I haven’t been blogging like I was at all lately. I would like to get back to my more topic oriented blogs, and get away from the personal life type of blogging that I have been doing more of lately. So I am going to catch up with one last personal life blog here, then I am going to open the door for questions from any of you, my dear readers, please give me some questions to write about, ask me anything and I will try to give you my experience and my opinion on it.
Today is my 53rd birthday. I seriously never thought I would live to get this old! I laugh at myself, I guess 53 isn’t really that old nowadays. Thank the universe for modern science and medicine and I am alive and well; healthy and strong at 53. It seems like such a short time ago that I was 32 and found out about my HIV positive status…now that doesn’t really matter much to me in the workings of my every day life…it’s just something that I take some medication for every day, watch that I am not around a lot of people so that I don’t get a germ and get sick, (thus my aversion to public places sometimes).
Yet, it’s been 21 years since I found out…wow. And I changed my habits at that time, became more aware of my body and my health – both physically and mentally. I quit doing things like drinking like a fish and smoking weed. I started to treat my body much better – I had beat it up pretty good prior to that, with my drinking, drugging and wild times, daredevil stunts and the such. But when we are young we do not think about what our bodies will be trying to tell us when we are older! Mine says to me daily, you got some sore spots because you didn’t take care once-upon-a-time.
Mentally my discovery that I was living with HIV made me grow up a whole lot. I never took things as seriously as I do now…of course I was also much younger, in my early 30’s and still running with a fairly wild group of friends. We partied a lot and did a lot of crazy stuff, had crazy kinds of parties and spent every night after work sitting on the porch slugging back 12 packs of beer. I had a bad ass attitude, thought that I was indestructible and of course I thought I knew a lot more than I actually did in reality. But we are ALL jaded like that when we are young I believe. We all think we’ve got it figured out and that things won’t happen to us like they do to “other people”…yeah, right…so not true.
I had started therapy with a good counselor just before I was diagnosed (it was actually her idea that I get tested for HIV, as she came to know about my drug addictions she could see the risk factors adding up and thought it would be good for me to know my sero status). The therapy helped me tremendously, both before I learned of the HIV and after. I stayed with that therapist for over 12 years, at first seeing her once a week, and ending the 12 years at seeing her once a month. We went through some pretty intense stuff, or I did mentally.
I never knew you could learn to use the tools that you already have inside of you to navigate your life. I dealt with many of my “issues” back then and it has made me a much stronger person today, and much more comfortable with myself. I am a pretty secure, strong and confident Butch now, where I wasn’t really like this before I got serious about getting healthy and learning to use my coping skills to their maximum efficiency. Not sure if any one can follow me here, but if you’ve been in mental health therapy you may have some clue as to what I am saying.
I still go to a therapist occasionally today, just for sort of “tune ups” and to make sure I am not slipping back into old habits – not drugs/alcohol – more stuff like stuffing my feelings and not dealing emotionally with things in healthy ways. I like being clear and I like understanding why I do the things that I do, and what my issues are…oh and I still have some issues, just that I know much better how to handle them when they come to the surface.
So, today is my birthday. It’s my special day. I went to the mail box and found that I had two very awesome and sweet birthday cards from two very special friends. I love getting snail mail. I love the postal service and sending and receiving letters, post cards, and cards of all types. I also think it’s really classy to remember someone’s birthday with a special note or card, so I make sure that I do that for my friends as much as possible – if I know their special days.
I actually have to scold myself this year because I actually share my birthday with my good friend, Jody from Colorado, and I did not send her the normal birthday greeting card that I usually do…I just plain forgot with everything else going on in my life. So I will make sure that I send off a belated card with my sincere apologies to her for not getting it in to the mail on time!
It’s fun sharing a birthday. And a long time ago she and I were actually a couple, and it was funny that we had the same birthdays and were together, she is just a bit younger than me. We stayed very close friends after we broke up, and I am glad for that…she’s awesome and I couldn’t imagine life without her in it to some degree. So we worked to make sure that we kept each other as good friends. I’m really glad we did, she’s a very important person in my life. We have managed to stay close, visit each other and talk when we can, which isn’t really that often, but at least a few times a year and she comes home to visit about once a year and stays with my sister usually. She is married to an awesome guy now, and he’s one of the sweetest dudes I know, and they have a great daughter together. I consider them all to be part of my chosen family.
I also received a nice long letter from my friend in British Columbia…I love that she writes me long and detailed letters about all the goings on in her life. We have been friends for years now…I believe since like 2010 when I was living at the B&B we met because of my Youtube channel. And we discovered we both had similar interests, one of which being that we both love to write hand written. Both of us love stationery stores, fine paper and nice pens and writing implements.
I have an incredible collection of very fine pens. I like a pen that is very fine pointed and sharp to write with, I have several Cross pens that I have bought myself over the years, plus a couple of very nice pens that I have received as gifts…people know that I love them, so it’s an easy gift to get me. My BC friend also sends me fine paper when she finds it in her travels, so I have several packets of nice paper to correspond with her on, plus what I have found in the stationery stores myself. There are a couple of nice ones up in Portland Maine and a couple in Portsmouth, NH that I like. I always look for paper and stationery stores when I travel.
I wrote her back a rather longish letter, telling her all about my boring life…hahaha. No I told her about my quitting my job last week, and about my romantic interest and about my awesome barbershop visit yesterday. I love writing letters and sending notes and cards for special days and birthdays. It’s something that I have always made an extra effort to do with my family and friends, send them little notes just to let them know that I am thinking of them on their special days – whatever they may be, from birthdays to promotions to anniversaries..if you get on my radar and into my address book I will send you notes. It’s also very classy in my opinion to remember those days and to acknowledge them to people they are important to, and lets those people know that they do matter to me. I will always do this until the US Post Office goes out of business. I don’t believe in e-mailing personal things like that is as nice, because there is nothing like holding a hand written note from someone you care about and knowing that they took the time to write to you and think about you. AND I find handwriting to be really cool…I like to see other people’s handwriting. And I think that handwriting can tell you a lot about a person sometimes.
Yeah, the Boston Barbershop where I go was awesome yesterday. I got to watch one of the barbers really give this one dude the full treatment, super hair cut, and a full shave with a straight razor..it’s was super cool to watch and kinda sexy actually. It made me wish for one split second that I had facial hair just so I could have the experience of the full on shave…I bet it’s really an awesome feeling!!! I know that when I get my hair cut it makes me feel really good; I always try to present myself well, and looking good is important to me.
I get teased about being “vain” because I make sure that my hair is trimmed and cleaned up once a month and I get my eyebrows waxed…yes, waxed. I love the feeling of the pain of the wax actually…and I would actually PAY someone to let me lay my head in their lap and have them hand pluck my eyebrows if I could! Waxing is second best to that. It just puts me into la-la land. Makes me melt into a puddle. Just something about it that makes me relax incredibly. So I get teased for being vain just for wanting to always look good and presentable. 🙂 But no one will accuse me of not taking care of myself ever, I make every effort to look good. My mother taught me well about taking good care to always look my very best.
Suretta went with me yesterday, poor girl had to sit for hours in the barbershop while we watched other guys get haircuts and shaves and waited for my turn. I am weird, I will wait as long as it takes for my turn in that barber chair. Just something about a fresh edge-in shave and cut that makes me incredibly happy and feel incredibly good! Suretta teases me a little saying I get my hair cut more than anyone she knows….ok so I get it I am a vain Butch!….I can hear a couple of other people laughing at me too….you know who you are. We all have our quirks, mine is obviously my haircuts!
Besides it being my birthday today I also had to attend a funeral for the son of some very good friends of mine. He unfortunately decided to kill himself earlier this week. It was sad, not for him but for the people that he left to deal with his mess. I have no sympathy for suicidal people…I’m sorry, but it’s a selfish and cowardly thing to do. And it just leaves those who have to deal with it in a bad way. I’m very opinionated about this subject, so I will kind of stop there on this, because I can go into a tyranical rant about it very easily. So I went to the funeral services out of respect for my friends (the parents of the young man (34) who killed himself). The services were a lot of religious stuff, which I found a bit odd, but it was a funeral I guess. I feel so bad for them, he was their only child. And he left a beautiful 3 yr old daughter behind to live with his legacy…not good.
So that’s about what’s been going on with me, other than some rather personal stuff that I would rather not talk about today. Let me just say that I have learned lately that I am a bit of an intense person, and that I can be strong minded and maybe even a bit aggressive in my attitude. But I’m working on it, trying to tone it down a bit, but it’s really just part of my strong personality. I don’t give up easy.
Ok, enough…I’ve rambled on about just about everything here. It’s because I am lonely today and just felt like doing a blog post that isn’t about emotional shit, that is more about the every day stuff that goes on.
Now, I need topics for blogs…if you have an idea of a subject or topic you want me to write about pelase let me know. I need to get back into the swing of doing my blog once again on topics rather than with rants and rambles like this one. Plus if I am allowed to ramble I will go on forever…see!