Why has it taken so long?

Tonight is the first time that I have logged into my blog since June 2016 and my last post was “Make the hurt stop, please!” after Cruz and I had endured five months of heartache and had lost 5 of our ten four legged babies Tippy, Buddy, Fluffy, Minnie “Doodle”, and Patty. 2016 ended with one more loss, our oldest Stitchy who Cruz had to send over the Rainbow Bridge on December 27th while I was still out of town visiting my family in Houston. He was 11 years 4 months and 10 days old. Even though I was out of town, I talked to him while it was happening.

Stitchy

Since June, I have had so many things that I wanted to write about, specifically politics – but my heart just was not in it. I am hoping that this first blog of the new year will get me moving because – YES – I do have a lot to say!

As we move forward and I begin to post more, I am sure that I will make some folks happy and I will probably anger some folks. That is the nature of the beast!

One other thing that happened since my last post is that I turned 50 on September 14th and have been dealing with a major breakdown and a deep depression. I ended 2 1/2 years of sobriety from alcohol addiction and cocaine addiction and I trying to find my way back – because unfortunately I made poor decisions and and took actions uncharacteristic of me that caused me to resign my position with the University of Texas at San Antonio on February 16th of this year which I had fought so hard to get back after my addictions caused me to leave in August 2013. I have a very close friend of 18 years that made this statement, “Greg, you worked so hard to get back into UTSA to prove everybody wrong, because everyone said that you would never get back. Was you proved them wrong and got back into the university – you busted your ass for a year or so and then sat your desk, knowing there nowhere for you to move in that department, and said NOW WHAT!!!”

So tonight as I close this blog, I ask NOW WHAT?

That’s “What’s Rattling my cage!”

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Slightly late #SoCS & #JusJoJan |What?

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s #SoCS and #JusJoJan

What was it about alcohol and cocaine that drew me to it? Almost two years into RECOVERY from alcoholism and cocaine addiction, I often ask myself this question.

Now I know part of it was my suffering from being bipolar and constantly fighting depression not necessarily associated with my being bipolar. I also know now that even though I put up an awesome front regarding  my own self esteem – I truly had none.

But today after all of the soul searching, all the crying, all the prayers, and all the love and support of my awesome family and friends – SPECIFICALLY my husband of almost 15 years Cruzer – THE PROMISES CONTINUE TO COME TRUE FOR ME!!!!

So happy to be SOBER and CLEAN just for this ONE 24 HOUR PERIOD!!!

I WILL NEVER BE FULLY RECOVERED!!! BUT RECOVERY IS WINNING!!!

 

Just Jot It January 15th – Leadership

This post is part of #JusJoJan

jjj-2016

When I saw this prompt yesterday, I was all excited to talk about me and my leadership skills. I changed my mind since then.

I just want to say that I am BLESSED to work in The Office of P-20 Initiatives at The University of Texas at San Antonio and for LEADERSHIP that recognizes their team member’s talents both raw and those honed. 

These leaders allow their staff to have their autonomy to do what is expected and if they achieve more than expected, then all the more better.

I am one of those individuals that works well with others, however my leadership also knows that I do extremely on my own! On December 31 it was official that my 6 month probationary period is complete.

So I thank my LEADERSHIP for recognizing that I was ready and deserved to return back to my BELOVED University of Texas at San Antonio after 22 months of being away due to my very publicized (by me of course, as I am an open book) fall from grace due to alcoholism, cocaine addiction, being bipolar and extreme depression of a different sort!!!!

SoCS | Am I too FREE with my Information??

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday!!

If you have ever read any of my posts then you are well aware that I am not afraid to discuss information about my recovery from alcoholism and addiction to cocaine. I am also not afraid to talk about information regarding my recent clinical diagnosis of bipolar depressive disorder. I am definitely not afraid to give information about my living with HIV/AIDS since January 1997. Finally I can not give you enough information about my being a very proud gay man who knew at the age of 6 that he was different.

I have been told my entire adult life, don’t give more information than you have too. Give just enough information to get you by. That information is nobody’s business why are you telling on yourself? If you share that information you are going to get your ass kicked because people hate fags and they definitely hate fags with HIV/AIDS. People really do not like individuals that are alcoholic or cocaine addicts because they will never trust you to do the right thing, do not share that information. Never share any of this information with your employer and especially never share the information with prospective employers.

This is what I say – SCREW THAT!!! I have to be honest and share that information and unfortunately there is information about me that stinks – I AM NOT NOR HAVE I EVER BEEN PERFECT!!!!! But guess what, that is information that I AM EXTREMELY PROUD OF!!!! Why because the only way to rid the world of ignorance and get them talking about gay men with HIV/AIDS, Alcoholism/Addiction/, mental diseases such as bipolar depression, and whatever else I have lived in my life is by getting people involved in the CONVERSATION OPENLY!!!!!! 

So until next time, that’s What’s Rattling My Cage!!”

socs-badge

Badge by: Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

“Z” is for Zest and Zone as in “I have the Zest to stay in the Zone!!”

Well folks this is the last post for the Blogging from A to Z April 2015 Challenge! And while some of my posts may have been late due to personal issues going on I COMPLETED the CHALLENGE!!!

So what has this challenge done for me? This challenge has given me the ZEST to stay in the WRITING ZONE! But it also has given me the ZEST to STAY in the ZONE to tell my story whether it be in a long post or a very short post. I can continue to have the ZEST to stay in the ZONE to continue to EDUCATE others about THRIVING not SURVIVING with HIV/AIDS and being in RECOVERY from ALCOHOLISM and ADDICTION to COCAINE!!

Does this mean that every post will be about recovery or living with HIV/AIDS/being clinically diagnosed as bipolar/depression? NO!! What it does mean is that I will continue to post about these things and now I will start posting about those things that seem to be RATTLING MY CAGE during this long election cycle coming up. The ignorance of others and what comes out of their mouths, just to name a couple of topics!

So until next time, that’s “What’s Rattling My Cage!!”

Z

“T” is for Thriving as in “Thriving not Surviving!”

This post is late and is for Thursday April 23, 2015 and part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for April 2015!

Life can be very interesting and depending on choices that you make when you are young you can find yourself in a situation where you are either surviving or thriving.

Unfortunately I was one who made many poor choices as both a young teenager and as I got into my 20’s and early 30’s. As I talk about often I have been a drinker for many years and had a an off and on affair with being a cocaine addict. Because of those choices of drinking and using I found myself finding out that I was HIV positive in January 1997 because of a drunken night of unprotected sex.

That did nothing to stop me from drinking and using over the years. In fact when I first started on HIV medications I was taking over 30 pills a day and still drank and became non-compliant because of all the side effects of the medications and of course the alcohol. Today I am THRIVING not SURVIVING because of several things.

1) I am on a once a day regimen of 4 pills along with my Lithium to control my issues with being bi-polar/depression and my blood pressure medicine.

2) I am non-detectable and have been for over two years even though for a while I was in the throes of hell of my alcoholism and latest bout with addiction to cocaine.

3) I have the most loving support system of family and friends that a homosexual with HIV/AIDS, alcoholic/addict could ever have! Specifically my husband of over 14 years, my two BEAUTIFUL sisters with their husbands, my three BEAUTIFUL nieces with their husbands/boyfriends and their ADORABLE children.

4) This is the most important reason that I am THRIVING not SURVIVING, the reason it is not listed as number 1 is because it was the last thing to happen in my life. I am SOBER and CLEAN and have been since February 13, 2014 when I became SICK and TIRED of being SICK and TIRED!!!! This was made possible by my giving everything over to my HIGHER POWER who I choose to call GOD! I have my face to face meetings, I attend online meetings with www.globalstepsaa.com also accessible at www.intherooms.com. I also do service work at both face to face and in the online meetings..

So there is something to be said for THRIVING not SURVIVING!!!! Until next time, that’s “What’s Rattling My Cage!!”

T

” J” is for Jealous!

This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge April 2015 and is for April 11.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives the following definition for JEALOUS:

1 a : intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness  

   b : disposed to suspect rivalry or unfaithfulness

2 : hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage  

3 : vigilant in guarding a possession

So when I look at these definitions of jealous, I don’t like them. So you’re probably thinking, why would you pick this word if you don’t like the definitions? Because there is one of the definitions that does stand out specifically because of how it relates to me during my active alcoholism/addiction. That definition is number three, vigilant in guarding a possession.

Vigilant in guarding a possession! What do we protect? Well we protect our homes, we protect our families, we protect our pets, and for most folks we protect our sanity and our health. But what happens if you are a raging alcoholic who also is a raging cocaine addict? What you do you become vigilant in guarding then?

As for me, I became so vigilant in protecting my ability to drink the way I wanted to and use the way I wanted. I refused to listen to anyone who had even a negative utterance regarding my drinking. Everybody knew I was a drinker, but only a few knew how bad the addiction with cocaine was, that one I truly protected vigilantly I guarded with my life so to speak.

What kind of illness just allows somebody to voluntarily give up their job, almost voluntarily give up their partner of over 12 years, their home, their beloved animals, and know that there’s a very good possibility that they will go to jail because their partner is done? So there’s a lot of speculation and discussion regarding alcoholism and addiction whether or not it’s truly a choice, whether it is an illness and what is really funny is that those same discussions are also being held about homosexuality. Which is another strike that I have.

What I have is a true belief that alcoholism/addiction is an illness that is compounded by other illnesses and sometimes we alcoholics/addicts do not know or realize we had these other illnesses until we decide that it is time for us to quit being sick and tired. It took me six months in recovery when I had been working with a chemical dependency counselor and I went to the psychiatrist and became clinically diagnosed with bipolar depression. I’m a little manic no wonder I was such a drunk and addict.

So when we think about being jealous and guarding something vigilantly we have to be able to understand why the individual is being so vigilant about guarding their alcoholism/addiction. Because I can tell you that I never loved being an alcoholic/addict. I spent many a day at my kitchen table after work and even after I gave up my job begging my higher power whom I choose to call God to take the affliction away from. But my higher power saw that I was guarding my alcoholism/addiction with my life. Why do I say this? Because my higher power knew that I was not believing that he would help me. On February 13, 2014 when I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired and I meant the words that I was saying and I truly believed that God was going to help me and restore me to sanity I began to see the promises coming true. Not quickly, not slowly, in just the right amount of time.

So today I am no longer guarding vigilantly my alcoholism/addiction but I am vigilantly guarding my recovery from alcoholism/addiction. So what possession are you vigilant in guarding? Until next time, that’s What’s Rattling My Cage!”

 J