I am not my darkness. 

I try to spread a message of peace and happiness. I try and live by Buddha’s 6 paths. I try and be a good person. I try to be positive. I try to be happy. I try to be a ray of sunshine for those around me. I try and bring joy to those around me. 

Regardless of the hurt and pain I go through. The cover up I try and establish. The deep faucets of my soul still ooze light and hope. A hope that will never perish, even when I doubt myself and show my sadness and darkness inside. I still bring my aura to bear upon those that need it.

I try to be supportive of my friends and family. I try and be happy for them regardless of their situation though I know they will be happier elsewise. I try and be the bigger person. I try and not let it all get to me. 

I have always been resilient. I don’t let things keep me down. I look to the past for inspiration and the future for motivation. I breathe deep and look at the world with fresh eyes everyday. I take the time to smell the roses. 

My humor and happiness are contagious. I smile big and hug meaningfully. I do everything in earnest without ulterior motives. I am genuine. I am me.

I believe in those around me. I believe there is something more to life. I believe there is a future for everything. I believe it gets better. I believe I am a positive force to be reckoned with. I believe in myself. 

I value those connections I have made. I value my friends. I value my family. I value my acquaintances. I value love and honesty regardless the pain it may cause. I value my health. I value my mental state. I value myself. 

I am not my darkness. I am not my illness. I am not my sadness. I am not negativity. I am not afraid. I am not what you make me. I am not what I don’t want to be. 

I am not my darkness. It is a part of me. It does not define me. It is not who I am. I am who I am. 

Who are you? What are you? How are you? What do you do? What do you value? What do you believe in?

Can you see me now? Who am I?

You would never know it if I had never told you about it. I am cheerful,, extroverted, optimistic, funny, forward, honest, genuine, and friendly. I’m sexually active, physically active, intelligent, alluring, charismatic, punny, lucky, chill, and excitable. You would never know that I am insecure, depressed, unhappy, self-destructive, weak, willfull, stubborn, a realistic bordering pessimism, emotional and hungry for attention. 

These are a few things that describe me. I forcibly show the world a side of me that is real, but it’s the biggest lie I tell. I hide my pain behind jokes and laughter. I hide my insecurities by pretending I have none, but when I look into the mirror, all I see is disgust. I have problems with body image and I fat shame myself. I take selfies and edit them to look great to feel better about myself. I have never gone to extremes with myself because of this, but it has crossed my mind. I have never hurt myself because I don’t want to hurt those I love.

I know people love me, but it doesn’t feel like it, so I tend go lash out with hurtful jokes. I still don’t know why I do this, but I speculate that psychologically I’m testing how much they truly love me. I don’t know if this is to make myself feel better because I have always felt insufficient, especially with my body image and the hate I endured as a fat kid always being picked on. I was always the “bad guy” at recess as a kid because the others wanted to be the winners, so I was the sacrificial fat kid, later the gay kid. 

Is this the reason I am the way I am? Is it because back then I was made to think as a bad guy to make friends and play with the other kids? Do I still hold onto that today? Do I joke mean things now because I need to be this bad guy, but spin it into a joke so that people still like me as an adult? 

I feel this has all contributed to my realistic type of view in life. I always try and see things in every different light that I can manage. I look at all viewpoints, whether they give me strength or doubt. I give people the benefit of the doubt.

I don’t lie, I’m honest to a fault; so much so, you can tell when I want to lie by how hard I think about it. I contort my face and fess-up even if the truth hurts to say or messes up my relationships because the other person doesn’t want to believe/hear it. Is my honesty there to make up for my negativity? 

Why must I hurt so much and yet hide it so vehemently? Why do we all hide our pain? Is it because its a sign of weakness? If we share, do we not get over it? If we struggle, do we not improve? If we ask for help, do we not receive it? Is hiding better for us than showing and being open? Is the judgement of others really that scary? Should we be teaching our children to “man up” or should we be teaching them that it’s ok to release the sadness and anger and to not keep it inside? How can we go about teaching and guiding others, to help their principles and morals to be strong and refined rather than weak and politically correct?

Are we the result of a weakened society? What are we doing wrong that these things happen? Why is it that our brains subconsciously hold on to things from so long ago and don’t change without active participation?

Will power. Discipline. Strength. Struggle. Morals. Principles. Why are these so weak today in our population?

Can you see my pain? My hidden eyes? The hurt? The wisdom? The experience? The pain?

Going Mental. My Struggle. My Solution. 

This post is Rated R for language and adult themes. 

DISCLAIMER: For all medical problems, seek a healthcare professional. I do not claim to be a doctor and you should not use this blog to diagnose yourself. This is a blog about my personal journey with the topics held within. 

Pain. Sadness. Depression. Anxiety. Mental illness. We keep these things hidden from others out of fear, fear of the judgement from others. We are afraid to talk about these issues even with our doctors. We are afraid of what these things may mean for us and our futures. 

I recently found I was suffering from depression.  I work in a doctor’s office where I really don’t get to see the outside very often and face a computer screen all day. There are only windows in the doctor’s individual offices in the suite. One day I was speaking to my Nurse Practitioner, after the loss of my neighbor who was a 2nd grandma to me and my other neighbors (We live in a rural area of 4 houses and we are all like family, and have been for 28 years), and she said she noticed that I had some symptoms of depression and that I should get checked out just in case. 

That very day I went to Urgent Care on my lunch to see a doctor that I used to work with there. We sat down and she asked me all of the questions that were diagnostic in nature. 

“Have you felt little or no interest in things you like to do? Have you noticed any of these changes? Have you felt down or hopeless? Have you experienced any mania?”

(Disclaimer: these are only questions and are not meant to diagnose you if you think you may be depressed or have any other mental illness. It is best you are examined by a professional healthcare provider. This is only used an example of what a few questions I answered in my own appointment.)

She kept up with a few more questions and asked me if there was anything else I could contribute that may help in a diagnosis.

I told her of my weekly alcoholic binges with co-workers firstly. I know my limits on how much it takes for me to feel good and I usually stop before going further, but I would consciously and deliberately pass this limit every weekend. The first thing she did was told me to stop drinking for 2 weeks and see if this helps as alcohol is a depressant. I didn’t want to, but I did. She wanted me to follow up after these 2 weeks if I didn’t feel better, needless to say, I did feel a bit better so I didn’t go back. (IMPORTANT: If you are asked to go back for follow up, DO IT! Doctors do not do this for fun, they legitimately want you to come back so they can make sure you are OK!)

I told her how I used to enjoy playing video games and reading, but now get bored of it quickly and that I had stopped enjoying it. We also went over how I am with work and how I dread coming in with all this paperwork, and sitting, staring at the computer screen and making calls all day. The only thing I look forward to is going home and the weekends when I can hang out with my friends and drink. These were the only 2 things that made me happy. I even told her how I have been short and irritable at home with family like I never used to be. 

This is the point in the appointment she told me that I have mild to moderate depression. She didn’t want to diagnose me yet because she wanted to see where I was after not drinking for 2 weeks. She also felt some life changing events needed to take place, one of them was to get out of my current job and find something that makes me happy. I was quite agreeable with this.

After a few days, I had a conversation with a good friend that was using aromatherapy essential oils. I looked into it and grabbed a few off of Amazon so I could see if this would also help my depression. I got my first shipment and started their use (I did some research into oils specifically for depression), I also did a lot of thinking about my life. This was the first thing I did besides not drinking alcohol. All of these things seemed to help overall. 

Side note 1: 

A few months earlier, before this all took place I had an encounter where a friend of my good friend read tarot cards for me. My question was “how will I find true happiness?” My results were that I needed to leave my current job, don’t be stubborn, accept help from those around me, and work in an artistic field. All of this pointed me toward going back to school and becoming an architect like I had originally wanted when I was in high school and started college. 

Side note 2:

I remember having a conversation with a very close, intimate friend, where I was questioning whether I am doing the right thing. This was a month or 2 before graduation my medical assisting program. She rationalized how I had wanted her to, giving me the logic to keep trucking through to the end and not give up. I realize now that I should have listened to my gut and gone back to what my first love in school was. I was too concerned on being accepted by society with the 40 hour work week, retirement plan and insurances. I should have been trying to make myself happy. 

A major change in my depression happened the moment I was accepted back to my local community college for classes. A HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders and it became clear how my current job was affecting me. This news excited me more than anything. During and before all of this though, one thing still tugs at my mind. 

I didn’t quite understand the question of Mania until a few days after my appointment when I looked up the definition. I equated mania to being crazy, but that’s just not the case. 

ma·ni·a

ˈmānēə/

noun

mental illness marked by periods of great excitement, euphoria, delusions, and overactivity.

Synonyms: madnessderangement, dementiainsanitylunacypsychosismental illness; 

deliriumfrenzyhysteriaraving

wildness

With this new information I realized that I had indeed gone through this recently. 

I had also broken up with my ex-boyfriend back in October, but this depression had been going on longer than that, it only added to the mix. I tried ignoring this part and throwing myself into sexual encounters among other things. 

Here is that story that happened before I even considered the fact I may be depressed. This story is sexually explicit so be forewarned:

The mania started 12/29/16. This is when shit hit the fan for me. I received a text from work saying I didn’t have to go in that day so I agreed with this plan. I was horny anyway and wanted to have sex. 

My plan started with me going to a sex club where I, in 9 hours and to my frustration, had encounters with 4 different guys. This is a lot in one day, but I was not satiated in my mania. I was constantly on my phone looking for more. 

I ended up on a site where a guy hit me up to come over and have unprotected sex. He disclosed to me that he didn’t know his status of any STIs. While I was cautions at first, my horniness and mania won over and I went to his apartment. He fucked me on his living room floor while his boyfriend was asleep in the other room. 

I didn’t care. He was verbal and I was so turned on. It excited me. It made me feel alive and not depressed. It felt as though I was liberated from the stigma of HIV and other STIs. Over the next 7 days I did other questionable sexual encounters with 25 other men, dangerous and exciting, all unprotected, and with full disclosure of my situation. I had never felt this kind of desperation of wanting be used for pleasure by men and the thrill and adrenaline that was pumping through my body.

The one who finally sated my hunger and need was a guy I had known for years. He fucked me so hard and good, I no longer had the craving for sex after that day. 

Twenty-eight hours after my experience with the guy that may have given me HIV, I went to the emergency room for Post-Exposute Prophylaxis  (PeP). This was only logical as I really didn’t want to end up with this viral infection for the rest of my life even though I did feel more liberated and open. I did this with the evaluation of an RN that I know. 

I was given a Rx (prescription) for Truvada and a first dose, and I was on my way. After 3 months of the medication and no other sex, I was tested and everything came back Negative! I was so relieved about this yet it didn’t actually make me feel much different. 
Since this encounter I am now on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxys (PrEP), also Truvada. It has been 4 full months since this sexual freedom all started, and I have taken my meds everyday as prescribed. 

Disclaimer: I do not condone my actions and do not suggest them to anyone! If you think you may have had an encounter of the type where you may have gotten an STI, get tested! Do the right thing and disclose your status. Take meds AS DIRECTED BY YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL!!

I had no idea this was a mania, I thought I was going through a post-breakup rebound. This information never got back to the doctor who evaluated me for depression, but I know that this is part of the results. 

My end results, while I may be depressed still, I have pulled myself up and started to change the things that made me depressed. I am excited to see what the world holds for me and I feel like I am finally on the right track. I feel like we spend too much time grinding and trudging through the 40 hour work slum to be a societal success rather than doing what makes us truly happy. We should merely focus on ourselves and what is fulfilling instead of what others think we should be doing. 

I do not regret any of the decisions I’ve mad. I am glad they didn’t put me in a bad position, but I feel over the last 2 years I have grown immensely and have learned a lot through it all. 

This is truly a journey to my self realization. My Ryalization.

Yearly depression 

Around this time every year I stress and get depressed. I wonder to myself if people care about me or not. I know it’s silly of me to think this, but it still happens. I put myself into a depression because of it and it gets worse with each passing year. 

How do I expect people yo care of they don’t know? If I don’t say anything about it, no one would know. I cannot expect people to just pick up the gauntlet when they don’t know that I want them to. I think of all the things I would love at this time of year, and how they could be executed, but it always fails to happen.  I always have to get the ball rolling myself. I have to start the plans and then be let down when people don’t show. 

I get it, life happens. I feel that if you truly care enough you would find a way to make it work. For some, when this happens, it’s more offensive to me than when it occurs with others. I try not to be offended but it happens non-the-less. 

Why do I make such a fuss internally about this? Why is this something that’s so important even though it shouldn’t be? Is this why I vie for attention so often throughout the year, so that I can try and avoid the pain when this comes up?

My family does the same thing every year for everyone, a dinner with everyone that can be there. Typically it ends up pretty small, but I do enjoy it. 

I don’t care about going out and getting drunk, or acting up just because of this event in my life. I have been there and done it, and now it’s old. All I would like is to do something with those I care about, so I feel they care about me. Why do I expect this of my friends when I honestly shouldn’t?

Why do I think so much of my Birthday?

 Wonder…

The world is full of wonder. Whether we are in awe, aw, ah, or aah.
I wonder…

I’m full of awe at the thought of how insignificant and small I feel on this planet while I stand on this cliff over the ocean. 

I exclaim ‘Aw!’ when I see my friend’s new bundle of joy that has just come forth into the world. 

I respond to my friends bad news with ‘Ah’ as I get their sadness but do not know how to comfort her. 

I let out a guttural ‘AHH!’ as I am frustrated by the emotions I feel over things I cannot control. 

There are so many ways to express ourselves with the same sounding word though it is spelled differently. 

I look at the world and see so many people. I am in awe of what they have done and aspire to do. I see friends living lives I wish I had but think of how difficult they really have it, but don’t let on to the difficulty. 

I wonder what I was like to walk through a forest here in California 400 years ago and to see the land before it was changed and grown up  

I am afraid of heights, but I wonder what it would be like to have the power to fly. I have had dreams where I couldn’t fly, but I could jump high and float down slowly while having complete control and feeling as though I weigh nothing. 

I wonder why I feel there is a greater power out there, but I do not know what it is or how we are connected. I wonder if all religions are based in truth and there is so much we just don’t know. 

I wonder if we are all connected and if we never truly die because we cannot destroy matter, but only change its form. Does this mean that we have the power to do and change anything, but we lack the knowledge and the patience to learn?

I wonder if you really can become enlightened. If so, would you transcend humanity or does nothing actually happen?

I wonder how we came up with having a ‘soul’. How do we have a consciousness with free thought? How is it that we are a higher being from animals and have a different means of understanding? How did we develop any kind of knowledge and why is it so widely accepted? 

I wonder why I always feel so alone even though I’m surrounded by people. Why do I feel the need to be loved by everyone I meet? 

I wonder what other people wonder. 

Thoughtful moments.

Do you ever look at someone and just think about them? What is their story? What kind of situation are they in? How is their life? Are they happy, sad or content with their life and how it is progressing? What kind of person are they?

I see a man in the sporty little 2 door beater car next to me at the stop light. He looks to be fit and in his early 20s, with a stubby beard and a flannel with the sleeves rolled up to the elbow. His hands look rough like he works on cars or a farm. What will his future be like? Where is he going from here? What was his journey like through life that brought him to this point?

These thoughts roll over me once in a while when I have the chance to slow down and be reflective. I see people and wonder what brought them to this point of their lives, and what they have experienced in their life. Our lives and time here are interesting to so the very least. We look forward into the future thinking we don’t have enough time, but when we look back, we think of all the things we could have done and/or done differently. How we treat others around us is a major thing. The relationships and experiences we have with those around us are based on our views, and what we perceive and know of those people, or how we judge them. 

I know that I may never judge anyone for a single thing, and nor should we, because we do not know the people we perceive, or their circumstance. How do you know this person is not a quality person just by judging them of how they look? People may grow out of their circumstance and make changes, they do not need to be victims of it; however, without the drive and passion to do so, it paralyzes you which prevents you from change. At what point do we accept a person, their choices or their behavior, by blaming it on their circumstance? 

I am not immune to judging others no matter how much I wish I didn’t. I absolutely hate the fact that I can look at a person and inwardly flinch just because of the way they look and I find myself thinking things I shouldn’t. I always reprimand myself after I think such things of others. 

Is this natural? In some ways I believe it is, and in others I think not, but we can explore this topic in another blog. 

Why do I feel this way still?

Why is it when I close my eyes, you come into my head? I try to forget about you, but there you are. I try to get over you, but I can’t. I try to stop loving you, but I can’t, I won’t. No matter what you stick with me. 

Did I love you more than I thought? Did I love the idea of finally having someone? Were we a perfect match regardless of all our flaws? The things I broke up with you over, were they really worth it? I do not regret it, but I do question it. I question it when I’m lonely. When you pop into my mind unwanted. 

Is this what love and heartache is supposed to be? Am I supposed to think of you this much even though it has been 6 months? Am I missing you or the thought of you? Am I missing having someone who loves me as much as you? We were only together for a year and a half and only saw one another (mostly) on weekends. 

I feel i shouldn’t be this emotional about you still. I wonder if a part of me is broken even though it is my own doing. Will I ever be over you? Will I compare my future lovers and relationships to you? Do you even miss me? Do you think of me?

I know you moved on so quickly, only 3 weeks later and already in a new relationship. Part of me questioned how that was achieved if you were 100% committed to me anyway. You seemed to take our breakup better than expected, but how much of it did I not see vs what I did?

Why am I even still questioning anything? I know I need a connection with someone. Some sort of thing that’s intimate, but won’t break my heart. Does that even exist? 

Why? Why do I feel so broken…torn…sad… where do I get all of this pain? Why do you have this effect on me still?! It makes me angry because everything was so perfect in my head, or at least it should have been. Why did I let myself get to this point? Why do you instill in me the feeling of wanting to cry and yet be so frustrated at the same time?

Are you there God?

I’ve always struggled with religion, and now that I’ve come to terms with being gay, it’s even more of a struggle. I’ve always followed the philosophies of Bhuddhism, and always trying to be a good person. 

Growing up I’ve never been a fan of organized religion as it always turns out being the bad guy in situations. Followers are seen as fanatics, crazy, or just weird. My ego has always kept me away from the church because, while I don’t care, I do care about what others think of me; I also never want to do anything that will embarrass me. 

Now, I’ve grown up next door to a family of pretty religious people and I consider them family just as they do of me as well. We all have knowm eachother for about 27 or so years. I have always envied how honest, nice, caring, considerate, happy and perfect they all are. I know they are not all of these things all of the time, but they are exemplary people in my book and I aspire to be like them. 

One of their sons was done with church the way I am and fought tooth and nail to never go again because of how it is portrayed and makes him feel. After a few years he finally agreed to go because of everything going on in his life and he felt he needed help. He went and they prayed for him. With this, he felt nothing. As they were leaving at the end of the service, a woman came to him and said “God wanted me to heal you.” She simply touched him and he felt a wave go through his body and he began to cry. 

In my eyes he has never been one to cry; he’s always been tough, went through the marines and went to war three times in Iraq. To hear that he, an outspoken and forward person, was crying and speechless, makes me feel this may be the place for me to find God. 

I have fears and reservations still about going along with questions. I fear nothing will happen to me, that I won’t find God after all. I have never felt him or seen a sign when I ask for one, but am I mistaking the signs? I fear that maybe, if he is real after all, that I have been abandoned. Will I still receive his love for all the things I’ve done? Will he accept me as I am? Will he take the gay away or smite me because of it? Are these things that are even things to worry about? 

All of the evidence from my friends and family, testimonies, point to God being real in this instance. My head thinks so many thoughts about God, deep thoughts that tend to paralyze me and make me afraid. In retrospect, all I can think is “what am I really afraid of here?” If He’s real and I never found him, what will happen to me? If I find him, how will my life change? Will he let gays find him? I guess we will have to find out. 

I have plans to go this upcoming weekend with my neighbors. We will see what happens from here.

Are you single?

It’s always interesting when you get a drunken message at 1am from a friend and there are the words “Are you single?” 

I received this message from a straight guy who is a previous marine (yea there is more to the message, but this is the main issue in my head right now). I have no idea how to view this question. Granted yes, he was drunk at the time of sending, but the vibe of the whole situation has led me astray. Who asks this unless you’re hoping to date that person or maybe see them more on some sort of sexual basis? Or at least that is my impression of why the question is typically asked. 

I would have no qualms being this man’s significant other or even sexual satisfaction of curiosity. I cannot say I would be totally submissive, but it would be a thing. Anyways, all day today we texted back and forth, speaking of anything and everything. I tested the waters of sexual things and he only played into it more, which obviously makes me (over)think more about this. 

I purposely led him to topics for sexual innuendos and beat around the bush on what gets me “going’. He didn’t seem to flinch at all! See now, what’s interesting as well, is our history. 

We met through a mutual friend and his girl over dinner. I thought he was funny, chill, and pretty cool, so we added one another on Facebook. I cannot remember but this may have been the only time we have met in person. We have played videogames online a few times together, and other than that, it has been liking and sharing Facebook posts. 

Well, after 2 years, he has popped up and asked this question and requests that we actually hang out in person more. While I am attracted to him, I also would like to hang out more, so I am in aggreeance to his plan. 

Who knows what will really happen here? What is the true motive or spurring of the random outreach? 

All I can do is remain active in his life and see where things go. I will admit this sort of exciting!

My Self-esteem, My Confidence

I will throw it out there right off, the view I have of myself has many faucets and dynamics. I know I am not physically what the media portrays as “sexy” or “desirable” and I’m definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. I know this, so I have a different kind of self-esteem and confidence, especially depending on where I am and how well I know who is around me, basically if I care or not. 

If I’m in a club, I don’t really care what anyone thinks of me, so my body posture is more aloof as I don’t go there looking to satisfy physical urges; however, I do still want to seem somewhat attractive so my body language is more relaxed (It sounds more complicated than it is I’m sure). All I really want to do is dance and have a fun time with my friends. 

When I’m in the gym, I’m focused on working out. I do check out the other guys though as they are quite sexy and their physiques are what I aspire to. I do wonder how often they actually notice me looking at them as it’s extremely hard to resist. It also makes me wonder if they like being looked at. How do they view a guy looking at them? Does it excite them? Make them mad? Make them feel more confident because guys are also noticing their hard work? 

Story time:

I always see this beautiful man working out; he has a small waist, big arms and chest, pretty face and nice ass and legs. I’ve seen him almost everyday for 3 months. I cannot help glancing at him in his white tank top and workout pants. I think today he finally noticed me glace at him.

I was almost ready to leave, standing in front of the mirror, and he came into the locker room and went through to the restroom. As he walked by, he looked directly at me and I looked at him, eye contact for a good 2 seconds. I quickly looked away in all the awkwardness. When he returned from the restroom, his tank top was off in all his muscular, hairy-chested perfection, and he walked to the other side of me to a bench where he put his foot up on a bench in a show of retying his shoe. It was obviously not untied. 

He left the locker room a good minute or so before me so he had plenty of time to leave the gym completely if that’s what he wanted. As I walked out of the locker room, there he was “preoccupied” with the scale by the trainers. He looked back over at me and started to leave. He held the door out for me and said “have a nice day!” as we both left. My heart was racing and all I could manage was “Thanks! You too!” with a super shy smile. 
After that I could only think was ‘what the hell was wrong with me?!’

I have been in many situations like this in the gym or public, but I’m always afraid of striking up conversation. I can’t help thinking of this as someone trying to hit on me, but I never know if it is legitimate or someone honestly being nice. In a straight society you can never be sure unless the other person is that forward.

The many sexual and other situations/encounters that I’ve had make me wonder what it is that draws people to me. While I’ve been with a lot of guys throughout my life (to be continued in another blog), it has been the same with everyone. Something about me brings them in and brings them back, but there is also something that steers them clear. I feel that there may be some kind of vibe I put out that just makes me approachable, whether it is someone asking some random question or some sort of, well I don’t know!

Those that are attracted to me don’t tend to forget about me either. I don’t want to sound cocky or overly confident, but it’s true. 

I have some weird luck I’ve noticed. While I do get the occasional weirdo that doesn’t give up even when I say “No”, I also get very quality types of guys that come into my life. No one actually stays long, but that’s because I don’t let them or that’s not what they are looking for. While there’s some I wouldn’t mind keeping around, my judgement with the situation says “No”, as well as their disinterest after they get what they want. (Insert winky face here) 

In summary, I am not a perfect physical specimen, however there is something that brings people into my life. I don’t know whether to chalk it up to fate, or random luck, but it happens to be a thing for me. 

What is this that causes me to be desired? Is it something physiological as it typically happens only in person? Is it pheromones? Is it my cologne? Is it my personality? I don’t know if I will know for sure, but I have theories.