A Difficult Weekend, Show Me The Light

Becoming more religious and spiritual is definitely having some interesting effects. It has had an effect on the way I feel, the way i view myself, and even the relationships I have with others. Thus far I have had friend that have reproached me because I am gay and on this journey. I understand where they are coming from and their worry, but they are also misunderstanding what is going on with me and my life. If God wills it, they will open their eyes and see me and where I am going. 

My life is on track finally and I feel like everything is just right. My life is looking up, my light, my joy, and my future are bright. If I become down, I will look at the silver lining and make the best of every situation. 

——BREAK——

I started this post on Friday and haven’t had a chance to write it all weekend because of how busy it became. I celebrated M’ s little sisters birthday, my nephews birthday, mothers day, and my grandparents 60th anniversary. This blog started out very light and happy, but this weekends events have caused turbulence once again. 

The one person I was connecting with and loving his acceptance and non judgement was the one who changed it all once more. He got drunk and ruined his sister’s birthday party, he definitely changed the glow and the flow of the night. What was 7 people quickly got melted to only 3 of us, his cousin, my friend and myself. 

His drunken outburst caused havoc among a family, and tore people apart. His love and acceptance, his non-judgement, his compassion; all became revealed as a sham. His non-preaching became a preachy, judgmental and ‘holier-than-thou’ burst of anger and arrogance. He attacked the very person we were celebrating, and another of the least likely person I have ever met, the most positive and upbeat person I know, his brothers girlfriend. 

I have my doubts, I have my questions. I know he is somehow hurting inside and that he is unhappy. He is broken on the inside and he is trying to “fake it until you make it”. I don’t know what set it off, but I have suspicions. Conversations with his brother, sister and cousin have shown me that this time isn’t the first, and doesn’t sound like the last. 

We can only keep up facades for so long, there is a limit on how much we can handle on any one thing until we finally burst at the seams and can no longer contain it. Alcohol can only decrease this threshold. I am the son and grandson of alcoholics, mine is a steep and slippery slope that I tread. I have seen the damage this can cause first hand. A part of me wants to always hold on to hope and help the person, but I also know the reality and know that you can only help those that seek and want it. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. 

It took my father until age 63 when he had a stroke, to finally stop all of his own drinking and start a better life. It is never too late for yourself, but be weary that you will destroy those relationships around you, driving away all those that love you and all for poison. It will financially, spiritually, emotionally, and physically destroy you and typically before you even realize it. 

Know your limit, or get help and quit. If people hinder progress, get rid of them, you don’t need that negativity and poison in your life. 

I don’t know what I will do about M, but I already know that I need to be accepting of him and love him. For many, love during your darkest hours will set you free, just as his love and acceptance has helped me. I feel that his own faith and unconscious screaming for help have brought me into his life at this moment to help him. Even if it is to shed light on how this issue can be detrimental to his life. 

I will remain positive and I will keep shining what light I can on those around me  

A not-so unhappy Birthday

I ended up having the best birthday weekend ever. It, by far, has surpassed my expectations as it fulfilled my want for spending it with close friends and family. It was a busy weekend to be sure, while sleep deprived, was well worth it. 

My friends took me for a pedicure on Friday, while I wasn’t fond of it being overpriced, it was a good experience. We were able to chat of nothing in particular while being pampered and massaged. Afterward we ended up bar hopping in our little local town-city. We called it a night at about 1030pm and went home. The next day was just as amaxing. 

We went to an early brunch on the river at 10am. We started with “the hair of the dog that bit [you]” us, some Hibiscus Mimosas and Bloody Marys. The food was amazing and the atmosphere was just perfect as we relaxed on the patio next to the fire pit. Once finished we headed to the city nearby where we commenced our full day of bar hopping yet again. We did this for the next 10 hours, hitting one of my favorite spots  (a German bierhalle) and traveled to a few other spots after. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. 

We spent all day on the patio of each spot soaking up the cocktails and warmth. I paced myself only having a drink every hour or so, as I didn’t want to get too sloshed. We ended our night back at the German Bierhalle with another friend of mine that showed up around 630pm. We called it a night at about 10pm as during our travels, my doctor that I work with called me and invited me to go sailing the next day in the San Francisco Bay. 

I awoke at 730 the next morning and got ready. This was the most exciting thing I have done in my life. While I have been on small fishing boats in lakes and on a barge getting ferried to Alcatraz before, this was a totally different experience. I arrived at 10am as expected after my Starbucks stop ok the way out of town. We left the marina and headed out into the bay, just me and him. About 3 minutes into our escapade, he handed me the helm. For the next 4 hours, we sailed the bay while he taught me how to sail, sharing the most amazing experience with me. I have always seen people sailing and thought it looked so beautiful and thinking it must be so very relaxing, but to my revelation, it was hard work. Don’t let me fool you, it was also relaxing and very fulfilling. 

We pulled back into the marina and relaxed for a half hour or so before I had to depart. He enjoyed a beer while I had a glass of white wine with out glamorous chips and salsa. I then headed out with me and my sunburn/windburn to fight the traffic to get home. It took me longer to get home than it did to get to the bay, but it ended up working perfectly. 

I arrived in time for my birthday dinner! I took a quick shower, changed into something more comfortable, treated my sunburn with aloe and headed into dinner. We enjoyed great food made by my grandma and an amazing pineapple-upsidedown-cheesecake made by my mom. All my immediate family that I love showed up. This was such a perfect day, but it wasn’t over yet!

I headed to my 2nd family’s house (neighbors of 27 years). I got there at about 730pm as they were starting dinner. They invited me to grab a plate of course, which I had to decline as I was already stuffed, and we all enjoyed eachothers company. After dinner, we started a fire in the fire pit in the back yard, grabbed some red wine and relaxed around it. 

We had amazing conversations about society, politics, education and God. My 2nd family is very religious, but the type of such that you aspire to be; Wholesome, loving, open, accepting, and model Christians. I sat with my 2nd brother (we will call him “M”) and cousin (“B) until about 130am talking about God and forgiveness. We spoke of my depression and transgressions. We spoke of homosexuality and God’s love for me. M made it clear that he did not want to reprimand me, or try and convert me, he could only speak of God’s love and forgiveness and how sin is forgiven. We spoke of my fear and skepticism of religion due you past experiences, but he was adamant of God’s forgiveness. His certainty of this made me feel so much better, and I will be going to church this Sunday for the first time in 15 years. 

We had one of the deepest and intense conversations I ever have had, and definitely the first with him. We opened up about our fears, insecurities and the things we have caved to in weakness. I told him about my scare with HIV and the negative test results, my fear was his judgement and his rebuke, but all I received was his love and acceptance. This was one of the most empowering experiences I have had with someone, even of my own family. It was refreshing when he let me know that, even though I am gay, he loved me and called me brother. I was surprised he said he heard 2 years ago that I am gay and never said anything about it, asked or even probed with questions. 

My weekend ended on Monday with the military interment of my 2nd grandma. All in all, I had an amazing birthday weekend, and today, I will be ending it with dinner of my favorite kind, sushi, with family. What started as depressing last week had become the best birthday I have ever had in a short amount of time. 

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?