Wednesday, September 29, 2010

disturbing behavior

i got a call yesterday from a guy whom i used to work with. i had helped get a program called "mile high meth project" going- had done a lot of research, checked out programs in other cities, campaigned for funding with the ryan white fund aficionados and had delivered an evidence based curriculum for gay men and a funded 3 year grant. it had been work, but mostly fun because that's how i roll. anyway this guy came into the picture after being released from employment at a boulder case management agency and came on board with our programs. he he infused himself with stealth into our team and began to smoothly accept credit for work he hadn't done. it irritated me a bit and i still haven't  forgotten- but that's later on. soon after he arrived,  i was released from service from that agency after some protracted intrigue and planned deception. you can read about a bit here at my former blog..

so when he called today, i felt a rush go through my system. it was one of those moments i had quietly been coveting for a few years- a possible opportunity to right some old wrongs and get some vengeance. i returned the call and spoke with the now mad hatter. he has recently been released from service from this same agency and has concocted a scheme to bring a suit against the organization, perhaps to right his own wrong- or perhaps to fix a plate of steaming hot revenge. he relayed his 4 pointed plan and i realized that here within my reach was something i had fantasized about these years and it was completely vulgar and distasteful. i quickly wondered how i got to this point, but immediately knew that i had created this window. now all i have to do is find a way to board it up.

thank god for my inability to take action sometimes. it saves me from myself... i don't always really want what i dream about. not at all. not even a little. .

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

six on fire

"God, help me to go from where I am, to where I need to be, for who I am."

this september proves to be very much like many others. the weather is spectacular and the newness of my current position still gives me a smile in my heart. i spent this last weekend surrounded by beauty and yet i stepped into an emotional land mine- something that i realize is very much a part of my personal history. it has consisted of a long series of unexpected and unsettling reminders that i am not safe in this world.

crazy beautiful- these septembers. i love them madly and they are a mulligatawny of emotion too. beyond school starting at this time of year, and the end of summer (end of days as it were) it is also now the anniversary another one of the most tumultuous times of my adult life. six years ago today i found myself sitting in the deepest hole i can remember. i had lied (again) and cheated a friend (again), but the most inescapable aspect was that i didn't care. i had painted myself into a corner and the jengo sculpture was gonna collapse. i always like to compare it to the image of a kite caught in a tree. kites are designed specifically to fly and here is this kite twisting and turning unable to do what it is engineered to do. that's is how i felt.

so maybe september is about repurposing for me. reinvention and rebuilding.

so here i find myself still in the thick of that september re-working process that i started on 6 years ago today. i decided that my aod use was not working in my favor and i needed to try another tactic. with so few options or visible examples, i decided to go to a 12-step meeting. i had been enrolled in treatment at a small cllinic. i can't say it was effective, but i can't say it was not either. treatment was so annoying to me that i was determined not to come back.

how ironic that 6 years later, i am working as a counselor and trying to live a life as a recovery advocate. i try to do my best every day, but fall short on so many of them. i care about others, i tell the truth, i run from conflict, i don't have to win. these things make me crazy(er) sometimes, but i can't think of another way.

so i wake up with 6 years sober this morning. i have come a long way and have such a long way to go. the road gets less traumatic, and the hope i hold for good things to come grows. i have many many many people to thank for my sanity, but i especially want to thank my sponsor, my friends, and my family as these particular people have supported me and highlighted both my strengths  and my shortcomings which have helped me to continue growth.

Lay where you're laying
Don't make a sound
I know they're watching
They're watching

All the commotion
the kiddie like play
Has people talking

Saturday, September 25, 2010

notes from the equinox

Autumnal Equinox Special Nonetheless
The length of day and night may not be equal on the equinox, but that doesn't make the first day of fall any less special.
(Related blog: "Saturn Equinox Arrives.")
The spring and autumnal equinoxes, for starters, are the only two times during the year when the sun rises due east and sets due west, according to MacRobert.
The autumnal equinox and vernal—or spring—equinox are also the only days of the year when a person standing on the Equator can see the sun passing directly overhead.
On the Northern Hemisphere's autumnal equinox day, a person at the North Pole would see the sun skimming across the horizon, signaling the start of six months of darkness.
On the same day, a person at the South Pole would also see the sun skim the horizon, beginning six months of uninterrupted daylight.... from

the thing about autumn in colorado is that it comes a couple of weeks earlier than the rest of the nation. because of the altitude, the aspens are already changing color and will probably be done by the beginning of october. native coloradans always make their fall treks to the hills in september because that' when nature's paintbursh is in high tide.
on the drive up highway 40 on thursday evening, i almost cried as the sunset was so amazing as i was about to enter winter park. a distinct yet pale pink orange sky was the backdrop for the gold and rust hues of the aspen leaves that speckled the hills on the westward drive.  as is usually the case, words can't seem to even echo nature's wonder.

grand lake is a beautiful setting. we are staying at shadowcliff lodge which overlooks grand lake and and pays homage to shadow mountain. there are 14 of us here this year. i know about half and not quite sure where the other half hail from. i keep forgetting that denver is a larger city than i think it is. not huge, but humbling none-the-less, because i certainly don't know everyone. i have been taking photos of texture and color this time around. i don't consider myself a photographer at all, but i want to extend my activities and put more of myself on here. i actually love photography and have been hijacking photos found on gayya kuyusu.  the soul who shephards that blog has an incredible eye and a vast outreach. i am consistently amazed at the images i see.  but mine do not and most likely will not measure up to the offerings there. taking photographs is an art and i am not even in the infancy.

autumn is always a powerful time for my heart. i have come to realize that major changes happen in me at this time of the year. it's as if some hard shell on my exterior cracks and out from the inside comes the beginning of a stronger creature. i feel as if my heart is opening to a level i have never really known. i am allowing myself to feel anger when i used to deny it. and in this allowing comes a grace i never knew existed. because the receding of anger brings with it a calm and a release. something that stifling that feeling never revealed. and just as the tide uncovers new patterns and artifacts left on the sand as it rolls back to its ocean home, so does the absence of anger reveal so much in its wake. this is a true gift for me this september.

i don't remember if i mentioned watching irina bettencourt on oprah this week. she had been held captive in the mountains of ecuador for 6 1/2 years, but managed to stay alive. the interview was compelling to me as she didn't come across angry or bitter, even after all her trials and tribulations. she somehow had gotten to a place of acceptance and forgiveness. some of her fellow captives had even done interviews vehemently claiming that she was the worst person on the earth and yet she was blanketed in kindness and warmth. for me, it was remarkable and inspirational. i believe that i want to live in this light. many miles left to travel, but i know there is a direction in which to go. gratitude, peace, love, and light.

i have finished the autumn issue of the TEN newsletter. You can read it on the "On The Ten" blog. Each edition seems to evolve and even get perhaps more grown up- definitely  more inclusive. i do find myself feeling pride with regard to how far it has come in the last 3 years. if you are interested, you can see the history of the issues at OnTheTen 
a friend from work burned a copy of the new santana cd "guitar heaven" for me. i love, love, love it.. this is definitely one of the standouts for me.... high school, led zeppelin, and head banging... baby...

Friday, September 24, 2010

one thing i've learned while away at camp

just when i thought i had giggled at it all... maybe it's the altitude, but i think this is hilarious!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

bang a gong

i am starting today's post with this pic of dot marie-jones who plays coach beiste on glee. i absolutely love the complete taboo that surrounds her character in that show. a very butch-ish female football coach for a teenage boy's program. i know that as i watched the premier i tingled the first moments she was on screen. part of me wanted to laugh, part of me was completely intrigued, and i think there was a little fear that was mustered too. i can't wait to see more of the beiste... bang a gong..

i have always identified with the oddball and the underdog. from a very young age, i felt extremely different and less-than somehow. of course, almost a half-century later, i understand there is not the chasm i then felt between myself and the rest of my peers, but knowing something does not change the feelings that germinated in grammar school. those feelings remain still, although much diluted, and crop up now and again to cloud my judgement or light my way.... still a freak... get it on.

i am headed to grand lake for the weekend. staying at the shadowcliff lodge, we are just kinda hanging out. there should be about 12 of us. some will go to dinner tonight- i get in too late for that- and some will go to rocky mountain repertory theatre tomorrow to see "always patsy cline". i am hoping to read a little, be a little lazy, and have some laughs...... get outa dodge.... bang a gong.

the autumn 2010 issue of the newsletter is in its final drafting process. dwarf mountain has recently started to do the layout and the editing for me and i am very happy with the process thus far. maybe i'm lazy, but i try to stick to the things i can excel with in order to keep my spirits high. if i were to delve into the graphic realm, i may very well get stuck in ocd perfectionism.... almost done.... get it on.

i made pear and raspberry crumble yesterday. it is very thick- 3-4 inches- and probably has too much brown sugar. i will take to work today, but i doubt somehow that people will complain much about too much sugar. something tells me that most folks enable that sort of behavior..... brown sugar.... bang a gong.

i must read robert breining's post at positive lite and once again find it remarkable that so many gay men who are positive have histories with meth. it may just be that ex-tweakers jump out at me, or that there is a real cultural aspect to all this and it is far from over. it seems that many of the comrades i have encounter online have very similar stories and that they are all working in very "positive" directions now. (double entendre intended). it's as if the meth use and subsequent drama has fueled an introspection and re-evaluation of purpose.... angels of mercy... are you a good witch or a bad witch?... get it on.. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

i have silently said goodbye to at least 15 acquaintances this year. most of them have been due to the lack of self care, much of which somehow accompanies having an hiv infection, being a gay man, or carrying around some dark childhood trauma that one can't seem to shake.

of course, this could just be a personal projection and not based in truth, but somehow i am inclined to believe it. i see it way too often for it to be some absurd coincidence. today i got word that perhaps another fellow traveller in this time has departed. it is hearsay thus far and wheels have been set in motion to root out some truth. the one i am thinking of has been an iv meth imbiber since his teens. he has been troubled since he was in the womb. and i think he has carried those injuries with him throughout his journey, often wearing them as a war medal.

my experience with him was brief. but it was also quite vivid. there is something very definite and memorable about someone who is in emotional pain. there is the quality of relief as i know that the pain i detected is doubtfully still acute. it is a raging brushfire that has been doused by the rains of the unknown agenda. but there is a remaining sense of numb that swirls around me still. i remember feeling helpless and ineffective. i remember wishing i could do more. and now i understand that all i will ever do in this case is remember.

just for fun

Saturday, September 18, 2010

above and beyond

All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming......Helen Keller
i woke up and looked out the window to see light gray skies and slightly wet pavement. days like this are not frequent in colorado, and i usually love them very much. there i something about them that creates a sense of turning inward, which for a narcissist like me, is like scarfing up peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

evolution continues in my world. as pema describes in her words, life comes together and falls apart,  it continues to do just that. i have been pouring over reruns of glee this last week and drinking in the chorus/show tune vibe. somehow it comfort me and lights the way for a part of my emotional journey. definitely a bff- big fag forever.

i got a text from a friend who is really struggling with his meth relapse. one day he refers to me as the "treatment police" and the next he sending me texts saying "love you". it would be nice if i didn't have to NOT pay attention to any of this. he is fucked up and so his words and actions reflect that. and until his use changes, his words and actions remain hollow and calculated.

i have been okayed for the trip to chicago in october. this is something i am looking forward to. i love my old friends there and always enjoy catching up. pluse a little respite from the daily grind is welcome. i will get to learn about the medical side of opiod replacement therapy. my skillset definitely needs to keep growing if i am to remain vital with my work.

these days, i am working on 2nd stage sobriety more than anything else. the layer of crazy that left me with getting sober has revealed a deeper more embedded layer of dysfunction that i had repressed both on purpose and unconsciously. i will say that i am very much in tune with my own tendency towards anger and the damage that creates in my life and the people around me. i can't say i have figured out exactly how to work through this, but i will continue to try.

but most importantly, today is a day of rest and relaxation for me. i have things to accopmplish at home and i owe it to myself to find enjoyment.  I must let go of keeping myself trapped in emotional pain. No one and no medication will be as effective at this as I can be.

"Understand that when you and I are involved in behaviors that diminish our self-esteem because they reinforce the definition of our self as liar, as not worthy of being loved, as incompetent, we get in all kinds of trouble. So what's on your 'stop' list? If you are trying to break an old relationship and you find yourself at three or four in the morning driving around the other person's apartment house check up on them, you need to stop doing this. The more you do that kind of behavior, the more it defines yourself as loser, as alone, as not able to win in this relationship. It is something that you need to 'stop' doing."... Ernie Larsen

today i journey back to 1979 and visit Edgar Winter's "Above and Beyond"... and i thank goodness i have those 70' from which to draw inspiration...

Friday, September 17, 2010

and in the mix

i was up late last night trying to send over some change for the next newsletter. i definitely am excited about this one. many articles by poz women who have traditionally stayed pretty quiet in these parts. and women feel stigmatized just as much (if not more) than any of the men. sexually transmitted viruses somehow have a moral connotation that accompanies them.

i have started the new position at the hospital. i find i am much busier and i like it. i have meetings today around the standards of care for substance abuse within the ryan white system. i am cheering silently that a friend who is back in the throes of IV meth use will go to rehab. i have asked my sponsor and one of my bffs to go to the lunch next weekend for the afr presentation. i am headed to grand lake next thursday for the weekend. and i have been approved to go to chicago in october for the opiate replacement conference- aatod.  i will get to see some old friends and remember once again who i am becoming.

life seems to be opening up. there are many stories running at the same time. i am smiling. the current metaphor for my life may just be the rose of sharon bushes i planted in front of the house. they are small but in full bloom with flouncy purple blossoms caressing the breeze. they remind me of the change that is always in proces in my life and the world around.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

and happy

i got a voice mail from my friend tonya last sunday asking me to call her back asap 'cuz she had some great news for me. i was at the corn maze that evening with my friend jim and then we went to dinner at le central and had mussels. it was a completely sweet day.

i did call her back and she proceeded to tell me that she was pleased to inform me that the board of directors for afr-advocates for recovery had selected me as "advocate of the year". honestly i thought there had been an error in judgement. i replied to her that there are so many other people working to promote a positive image of recovery that maybe they could reconsider and give it to someone who was working harder. or had been doing this longer.

she replied that no, indeed, they felt they had made a good choice. they considered it fully and discussed it and they were comfortable with their choice. this left me quiet for a bit on the phone. for those of you who know me, this in itself is almost a miracle. i decided it best to be grateful and gracious, at least as much as i could be.

i don't see myself as anything "of the year" at all. i am working hard, but mostly because it helps me stay out of my head. when i am busy and have work to do, i am much less likely to drift into a negative head space. but i love most of what i do, so it doesn't seem like work. i get to write my feeling out a bit. it's much less now that it has been the last 3 years... you can follow my thoughts for over 3 years at kickintina. i have since helped afr start a blog called the climb. i work with board members of 2 recovery organizations and try to listen and support their efforts.

i guess i will  receive an acknowledgement on sunday september 26th at the afr lunch before the rockies game. i am looking forward to it. i can't say i think i earned it, but i can say that i fully believe in the mission of afr and wrapping a positive face around the term recovery. stopping my aod use has been one of the largest things i have ever done. it has left me feeling exposed, vulnerable, and unlovable... all the things i felt before i started using at age 11. this has honestly afforded me the opportunity to address that part of myself and learn to heal and grow, the emphasis is definitely on learn here. i haven't mastered anything. but with the tools for recovery in my back pocket, i now believe i just may get the hang of this someday.

thank you to advocates for recovery for presenting the opportunity for me to take stock of the progress i have made, and the fuel to jump start my dedication.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

try a little tenderness

i am feeling a little sappy this morning i think. anyway, i thought i'd share this clip. for some unknown reason i still love this film. i don't often think that gay romantic comedies are either that romantic or that funny, but this is an exception. i laughed and i cried, mostly because i could relate to the complete fear of intimacy that is highlighted here. the humor is caustic which seems very authentic to me as well. and i hadn't heard so many opportunities to use the word "borch" in a sentence.

i am not often vulnerable with someone else. it's too tender. it's too scary. i tried it many many years ago and i felt as if i'd hiked through poison ivy. i itched and i scratched until it bled. and i just stopped hiking altogether. and i have been safe and quietly angry for these many years. i remember getting so angry at my friend peter because he had played outside our arrangement, that i broke a dish on the floor. but the anger that i felt frightened me so much because i had grown up around that type of expression of anger and i didn't want it in my life. so i think i vowed to myself that i would never let someone hurt me like that again.

and i haven't let that happen. but that is not the point of life. i found this at

"Fear of intimacy is at the heart of codependency. We have a fear of intimacy because we have a fear of abandonment, betrayal, and rejection. We have a these fears because we were wounded in early childhood - we experienced feeling emotionally abandoned, rejected, and betrayed by our parents because they were wounded. They did not have healthy relationship with self - they were codependents who abandoned and betrayed themselves - and their behavior caused us to feel unworthy and unlovable."

"As children we were incapable of seeing ourselves as separate from our families - of knowing we had worth as individuals apart from our families. The reality we grew up in was the only reality that we knew. We thought our parents behavior reflected our worth - the same way that our codependent parents thought our behavior was a factor in rather they had worth."

"The simplest and most understandable way I have ever heard intimacy described is by breaking the word down: in to me see. That is what intimacy is about - allowing another person to see into us, sharing who we are with another person.

Sharing who we are is a problem for codependents because at the core of our relationship with ourselves is the feeling that we are somehow defective, unlovable and unworthy - because of our childhood emotional trauma. Codependency is rooted in our ego programming from early childhood. That programming is a defense that the ego adapted to help us survive. It is based upon the feeling that we are shameful, that we are defective, unworthy, and unlovable. Our codependent defense system is an attempt to protect us from being rejected, betrayed, and abandoned because of our unworthy, shameful being.
We have a fear of intimacy because we were wounded, emotionally traumatized, in early childhood - felt rejected and abandoned - and then grew up in emotional dishonest societies that did not provide tools for healing, or healthy role models to teach us how to overcome that fear. Our wounding in early childhood caused us to feel that something was wrong with our being - toxic shame - and our societal and parental role models taught us to keep up appearances, to hide our shamefulness from others."
As long as we are reacting unconsciously to our childhood emotional wounds and intellectual programming, we keep repeating the patterns. We keep getting involved with unavailable people. We keep setting ourselves up to be abandoned, betrayed and rejected. We keep looking for love in all the wrong places, in all the wrong faces. Is it any wonder we have a fear of intimacy?"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

hey hey

Delight, enjoy. God is not a thing, it is an attitude, an attitude of celebration and festivity. Drop sadness. He is so close by; dance! Drop long faces, it is sacrilege — because He is so close by. Forget your childish miseries and worries; He is so close by. Don’t go on brooding about immaterial things; He is so close by. Allow Him to hold your hand. He has been waiting for you for long..... Osho

i am feeling a sense of celebration today. i am peaceful, i have worked hard all week and through this weekend and have very little ahead  of me today. supposed to go to the botanic gardens by chatfield preserve to visit the maize maze with a friend. have some work around the house to do, but really it's a free day. friends, rest, laughter, sunshine, some good food, and a little music.......

it doesn't need to get much better...... hey hey..

Saturday, September 11, 2010


i love this song, but certainly not for the reasons you may think..

Friday, September 10, 2010


the weekend has arrived, but i am pretty certain i am working through it. i picked up a level 1 dui class which is 12 hours fri nite and sat morning. then i am working a party on saturday evening in cherry hills. that leaves sunday as my day of rest, but i will have laundry, kitchen, and the rest to contend with.

i sound so whiney, which is a shame, because the truth is that i thrive when busy. i am left without the negative thoughts that run through my head when i have downtime. the more clean time i get, the more i realize that i must have been very tortured early on and that might one reason why i self medicated so heavily and so often. it has hurt in many ways to be sober. it has hurt to be me.

i phased out of my former position this week. it was a quiet and clumsy transition. i haven't wanted to be gone from somewhere with so much conviction in awhile. but as i turned in my laptop, my key, and my vocera, i was again steeped in a stir of echoes. the anger i feel inside from some long forgotten ghost compiled with the fear i experienced at being ridiculed in public. both these emotions were real, but not at all derived from today's experience. they were ancient manuscripts that resurrect themselves with repetition and wreak calamity upon my calm.

i phoned a friend whose voice reminded me that i am no longer that age and that it is no longer necessary to marinate in all that angst. i still can't quite get there on my own. but get there i did with her help. and then i got a random phone message from a friend telling me he thought i was "the best".  that voice was like salve on scalded skin. man, did that turn the heat down.

it's been a day. i have made it through. i hope for another.and then one more.

still love this song...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

sounds of the 70's

strangely enough, i stumbled upon this blog by perusing soundcloud. i didn't even know i had such a thing for old R&B, soul, funk, disco, blues,  (well - maybe that's not quite accurate), but i find myself scouring the previous blog entries looking for gems as a miner used to pan for gold in the hills. and come across them i do.
marlena shaw, tata vega, pointer sisters, nancy wilson, angela bofill, trammps- a plethora of artists i haven't heard in ages or didn't even know about. if you have a thing for music, then i encourage you to visit this 70's music blog. have fun, visit often, stay awhile.

From the 1975 RCA rarest LP of this east cost blues/soul artist, a precious hard-to-dig funky gemm that I love from A to Z, intro, clavinet, chorus, horns...
Rory Block - Lovin'of your life (RCA 1975)
Lasse Wellander - Hotel 167 - SOUNDSOFTHE70S.BLOGSPOT by soundsofthe70s.blogspot

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


 i received word today that my department transfer would go through. i will be at a new desk in a new office on monday- at least for half the day. the other half will remain the same. now as change draws near, the butterflies begin. not because i don't want to move on.. i have to for sanity's sake. no causes me a little shakiness is the uncertainty ahead. i have interviewed with my supervisors, but i really don't know what to truly expect day to day. i know i will be all right, but i want more than all right. i want happy. i want joy. i want symbiosis. time will tell. and don't be fooled. i don't think i'm living in a fantasy. i found out another patient has terminal liver cancer and probably won't live thru the year.

i have posted pics of the landscaping changes we made to our building. i had been going slowly crazy looking at some old junipers that were overgrown and swimming in dead underneath. they would cackle at me every time i would go in and out of my little place. i forget how persuasive i can be, but after a few months of campaigning with the other owners, we spent a weekend (18 hours) pulling out all the dead and putting in new plantings. this included moving rock from the right of way, removing old fabric that had been sadly compromised by a flood 2 years ago, replacing the fabric, and putting the rock back. it was all impressive and exhausting. But $1100 and 90 man hours later, we have a whole new vibe there.

the music today is definitely a "sound" from my 80's. you could hear it in most of the big boy clubs in 81. that clapping sound was everywhere. even al jourgensen from ministry did a cover of this song for his 1st song in chicago.

Monday, September 6, 2010

keith haring's universe

i happened to catch this documentary on logo last weekend. parts of it have defnitely made an impression on me. he certainly followed his instinct and his passion.. in more ways than one. he did capture the hearts of a global generation with his obvious simple expression style becoming so very beautifully understood.

2011 marks the 30th anniversary of HIV and there are many projects that will come forward to commemmorate this. This will become a part of mine, I think. I'll call it "Remember With Love"

Friday, September 3, 2010


this is another guilty pleasure of mine..

just say yes

i have been working at a small health clinic which is connected to the large public hospital in my city since april 09. it had become really clear that i had outgrown my position. an opportunity had presented itself at the larger hospital campus and it fell into my lap. there was the problem of no funding for this opportunity. subsequently, i encountered a personality that became like a shotgun shell that shattered the veneer of my emotional safety. it has become a daily ritual for me to wrap myself up in protective armor because i have repeatedly  from time-to-time found myself the subject of unkind side jokes and not-so-subtle ridicule from a small set of individuals i like to call the "the heathers" that i share job duties with.

months ago i realized that i would not be able to remain sane (?) unless i moved forward. there was an attempt to lay down my armor, but i just felt as if i was met with a handshake and a hidden dagger and it solidified my resolve. what next i thought, but also felt that i had to trust that it would be better to be happy than be in fear.

just this small decision to make a change rather than sit in shit opened up a new world for me. almost immediately i located a different position on the main campus continuing to do the work i have passion to do. i interviewed for this position yesterday and was informed that it potentially is filled with possibility i had in no way expected. and the tone of the conversation was supportive and hopeful, which had me believing somehow that once again it was safe to be me.

this is a small story in my life, probably very vague, but there has been a very major "a ha" for me. the "pop" that is supposedly heard after the 5 year mark of sobriety has resonated in my life. it has taken me this long to get to square one of understanding just where my shortcomings begin. i am getting the beginnings of an unclouded view of how i operate in the world. it ain't very pretty.

i have lived in fear for most of my life. i have been the subject of unkind chatter, both audible and whispered, and have developed a skin that is the thickness of ft knox. and i have accustomed myself to living like this. most likely, i defer to this emotional stance when i am not sure or feeling unstable. it is robotic. it is painful. it is not planned. but it is my nature.

so when i made a decision to try a different approach, to not bite off my arm to get out of the trap i was caught in, i feel i had made progress. i had grown. i felt free. a sense of freedom that invited the refreshing breeze of acceptance into my world.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Novocaine For The Soul

one very distinct thing i am noticing about working with other people as a provider is that i have more limits than i am used to looking at. i cannot do for others, i cannot make others do, i cannot change another's mind, i can't make quick decisions for them, i can't take a leap of faith, i can't say "no" for them. i can only encourage them and create relationship with them.

this makes complete sense. i never allowed anyone to make those decisions for me. quite the contrary. i revelled in pushing back when being told what to do or feeling coerced. even if it was unwise, i pushed back anyway because i could - (self destructive maybe???) . anyway, i can't expect others to be different. if someone is avoiding feeling something, then they probably have a damn good reason. so the trick is to help them see that there may be compelling reasons to rethink their strategy. damn that dopamine!

having limits is fairly new. prior to this, i have pretty much believed that i have no limits, except the ones i set in my head. perhaps now i am realizing that i have no limits with regard to my life. it's others lives that i don't have much power.

a bit numbing....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

pinch me

the most amazing thing happened to me earlier in august. i was at a gathering and i was introduced to this woman who had just had some recent notoriety with an article about her in our local paper. she had been the subject of a story of a woman with HIV and how she is dealing with it. I could really relate as I had a similar experience with a different paper and it really started me down a whole new path.

anyway, as she and i talked a bit , it became apparent that she was becoming a bit of an advocate and was interested in pursuing this path a bit more. i then asked her if she was interested in contributing to the newsletter I publish. She indicated she might be interested and we should exchange information before we left. as she was going, she did seek me out. I gave her the latest copy of the publication and she shrieked- yes shrieked- and said "I love this". It has been my bible since I got my diagnosis. I have 3 or 4 issues with items circled and things I still plan to check out.

i was quietly gobsmacked. frankly, this doesn't happen to me often. i don't even know if it ever has. but i know that when it did happen, i felt a shift in my world. i could instantly sense that i really wasn't doing this for myself. i couldn't have hoped for anything more.

and still don't.