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Archive for October, 2016

Monday: The Great Pivot Continues

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In business, like in life, or in love, we may come to a crossroads, where a major decision has to be made. It is called a PIVOT. And listening to The Art of Charm today, we heard from Jenny Blake.

“Get Unstuck – How to Separate Difficult Decisions From Difficult Conversations.”

  1. Make your decision based on gut instincts
  2. How to express your decision in words clearly and directly
  3. Deciding WHEN to have that discussion
  4. Communicating that Decision
  5. Responding to reactions and any ensuing consequences and follow up

There have been many serious pivots in my life, thus far. The last great pivot took place when I decided to move to Canada, and to Montreal. It was a gut decision, based on spiritual faith. I was sober.

Since that time, I have been sitting in a safe harbor. And people around me are in one place in their lives and sobriety, and I am where I am right now as well. No two people, are ever at the same place together, experiencing the program together. Little by slowly, Heavenly Father is showing me where I need to go, and what does not serve me. And contrary to the opinions of some, I am headed where I need to go.

This Major Life Pivot took place when I met my Elders on that Metro Platform some time ago. That series of discussions led to my reviewing my life and major a major life decision, that is EPIC in size. This move into a faith community IS a MAJOR PIVOT.

I regret saying anything to some of my friends, because now I am seeing just who they are, based on the words they are speaking, I should not have opened my mouth, but it is what it is.

Heavenly Father, in His wisdom is pivoting me away from people, places and things that no longer serve me. And I have a community of Elders both Men and Women who are taking out specific community farther along, each of our respective paths.

I know who I can trust, and who I cannot.

Monday is Family and Friends fellowship at the church. We meet each week for a teaching video from an Elder of the Church. This week we heard from Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

You can find him on the General Conference Page on the LDS.ORG website

He spoke on the story about the ugly duckling. And spoke to the effect that we are all Children of God, and when we look in the mirror, we will see exactly who we are. We are Children of a Loving Heavenly Father.

We had a room full of Elder young men and women tonight, who all come from different parts of the world, speaking a multitude of languages, but together we shared, in a common language. After the teaching and share, we play a game.

Tonight we played Le Citoyen … The Citizen.

We had about a dozen people, each were given an identity:

  • Citizens
  • Werewolf’s ( there were three )
  • A witch
  • A Fortune Teller
  • Hunters
  • and A Mayor

It is a close your eyes, open your eyes game, led by a narrator who tells a story involving the people sitting in the circle. Nobody knows whom is whom, except for the narrator who leads the game. And it is a kill the werewolf’s and save the citizens.

The witch can either kill or save someone who is killed by a werewolf. Th Fortune Teller is given information he might need from the narrator to save the community. The hunters are trying to figure out, as the game progresses who the werewolf’s are so they can kill them, before the werewolf’s kill them and the citizens.

It was a good game. I won round two.

All is well. Tomorrow is another day.

 

 

 


October 31 – 2016, 35 years

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Thirty five years ago tonight, Lily and James Potter lost their lives to Voldemort. Leaving Harry alone to grow up without parents.

We Remember them today.


Sunday: Part 4, The Fifteen Year Itch

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The Pre-Cake roller coaster is in full motion. And it is rocking like bat shit crazy.

This year has been a challenge for me, in many ways. A few years ago, when I was introduced to working with others for the first time, I invested in a community because that is where my guys came from originally. Long sober people have turned out to be fakes and charlatans, liars and cheats. Obviously, I trusted the wrong people, for what I thought were the right reasons.

Lessons Learned.

Sober people are not perfect and I am told that I have to accept that an alcoholic and an addict are sick people, and that I should not hold long sober people up to certain standards of respect, dignity and human kindness. But if you turn on me I will, walk away.

No questions, No excuses, No problems.

Two and Three Quarter years later, for a certain fellowship, it is no more for me. That stage of my life has come and gone. I could only do so much, as in paying for all the supplies out of my pocket, running three meetings, carrying the lion’s share of the load. And it came to a head and I walked away. I was done.

I’m only hitting a couple of A.A. meetings now, and my patience is wearing thin for those meetings as well. One meeting, is full of young people and is, at least functional. But I drew down my service to that group last Friday night, opting to open another night for fellowship where I want to be right now.

My Sunday meeting, people are acting odd around me, they have just gone quiet on me. The don’t talk like we used to, and nobody waits to walk home, and that is a trend I have watched happen in other meetings that met in that space as well. And my sponsor cared to inform me just how scared people are of me and that they don’t trust me and even to the degree that some won’t come to that meeting because of me:

AND HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FEEL ABOUT THAT ???
Drop me another bomb why don’t you !!!

I am frustrated with people, I am short tempered. I am impatient. I’ve been running very hard at recovery for so long, that I am just about out of steam. I’ve pounded service, and tried very hard to grow up, yet I am reminded again and again, when it is expedient for my friends to remind me, that I have shortcomings, not that I have forgotten any of them.

I’ve accepted that I am damaged. And I accept that I may never heal fully. And I am told that over and over, I have to remember what I did to others, and that my issues are all about me. When you do life work and you pound it hard, you move forwards, sometimes only a little. What is done is done.

I listen to folks sober twice as long as I am. And I listen to them tell me where they think I should be, in relation to where they are themselves. Like I need to hit spiritual benchmarks already, that I know, for myself, I am not close to at all.

God is calling the shots. All the shots. And I am letting Him call the shots.

God knows how much time I have left.

My doctor does not even know what to do with me now, since I hit the fifty benchmark next July. I am not supposed to be still alive. And now this opportunity has come about, a path, a new focus in my life, and there is no better time than the present.

If not now, then when?

I’m bored with the rooms. I am tired of sitting with folks who, all they want to do is sit in, “Can’t be bothered.” We talk and talk and talk, UGH … enough talk already.

I just need some room to breath. I just need to have my friends give me some slack to decide what is good for me, without having to tell me how damaged I still am, thinking that if I listen to all the things wrong with me, I won’t want to serve Heavenly Father in the Church !

That’s what the enemy wants me to listen to. All those things wrong with me that make me less potential as a human being, because I am damaged. And I have faults. And I have challenges. If Adam and Eve did not fall in the garden, we would not have the dichotomy of good and evil, right and wrong, good and bad, light and dark.

If we did not have the bad, we would not know the truth and find the good and blessing of our stories, and our challenges. Gosh, I am going to be fifty next summer, and I cannot make decisions for myself, because people around me are so used to having me around, reliable, capable of doing all the work, answering to my fellows, and being the good sober boy I have been for the whole of my sobriety ???

And people tell me they care about me and that I matter and that I am important, and that I should return to places I have walked away from on purpose. And at the same time, the only time my phone rings is when certain people make concerted attempts to get my attention, when I had not heard from them for weeks.

Now that I’ve made my Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints commitment, people are freaking out.

For God’s sake, let me be … This is my call, not yours. This is my life, not yours.

I have not said a word in response to all this crap being shoveled at me recently. I’ve been respectful, because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I am feeling a little pressed into a corner, having to choose between comfort and growth.

THERE IS NO GROWTH IN THE COMFORT ZONE AND
THERE IS NO COMFORT IN THE GROWTH ZONE.

I heard that from an Elder this morning. And it is true.

For people, who have nothing but the rooms, and their concept of a higher power, and they do nothing but stay within those confines, it becomes comfortable. And predictable.

I’ve been living a wholly comfortable and predictable life for all my sober years.

There are not many people who are devoted to organized religion, so to speak. And I’ve been around the block with numerous religions. And I know ALL the arguments made towards the LGBT community. Good and Bad.

And I think, that my friends think, that if I surf too far off the wave of sobriety, that I am going to find myself in some kind of serious jeopardy, that will threaten my sobriety. If you stray too far from the farm, you might get caught someplace you really should not be.

God forbid, you should find community somewhere else, that is not sober related.

The alarms go off, the lights start flashing and the warning sirens go off.

Whoa look out, one of us is heading in another direction,

Danger Will Robinson, Danger …

I made it here on my own steam. I am still alive and breathing.

Let me make my own decisions. I am of sound mind and body.
Really !!!

There is nothing bad or dangerous about God.


Sunday: Part 3, The Many Voices

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After a great day, spent in fellowship, worship and community, I figured that the night would pass without incident.

I was WRONG.

People are concerned for my spiritual welfare, and the couple of my lady friends spent considerable amounts of time tonight, reminding me of my shortcomings and patterns they have observed, or heard me speak of, concerning my past.

When I work my Steps, when I reach Step Nine, the Amends process, I stop. Knowing that it will snow in Hell, before I can get past this step completely. And there is anger in my soul. Anger that I keep in check quite well, save for the odd moment, when the dam bursts and I speak words that I should not.

My spiritual director gave me specific counsel on these topics and I have followed his advice to the letter. I must turn my entire life over to God and allow Him to do what I cannot do for myself. The truth about anger and rage is real. I don’t think I will ever be 100% rid of it, and will probably take them to my grave with me.

Like I really need my friends to point out my shortcomings when it is expedient for them to remind me, which only stokes the fires burning in the pit of my soul. And exacerbates the utter sadness I feel about people who have hurt me terribly.

If we felt nothing, and buried the truth in a lock box, who would we be ?

I admit my truth quite openly. It is no secret, my past. But Must I be constantly reminded of it? It’s like pouring salt into the wounds in my soul ?

I told three people of my spiritual path. My best friend is standing by my side. The other two folks, not so much. I walked away from a community that I could do no more for, and it seemed that God had plans for me, because I am where I am at this very moment.

People are talking about me behind the scenes, because oddly, I got two phone calls that I was not expecting. You know how often your friends think of you, or how they don’t think of you often, when your phone does not ring for weeks and weeks. I tried my hardest to break a silent streak among my friends, to no avail. And now I have to explain why I am walking away from people, who have no concern for my welfare or me in general.

I know what silence speaks of …

So, knowing how fast the adversary comes in and tries to darken my spirits, I turned to my scriptures for advice. It did not take but a few moments to find the words I needed to read.

I did everything I was asked to do this morning, when I got home.

And I did everything I was supposed to do, to make the meeting a success again. And as usual, I locked up the church, and walked home alone. That is also a contentious issue.

I know that people think little of me, when we all walk the same direction home, or to the Metro, which is on the way home, when nobody waits to walk home with me, like they used to. Maybe the gossip I am hearing about me is true …

People have judged me and by their words, and actions or lack of either, speaks volumes.

All I know is that I must trust the Savior to care for me, and for Heavenly Father to take the lead and bring me that which will be fruitful in my life.

Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen

2 Nephi 4:35

 


Sunday: Part 2, Still In the Running

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Oh My Goodness, what a day so far. I was up with the birdies this morning, well before my alarm went off. I had two set, so I would get out of bed, at an ungodly hour, because I usually don’t do mornings …

I did some surfing. Last week, I culled my social media memberships, and deleted an entire chunk of stuff that was not serving me, or was a waste of time and energy, when I could be putting time into things that were actually good for me.

I got changed for my first L.D.S service at the Church in N.D.G. I met my Elders at the church a little early, so that we could chat before service. I shared with them my passage through darkness, and what the Scriptures said when I went to them.

NOTE To SELF: I should hit my scriptures early and often throughout the day.

I told them my fears of not reaching my goal. And I was reassured by both of them that I was still in the running, that they would prayerfully work me through the process and get me to my interview date, with “passing grades,” so to speak.

Crisis averted, My heart is full.

GREEN LIGHT !!!

We talked about how the enemy, when we are about to reach a goal, or progress in our spiritual pursuits, always attempts to throw stones at us, tells us stuff that will discourage us from moving forwards, so that we will either give up or we fail.

That is not going to happen to me.

I know where I am going, NOW, I know, I WILL get there.

We attended service in the morning, which was interesting. I love Hymns.

The one thing that bothered me was that too many people were cavorting in their seats, taking amongst themselves, and babies were screaming in the back, and it seemed, while the sisters were talking, not a whole lot of people were paying attention.

I just wanted to tap some folks sitting in front of me asking them to hush, and to give the speakers their full attention, because that was why we were there to begin with.

After service we broke into smaller groups for a teaching with a member of the church, Elders, Sisters, members and guests.

Then we all gathered in the gym, for the fifth Sunday meeting of families, and young people. I got to meet some folks who were also “investigators.” That is what they call folks who are coming to Church to be part of Church.

One man in particular I met, has been “In process” for many years, but seems, has not made a definite decision to become, PART OF.

I know I want “in” that community. I met lots of kind men and women. I am getting involved with upcoming conferences. I have my weekly teaching sessions that will get me to my Baptism in the Temple in the future.

I saw my friend Cedric after the final meeting and we chatted for a bit, which was cool.

He wants me to go to Utah in January for a conference. That would be sweet to be able to visit the Temple in Salt lake City as a full fledged member of the L.D.S Church.

Now I am home, waiting for the last activity of the day …

Sunday Niters.

Stay tuned …

 


Sunday: Part 1, The Spirit Returned

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I had a conversation with Rafa last night. It seems that we are both running on the same steam, having both spent the better part of last week, in either anger for him, and fear for me.

It was as if, amid my week of spiritual realizations, for some reason, the spirit left me, and for an entire day, I was sunk in a pit of worthlessness, fear, and feeling devastatingly alone, and that Heavenly Father had pulled away from me.

I had not read my scriptures for Friday before I went to bed, and that may have been something I should have done when the darkness began to consume me. In any case, I did go to my scriptures before bed, and I am reading 2 Nephi.

And from Friday’s reading into last nights reading, I have kept God’s commandments, and I have kept the covenants I made with Heavenly Father. Not sure, that I needed a day in the darkness, to be able to extinguish between goodness and darkness.

In the reading Nephi talks about the Garden of Eden, and the fact that, in the garden everything was perfect and untouched, and then the fall occurred which gave contrast to a perfection that had been untouched. For if there was no evil, or no wrong, or no pain, or no struggle, we would not know what perfection and good are, because there was no opposite in existence when Adam and Eve were in the garden.

I know that Heavenly Father loves me and has my back, all the time.

Time to get ready for church.

 


Friday: Part 2, FEAR of Being Red Lighted

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The stories of Voices of Hope are as varied as the human sharing their story. Rejection, Denial, Ostracism, Not being understood, or Validated are very very real, for many of the young men I have listened to.

And after today’s episode that I watched earlier today, where I heard MY story told by someone who walked this very same path, knowing that HE got the Green Light, and was baptized into the church, has put some real fear into my heart tonight.

I’m really afraid that for some reason or other, the man who will be charged in green lighting my baptism, will say NO. It is a logical fear, because my story is a bit complicated, but I’ve done all the work I need to do. I’ve thought this all through, I have reached my conclusion that, I am done with Gay.

I want to be baptized. I want to be part of the community that was shared with me. I have turned to Heavenly Father for wisdom, and love. I just really need to trust the men who have been ministering to me that they know the particulars of my story, and when I see them on Sunday morning at Church, I will share with them my fears.

I just need to relax and pray for peace and understanding.

I know, Heavenly Father knows what is going on with me and that He loves me for who I am, an imperfect human being who just needs to hear that I am just ok.

 

 


Friday: Part 1, Finding the Better Me on the Other Side

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I did not get a single hit from last night’s post. I imagine that it was not the right moment, and the feeling I have been sitting with is this: I am ok. I am on the way. I know where I am headed.

The last Discussion was about the process to Baptism. But first I need to meet with the Mission President for Quebec, before that can happen.

I’ve been listening to Voices of Hope every day. And they say, in our rooms that, eventually, one day, you will hear someone tell your story. After over a dozen testimonies listened to, I heard a young man tell the story I am living at the moment.

How, being Gay turned out and where that led him. Then, in a fluke of Heavenly Father prompting, he and a friend were in an Asian grocery store, in the Bay Area, and on his way out, a Missionary was walking in.

In a moment, he was enlightened to talk to the missionary. Which led to some questioning who he was, what he was, and how he could find himself, talking with a Missionary.

One conversation led to more Missionaries, which led him to Baptism.

Like myself, he got to the other side of Gay, and is working on finding his better self, through the Atonement and the Gospel and the Savior.

I needed to hear someone talk about this specific journey. What does one do when they find, that they are on the other side of Gay.

Thinking back, if I could talk to my much younger self, I would give him other, better choices to make. More options, that I did not have at the time. There was no other option for me, so I engaged in the gay community.

As my life progressed, I found less and less attraction for the gay community. I found less and less need for the community as well. Because I’ve spent the last fifteen years, living among my straight friends in recovery.

However, I have some gay friends in the room, we don’t hang out, outside the room. And I invite one of my elderly gay friends to holiday dinners here in our home, that is a tradition we have had for several years.

I don’t desire to be with other men. And I really don’t sexualize men in public. I might think, Hey, he’s cute or has a cool haircut, and that is normal. I just don’t LUST after guys like a sick puppy would.

I’ve been married for twelve years, and for the last fifteen years, I have worked on myself and have grown spiritually and soberly. Hubby, on the other hand has not. He is not interested in personal growth beyond his job and his laptop.

So two sober people living under the same roof. One is stagnant, and the other has moved farther along the life road. And now I am here.

On the Other Side of Gay.

I believe Heavenly Father is calling me to my better self.

I want to be Baptized in the Church.

Sunday I am going to church for the first time in ages. I am hoping that will lead to something I really desire.

Connection …


Thursday – Is there anybody out There ?

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I know where I am going. I know where I have been. I know the way out, but I am not quite there yet. It’s like I am standing in front of the door of the church, and the door is closed at the moment, because it hasn’t been opened for me just yet.

There are steps I need to take, and people I need to meet and talk with, before that door is fully opened. I just need someone to talk to, someone to share with, someone who can be there and to listen.

I have heard the warning about “Disclosure,” that Heavenly Father will send the right people to us, when the time is right, and that we should not look to having conversations with people, who won’t necessarily accept or understand the finer details of the story I am living right now.

Right now, I have my sponsor who knows, I have my Elders who I have asked for help from, and for someone to talk to.

This afternoon, I had “The Discussion” with my best friend. He lives in another City, Ottawa, so he isn’t local, and if I want to see him, I have to go to him.

I had not really prepared what I was going to say to him, but I had an idea. I just was not sure that I would have the right words to explain all the details fully, or that I would be able to paint the right picture for him to look at.

He knows me, and he knows my story. We have spent months of Fridays sitting on his back patio, when he lived here, talking through a manuscript that, at one time, I thought would make a good book. I later decided that writing said book, was not a good idea, so I shelved it.

In my story outline were 5 threads. One of them is a Heavenly Father thread.

With that idea firmly sussed out between us, the story I told him made perfect sense. For over an hour we talked, and he did have valid questions, worries, concerns for my spiritual welfare, because he has seen me get burned before, and he does not want to see me get burned again.

He is walking with me. He gets it. It makes sense to him. And he supports this journey.

When I hung up the phone, I was emotionally and spiritually exhausted. In a good way though. I talked about my Testimony of Faith and The Atonement. I’ve studied the Plan for Salvation. Last night, I went over my scripture readings and I prayed.

I sent word to my Elders that I really wanted to know if there was someone who they knew who could be there to listen or to guide.

I listened to another story from Voices of Hope when I got home this evening.

I don’t have a map of the next steps. I don’t know what is going to happen. Or who is going to come into my life right now, to walk with me.

If there is anyone out there, who has time … Contact me. Please.

jeremy1350@gmail.com

You know, I sent two emails out over the past week. Neither of them have been returned.

I have an odd story, I am where I am.

I also know that if I don’t hear Heavenly Father myself, that the next step is to go and listen to someone who knows Heavenly Father, because words might come from them.

He always finds a way …

 


Covenant

Do you believe in Love

Today I made my first covenant with Heavenly Father.

One of many to come.


Tuesday – Heavenly Father is Constant Like the North Star

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Forgive my back and forth. I come from a religious tradition that calls the name of God – God. I am still getting used to Heavenly Father, which is why I added a section to this piece, to reflect that understanding and respect for Him.

 

God is Perfect. God’s timing is perfect. It has taken a lifetime to get here, but I think I have arrived. God is always there. Patiently waiting. Always knowing when we might need Him, even if we don’t always know it at the time. I feel, God has called upon me for this next season. However long that season is.

This is the route He has chosen for me.

You might not know where you are at the moment, but God has a plan for each and every one of us. I don’t know what my plan is, there are some things I do know based on my testimony of faith.

As a young child, Memere introduced me to God, in that big Church we attended together when she had me with her. She took the time, on that one perfect day, to give me to God. It was she that had that intimate conversation with God. At least that is what comfort I take from that memory. She loved me, without a doubt.

She gave me that gift. It is sinful what my father did to her over my lifetime. My father was so hateful and he was a pig. What does a child do, when the two people that should have loved you and gave you Good, Sound, Godly advice, failed in their responsibility to do just that?

Knowing I was coming from a broken home, a home where all my father wanted was for me to, just die already, after spending my lifetime trying to get rid of me, makes me sick.

How did I know what was good for me, when the humans that were charged in making sure I did the right thing, did not care one bit ?

I didn’t.

Spending that year in seminary, my second year of college, did teach me some things, in hindsight. In telling this story to my Elders this evening, at the time, I thought that serving God would be the end all and be all of my existence. The seed was there, but the ground was not fertile.

That seminary, might not have been the proper garden for me to flourish, as God wants each of us to flourish. Too many weeds, Too many vines, and WAY too much sin.

There were adults in my life whom I worked for, who were there when I was in the beginning stages of serious alcoholism. Some of those same people are sober today, and got sober, well before I ever hit the rooms. And I wonder, to this day, “Why they didn’t say STOP, or Maybe I had a problem?” True, I wasn’t their responsibility nor their child.

I did not know what I was getting into, when I moved to Orlando. I had a simple plan, nothing too difficult, but it was not too long, before I was way over my head, and nobody knew, cared, or offered any solution to that madness of sex, drugs and alcohol.

Everybody grows up, one way or another. This story life, might have been different, if a change of just a single degree had taken place, on this specific timeline point. Had someone warned me, or spoke to me and given me Good Advice … Not Just

Go to the Bar, have a couple of drinks and see what happens ?

What did I know, I was told, that that was the way in.

I’ve heard many young Mormon men say, in their stories, that they never heard one good word about the gays ! Well that might have been true. I had never met more evil, backstabbing, dishonest people in my life, than some of the men I had interactions with in my time in Orlando. No wonder, I had such a bad time.

Every challenge we have, in hindsight, as the Elders said tonight, was to give us experience with whatever was going on with us, in order to teach us something about our challenges.

I have worked my way out of several challenges in my life. It surely was not on my own that I found my out, it was God.

I said to them that, “I had been to hell several times over…” And the response came back that “Now you know the way out.” You had to have that experience, so that one day, you could turn around and help another human being who might be stuck in the hole you were once in.

You have the way out …

You cannot help someone, if you don’t have the invested experience to share a solution with them.

Mother Teresa once asked Lorna, “How do I help the alcoholics in Calcutta?” Lorna’s reply was a simple question … “Mother Teresa, are you an alcoholic? No, she replied, Then you cannot help them.”

I have a Testimony of Faith. I have had a lifetime of experience, and I can share with you that God does exist. That God is faithful. That God is always there. And I know that when I turned to God, He was there for me.

There were times when I needed God, and I did not necessarily call on the name of God for help, just the same, He came in the guise of someone who played a direct role in my life at one point or another.

God has been good and giving. God has been merciful and kind. I don’t know what God has in store for me right now, but I am spiritually prepared to walk where ever he asks me to go.

I thought, early in my life that the answer to all my problems, was to go and serve God. The Good Men who pushed me through the process of admission believed in me, more than my own family believed in me. In the end, I failed them.

Or was it that the rector of the seminary who had failed them ?

I wasn’t the only seminarian from our home parish to “leave the building.”

I like to say that when I was “On the Beam with God, my life was really good.” And I know, in hindsight, what good feels like. I also know what being “Off the Beam, from God, feels like as well.”

The next time I consciously connected with God, was when I was diagnosed with AIDS in 1994. I’ve never prayed more serious prayers in my life, because this was my life we were talking about. I really did not want to die, because so many people wanted nothing better than for us FAGS to die, because God was punishing us for our sins.

Let me tell you, God had nothing to do with the things I witnessed. God had nothing to do with how sick all of my friends got. God had nothing to do with the indignities I watched being perpetrated on the sick and dying.

My poor friends went to their death, in ways you cannot even imagine or conceive, and I am sure, as the sun rises, that each human being that turned their backs on us, paid a heavenly price for that ultimate Sin Against God’s humanity.

I survived the worst disease I have ever seen. And God was right there, in the middle of it all, and for a few hours each night, I spent time with people, who were running out of time. I know who loved me through that darkness.

On December 9th, 2001, I promised God that I would remain on that beam, even if it killed me to do so. I moved to Montreal for a spiritual truth. I had been given the gift of sobriety a second time. I’m not sure that wasn’t a fluke.

If I had not had salvation from the sinister episode I was sunk in, when it was time to go, I am not sure I would have survived, and nobody knew where I was for one, and two, nobody cared either. If I had dropped off the face of the earth, or died, nobody would have come looking for me or even missed me.

God Giveth, and God Taketh away …

I know today, that in my life, at certain times, God removed things from my life, for certain reasons. Other times, I had to choose to walk away from some things. And in a few instances, when I walked away, from, let’s say, a substance, I did not go back to look for more. I knew I was done. That happened with alcohol as well.

When I moved here, I did not go looking for it again.

When I decided that I did not need the Village or the people in it, early in sobriety, I walked away from it. And I did not miss it. I was sober, so I was not bar hopping nor was I trolling for sex either.

Heavenly Father, in His wisdom knows what He is doing for me and for you. Over the years, I trusted in His wisdom and love when I was relieved of things in my life that were not serving me. I’ve spent fifteen years here, I was educated here. I know a ton of people here. Out of ALL the people I know, ONE, ONLY ONE, friend has invested in my life. HE is my best friend.

I can’t say that much about the community I walked away from. And don’t miss one bit. For the first time in all my years I went to Pride in the Nations Capitol, Ottawa. I had never felt so out of place or unsettled in my life. I knew, that I did not need that event, or any of those people. I have certain gay friends who I trust and listen to advice from. Getting sober in straight rooms, that assimilated many into them, serves me well. There are just some things in life that once i felt necessary and exclusive, proved, in the end, to be unnecessary and pointless.

When I was diagnosed in 1994, even our own brothers, who were alive, healthy and safe, turned their backs on those of us who were sick. i watched healthy humans toss their sick partners, boyfriends and lovers out into the streets destitute and alone. I served every one of those men left on the side of the street, and I was there when many of them crossed the veil into the afterlife. Let me tell you, that was a bitter pill to swallow.

But Heavenly Father delivered me out of that hell. WHY he chose me to live is still beyond me, but like my Elders said, I have a story and a solution to offer. At least that is solid wisdom.

So the decision to convert was not a difficult choice. It was another choice, as I heard from a young man on the Voices of Hope site tonight.

When I left home, there was only ONE choice. There was no other, and no other voice offered to engage me.

I have a choice today.

I don’t know what it is, but I am certain that, when I walked away from something, or something was taken away, it was or has been by Divine Intervention. (read: God)

Hubby was dropped into my life, So I could repay God for his tender mercies He had shown me, so that I could turn around and help, love and serve another. Then marry.

My Marriage is Non-Negotiable. However, a commitment must be made to God. One that I am ready and willing to accept.

I will not, in any sense of the word, forsake my marriage.

God has always been part of this marriage. But I see now that, God removed some things from my life, just the same, and I am ok with this truth.

There are covenants coming.

There are commitments to be made.

There is a process in this conversion experience. The Elders think well of me, and I am blessed that God put them in my path, at the moment they appeared.

Cedric said that the Elders who found me, were “The Right” elders to find me. That had any other Elder come across me, this time might not have happened the same or even at all. Because the young men I know today, speak with the authority of the Church, and their Scriptures.

I spent a couple hours with my sponsor this morning talking to her about this process, and she could identify with the feelings and emotions I was talking about.

After we parted, I had lunch with a lady friend who had texted me earlier in the morning, and it was funny that she asked how I was, then she asked me “What are you reading?”

And I said … The Book of Mormon.

She did not believe me. I told her I was going to be an LDS member, and she was intrigued, so we had lunch together. At my evening teaching session, I said to the Elders that “They should have warned me, that I would become an evangelist…”

They just laughed …


Sunday – Did I Do the Right Thing ?

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Because we need happy dog photos right about now …

I’ve been angry, and impatient, and judgmental, and unsettled all night. And I believe that this is bleed over from my separation from a group of people I cared for and supported, and at the end of the day, they turned their backs on me.My phone has not rung in more than a week now. And I deleted all those numbers from my phone on Friday.

Like turning off that proverbial light switch, I like to always talk about.

So many people in my community across the board are afflicted with the “Can’t be bothered syndrome.” They want the easier softer path, and they want sobriety via osmosis by sitting in a chair night after night, hoping that they will magically get sober, and not have to embark on the personal work The Book and The Work asks of us.

So I watched another Voices of Hope episode instead of sitting here being angry all night.

And I wonder to myself, have I been living one huge lie? Am I not true to myself ? Did  I not follow God’s will correctly ? Because my brain is on over drive and here is why …

Memere, Grammy, and my Aunt Paula, they all loved me. Memere and Grammy are gone, and coming to Canada was my way of reconnecting with Memere’s spirit, in a place I wanted to be, both for myself and my spirit. I believed that this city was where I was supposed to end up, as the signs had opened up for me as they did, to lead me here eventually.

That seed of faith was set in my heart at a very young age. Hearing love and devotion when I was away from home, was lovely. But when I went back home, or even when I was out of home, my father wanted me dead. Saying I was a mistake and should never have been born. What kind of parent says things like that to their kids for the WHOLE of their lives?

All I wanted was to be loved. And I was for a while, on the outside. By other people, people who were NOT my parents.

For every good thing my parents gave me, they took it out in equal opposite measure with verbal, physical and emotional abuse. My father abused me mercilessly, and my mother watched him do it and never defended me or asked him to stop. In toxic parents speak, she was the silent woman. My father was the abuser.

Where did I learn about homosexuality ? From books, magazines, radio shows and later in my teens, I met actual gay men, who gave me more positive attention than my father could ever have given me.

So jealous with rage at these conversations I was having with these gay men, my father would come home and beat me until he thought he could beat the gay out of me, all the while, hiding his own secret of repressed homosexuality.

The dog that barks the loudest has the MOST to HIDE.

I had an idea. A thought, An example of what titillated me. Reading was the one way I connected with something I found of personal interest, well before I knew what it all meant. But tits and naked women did nothing for me at all. And I got that in equal measure, gay and straight. But early on I had made my choice.

In tenth grade, I began to attend youth group. I was going to church on my lunch hours at school. I was going to prayer meetings, retreats, serving in the mass, I had a spiritual life that was second to none. In the end those priests saw hope in me that they figured a life in the church would suit me. Memere was so proud the day I walked into Seminary. My parents could not have cared any less for my success. They were just glad to finally get rid of me.

No You Can’t …

Along this path to God, I walked and searched and hoped and prayed.

I never came out of the closet at home for fear my father WOULD Kill Me.

So at age nineteen, I entered my first year of seminary. For that calendar year, my spiritual director’s favorite question to all of us was … “Did you touch yourself?” And the answer was always the same. “No Father.”

That was a big huge lie.

I watched my fellow classmates do things with certain people that I found abhorrent at the time, because, at that time, my eyes were focused on God and pious sanctimony. But I witnessed crimes. And they were crimes. Only to be cornered on a dark night with the threat of sin and violence if I ever spoke out about what I had witnessed by those who were directly involved with said sinning against God.

I believed that if I could serve the church, that that would expunge any vestige of homosexuality out of me. I would serve God and that would be ok with me. Because serving God was better than serving myself.

In the end, at the end of that year, the rector, a man I despised, asked me to leave, that he felt that I did not have the blessing of God to continue. (Read: I did not have his blessing, because I was a thorn in his side, because of some of the things he perpetrated as rector).

I was mad at God. And Rightly so. I felt God had turned His back on me.

I had to go back home. My parents were none too pleased. I got a job, that included alcohol, and trips all over the world, just because I was employed at the right agency. That fed into my alcoholism and stunted my growth into manhood.

Coming to twenty One I was seeing my shrink and talking about what I was going to do. Ok, Fine, I would have to leave home, and strike out on my own, with specific direction to visit a local bar first and have a couple of drinks, and SEE WHAT HAPPENS …

See what happens ?

I had one sexual experience with a man when I was nineteen. Nobody knew that for years after it happened. We all got drunk one night on cheap vodka, and I took his keys away so he would not drive home drunk, so he spent the night. And shit happened.

Boy oh Boy, the women were so jealous of me when they found out I had slept with him. I had accomplished a feat that none of them had been able to do.

It wasn’t until I moved to Orlando and told a friend, who was a confidant that I was new at this game and he stepped up and broke me in officially.

What did I know about Gay ? I liked what I had read in the past. It turned me on. And mix pretty young gay men, with copious amounts of drugs and alcohol, and the Tragic Queendom and you had it made in spades.

What was being Gay ? Same Sex Attraction (SSA), Sex, Drugs, Alcohol…

I lived that lifestyle for just six years. When I turned twenty six, everything changed.

Having the beautiful boyfriend was all the rage in my twenties. And it seemed, that it was not the single gay that was attractive to most young gay men. It was the “coupled” gays that were the most attractive. Breaking up a couple who were dating was the holy grail in the community I was part of.

I was not the prettiest gay boy, but I was attractive for a while, until I became a worthless drunk.

I had never succeeded in having relationships worth any substance.Alcohol fueled the desire for sexual attraction and sex itself.

And it was my own undoing that brought me to where I ended up eventually.

Alcoholism stunts you at the point you began drinking. I was a teenager, mentally, for years. I was irresponsible. I lied, I cheated, I swore on my father’s good name, that he would pay for it all. In the end he did.

And I paid for that for the rest of my life.

Imagine, growing up with the alcoholic parents who NEVER said, Hey I Love You. Or Hey I am proud of You. Or Hey, Can I help you out or support you?

They never said those things to me.

Because I was the mistake that should never have been born.

Fast forward to age twenty five. Post James’s suicide and my having to identify his remains at the coroners office the fifth day after they found what was left of him four days earlier.

It was catastrophic emotional trauma which led to pitiful incomprehensible drinking to drown my sorrow.

Todd and Bill had stepped in and got me into therapy. But the worst was yet to come.

A few months later, I contracted hepatitis and was really sick. For months, I was working at the bar, like all the other employees, there was nothing special about me YET.

A friend gave me a card with Symptoms on it, as in, If You Have These Symptoms, You Might have AIDS. It took me until July of 1994, to hit nine of the twelve symptoms on that card, at which time, on July 4th, I had called home to tell my parents I was sick and that I was going to the hospital the next morning to get tested.

“Philadelphia with Tom Hanks” was out on Video. I had a copy at home with my friends, we were going to watch it later that night. Meanwhile, back at home my parents WERE watching the movie as the phone rang. Which did not end well.

Fast forward to the 9th of July that Friday. I had had AIDS. I was going to die. Life was over.

My family, My friends, my boyfriend, all left me high and dry. Sick, alone, isolated.

The Gay Lifestyle we like to speak about changed irrevocably.

I was no longer sexually viable. Hell, I wasn’t a viable human being according to the many who told me to just die and the Christians were telling me that it was God’s wrath for my sins. That I had brought this on myself. And that I would burn in hell for eternity.

I called Todd home from vacation. 1 man. 1 God. Three words. I Love You.

I Prayed – God appeared in my life, in human form. He came, and He saved me. I knew God loved me, because the only person who mattered to me, also loved me, and that was Todd.

I lived.

But I wasn’t in the clear just yet, as my story meanders from sobriety into full fledged alcohol and drug addiction/consumption, until I had hit that second bottom in December of 2001.

Once again, I turned to God, and I prayed three prayers in a certain order. I needed three things to get me back to the rooms. Funny that God heard those prayers, and like clockwork, each prayer came to pass, in the order requested.

God was there for me when I really needed Him. At every stage of this life I was living, when I needed a miracle or God to appear, He was there, right by my side.

Saving me every time. One Day I would repay His Goodness to me.

The alcoholic who would bring me back appeared in my shop and asked for a job.

Serendipity.

I moved to Montreal in 2002. Following Memere to where I believed in my spirit, I should be and turned my life around. And I grew up along the way.

I never assimilated into Montreal’s gay community. I went looking for something specific and did not find it, so I gave that part of my life up, opting for sobriety and a sober life.

Gay Lifestyle ? Did not exist for me. I was just a human being who happened to be Gay.

Assimilation into straight sober rooms was a challenge in the beginning, because of homophobia and judgmentalism on the part of people  who claimed to be Godly and Sober.

WRONG …

I wasn’t looking for sex. I never went looking for sex because I knew I was damaged goods. Nobody wanted a man with AIDS, that was one serious deal breaker in the Gay Community. Even if i was sober.

Trolling for Sex, was not a sober activity.

On the day, I passed hubby in the doorway of St. Leon’s Church, it was a split second decision. I looked, I heard the voice, and as I have said before, the rest is history.

I dated hubby for a couple of months, into Christmas of 2002. He went home to Ottawa to see his family, he gave me a set of keys to his place. The place we call home today, and said I could stay in his apartment while he was gone to Ottawa.

Gay Lifestyle ? We had only a few months before he got sick. I got used to how he looked, what he said, who he was. How he made me feel. He accepted me from the first night.

Because it was God ordained that we were to meet.

I never had to go looking for any gay lifestyle. I did not need any other gays in my life.

Todd always said that one day I would be able to save someone and love them.
Hubby was that one human being. I stood and was counted. I did what I was called to do.

Love, Support and Respect.

I never had to worry about same sex attraction to any other human being other than hubby. I had committed.

I was done. Forever…

We were both clean and sober, and we used to go dancing together until it got too cumbersome, having to suit up winter gear and go out and at the end of the night, find a taxi home.

Too Much Trouble.

I did not have gay friends. But I knew there were some gay people in a couple of meetings, here and there, which we availed ourselves of for a while, until they fell out of favor, because I could no longer stomach gay men who were sick, night after night saying how they just wanted to die, and be so miserable. I needed to know how they got so many more years, still alive, because that is what I was after all along.

All they wanted was to die. It did not Compute …

One night I had heard enough, from one particular man who was sick. And I offered to kill him, right then and there in the meeting. I offered to either shoot him in the head or push him off the second floor to the ground.

We never went back to that meeting.

No More Gay Sober Lifestyle.

Over the last fifteen years, I stayed clean and sober.

I went back to school, and decided that I was going to re follow God. I knew I had failed at getting to God through the vehicle of the church. So I chose to follow God through academia.

Gay, Religion, Theology and Academia, in the end was my own undoing.

Promises were made to me by Catholic Priests and the Monsignor, who were some of my professors in my Religion and Theology studies.

He reneged on his promises to make me useful to the church as a Gay Man.

Read – Gay and Catholic did not mix, even if Montreal had gay priests in its employ. I just would not be acceptable within those ranks.

All Along, the pictures and stories of sex, that were in my head, never came to pass for me. The very night that I met Todd, at the old bar location, He looked into my soul. And like God himself, He knew my innermost desires. And they were dark.

When I got sick, working at the bar, Todd passed an edict to every single man who worked in the bar, and to every single man who walked through our doors.

I was off limits.

After diagnosis, I did not have sex ever again, with anyone and that lasted for years.

The sex I wanted to have, I never accomplished at having. So menial sex was just sex. Hubby and I had a couple of months together, before he fell sick.

So the Gay Lifestyle I had read about and fantasized about NEVER happened.

Todd made that perfectly clear to me and to everyone else.

So much for the gay lifestyle.

My job, at the bar, was to be of service to anyone who walked through the door. I cleaned up trash. I bar tended. I worked in the DJ Booth. On special occasions, I was personal liaison to the special guests for each night as they showed up.

That was my job.

It wasn’t sex, it wasn’t anything but work. I could look all I wanted. I could dress any way I wanted. But that was as far as I got. EVER …

It took me fifteen years of sobriety and the meeting of the elders to get me to this point, to wonder who I really am, what secrets do I have, and need to be bore out, and what is God trying to say to me, and where am I headed ?

it took this long to realize just how BLESSED I really am today. Everything that happened, happened for a reason, to get me to this exact point in my life.

To see the truth and figure out what to do next.

God said to me …. “I am enough for you.”

Who am I ? What am I ? Why Now ?

I know God is not finished with me yet.

Tomorrow I am meeting Cedric at the LDS church in NDG.

I shopped for new shoes and new dress clothes earlier today, so I would be presentable to the community.

So that is my confession for tonight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Faith Evolution …

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How do you know who you are supposed to be? What determines who you are? What one looks like, what one feels, what one sees, what one reads, what one hears from others?

How does one reconcile LOVE coming from certain people, and hatred and revulsion from others?

Looking back, to those early days, I had very few friends growing up. I did not arrive into friendships until I had hit the 6th grade. And it was upward and onward from there.

I knew I was GAY very early in life.

What does a child do, who has time on his hands, and a house full of information to be had, if you knew where to look ?

Nobody thought twice about the consumption of reading material located throughout the house. And nobody gave a second thought to what kind of reading material it was either.

Back in the day, I had a transistor radio that I used to listen to in bed at night. But more specifically, it was what exactly I was listening to that mattered.

I knew I was gay, but I never spoke that word to anyone at home. But parents are not stupid nor ignorant. And in my teens, my father figured it out for himself and began to beat me and abuse me mercilessly and senselessly. The abuse my father handed out began when I was a small child and he would chase me around the house with a bat trying to kill me, saying that “I was a mistake and should never have been born.” My grandmothers stood in the way of my father and his bat every time he did that.

He maintains that line to this day, in 2016, and I am nearing the fifty mark next summer.

I am still that mistake, and the cause of everyone else’s problems.

It is All My Fault.

Not sure where that came from really.

I played the heterosexual dating game through junior high and high school.

I attempted to follow God into Seminary, and I failed in that work. Seminary was not the safest place and not the most sacred location either.

Homosexuality was alive and well under the cover of darkness. Who knew they were going to ordain so many pompous, arrogant, entitled queers into the church back then?

That is the God’s honest TRUTH.

I had not come out of the closet yet. I was still an impressionable young boy at age nineteen.

When I came of age, at 21, knowing I had to leave home, and never return, the one piece of advice I listened to, was from my shrink,

who told me that the only way into the gay community was through a bar and a couple of drinks. The rest they say is history.

What was being Gay ? Same Sex Attraction (SSA), Sex, Drugs, Alcohol…

I lived that lifestyle for just six years. When I turned twenty six, everything changed.

Having the beautiful boyfriend was all the rage in my twenties. And it seemed, that it was not the single gay that was attractive to most young gay men. It was the “coupled” gays that were the most attractive. Breaking up a couple who were dating was the holy grail in the community I was part of.

I was not the prettiest gay boy, but I was attractive for a while, until I became a worthless drunk.

I had never succeeded in having relationships worth any substance.Alcohol fueled the desire for sexual attraction and sex itself.

And it was my own undoing that brought me to where I ended up eventually.

Everything God gives us is a blessing. It might not seem that way as life happens. But in hindsight, getting sick was truly the best blessing I could have asked for.

And I guess, in a way, I was just asking for it, wasn’t I ???

Stupid. Just Plain Stupid.

When James committed suicide, I was twenty five years old. I had reached the first tragedy in my life.

And I drank myself into the ground over that and ended up in therapy.

The day I was diagnosed with AIDS, at age twenty six, the world stopped spinning.

It just stopped.

Where does God play into this story ?

Memere made it perfectly clear to me that she was IN with God. She had that magical connection.

She believed in God and that with that faith, she would give me superpowers to defeat the hatred and abuse I suffered as a child.

I would need that God.

I did not know where God was when James died, and I surely did not call out to God, nor utter a single prayer either.

When I told my family, friends, and fellows that I was sick and was going to die, everyone scattered, nobody hung around nor did any of them want to.

Hindsight is 20/20.

I know God performed a miracle in my life. If God was ever human, he arrived in the guise of Todd’s wise supervision and love.

I prayed day and night for life, and God was right there in the thick of it walking me through the darkness.

If Todd (read: God) had not stepped in and did what had to be done, I would have died with all those men who did die in the end.

I know today that God exists. That I met him in the flesh.

When one is diagnosed with AIDS, the non-negotiables went out the window. The dynamic of what we are and who we are changes forever.

The Post AIDS view of sexuality in my life speaks volumes as to what was more important during rough times.

And I see the wisdom of that blessing now.

Working in the bar, was practice in serving the least of these to the best of my ability. I was protected from anyone who would do me harm, by Todd.

Knowing how to take care of others, was specifically important, because in the end, I would know how to take care of ME, should it come to that. Thank God it did not come to that.

As long as Todd was in my life, I wanted for nothing. I had dignity, guidance, love and respect.

When he moved away, I did not know how to carry those forwards for myself.

I lost myself, turned inwards and took back my will and in an insane moment, tried to fill the hole in my soul. And that did not work out at all.

I returned to the scene of that decision, alone and single.

When I took my last drink, I knew I was done.

For the first time in recent memory I called out to God, I needed heavenly help. I prayed three prayers in a specific order.

And God is always listening, and to prove to me that HE was there, he shifted the universe and handed me everything that I needed. God heard my prayers.

That superpower Memere gave me, was still working.

When I got sober again, I was no longer alone. I had people in the rooms who took care of me.

I moved to Montreal, and later met my now husband.

The day I saw Hubby, I passed him in a church doorway, and I knew then and there that this was it. The rest, they say is history.

Soon after we met, within the first year, he was diagnosed with Bi-Polar depression. And I was alone. I chose to stay and take care of him. I wasn’t going to leave. I spent every night, sitting here in the dark wondering what to do? I kept close to the rooms, I prayed and I listened. God kept me sane and He cared for me, through the dark times.

What happens when the gay lifestyle (read: Sex) turns into care giving and support? Sex goes out the window. I was no longer drinking or drugging. Both of us are sober today.

I think God knew what He was doing.

When you take away the sexual dynamic from the equation of life, who and what you are changes as well.

I am going to be 50 next year. I am no longer a “viable member” of the gay community. I am well “Over the Hill” by the standards of the young gay community.

I don’t walk around Montreal, with the eyes of sexual attraction. Montrealer’s are beautiful people.

I have someone in my life that I love. Once that happened, sexual attraction for others, ended. Once you commit, you commit.

You don’t need any one else. Tainted as I am, who would want me.

I am a tainted man, which makes me sexually unattractive to the many. Hubby accepted me unconditionally. Without question.

If my marriage ever ended, one way or another, I would never go back into general population. That is not even a possibility.

Our relationship began on a wind swept cold and rainy day, and an angel lost in the park close to home.

That one event turned two humans into a couple. It was An Angel, Faith and God.

I’ve been married for twelve years this November 2016.

I’ve come to realize, in the rooms of the fellowship, that we are all human beings, who deserve dignity, love and respect.

I don’t have many gay friends that I can count on in a pinch. Two men come to mind.

I know many people in the rooms. But I rely only on a handful of men and women I can call at any time if need be. They are reliable. The rest are not.

With the dawn of gender fluidity, the whole question of who we are, what we want to be called, and what is politically correct, are all the rage.

I AM a child of God, created in his image. I am a human being worthy of Love and Love from God.

In all my years, today, I have lived through the darkest times, and I survived the threat of death. I conquered my addiction to drugs and alcohol.

What is important in life is very simple. Caring for my husband, being of service to my fellows, and living Godly principles.

The way I see the world has changed, and the way I see myself has evolved. The turning towards God and a life of faith is the transition I am in at the moment.

I’ve met The Elders – they appeared at the right moment, and I was open to conversation. Which led to where I stand right now.

And I have been listening for God’s voice. I am always listening for it, and if I don’t hear it, I sit with my friends and listen to them.

Recently, I heard God’s voice and he said to me that “I am enough for you.”

There is nothing I need except God’s love and direction.

I just want to know that my life has not been lived in vain, that God does love me – all of me. He knows everything and is all forgiving.

I’ve seen so many changes in the world and as those dynamics change, we change with them. At some point, we all have to figure out what we are going to do with our lives as we grow older. And I surely am not going to sink into the pit of obscurity that many of my older friends have sunk into.

As long as there is air in my lungs and I can get out of bed in the morning, I will serve God to the best of my ability.


Saturday – Faith – The L.D.S and Myself

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When one decides to turn towards God, and pray with intent, and seek Him with an honest and willing heart, God spoke to me and said … “I am enough for you.”

I have been in a mode of change for the last little while, and God has been working on me slowly, but persistently. I worked my steps, was told by my spiritual director what I must do to move forwards (i.e. turning my entire life over to the care of God as I understand Him) and then, in a very serendipitous manner, a few weeks ago, I met two Mormon Missionaries here in Montreal, and we’ve been talking about God and the Scriptures together for the last month.

These discussions led me to our last discussion and I met a man who lives here in the city, and is a participant in the LDS Voices of Hope Project.

The path towards inclusion in community means a great deal to me. And over the last little while, I have been seeking truths and answers to my hearts questions. I’ve been reading The Book of Mormon for a few weeks now. Little by slowly, I am working my way through the scriptures.

God has always been a part of my life. From very early on in my life, last night I wrote to an L.D.S Elder and I wanted to share this with you. Gay Mormon Guy Blog

I have been going through a change in my life. And this change began some time ago.

You see, I am Gay. I’ve been living with AIDS since 1994. I am still alive. I am also married to a man God led me to by the prompting of an angel. That’s a good story.

I am approaching 50 next summer. And in December, I will hit my 15th year clean and sober. So you could say that I have a trifecta of issues going on.

I’ve always had God in my life, from my early childhood. And God has always been with me, even when I turned my eyes from Him. Which landed me in some serious hot water, (see previous lines above)

A few years ago, a long sober man, I met at a convention, told me that If I wanted my life to change, I needed to step up my prayer life. I did as he asked of me. Not that I wasn’t praying before, but I had to turn up the heat, so to speak.

This prayer life led me into a season of service that had not be open to me before, because my eyes were firmly on God in the program of recovery that I am in.

And as this summer came to an end, just recently, my season of service also came to an end. And I met the elders on a metro platform, who led me to Cedric, who is also a speaker on Voices, who lives here in Montreal.

I am reading the Book of Mormon nightly. And I’ve listened to several men on the site speak. And in turn, that has led me to the decision to turn it all over to God. Because for many years, I was always holding a little back, selfishly.

This morning I was in prayer, and I was mourning the loss of the community and the people I was serving, diligently for a number of years. I was doing all the heavy lifting, and it seemed no one wanted to share the burden, so I felt God telling me that I needed to let it go and move on. All the while this past month or so, I have been sitting with the elders weekly.

In prayer this morning, I heard God’s voice speak to me, clear as a bell. And He said … ” I am enough for you.”

When I got sick in 1994, and the doctors told me I was going to die, I told my family, my friends, my then boyfriend, all of them fled in fear and revulsion. I was gay, now I had AIDS, nobody wanted to help me or to stay.

I was working in a bar, and the manager was my friend. I called him home from vacation and he returned and I told him I was going to die. His response was, “Not on my watch you aren’t.”

In hindsight, now twenty two years later, God came to me, incarnated and saved me from utter destruction. What I realize now, in my pursuit of God, is this … All the while I was learning to live/survive, I was serving others. It was through the service of others, that I was saved myself. It wasn’t about me, it was about the others, who were dying all around me. They all died, all but two of us survive from the original grouping of over 100 men.

I was getting clean and sober at the same time.  I was successful for a few years, but I turned back to my will and the hole in my soul, and turned away from God, and that almost killed me.

In 2001, December 9th to be exact, I uttered the name of God again. For the first time in a long time. And I prayed. And God appeared and answered me point by point, and he met my needs.

I moved to Montreal to become a man, because at 34 back then, I was woefully unprepared and full of fear. I am the man I am because of them men I know, most of them are straight. Funny that. I don’t have many gay friends.

I have ONE friend, he calls me daily, he is my best friend.  One friend.

My husband is another story. He is Bi Polar. Has been for the whole of our relationship. He was diagnosed a few months after we met.

What I know today, right now, now that I look back at the last twenty or so years, the sex life I thought I wanted and desired, has turned out to be for naught. Because it never came to pass. Not since the day I was diagnosed.

The man I fell in love with, is not the man I married. The drugs the doctors fed him in trial treatments, emasculated him and cleaved half his brain away, along with what was, I had hoped a physical relationship.

For the last twelve years, I have lived with my husband. I have served him faithfully. I would never leave him, because I need him and he needs me. It isn’t about SSA and hasn’t been for a long time, in retrospect.

Since meeting the elders, I have turned once again towards God, to find who I am and who I want to be. I transcribed a page of notes from your talk.

“God can meet the needs that I have, that other people can’t.”

I want to be part of community. Because the community I am part of (recovery) is all about getting better, staying sober, and most importantly, serving others to the best of my ability.

Most take for granted that I am present, and like I said, I have a husband now, and out of all the people I know in the rooms, ONLY 1 takes the time to call every day. I know a lot of people in the rooms, its just that not many of them don’t want to know me further than sitting next to them in a meeting. I am an odd bird.

I am coming up on my anniversary, and the myth is this … usually 60 days out, the pre cake roller coaster begins rolling, and we have to buckle up and ride it good or bad.

I heard God speak to me clearly this morning, I haven’t heard Him speak to me like that in a while.

You know what I want to know from God ? At the end of the day, Does my life matter? Do you see me ? Do you love me ? I know God loves me on the surface, because I am still alive.

The elders have brought me faith in Christ, and the Gospel, and my heart wants to follow. Even with my trifecta of issues.

You never know who you will meet on any given day, or how God is going to manifest Himself to you. Open your eyes and your heart and turn towards Him.

“I AM ENOUGH FOR YOU”

 


Monday – On the Island of Crete …

a-a-3-bill-d

We are so privileged to have the resources we do today.

If you travel to the island of Crete, in Greece, and are looking for another alcoholic, or a meeting, one has to travel through back alleys, and little lanes, to the door of an old Greek Orthodox Church, where you will find a door, with an A.A. medallion, stuck to it.

And quite possibly, you will also find two ex-pat British men who, for 42 or 43 weeks a year, spend their time on the island of Crete. Two men, probably the only English meeting you will find there, will help you stay sober.

Imagine, if you will, in the year 2016, that there are only THREE people, who have the life saving message of how to quit drinking. There is no book, There are no meetings. There are only three men, in the whole of creation, that have the message, to offer …

In the story, A.A. Number Three, the story of Bill D. the man in the bed, is the founder of the first A.A. group in the world, in Akron Ohio. The Very First group.

When he received the message, it was only Bill and Dr. Bob.

“They said to me, Do you want to quit drinking? It’s none of our business about your drinking. We’re not up here trying to take any of your rights or privileges away from you, but we have a program whereby we think we can stay sober. part of that program is that we take it to someone else who needs it and wants it. Now, if you don’t want it, we’ll not take up your time, and we’ll be going and looking for someone else.”

Bill and Dr. Bob meant business. Because it was THEIR sobriety on the line. If they did not carry the message to a suffering alcoholic, then they were in jeopardy of drinking again.

Do you really need it or want it ???

Imagine if we were back in the day, knowing we had a serious problem, a sickness of the mind and the body, and there was no one around, to help us figure it out, save for just two men, who succeeded in stopping the drink.

We are just so lucky.

The next story in the founder’s section of the Stories in the back of the book is “Gratitude in Action,” The story about Dave B. who founded A.A. here in Quebec in 1944.

A.A. in Quebec began in a nondescript home, in the basement of said home, before A.A. found its way into a local church.

We are indebted to this intrepid group of men and women, for laying the groundwork for the system we have that keeps us sober.

I heard some friends of mine talk tonight about family members on the other side of the world, (read: S. Korea) where there are NO meetings in English and the only contact they have with another alcoholic lives here in Montreal.

I also heard a friend talk about some women who got sober around the same time my lady friend had, a little over two years ago. I warned them all about LONGEVITY. I warned them that sobriety was a LONG HAUL proposition.

That the Pink Cloud would come to an end, and if you are not focused on the long haul of it, you will fall off that cloud and drink again. A couple of those lady friends are still IN the meetings, they STICK around and have stayed.

But for some of those women, who were heavy alcoholics who ended up in institutions and hospitals, and lost their homes, kids, cars and THINGS, each of them rebuilt from the rubble, and then decided that they did not NEED us any longer.

They might be sober still, but they have gone off on their own.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing ? I’m not sure.

It’s not my problem.

Where ever you go in the world, you can, for the most part, find a meeting, in the local language, or better yet, in English if you are lucky. But no matter where you go, in the world, there are people out there to carry the message, even if we don’t speak the same language.

Sobriety is universal.

It was said tonight, by another of our women, that:

If it is the the only thing we find in the rooms, we find God, Spirituality.

The book says:

I came in A.A. solely for the purpose of sobriety, but it has been through A.A. that I have found God.

Bill D, goes on to say … I feel that is about the most wonderful thing that a person can do.

God has been a part of my life for the whole of my life. When it was good, it was good, but when it was bad, it was very bad. But in all my years, I never imagined that I would turn my ENTIRE will and my life over to the care of God, as I understood him.

God was present the first time I got sober, in the guise of Todd.

The problem was that Todd was not IN the rooms. But he gave me a plan to live and he kept me sober on the outside. The room I was attached to, was unhealthy and sick. I did not want to be in that room, but it was the only one close enough to walk, because I did not have a car, and other meetings were too far away and transit sucked.

My first sober stint was unhealthy and I did not connect, and decided not to stay.

Read: Taking back my will to fill the HOLE in my SOUL.

What I did right the second time was this … It began with prayer.

I had, functionally, committed to Steps One, Two and Three, the very night I decided I was done drinking, for the second time.

I made my first meeting in a room that welcomed me and asked me to stay. It was a healthy – safe – supportive space to get sober.

In deciding to grow up, it was in the rooms that I achieved that, with people who helped me stay sober, grow up and become a man. Coming to Montreal, was 100% a God decision.

And God has not done me wrong.