Tag Archives: Higher Power

One Liner Wednesday 3/20/19 – I Lay Down My Pride

Everyday I must remember to “lay down my pride” when dealing with anything that I think is unfair because I know that my Higher Power whom I chose to call God has my back!!!!

For your pleasure a little Christian Rock with Jeremy Camp’s – Lay Down My Pride!!

 

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

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One Liner Wednesday 3/20/19

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#FOWC – Health (Physical, Emotional and Mental)

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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

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The Wheel of Emotions

 

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Ranges of Mental Health

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#FOWC – Health

 

Blogging from A to Z April 2018: Qualified

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Blogging from A to Z April 2018

qualified

What makes a person qualified? Who determines that a person is qualified to do a specific job, to speak on a specific subject or to share their experiences. Ultimately it is the individual. One will apply for positions because they feel that they are qualified. Most people will not discuss topics unless they truly believe they know what they are talking about, because no one likes to seem like a fool. There are those of us who just have that gut feeling that they can possibly touch others by sharing their experience, strength and hope by telling their entire story with no reservations.

Let me preface this by saying, I am not arrogant nor do I think I have all the answers when it comes to recovery from alcoholism and addiction. What I will say is this, my story is my story and I am proud to say that while there have been many ups and downs in recovery and life in general, I am here and that is through the grace of my Higher Power whom I choose to call God and because I am unabashed about sharing who I am and where I have been along with where I want to go – I feel this makes me extremely qualified to share.

I am always blessed when I can speak of my troubles with my alcoholism, cocaine addiction, being bipolar and of course that double edged sword of depression. I love that I am a work in progress, I will never be perfect but with the help of my fellows and my faith, I continue to grow in recovery every day.

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

 

Blogging from A to Z April 2018: Kaleidoscope

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Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge 

 

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines KALEIDOSCOPE  as:

 1 : an instrument containing loose bits of colored material (such as glass or plastic) between two flat plates and two plane mirrors so placed that changes of position of the bits of material are reflected in an endless variety of patterns.

2 : something resembling a kaleidoscope: such as
a : a variegated changing pattern or scene
b : a succession of changing phases or actionsc : a diverse collection

I love this word because for me, in my life of over 51 years I have been a kaleidoscope and have b in many kaleidoscopic settings. I remember when I was younger and my grandmothers or parents would buy me those toy kaleidoscopes. I loved looking through the hole and seeing the many beautiful patterns of colors. Ever interchanging making new patterns. Often times those kaleidoscopes were a reprieve from the things going on in my childhood. That is for a different post or multiple posts in general.

When I was younger, long before I ever started drinking or using any other type of drug, I used to do things that I knew were wrong because I thrived for attention. Good or bad, it didn’t matter. I was actually a pretty good shop lifter and check passer in my late teens. These activities wound up landing me in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division. I spent time on some of the worst units within the system, and lived with such a kaleidoscope of individuals of every race and mental persuasion. I never once had issues, not because I was a gay man, but because I knew how to respect myself and others while making sure I was never taken advantage of.

I have worked in many different fields over the years, fast food, retail, higher education, call centers. Think about in every one of those jobs, again there was such a diverse kaleidoscope of individuals that I worked with and constituents that I served.

As I have gotten older and have been loved by my husband of 17 years, Cruz, I have learned that I have facets of a kaleidoscope in my life. As some who is clinically diagnosed with bipolar affectation disorder, depression that often can be deep and of that huge elephant that I am so proud to be honest and open about my struggles with and current recovery from alcoholism and cocaine addiction. This is where my life is something resembling a a kaleidoscope because of the succession of changing phases and scenes.

I am proud to be the kaleidoscope that I am because I know that my Higher Power whom I choose to call God does not make mistakes. My God thinks that I am a most perfect and beautiful ever-changing kaleidoscope that is a continuous work in progress.

That’s what’s in my “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by.

 

Daily Post & Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge: Inchoate

pod-2018-md          The Daily Post: Inchoate 

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           Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the adjective inchoate as being only partly in existence or operation or imperfectly formed or formulated.

This word is very interesting to me and fits into two aspects of my life. As a recovering alcoholic and cocaine addict diagnosed with bipolar affectation disorder with depression that often is deep and long, I feel as though I am inchoate. You see when I am deep in my disease of alcoholism and addiction, often brought on by my mental illness issues, I feel as though my existence is nonexistent. Does this make sense?

As a gay man who knew at the age of six that he was different and has had many struggles over the years, I have also felt as though I was imperfectly formed mentally and otherwise. However, when I became strong in my faith in my Higher Power whom I choose to call God, I realized that I am not imperfectly formed. I am just how God intended for me to be. I am a 51-year-old gay man that has been married to his husband for over 17 years, with seven dogs and I have been thriving not just surviving with HIV/AIDS for over 21 years. All of this along with my demons of alcoholism and addiction and the mental illness are just facets of my life for which I ask God to continue to help me remain clean and sober just for today, while asking for his grace to be over me at all times.

The second aspect is my writing. I love to write and have many things that I can write about. The issue is that because I do not write every day or as much as I would like my writing may sometimes be inchoate. Yet writing is an art form that improves with time and content. I am a personal writer, I have some pretty strong political opinions that for some reason have held back on, and I am not afraid to share who am with any because my story may actually help someone else struggling in the same areas.

This is what is in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!!

 

Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge: Higher Power

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Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge

 

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Every day I am blessed that My Higher Power whom I chose to call God is with me on this incredible and sometimes difficult journey of recovery from alcoholism and cocaine addiction. This journey also includes dealing with having bipolar affectation disorder and some deep depression that still comes on even though I am on Lithium and Bupropion, while thriving not just surviving with HIV/AIDS for over 21 years..

That being said, I am also blessed to have a very loving and supportive family that has always seen me through THICK and THIN!!!!

This is what is in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge: Ego

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Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge

Ego, sometimes I love the word and sometimes I hate the word. As a recovering alcoholic and cocaine addict thriving, not just surviving HIV/AIDS for over 21 years with bipolar disorder/depression and being married to my husband Cruz for over 17 years – my ego can be a HORRIBLE double edge sword.

At first glance when you meet me, you might think – wow he has it together. You might be right on that particular day or you could be wrong because as a person in recovery with several chronic conditions, I have learned to wear an incredible false exterior mask. While I am proud of who I am in all of my many facets, sometimes I also hate myself, that is when my anti-ego is not in check.

I am strong person with a very strong Catholic faith, which has faltered many times over the years because of my alcoholism and addiction, that knows that he is loved by his husband and family, my family and numerous friends that I have had for years. I have been told that I am an excellent, powerful lector during mass along with having a strong voice in our 8am choir. I have also been told that I am an excellent cook. While all of these things are great, I don’t take compliments well because I don’t feel I deserve them. Often my comedic barrier pops out when I receive compliments.

I am my own worst enemy when it comes to my ego. I received my B.A. in Communication in December 2007 and two days after the ceremony 12/17/2007 I began working full time for the University of Texas at San Antonio. I remained at the University is two different roles until August 2013 when I caused me to be fired because of my EGO and my alcoholism and cocaine addiction. During my last two years, until the last few months, I was very much so a functioning alcoholic/addict. Mind you during this time I also earned a M.A. in Communication, a lot of the work was done while I was drinking and using.

During my six years I built a lot of important relationships both internally and externally. I served on several committees tasked the betterment of the university. I attended many meetings with the president of the university and his leadership. I was damn good at my job. That was until my ego got the best of me and I began to believe I was untouchable. Big mistake, huge. So yes, I was fired.

For two and a half years I applied to 46 postings and had 9 interviews with my alma mater and beloved UTSA.  This was all done as I working on my recovery and had almost 11/2 years sober. My family and friends all said why, you will never get hired back. I proved them wrong. On 7/1/2015 I returned to the University of Texas at San Antonio with the Institute for P-20 Initiatives. When I returned, it was as if I had never left. The relationships that I had built and nurtured previously with other departments, divisions and external relationships picked up where they left off. I again was asked to join those same committees. I was known and loved by my colleagues. yes, again I was damn good at my job and my superiors were impressed by how easily I could take a very bad situation and correct it with ease because of my nurtured relationships. Here my bold ego is talking.

Then life happened and my ego kept telling me I was great and I untouchable and that hey, one drink won’t hurt you. from January 4, 2016 to May 27, 2016 Cruz and I lost five of our 10 dogs Tippy, Buddy, Fluffy, Minnie (Doodle) and Patty due to many different reasons. Then on September 14th 2016 I turned 50. The Sunday before I had a FANTABULOUS 50th birthday party with all of my family in from the Houston area and loads of friends. On my birthday proper I took a half day with no plans. My disease kicked in and I sabotaged 2 1/2 years of sobriety. I hit all my haunts and did all the things I used to do. In the end, this carried on through to early January with my being out on leave through January and then being able to resign on 2/16/2017.

It has been rough haul since, but one this is for certain – my EGO is in check and will remain so with the help of my Higher Power, whom I call God!!

This is what is in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!