Tag Archives: addiction

“B” is for BRAVE

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

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

Related image

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

Advertisements

“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.

Related image

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

Related image

 

“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!!

fowc

#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!!!

fowc

#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!!!

#FOWC – Beware

Be·ware: /bəˈwer/
verb

Of course we have to have a little bit of heaven in this post too!! We sure do love our four-legged babies!! We have always been blessed with absolutely gorgeous pups!!

 

Kiddos2
Crissy, Stitchy, Sadie, Zailey and Little Bitty!!!
Kiddos1
Zailey, Sadie and Stitchy

#FOWC – Health (Physical, Emotional and Mental)

Related image

Areas of Physical, Mental and Emotional Health

This post is a little late because I have just been lazy and tired the last couple of days. Part of that is because of dealing with a situation that threw me for a loop on Sunday morning at my normal parish church St. Cecilia Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. That is a different story and a different post.

When I saw this prompt, I thought how appropriate considering the weekend that I had had. I am very honest and open about being bipolar, fighting depression, recovering alcoholic and addict while also thriving not just surviving with HIV/AIDS for over 22 years. These aspects of my life make it vey clear that I have to be cognoscente and diligent in how I manage these three areas of my health. My physical, emotional and mental health have to be at the forefront of everything that I do.

I wish I could tell you which one of these three are the most important, but the truth is that everyday it varies. One day the depression can be so bad that the mental health takes center stage. Another day I can be so drained and tired even though I have done nothing that my physical health takes center stage. Then there are the days that the feelings are so manic that the emotional health takes center stage. Very seldom do all three aspects of my health take center stage together like the actors in a play at the end when they take their bows.

What I do know is that even when one aspect is taking center stage all three must be attended to or else my self will runs riot which is the reason I have had such a struggle with chronic relapsing over the years. My physical health is best when I am compliant with taking all of my medications as directed; when I exercise whether it be doing yard therapy or walking the dogs – which is therapy in itself, making sure that I am eating right. My current goal is to maintain my healthy weight of 180lbs and holding onto my size 34 waist – yes, I am bit vain when it comes to my weight. The highest I have been was almost 260lbs and I have fluctuated over the years with my most weight loss coming when I was deep into my addiction.

My mental health and emotional health while be separate, they are also extremely connected to each other. In order to maintain my mental health, again, I need to be compliant with my mental health medications. We recently simplified my regime so that I am not taking so many pills but an taking the exact same dosage. I also have to make sure that I am making all of my appointments with my chemical dependency therapist Stacy Jouffray and my psychiatrist Dr. Cervando Martinez. Another area that assists me with my mental health is my blog because it is very cathartic for me when  I share my experience, strength and hope with others through my writing.

My emotional must be maintained by having healthy relationships with my sisters, their husbands, my nieces and their children and families. I need to work at being better at calling my father who will be 79 in April. I work daily on my relationship with my husband of over 18 years along with his mother who love as though she were my own mother. Maintaining close relationships with my best friend Yoli and my friends the Sisters of The Holy Spirit, my other friends that I may not see often but we have been friends for 20 years now. I also need to maintain my relationships with my fellows in Alcoholics Anonymous. My most important relationship has got to be the one that I have with my Higher Power whom I choose to call God.  If I am working on all three of these along with my mental and physical health then every day I can state this with certainty “JUST FOR TODAY, I WILL REMAIN CLEAN AND SOBER!!!”

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

 

Fitness Word Map

The ranges of Physical Health

Related image

The Wheel of Emotions

 

Image result for mental Health

Ranges of Mental Health

fowc

#FOWC – Health