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  

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.

 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?