Thursday – One Thing After Another
“You are Gay, and before we kill you, we will embrace you like a human.”
Then they stoned two men to death, in front of a crowd of people.
You think these words spoken by Pope Francis are timely ???
I still think we need a crack team of commandos to go in there and slaughter Isis militants.
Kill them as unmercifully as they killed so many people who should still be alive.
End of Rant …
Last night I cracked Connor Franta’s book, “A Work in Progress.” This afternoon I finished the read while sitting in my doctors office. (More on that later)
I read a lot of books. I have an entire library of books in my bedroom. An avid reader will probably know, words are everything. What words are used, how they are used, and what those words mean, in the context of the story. Every book is an opportunity to learn a little more about its author.
As I was reading, certain words and phrases jumped out at me.
Because he writes with very familiar phraseology, enough to notice if you are paying attention.
However, there is no mention of any kind of association, and he may just know the words, without the context I was ascribing to them. It may just be his writing style.
But if you ask me, it sounds all too familiar !!!
Our young author, in his twenties now, tells us his story. He shares with his readers just how important the digital age is to his life and by extension, the rest of us … “unless you are forty” you probably don’t know much.
“The social generation has taken over. If you don’t tweet on the daily, receive dozens of likes on instagram photos, and know what the heck Tumblr is, then you best get to Googling because you’ve been left behind.
Or you are like forty …”
I found this was the only point in the story where I laughed out loud.
I am forty seven years old. I grew up in the 80’s. The only phone we had was connected to the wall in the kitchen, or if you were lucky, you had your own extension in your bedroom, and I did.
Social media was the local roller rink, or the shopping mall, (Dadeland or The Falls), or church youth groups, specifically. If you wanted to see your friends, you went to their house. And if they were good friends, you most likely spent numerous nights sleeping at friends houses, which I also did frequently.
Social media came late for me. My first computer was a gift from a friend in 2001, and that little box played the crucial role of connecting me to Canada. If it weren’t for that fact and a letter from the government, I would not be here today.
Anyways, social media. I am connected. This blog is nine years old. I have a You Tube account. There are actually videos, made by me, there. I Tumble. That’s where my photos come from. I joined Twitter a year ago to stay in contact with my friends, and that has grown into a social media platform for the blog as well. I have been on Facebook for almost nine years.
That is where I keep up with all my friends in one location.
With one click here, I can publish to all of my social media platforms, all at once.
Every gay boy has a coming out story. No two are the same. Connor is no different. But he was a blessed young man. Coming to know ones self is tough. Especially, when we think we are different. The process of coming to terms with sexual orientation can be long and arduous.
Connor figured that out for himself. On his time. In his own way. He chose who to tell, and when, and then he told his parents. They did not reject him, they turned around and told him they loved him and that that would never change.
How many gay kids get that kind of unequivocal support from parents.
I knew, before I knew what it was. I listened and decided that coming out would be detrimental to my existence. I moved away to be gay, and my alcoholism followed.
The rest is history.
Oh to write our memoirs at twenty-something… He has his whole life ahead of him. A lifetime of experiences he has YET to have. People he has YET to meet. Places he has YET to go.
SO MANY YETS !!!
I left with plenty of time to make my three train transit and get to my doctors appointment early, because I am always early, in the hopes that I maybe get in the door early, and get out of there early for a change. (Thank God I had Connor to keep me company).
I arrived twenty minutes early for a three o’clock appointment.
There are usually a few people waiting. And usually two doctors seeing patients.
Not the case today. The crowd that was there were all seeing one man. My Doctor.
I read my book, and I finished it as well. And still I waited. When the secretary called me in it was four thirty. I am pretty patient when it comes to the doctor. So shortly before I got called, I calmly walked up to the counter and inquired how long I would be waiting.
While I waited my sponsor called. I was supposed to meet him at his house to pay for the retreat in May, today was the deadline for payment. So he called me and said that he needed to attend to one of his guys, and could we amend our plans. I managed a yes.
Not knowing when I would be back on the Metro to get home.
At four thirty I went in and started a conversation. About halfway through, doc got a call from someone who must be working at the new Glenn Site. They spent a shitload of money building that monstrosity.
Millions of dollars spent were funneled into corrupt people’s bank accounts.
They built the hospital without consideration for specific needs, for certain departments. So unclaimed space is at a premium. So I listened to half a conversation about what my doctor needs in the new hospital and why, then I heard the other speaking to the effect that, I don’t think we can provide for your needs as you need them, so you will have to take whatever you get.
Doc says … The lives of my patients are on the line here, the words “crash cart” were tossed into the conversation. So that is a thing he says …
The guy responds … Well, I cannot provide what you need.
Doc says … Then I will meet you and we will go to the site and figure this out.
Conversation continues for a bit but does not end with a positive resolution.
We then resumed our discussion, diabetes is being a pain in my ass, my numbers are too high, something needs to change. Then I tell my doc about the pill pushing for a problem I did not have, (and he checked my blood pressure and it was GOLD).
Diabetes doc prescribes a pill for my blood pressure. Tells me to fill it and apply for a home meter that would be free and get sent to me once I visited their site. That was four months ago.
I did not fill the script and I did not take the pills as directed.
So today my doc tells me that the pills he wanted me to take were not actually FOR my blood pressure, but FOR a problem called, Microalbumin.
Something to do with blood and my kidneys.
What the actual fuck ???
Diabetes doc did not tell me any of this. Probably because he had interns in his office doing their homework on ME. He didn’t tell me what he should have told me, instead he gave some excuse.
I did not take the pills.
Meanwhile, the words diabetes doc didn’t say to me, appeared in my chart for my doc today to see and show me on his computer.
So my doc says to me, take the pills and don’t tell George that you talked to me.
I was not very happy.
On the flip side, my T-cell count stands at 1,358. That’s the highest it has been.
I left the office at five fifteen. I had forty five minutes to make my three train transit back into town. I had to stop at the pharmacy and drop scripts to be filled, go to the bank, get my cash I needed and then hit the grocery store all before six fifteen.
My sponsor was waiting outside my apartment when I got out of the grocery store.
In the end, it all got done. I hate having to race the clock.
I was home for forty five minutes, before I had to leave again for the Thursday meeting.
Every meeting is different. And I have learned a great deal from everyone who has spoken on Thursday night. Tonight was no different. What we are seeing and hearing is older folks, in their fifties, sixties and seventies, coming into the rooms much later in life. Older folks, with a few years under their belts. The later the entrance, the longer and painful the run up to insanity and their turning point.
Tonight I heard something different.
People don’t hit their bottoms, there are no bottoms, only an elevator, and it is up to us what floor we decide to get off on.
Our man tonight shared and his message was simple …
“You don’t have to suffer as long as I did in order to get here.”
In other news, I hit another fellowship along with some of my sponsees who also attend those meetings. I am all for trying to forget my slip and the drugs I did, and marijuana I smoked. I try to forget it because it was a horrible stage in my life.
It is a place I rarely go. I never talk about it. And I like it that way.
But that is the issue.
The longer I sit in that room, the more the nightmares and memories haunt me. I am ashamed of the person I became, I don’t know how I could have sunk so low as to go from a middle class white boy who was just an alcoholic, to a looser, white trash, trailer dwelling, drug abusing, pot smoking miscreant with no hope of a life or a way out of the pit of hell I dropped myself into, without having an escape plan ready, should I have needed it.
In the end, I had one friend who knew where I was, who supplied me with the one way ticket out of hell, and gave me a place to recuperate after my near death beating experience.
That man was my angel.
When I made that transit, I never touched drugs or marijuana again. I never went looking for them again, even when I got back to Miami. I still drank, because it was easy and I had the money to pay for it. But even that got old in the end.
And I got clean and sober 100%.
I needed to find someone to talk this out with, I need to dump this shit on someone who can help me navigate this stage of my recovery that I seem to be embroiled in. My sponsor did not use drugs, so I needed to find someone who did. And I found him.
My friend who celebrated twenty seven years sober tonight, is my guy.
I love him to death. He is one of the greatest men I know. Tomorrow we are getting together before the Friday night meeting to chat this out.
If you are going to get clean and sober, then you need to hit all the dark spots and bring that shit into the light of day, so you can deal with it and get over it.
Easier said than done.
But it is a start.
All in a days work they say.
More to come, stay tuned …