Tag Archives: addiction

“X” is for Xylophone as in “It is almost time to play the Xylophone for the end of the 2019 Blogging from A to Z Challenge!!”

#AtoZChallenge “X”

 

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives the following full definition for XYLOPHONE: a percussion instrument consisting of a series of wooden bars graduated in length to produce the musical scale, supported on belts of straw or felt, and sounded by striking with two small wooden hammers.

xylophone

When I started my original blog “What’s Rattling My Cage!” in August 2014, I wanted this to be a blog where I would write about politics, relationships, issues in education, and anything else that I chose to write about. That being my current blog has turned into such a wonderful tool for me to help educate and help others who suffer or have loved ones that suffer from alcoholism/addictions to anything (mine so happens to be cocaine); being a proud homosexual in a still homophobic world and living with HIV/AIDS for 18 years at that point. I lost access to the original blog in 2017 and so I began a new blog titled My Rattled Cage in August 2017. 

This blog has have continued a tool of my recovery from my alcoholism/addiction to cocaine. There is nothing greater than being able to be open and honest about who you are, where you have been and where you are going. In Chapter Five “How It Works” of the Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous it states, “our stories disclose what we were like, what happened and what we are like now!” How great is it that I have a forum to do just that!! TELL MY STORY!! I love it.

Why did I pick the XYLOPHONE post? Because I want to make as much noise as possible to congratulate myself at the end of the Blogging From A to Z April 2019 Challenge! Why, because I did my first A to Z Challenge in 2014 and have participated since then a few times. I believe I have done just that and I am so proud because I have increased my numbers followers, I continue to gain followers and impressions through WordPress, Facebook and Twitter and my love for blogging has grown exponentially!! You see I may not have a contract and get paid to write – but guess what – I am published and it feels awesome!!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!

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“R” is for Recovery, Revival & Remembering

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter R

#AtoZChallenge

So today I am playing catch up on my #AtoZChallenge because I have been a little under the weather and recovering after having my remaining 9 teeth removed last Wednesday 4/17/19 to make room for a whole mouth of new pearly white dentures. I was in a bit of pain and extremely tired since I have been unable to eat any substantially filling food for over a week. Today I will be posting for R, S, T, U, V, W and X and I will be caught up.

Recovery for me is such an important topic. Currently I am recovering from dental surgery and I can feel my mouth healing and I am so glad for that. This means we will be on our way to getting my dentures in a quicker fashion that we thought. So I am extremely happy for the work that my dentist did.

The other part of RECOVERY for me as is known through my writings is from alcoholism and addiction to cocaine. You see, recovery is never a one and done. Anyone who tells you that is is delusional. I do suffer from chronic relapse disease with returns to recovery. Today I share with two songs about recovery from addiction.  You Found Me  by The Fray and I Surrender  by  Hillsong United.

 

When I think of  REVIVAL, there is nothing greater to me than going to Mass and receiving Communion and being reminded that this Sacrament is exactly that a revival for my body and soul for that 24 hour period!! For your enjoyment Revival by Zach Williams!!

We all can use a bit of remembering that we are special  no matter what is going on in our lives. We also need to remember that we are loved and we must always love ourselves and make sure that if we are in need of assistance with any type of addiction or mental health issue that it can be found if we want it. We must remember that we will not change if we do not truly want to change!!! I give you Remember by Lauren Daigle!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!

 

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“B” is for BRAVE

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter B

10th Anniversary Blogging from A to Z – “B”

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As many folks know, I am an open book about every aspect of my life. I am willing to share my EXPERIENCE, STRENGTH and HOPE about my struggles with chronic relapsing and returns to recovery from alcoholism and addiction to cocaine. I freely discuss my struggles with being bipolar and the depression that can be debilitating and baffling at times.

I gladly discuss my being a very proud, open and out gay man that has been with his partner for over 18 years (yes, someone has put up with me for that long besides my family). We have our struggles but that is life. I love talking about and sharing pictures of our five beautiful four-legged babies Crissy, Little Bitty, Zailey, Sadie and my boy Stitchy!!!

I am never a hesitant to discuss the fact that I have been thriving not just surviving with HIV/AIDS for over 22 years and all of the issues I have had with medication regimens and how I have been able live openly with the disease  and never be ashamed to share that fact because it is not what makes me who I am. All of these are things that are part of who I am.

Here is a where the word BRAVE comes into this post. All the time, I hear people tell me that I am so brave to be so open and honest as an open book. I do not see it as being BRAVE, I see it as being my authentic self!!

For your enjoyment Sara Bareilles’ “BRAVE!!!!!

 

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!!

 

A to Z 2019

“A” is for Abracadabra

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter A

I am excited to be returning to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, celebrating its 10th Anniversary. My first foray into this challenge was in 2014. Many of my posts through this journey may include a video of a song associated with the words. I am a little late to the party because this week I have been dealing with a lot of chronic lumbar spine and dual hip pain issues. Which in turn is causing a bit of depression which of course both of these things are triggers for my alcoholism – or as my chemical dependency counselor would say – a reason to drink. The good news is that I have not drank and I am just about to 90 days.

Abracadabra, what a great  word. We think that if say abracadabra and wave a wand of some sort, then whatever we are wanting will magically appear. Especially when we are dealing with any type of illness, pain, mental health issues or addiction to alcohol or drugs. We hope everything will disappear if we wave that wand. Well that does not happen, often we have to work for the magic to happen and sometimes the magic cannot even happen.

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But the important thing to remember is that if we are willing to do the work and follow our physician’s orders then perhaps the abracadabra will happen.  One of my favorite songs associated with the word abracadabra is the Steve Miller Band song of the same word “Abracadabra” from 1982. I have included for your enjoyment.

 

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!!

 

A to Z 2019

#FOWC – Symptom

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“Though our decision (to stop our drinking with this program of recovery – my words) was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions. Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory. This was Step Four.”

I say all the time that I can do Steps 1, 2 and 3 every day all day, however Step Four has always been the hardest for me and now I am about to embark on it again because, I know that since 2016 when I turned 50 and removed 2 1/2 years of sobriety and began the vicious cycle of chronic relapses and forays into recovery, that I have a lot to inventory and take accountability for. It will be hard and I am sure I will sad, angry and even hurt by what has to put down on paper, but I also know that when it is done – I will be further along in my journey to sustained recovery.

Big Book Personal Stories Part III – Freedom from Bondage p. 544

I relate so much to the first two paragraphs of this personal story from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous linked above. I guarantee you that if in my teens or early twenties I had been diagnosed as bipolar with tendencies to have bouts of depression, I don’t know that I would have been as prone to have the issues with alcoholism and addiction to cocaine that I have struggled with so much intermittently in my 30’s, 40’s and now early in my 50’s. Then again, Maybe I would have. As I always say, I am forever a work in progress!!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!

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#FOWC

 

#FOWC – Radar

ra·dar: /ˈrāˌdär/ – noun

  1. A system for detecting the presence, direction, distance, and speed of aircraft, ships, and other objects, by sending out pulses of high-frequency electromagnetic waves that are reflected off the object back to the source.

  2. An apparatus used for radar. Plural noun: radars

  3. Used to indicate that someone or something has or has not come to the attention of a person or group.

Related imageAs a person who not only suffers from being bipolar with depression but also has struggled through chronic relapses and forays into recovery, I always believed that my drinking or using was going on under the RADAR unless of course I was truly drunk or otherwise. Only a true sick person would not see that their behaviors when using never change and they always on their loved ones radar.

On Saturday 3/16/2019 I picked up a new 60 day chip, my 60 days was actually on 3/9 but I wanted to get my chip during our monthly BBQ at my home group The Goliad Group. It is so great to have people in your life that never judge you no matter how many times you fall and get back up!!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!!

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#FOWC

#FOWC – Blot

Related imageSome days I feel just like this ink-blot painting full of a variety of colors, excitement and happiness!!!

Related imageOther days, I feel as though the phantom BLOT has taken over me when my manic episodes are in play and the depression is trying to creep in – in turn trying to trigger some use of alcohol or other substance.

My goal daily is to keep the phantom blot at bay by sticking to my routines that work, and I have found that this is the most important key of my day!!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!!