Archive for the ‘Suicide’ Category

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Posted: April 15, 2013 in Depression, My History, Suicide
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It has been several months since we have done a real up date. Mostly due to the fact that the depression returned and I didn’t want to bore you with whining. The difference is that this week I think I have reached a fork in the road and things are going to get better. Therapy is doing well. Not so much giving me answers but at least giving me the tools to help identify root problems and set goals for getting past them.

I’ve completed an article for the Watermark Newspaper that should publish soon unless they want me me to go deeper. Very interesting article, on a support group for HIV + people with addiction. I’ll post it or a link when it publishes. I learned a lot from those people and that is helping turn a corner. Bottom line for me is I let myself get out of shape and I refuse to acknowledge that I am ok over weight. I do not buy into the whole embrace your bigness.

A decade ago the bear community was made up of men who were hairy and the Mirth and girth were their own community. Somehow they merged and now we are told we need to accept the overweight as the norm. No me. My belief for some time has been that we are spirits having a human experience. One thing we need to learn is to control our bodies. This is the root of the depression in one area. I lack the discipline to get control of the body. The weight causes half my medical problems and the look causes part of the depression. I am not use to failure.

This week marks twenty years since Ed and I met. In that time I feel like I have lost 150 lbs (and gained 175) I know what I need to do so why can’t I just do it? We are celebrating this week by taking a trip to Spain. When we get back I am not dieting again. It will be a lifestyle change. Moderating processed foods and making cardio and exercise a daily habit. In the meantimes enjoy some updates from Madrid and Barcelona. Our anniversary gift to each other. I am very lucky to have found a soul mate. Maybe the next post will be about the card reader in New Orleans and her spin on Ed. Then Madrid.

I’ve lost three months of my life recently to Pristiq. Pristiq is an antidepressant that I started and from the very beginning I felt it was wrong. I lost interest in reading and writing. I lost interest in weight training and sex.  I lost three months. I knew I wanted off the drug but every web site I visited talked about listed testimonials of people who various reasons (lost insurance leading the way) have had to go cold turkey of the drug. People complain of Massive headaches and nausea and light-headedness. All of which I have experienced to one degree or another. None to an extreme or uncomfortable level.

This past week when I went to refill my prescription, I lost the new bottle. Faced with going out of pocket or cold turkey I figured I would try going, over Christmas, cold turkey without my Pristiq (I am still on Abilify). As I say So far the only thing I have noticed is last night I read 4 chapters in a new book. The Last Werewolf. While on Pristiq I was unable to read an entire page from that book. I am now driven to get back into the gym and last night took a long walk with the dogs and Ed after dinner instead of napping. I am relived to be back in sorts to a large degree. I still won’t watch the hallmark channel yet. Why ask for depression or tears. I do, for the first time in months feel in control. Something I have not felt in months.

Is that the goal of the mental health professionals, to give people socially acceptable ways of feeling numb? I thought it was to develop the tools to maintain control. I’ll keep my therapist but I am dropping my pill pusher psychologist. I want to develop my own tools for handling my life and life experiences. I don’t want to feel dead.

This morning was my weekly head shrinking. One of my greatest fears is becoming addicted to therapy. How do I know when I am all-better, cured. I’m happier. There is no doubt about that. More stable but how do I know when my mood disorder is over? Thoughts? I am in a better mood.

My therapist relayed a story from when he was in school and was told by a professor that they were not allowed to judge anyone for any reason. My thought becomes that if we as a society do not point out unacceptable behavior. I am a much bigger believer now in the “social contract”. I believe as a society we have let too many people off the hook for their actions whether it be obesity or living off the government dole on manufactured disabilities. Unless people are held accountable for their actions this kind of behavior will continue. My therapist calls this being judgmental. If so then I guess I always will be judgmental. I do now wonder whether this is healthy for me or not. I don’t see it changing. Thoughts?

Anyway, enough psychoanalyzing myself, I’ll save that for the professionals. I’m going to count down to Toronto. Two more days and Ed and I actually get to spend time together. He’s been working so much and so hard for so long it’s going to pleasant to be off the grid. Save for a few phone calls or Skype calls to my mother the following six days will be off the grid. I will however try to keep people posted through the blog and Facebook as Internet allows.

I’m back. It’s been awhile and the depression got worse and darker but I think I have turned the corner and understand the roots. The shrink gave me some meds that made matters worse. I remember joking about the warning on antidepressants, warnings that they “increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior”. Wow, they were not kidding. There are a few of us that can have these reactions and it is unbelievable to me how dark it can get.

The good news is that I think I have discovered a root of the problem and can go about fixing it. One part of the problem is that I never wanted to be an attorney. As I mentioned earlier, I went to law school so my obituary would not read waiter. I never thought I would live to see graduation. Now some 25 years later I am in a situation where I can do what I want and I am going to start doing that. Piano, Photography and continue with the athletics and training. Most important is writing. While I reorganize my life a bit I will update regularly. My this weekend the blog will pass 50,000 views. Thanks for your support.

Though I’ve never been through hell like that
I’ve closed enough windows
to know you can never look back

Again I apologize for not being more consistent in writing. After fifty years of trying to do every thing myself I have realized that this time I am over my head. I have been depressed before but not like this. I have put on 18 pounds of comfort food since January and spend a great deal of time sitting in a chair in my living room staring at the beach.

I did have a string of good days, four in a row this past week but hit a pothole yesterday. I did get a chance to go to Orlando for a day and spend a great day at Disney Animal Kingdom on a “photo safari.” I have finally let a few friends know the depth of the hole and how close I came to crossing the Rubicon. Now on medication to sleep better and on Testosterone shots. There are many different factors at work in this bout that are causing the perfect storm. My lab work came back much better and that helped. I have come to realize that there is a huge generational gap with respect to AIDS. When I was first infected int he first wave of infections in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s there was not a name for what was killing us. Boyfriends, partners, friends and tricks were healthy one day and dead a week later. There was never a question of “if” it was going to kill us. Only a matter of “when”. for the better part of ten to fifteen years there was no real hope. AZT appeared to be as toxic as the virus.

People today say oh – it’s no big deal anymore. Just take a pill every day and you can live normal. That is like telling a survivor of Iraq or Afghanistan that the pop was just a car backfiring or the transformer explosion is nothing or the knocked over trash can was just a cat there is nothing to worry about. Years of mental programing take years of programing to undo. Even now, the meds only prolong – they do not cure. It is very hard to start living again when I’ve spent so long getting ready to die. And to that the drive to succeed that becomes hindered and blocked by the medical condition life is frustrating at best. Then there are the chemical changes the body encounters as it grows older.

Each of these is now being felt with. I will say I spent several months actively damaging relationships and professional licensing in an attempt to make sure there was nothing keeping me tied down here. I have begun the journey of repairing them but it will be awhile. As the quote goes. Life does not come with a remote. Ya gotta get up and change it yourself!

I had hoped to get back to regular blogging about the Exquisite Fuckery that is the Republican brain. Alas, I am back to suicide.

This past week the New York Times carried an in-depth piece on the recent (New Years Eve) suicide of self-help guru/therapist Bob Bergeron, age 49, who was writing “The Right Side of Forty: The Complete Guide to Happiness for Gay Men at Midlife and Beyond.” He left behind a suicide note written on the book’s cover page: “It’s a lie based on bad information.” An arrow pointed to the book’s title, according to the report.

At first I laughed at the sardonicism of the circumstances. Here is a man who had it right and couldn’t accept his own teaching. The NYT author mentions In Dancer From the Dance. Dancer was one of the first gay themed books I ever saw or read. Unlike today, when I was coming of age the only out(ish) gays were Paul Lynn and Liberace. The only stories about gays were depressing and fatalistic. Portrait of Dorian Gray or Dancer.  In Dancer, the main character commits suicide “rather than facing getting older and watching his beauty fade.” Bernstein asks, “Had Mr. Bergeron made the same decision?”

I personally find it irritating when people tell me 50 is the new 30. NO 50 IS 50. 30 is 30. Don’t confuse the two. The other day some butt-wipe made a comment about me being old. I turned and in my best daddy voice said, “I have been your age. I had fun! It was the age when sex didn’t kill and when drugs were recreational. There is no guarantee that you will ever be my age. I have the advantage.” For the two years before I turned 50 I started telling people I was 50. That was number to be proud of. I survived the early days in the trenches and front lines of AIDS and Anita Bryant and all the craziness that was the 80’s and the Reagan error. I earned my scars, physical and emotional, and I am proud that what I did – what we did. We helped created a climate where kids in Bumfuck Montana can take same-sex dates to the prom.

I wouldn’t go back in time if you paid me. To me the joy in life is incorporating all you learn and moving it forward. There is nothing more silly that a forty something year old man trying to act 20. It just screams insecurity. The only time a hat should be worn backwards is when he’s giving head. I am not saying we should be wearing golf shorts and argyles up to our knees. But nothing is sexier that a secure man dressed confidently and age appropriate. Men like Tom Ford, Daniel Craig, Anderson Cooper and George Clooney are all examples of men acting their age. There is no sin in that. The whole inner beauty cliché is over used, but the mature man just knows. The young set may always be randy and ready to screw. It’s just a shame that they lack the necessary skills to actually please someone else. Or even last long enough to make it interesting. Most importantly to me, is that they keep my interest long enough to get home. I wonder if my generation was as shallow as todays 20-30 year old set.

There is a reason every story about people attempting to hold on to youthful beauty ends poorly. The Evil Queen in Snow White and Dorian Gray lose everything in their pursuit of youth. Peter Pan who never grows up, goes back to face his empty life. There is a reason young people are pretty. They have to have some positive asset something to attract a mate.

Just saying.