skin condition is getting better by the day, back to the normal state of personal care.

It is vitally important for me to stress that certain side effects of some drugs can cause long lasting problems, if not caught right away. At the beginning I did not attribute the problems I was having to my drug regimen, because, as I said then, I’ve not had major issues come up before so I really did not pay attention, until the problems occurring began to really increase.

People on large drug regimens for their various medical issues, should really know what the flip side of good drugs can be. My issues, those dealing with genital issues are of paramount importance, for both Men and Women. One does not want to allow genital issues to become exacerbated and become painful and problematic.

If genital issues re not caught right away, both men and women can have long lasting issues internally and externally, that might not get resolved, hence, immediate attention to situations that have grown out of control.

I don’t usually pay attention to drug commercials on television, because usually, they show a drug then rattle off all the side effects throughout the commercial, and usually I roll my eyes.

When a drug commercial tells us that death is a possibility when you take said drug, I pay attention. You never know how one is going to react to the myriad of drugs on the market.

It was good that I had seen the Jardiance commercial multiple times, because at one point I was listening well to the side effect list.

And that saved my bacon, so to speak.

I think we need to pay attention to drug commercials if we are taking or pondering taking a new drug. That little 30 second commercial might just save your life.

Buyer Beware …

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 …

Monday – Give Back Unconditionally

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What to do with the new year ? What do I do with myself ? Where am I going with this blog? I’ve been writing here for more than a decade now. Almost 12 years.

Many things have come and gone. If you told me, when I first got sober, this time around, what this life would have looked like, I would have laughed at you.

But I do know this one thing is true … The day I set foot in this apartment we still live in today, I was on my way into a life that I never imagined.

I have friends, gay friends, who love men who lived through AIDS, and are still alive. I have friends who stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park when it came to us.

Those of us who made it out alive.

Let’s just say, that I have seen a great many things over the last twenty-two years of staying alive. I see now, how every human being I knew, played a decisive role in my life that helped me to survive the horrors of a deadly disease.

Our marriage, has been a series of trials and errors. Even before we got married, we were tested through several harsh trials and errors. Practice, I call it, for the vows that we speak when we get married. Practicing non negotiables, and how to get through them.

I have a life. I have an education. I have sobriety. I have a husband. I have good friends. There is money in the bank. We have heat. Food in the fridge. Clothes in the closet.

The world has changed over the last 50 years. Well, almost 50 years for me. I did not follow the cookie cutter cycle of life choices. I took the more, harder, longer, beg, borrow, and cheat path. I thought that if I struck out on my own, on my own capacity that I would finally arrive.

That did not work. I never arrived …

God has a funny sense of humor. He never ceases to amaze me, in what He can do, when I get out-of-the-way. Over the last year, handfuls of people came into, and departed from my life.

I spent SO MUCH TIME investing in communities, and people, who, in the end, did not care one iota, in giving back, or investing in me. Now I see, where my time is best spent.

Friday afternoon I got a phone call from a friend. One I care a great deal for. Who, had to journey on his Odyssey only to return full circle, back where he started.

Drugs and Alcohol are very patient and very cunning.

Even though, over the years, I have watched my friends, and I watched them make not so good choices, and end up in a black hole, after I warned them to NOT DO THAT…

They did it anyway. And did not listen to one word I said. How many people, in the last six months have I seen fuck off and turn their backs on themselves and us ?

Too many to count.

Today, I sat with a friend for the first time in almost a year. He returned from his Odyssey, a little worse for wear, but he is still alive, barely …

This year, I am pulling back my time, talent and treasure. I will not offer those things freely, any longer. I will not put my life on the line for everyone. I have curtailed my meetings. I have set a course to hit meetings, with good people.

I invest in my meetings, and those people who come to those meetings. I have long time friends who know me in each of them. I have a solid bank of people, whom, if I needed them at 3 a.m. I could call any one of them.

I know what circle I will invest my time, talent and treasure.

I have some basic rules that I live by. Values, Morals, and Codes.

I have friends. They exist in concentric circles around me, based on how well I know them, how well I trust them, and what they can give me. This is not a selfish “give me,” but more in the sense of, most of my friends have expertise in one area or another. They do certain work in the community, and we all serve certain purposes in each others lives.

I try, the best way I know how, to give back to my friends. I will never turn my back on a friend. Because that is low down and dirty. You don’t back stab your friends.

I learned a long time ago, from Todd, how to give back. I learned how to care for human beings, on a Macro and a Micro scale. You don’t walk away from people.

Yet, in the past year, how many people walked away from me ??? And how many people, it turned out, were dishonest, and untrue and hateful ? How many times did I have to get my heart-broken in the last year, before I learned the valuable lesson that

NOT EVERYONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT YOU … Even if you wish they had. Not everybody has the capacity to be like us … To give a shit, to bend over backwards to be of service, only to finally see, just how little some people think about us or about our feelings.

Find your passion, DO IT, money will follow …

I used to believe in these words. I thought that, after I finally decided to grow up and do the right thing, and follow the logical life path, of any right-minded human being, that life would pay out financially.

Well, it paid out, just not in the way that mere mortals get/make money.

When People were diagnosed with AIDS, back in the day, to get something out of life, many thousands of people, sold their life insurance policies for cash, while they were still alive. That money did not go very far, when we had to pay out-of-pocket for meds that were not covered by insurance, because there was no insurance to speak of.

I had to practically kill myself, and set myself on death’s door step to get government help. Help that today, pays the rent here. If I did not have that specific help, we would not be where we are today.

Fifteen years ago, I began this journey again. And dammit I was going to make it this time, come hell or high water. Unlike many of my friends, who cannot be bothered to do what they are told, I did everything that I was told to do, and then some…

If Todd taught me one thing, it was Follow The Directions Given …

When I went back to school it was my choice. And I attacked my education with every ounce of energy I had. History has shown us, just how much we pay out in blood, sweat and tears, for a Degree, a Masters, and then a PhD, only to have the doors to the future, slammed in our faces, and all that work goes into the crapper FOREVER.

How many people do I know who did the education route, all the way up the food chain, get university jobs, never make tenure, then get fired because their jobs become obsolete, and they are replaced with Yes men and women, and we got the shaft !!!

Today, young people all over the world ask the eternal question, Should I go to University, and if I do, where is that going to take me ? Those answers are not so set in stone any longer.

People are trying to find their way into life, marriage, kids, a house and a mortgage, and a job that will pay the bills. And how many people, world-wide, work 9 to 5 jobs, making barely enough to pay the bills, and have money left over to buy food for their families ?

Jobs that just pay the bills, a cubicle job, that holds no passion or upward mobility. Jobs where people just punch a clock for that meager paycheck.

So many are starving for a life, that is more than just punching a clock. Money makes the world go round, and following your passion, will not necessarily put food on the table.

You’d need a really good gig, (read: Your passion) that would make enough money to make it profitable and workable. But the world, based on money, is never kind to those who would turn their noses up to a 9 to 5 gig.

There is so much inequality here when it comes to financial stability. Do you know that there are populations of people, here in First World Canada, that cannot take care of their families needs because they are paying out 150% of their pay into bills. People are going without heat and safety, because they have to choose between buying food to feed their kids, and paying out a shit ton of money for Hydro (Read: Electricity).

There are the very rich. There are the middle rich. There is the middle class. There are those who can barely make it from paycheck to paycheck. Then there are those who live in First World Canada, who live in Third World Conditions, the disparity is glaring …

The disparity between those who have, and those who have not is getting closer together.And the disparity between First World Canada, and Third World Canada is horribly wide.

I believe that if we as a nation, took all the money we spend elsewhere, giving to every charity known to man, and giving hand over fist, millions of dollars in aid to others, and for natural disasters, if we spent that money in building a better Canada, the disparities would vanish. Communities would be built, and the nations would come together and nobody would go without basic means for survival.

I’ve learned, in all the years, that I have lived in Canada, is that, yes, life is better than I would have ever imagined it would be, knowing how poor an existence I was living in the United States.

  • Life is very different here.
  • Truth is very different here.
  • I am very different here.

Canada has its issues. Just like any other country around the world. But we don’t have half the problems you do, South of the Border.

Let me tell you …

I have a lot to say about the ILLEGITIMATE man taking office on Friday.

Nobody wants to hear what I have to say on that matter though. But I will say this:

All those people, who believe in their bibles and theology, and nothing else, those of you who voted in HUGE numbers for a man who is incapable of being president, are in for a huge rude awakening.

Pandora’s Box is open. And the Monster is approaching. And mark my words,

Those who think they know God and speak for God, will very soon, come to the realization that they made a huge mistake, and they will call out the name of God.

And God will turn around and say to them …

YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME, BUT YOU DON’T …