Re-blogged….an old video I did…

Wow!  PurpleSage blogged this video of me talking about Growing Up Butch…this is like almost 10 yrs old now, but it is all still very relevant.  It was fun to see it again.  You can also see it on my YouTube channel.  Thanks PurpleSage!  Love ya all!  Peace!  ~MB

This is a video by the excellent vlogger Mainely Butch! This made me think about whether I could describe what it’s like growing up femme. I think that would be hard to do though. Women describe what it was like growing up butch by naming the reasons they were different from other girls. So how […]

via Video: Growing up butch — Purple Sage

In the Fog..

That’s where I have been lately…in the fog.  I’m feeling a whole slew of ways.  Emotions are such fucked up things most of the time.  I’ve been trying like hell to sort through them all, from those feelings of loss, to feelings of renewed strength.  It’s no easy task.  I’ve been burying most of my emotions for months now…and the build up is working it’s way towards either an implosion or an explosion…both are pulling in equal directions!

I haven’t been writing much at all.  Which is VERY unlike me.  I have always written at least every other day…but for some reason I am avoiding the keyboard, the phone and the pen/paper like mad.  So, tonight I am determined to do some writing here; to sort through some stuff.  You are welcome to read along, but let me forewarn you that this may be a bit discombobulated or it may make perfect sense…THAT is yet to be seen.

What’s been going on in my life?  The same daily struggles of course.  Working my 3 days a week, puttering around the house.  Playing in my gardens.  I’ve been laying pretty low, not causing much commotion – as if I could!  LOL  I like things rather quiet.  I enjoy my home and spend a good amount of time here, working around inside and out.  Making it as nice a home as I can for the dogs and I.

I’ve been trying to talk my best friend in to moving in with me, her and her 2 cats.  It would make life so much easier on both of us, sharing expenses and being company for one another.  But she has her house that she owns, and one of the cats is very old and she’s afraid that he will not adapt to new surrounds this late in his life.  I say he will.  But it’s just not happening.  So, I spend most of my evenings alone, chatting on FB messenger with friends, or watching TV, reading and sometimes writing.  I’ve been pretty absorbed in US politics…a whole other topic for another time.  The last 2 days I have had to back off and take a break from it…it’s just so incredibly chaotic over here in the USA…incredibly fucked up to put it bluntly and honestly.

Been doing some thinking about people that I miss in my life.  Wishing that there weren’t so many good-byes.  But understanding that that is just part of life.  People come and people go.  Some stay a while, some retreat quite abruptly.  I miss the Spanish chick, still.  And I miss a couple of other’s who have dropped out of my life.  But, alas, life does go on and whether those people are still in it or not is completely up to them in most cases.

I’ve changed in the past couple of years — doesn’t everyone change with time?  I am more sure of myself in knowing what I want and don’t want.  What I don’t want is “temporary” people in my life.  I don’t want to play games, or pretend to be someone I am not just to make someone else comfortable. I don’t want to be used for any reason.  I am a strongly opinionated person, I have good morals and ethics that I am committed to and I will not waiver in my commitment to them for anyone.  What I do want is more truth in life.  Genuine people who care about others and are not self-centered or self-absorbed.  I like people who are engaged in life, who read and stay informed about what’s going on in the world, who understand that all of our lives are intertwined and connected.

I had a young friend just come out to her family today.  It was really super sweet, they stepped right up and were whole-heartedly supportive of her!  Insuring her that they love her and are proud that she found her voice and exited the closet!  Her mom is a very good friend of mine, and she called me today to talk about it, to insure herself that she had responded lovingly enough!  I thought THAT was awesome of her!  My young friend is just 21, she’s got her whole life ahead of her and now she can move forward without that nagging “fear” of being “found out”….we all know that fear, and how paralyzing it can be.  Coming out is a very personal thing, and is not always received like this one way, with love and dignity.  Sometimes it goes in the opposite direction, sadly.  I’m just happy that this one went so well!  I am always happy to support and mentor young LGBT folks who contact me, and I knew that this one would eventually do so..it was just a matter of time.  I have known her all of her life, and could see that she was struggling with this over the last couple of years specifically. But I thought it best to let her come to us, instead of confronting her on this very personal issue.  In the end this is what happened, and everyone is doing great tonight!  Welcome to our community young Ash!  🙂

Took Lulu and Nola out for a walk around the neighborhood tonight.  We all needed to get out for some exercise and fresh air.  We waited until around 7 to take advantage of the setting sun and cooling off of temps.  Even Lulu actually WALKED on her leash today! That’s progress as she would rather be carried most of the time, lazy baby girl!  She walked with enthusiasm today!  So I have decide to make it a nightly thing, to help us get in better shape.  Nola and I could stand to lose some weight and Lulu needs to fatten up and get some more muscle.  So this will definitely benefit us all!  Nola and I are both getting older and it’s not easy to keep the weight off of either of us.  I personally could lose a good 25 lbs and be a lot happier with my appearance.  Nola is about 22 lbs.  She should be more like 17…so she has a proportionate amount of weight to lose, at least 5 lbs.  We’ll keep you posted on our progress.  I am going to buy a weighing scale this weekend.  I don’t even own one now…but need one to keep track of our progress.  Yeah, it’s gotten that bad!  I usually lose it faster in the summer, but it’s not happening this year like it has in the past.  So the weight war begins….lol

So, it’s a nice cool night.  I am heading to  bed soon, to cuddle with the pups and get some rest.  Tomorrow I have a bunch of little things to get done around here and then I have doctor visits on Wednesday; work Thursday and Friday and then do it all over again.  I am planning to go to the beach this weekend.  Not sure which one yet, but I’m definitely due for a beach day with the dogs.  Sun and surf on the agenda!

I’ve been talking to one woman lately about feminism and Butch bashing.  It seems that she’s involved in a group on FB that’s mostly femmes and they discuss femme lesbian issue and ideas.  She tells me that there is some “Butch bashing” going on lately.  And that some of the more extreme feminist leaning women have been saying things like “why date a woman who looks like the opposition?” (meaning men I assume).  I find that quite insulting.  That is bashing in it’s finest to me.  I found that to be a new insult, hadn’t heard that one before. Especially from a femme identified person.

You would think that if they were part of the B-F community that they would understand by now that saying that is just not right.  I am told the people saying this are more for femme to femme play, and relationships, so this may explain the odd statement, although it makes it no more less hurtful.  I do not view men as “opposition” at all.  There’s a little bit of asshole in everyone of us.  I try to view and treat people as I wish to be treated.  With respect and compassion.  Yes, I am Butch.  I am masculine in presentation and mannerisms.  I tend to push the binary very hard.  If someone finds this offensive, or to be emulating their “opposition” then that’s on them, and I don’t care to have it in my life.  I am who I am.  Butch and proud.

Do you have any examples of Butch or femme bashing?  I’d like to hear from others on this topic.

Peace!  ~MB

Our Stories…an inspired post

I have been blogging now for so many years that I really have to stop and research when I first started…I think it was sometime around 2005 that I first started blogging on AOL.  It’s been a good amount of years for sure.  I printed out all of my AOL blogs when I stopped using AOL, so I have them in printed form – just not in digital form.  I am thinking about this because I have been reading MiddleAgeButch’s blogs on writing our stories, which are really excellent blogs!

Telling our stories is an important thing, especially to leave marks on the history of the LGBT community.  I write because I love to write; it’s an outlet for me and if I can tell my story and it helps even one person along the way then I will have made a small difference in the world.  Everyone has their story.  I have mine and you have yours.  Sometimes we can relate to each other through our life stories; finding common threads and experience.  We can all be storytellers.

My story is about growing up feeling very “different” and not understanding exactly why until I became more aware of sex and sexuality.  Then it hit me that I was lesbian.  I remember looking the word up in the dictionary. “Ah Ha! That’s me”  My story is about holding that secret very closely, with a lot of fear and anxiety, for many years.  It’s about coming out in a time when it wasn’t cool to be gay.  And about life before we knew what HIV &  AIDS were, never realizing that life was about to completely change for so many of us.  Some chapters are about dealing with emotions and feelings in all the wrong ways, about drinking, drugs and wandering in the wrong directions.  Then you get to chapters of growth, acceptance and realization.  All of the stories of my life have brought me to where I am today.  And today is a good day.

I love reading the other author’s blogs on WordPress.  There really are some super writers on here.  I follow quite a number of them, and while I don’t get to read every entry every day, I do catch up with my favorites every week or so.  Some I do read daily when I can.

I think it’s really great that so many LGBT people have taken to blogging and writing down our stories for the world to read.  It’s important to the coming generations to be able to find us through our stories and to understand the history of our people.  I know it has been life changing for me, in many ways, to read the stories of those who fought this battle before me, of the Stonewall Riots, the Butch-femme histories of the early 20th century.  I always look to read as much from other Butch-femme lesbians as I can.  Some of my favorite reads are “Stilettos and Steel,” “Stone Butch Blues”, and “Butch is a Noun” and “Tomboy Survival Guide”…all of which are stories that address various periods and what it’s been like being Butch during them.  All have made great contributions to the history of the LGBT movement, in my opinion, and I would highly recommend them to young readers looking to know more about our history.

I was also reading another blog about people we admire and the qualities that they typify that we admire in them.  I found it to be really intriguing.  So I made my own lists of people that I admire in my life, and what I admire about them.  Because those are the qualities that I want to have myself, to make myself a better person.  I think it’s important to occasionally take a personal inventory of ourselves and do some hard thinking about how we are presenting to the world around us, and if it’s enough or if we need to tweak things up and make some changes.  Changes are not always easy, but they are a necessity in life.  AND you can always make the choice to change.

So I made a copious list of the qualities and traits that I personally want to have.  I am going to post it on my desktop where I can see it everyday and be reminded to live up to them.  I’ll let you all know how it goes.  I like to think that I already have many of these qualities, but it’s good to remind oneself.

I was talking with someone today about how everything happens for a reason.  I think that’s kind of a lame old line actually, but there is some truth to it I am sure.  Where I am in life today is exactly where I have put myself.  You get no more than what you put into something.  I’m pretty contented, but will always strive to make things better, and to be a better person for it all.

What makes me think of all of this is a very close friend who is having some really tough times right now and conversations that I had today with her.  She’s saying crazy things like “I’m done.” and “I am giving up.”  Words that scare me into thinking she’ll do something crazy.  I would be devastated if anything were to happen to her.  She’s very special to me, and someone I depend on in my life.  Right now she’s having some financial troubles and I am sure she’s feeling overwhelmed and under a lot of pressure because of it.  I am not in a position to help her out or loan her the money, which makes me feel bad.  I wish I could help her in some way other than just giving her advice and trying to help her get through it.

I want her to look at her life and see all of the positives and not just the current negatives.  I know it’s hard when the negatives are staring you right in the face though.  I been there too.  But you can’t just give up and throw in the towel.  You have to work things out, and sometimes it’s hard and you don’t want to do the work, I know, but it has to be done.  Hopefully she will get some rest tonight and will have a new outlook in the morning.  I am hoping that she will come by for coffee in the morning so that I know she’s okay.

It’s all part of the story of our lives…these day to day happenings and problems.  Hopefully better things come in the future.

 

 

 

 

The Gender Revolution?

It used to be so much more simple!  It used to be that you were either gay or straight, period.  Or at least that is how it was in my world growing up in the 60’s/70’s and partying my ass off in the gay bars in the 80’s…it used to be easier I believe.  I’m not knocking anyone’s gender or orientation choice here, just saying that it’s gotten VERY confusing for me.  I was just reading this article on npr.org titled “A New Generation Overthrows Gender” by Jon Brooks.  It was posted on Facebook, thus I clicked the link and knew I was in a world of word trouble immediately. 

First word I came across that is fairly new to me is “agender” – which according to the article means neither ale nor female.  The particular person in the article used the pronoun “they” instead of he or she.  Ok, so I am really, really trying to be okay with this.  I am really trying not to be internally phobic, or form an immediate opinion – because I know I don’t like it when people do that to me.  BUT I just don’t get it. 

Second word I came across related to this is “Transgender”.  Thank God.  A word that I know and can understand to some degree.  Transgender meaning someone who has changed from one gender to the opposite gender.  Transitioned.  More on this later. 

Third hurdle here “gender-fluid”…which means (according to kid in the article) that you feel like a guy or girl at different times.  I can somewhat relate to this.  There are definitely times for me that I get this twinge of feeling like a girl, but normally I just feel like a guy – although I know I’m a girl.  Confused yet? 

Fourth stumper “non-binary gender” meaning not female and not male according to the binary gender scale.  I’ll see if I can locate a picture of that old scale before I publish this.  But it’s like if you give Female a 1 and Male a 10, and you rate where in the scale you may fall or feel that you fall. 

Near the end of the article they bring up “gender non-conforming” – which I can definitely fully relate to.  I am one who does not conform to the gender norms of female.

And of course we have the weird word “cisgender” meaning you identify as you were sexed at birth – either male or female.   

Then it dives into Gender Vs. Sexual orientation Vs. biology….yes, it gets very in-depth for a minute here:

“Gender identity is different from gender expression, being different from biology” says Adam Chang, a consultant with Gender Spectrum, a provider or gender identity resources and services in Berkeley, CA.  “Identity is what you know in your heart and mind, and expression is external – hair, makeup, roles you take on in society.

“Biology of course, means physical attributes that have always been used as a proxy for gender,” Chang says.  “And all of those are different from sexual orientation.”

((HOLY SHIT BATMAN!))

Chang goes on to put it this way:  “Sexuality is in and of itself not enough information to reveal a person’s gender identity.”

I am 55 years old.  I am Butch.  I have said before that Butch is my identity.  Lesbian is my sexuality. Female is my gender.  Even THAT feels confusing at times.  I’m SURE it is confusing to those who don’t know me, or anyone like me.  Simply put, I’m a Butch Lesbian.  Lesbians are women (females) who prefer relationships with other women (females).  Or so it is in my world today.  There are so many new words that I can’t possibly keep up anymore.  Especially living in rural America where most of my contact with the rest of the LGBT world is via the internet.  Where we have no real “formed community” to fall back on or to learn alongside. 

I have seen a LOT lately about our youth and transitioning genders.  It worries me a little because the human brain is not fully developed until around the age of 25.  This is part of why we make so many stupid choices and dumb decisions when we are in our teens.  I’m afraid that if kids (under 21) are looking at things like transitioning physically with surgery and drugs that they will be doing things that are not reversible in their young futures.  AND I personally just don’t think they are old enough to be doing things like surgery or hormones. 

THAT is my personal opinion on it.  I understand that we are seeing a sort of “gender revolution” happening, that kids have access to all sorts of information that we did not have when I was growing up.  I never even knew the word “transgender” existed or that people could even change genders if they wanted to.  Sure, I was a tomboy, and there were times I am sure that I wished I was a boy, but I am happy with being a woman today and who know what I would have done had I known or had the means as a kid to change my gender.  It would have been a tough one for me I bet.  So, in many ways I am happy to have grown up when I did before all of this revolution and changing stuff came to the surface. 

I have young female friends who are considering transition.  One, in particular that I am thinking about.  I have been trying to be a good Butch role model and influence, answering questions and being a bouncing board for her venting.  But she is edging closer and closer to transitioning.  She’s now 17, I’m just not convinced that she should make that kind of a life altering decision before she’s 25.  Now, saying that I don’t see any harm in her presenting as she wishes.  I am just against early surgery or hormones. 

I know some will disagree with me.  It’s the elephant in the room sometimes even.  I am not anti-trans, and I have many trans friends who I love dearly for exactly who they are.  I respect their choices and decisions.  But most of them that I know made those decisions in adulthood, not in a pre-pubescent fog of “who am I?” or on a whim to fit in with the “in” crowd, or do the new fun thing. 

My fear is that the kid does this, transitions, and then at 25 the kid looks at every adult in her life and gets very angry at them for not stopping things until she was really old enough to make that kind of life-altering decision.  Know what I mean?  Adults are supposed to protect kids from themselves; from making irreversible mistakes, and what if transitioning turned out to be just that mistake that the kid makes and regrets at maturity?  I would hate to be in those shoes. 

Kids are maturing way faster than ever in todays world.  Information travels at lightening speed through the internet and across the world wide web.  We know things that we never knew, and probably never would have known, had it not been for the interenet – some good and some bad.  I think it’s great to explore sexuality and gender and to discuss our views based on the information at hand.  I just hope these kids today are doing their research and not just following a fad that could leave indelible marks.

The rest of the article goes on to talk about suicide rates (40% of trans-identified people attempt suicide), sexuality, and society.  It seems that while many more people are adopting identities of various names across the gender spectrum, that fewer are actually physically transitioning now.  Perhaps that is because we are making it okay to be who you are without having to completely change your body.  All in all it’s a very good article that everyone should take 20 minutes to read and gain some knowledge from.  I do think it’s very cool that kids are encouraged to live as their authentic selves, to express themselves and to be who they ARE in the world.   

So, check out the article and let me know what YOU think.  Peace.  ~MB

This is a highly controversial topic and I respect that everyone has their own opinions and views.  Please be respectful of everyone reading if you comment, which I invite you to do, below. 

Identity Complexity

“How do we bridge who we become with who we were?”

“Remember who you wanted to be”  quoted from a bumper sticker I saw yesterday

“Language sets expectations”

I seem to be running into all of these one-liners that are basically alluding to identity and I find this very interesting.

I have also had some conversation surrounding identity and how we embody it, about the multiple pieces of a person and how they make up the whole.

Also, in writing about intersectionality it spurred me to think about all of the things that make up me; all of those pieces, and how they all fit together with each other.  It’s hard to figure out which piece goes in what order when you start listing all of those aspects of yourself out.  Like, what comes first, what is your first identity?  Of course we all know that it’s your sex.  When you are born they automatically declare “it’s a Girl!” or “it’s a Boy!” and God forbid they can’t figure THAT out, then all hell breaks loose I would imagine.

So if our first identity is our sex, whether we are male or female, then our second identity would be what color we are – am I right?  Those will be the first things noticed about you when you are first seen, what sex and what color.  So, I started life as a white girl.  Oh but wait, wee what I did there…I listed white first.  So is my color or my sex predominant?

I read a lot about “white privilege”, so I think that your color is the predominant first identity.  Even in common conversation we tend to go to color first, like “the black kitten” not “the kitten black”  Am I making sense?  I am thinking this through as I write…so bear with me here.

Identity, as we know, changes over the course of life.  That’s just how it works.  There are some things that don’t change, like your color/race.  But we do go from being “girl” to being a “woman” at a certain age, and we develop into people with various other identities to tack onto the ones we start with.  Once you decide your sexual preference, there’s that.  So, now I am a white woman lesbian.  Jesus, this can be super complicated.

At one time in my life I was a soldier.  And thus that was part of my identity.  Now I am a former soldier, or a veteran.  At one time I identified as a Republican (go figure, it’s true though) but now I identify as independent in political thinking, leaning toward Democrat. I now identify as a Butch lesbian, but remember there is no singular experience of an identity.  So my Butch will be different from your Butch, maybe subtly or maybe starkly, but it will definitely be different.  People are all different, no two are ever exactly alike.

There are identities in class and socio-economic status too.  I’ve always identified as middle class, grew up that way and have maintained that middle class socio-economic status – although some days I feel poor as fuck, I know I do have privilege as middle-class.

This all brings me back to line one of this blog: How do we bridge who we become with who we were?  We all build history in our lives.  Years ago I was a hard-core drug addict.  Today, while I still fight the demons of addiction, I am not what I was once upon a time by any means.  I have evolved, grown, learned and improved in that area of my life and identity.  I think back to when I identified as a more conservative Republican and what that was all about.  I was in the military, perhaps I was sort of brain washed by the military machine.  Today I am much more concerned with social justice and equality than I was back then.

So, there are all of these pieces of ourselves that come together neatly – or so we hope – to make up who we become; who we are today.  Who knows what new pieces will be added to make up who we will be tomorrow, or next week.  Good thing is that as human beings, with very complex brains, we do have the ability to make concerted efforts and to make choices, thus we do have influence on what happens with our decisions.

These are all the pieces of my identity that intersect to make me ME:  A white Butch lesbian woman, independent, Methodist, working-class, HIV+, recovering addict, American, introvert, avg. intelligence, physically disabled, outspoken, employed, mobile, compassionate, activist…hell, the list can go on I suppose.

Like I said, I’ve been thinking about all of this because of the word intersectionality.  So, I’ve been thinking about the way the world sees me.  Not how you or my family sees me but how I am seen statistically.  (But then it is interesting to wonder about how my closer contacts identify me, too.)

Then I think about how the word is used when speaking about oppression, domination and discrimination.  Of course, I am already considered a 2nd class citizen because of the mere fact that I am female.  Men want and do dominate our world unfortunately.  Women will always fight male domination and oppression, I do not foresee a time when that will not be a fact in my lifetime.

Just this last week it was a full panel of MEN that were gathered and deciding on women’s health issues during the Trumpcare debacle.  Not one woman on that panel or in that room!  THAT, my friends, is fucking oppression and male domination at it’s finest – or worst I should say.  Why is it that men think they can or should ever be deciding on women’s health/body issues?  Where do they get the idea that it is THEIR job or duty to tell women what to do with their own bodies, or what is/isn’t going to be covered by insurance.  Insurance covers Viagra, so equally it should cover contraceptives.  Fair is fair in my book.  But not in the “book of men” I suppose.  No man should ever be making a woman’s decision for her. Ever.  That panel should have been ALL WOMEN.

I will leave you with  a quick question, which of your identities expose you to the most oppression, domination or discrimination?  Drop me a quick comment below and let’s talk a little about this.  I’m very interested to know what you think.

Peace!  ~MB

 

 

 

 

 

Closet or Not?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic, I watched a video on YouTube about whether it’s okay or not to stay “in the closet” about your sexuality if you are LGBT forever or not.  This gave me a lot to think about because I am currently talking to someone who IS living in the closet, and I am not.

Personally I  could never live my life permanently in the closet.  I can’t imagine what that would be like.  I can’t imagine being afraid that someone would “find me out” and what it would mean if they did.  I have lived most of my life out and proud.  It’s just the way it happened for me.  I came out to my family when I was getting out of the Army, around 22 yrs old, and I have never looked back and thought I shouldn’t have done it.  It’s made my life so much more enriched and so much easier as I have never had to hide anything about my true identity.

Coming out is a very personal thing.  I’ve never been a big believer in a particularly “loud” coming out.  I think they way that I did it, by coming out to people on an “as needed” basis was right for me.  I know some people really want to make a big deal out of it, but I am a more private person and never felt it was a big deal at all.  It is just who I am.  In my way of thinking my sexuality is no one’s business but my own.  If the need to tell someone that I am a gay woman comes up, it’s because they are either questioning me about it or they are wanting to “fix me up” with their male friend.  Never have I found it necessary to just come out to anyone without reason.  My family had reason because I am close to them and they see who I spend all of my time with and when I am most happy in the company of another woman.  They needed to know.

So, I am becoming very attached to this woman, Beach Babe, that I’ve been talking to and I have been thinking about what it would be like to be dating someone who is “in the closet.”  She lives quite a ways from me, so it’s not like we have had to deal with this yet.  But when we are together what will it be like for me? For her?  Will she be afraid that she will be seen with me and be found out?  How has she handled this in the past?  Has she ever been with someone who is so blatantly out like I am?  Who lives their lives as an openly lesbian woman?  Who is so Butch that they cannot hide and whoever they are with will be deemed to be gay as well?  These are all questions I have about this.  I haven’t seriously gotten into any sort of a deep conversation with her about it.

I understand that she has lived closeted all of her life because of religious views of her and her family, and now because she fears losing her job.  She has a job working with teenagers, and fears that if their parents knew or the boss knew that she is lesbian that it would cause problems and maybe cause her to lose her job.  I couldn’t even imagine what that must feel like; what it would be like to have to hide part of myself like that.

She seems to think it’s not a big deal.  But we haven’t been with each other in public so I don’t know exactly how far in the closet she is.  I guess I will find out when we meet in May.  I will NOT like hiding myself.  I will NOT do it.  There is no way I can “act” or “look” straight, like she does.  I don’t know if she has ever dated a Butch like me; a Butch who looks the whole stereotypical part.  Does she understand that to be seen with me is to be “seen”?

Can I date someone who is still in the closet at 46?  I am not 100% sure.  But I really like this woman and do want to find out.  The other piece of this is the distance thing.  Guess she and I have some conversations to have…

 

Ruminate…

via Daily Prompt: Ruminate

My Horoscope for Today:

“You may feel somewhat open or vulnerable today. It could be that you’re allowing more of your authentic self to be seen by your friends or loved ones. Perhaps you’re taking a chance by attempting to make a new connection with someone you don’t know very well but would like to become closer to. If you’re feeling vulnerable today, try to invite more love into your life, even if you are afraid of rejection. An emotional risk could be a chance worth taking, so allow yourself to express what is on your mind or in your heart. Try to be completely open and honest. If you don’t censor yourself and let your true self show, you will create real connections with people.” 

This all really ruminates with me, I am totally in this space of allowing more of my authentic self to be exposed to my friends and loved ones. I have been getting to know someone more, and have been slowly learning about her, and she about me. I find it to always be taking a chance to let someone new into my life on an intimate basis.  But without taking that chance, and being my authentic self, I could be passing by a really awesome friendship or relationship. And I’m too old to let a chance like that get by me.

I had a really super productive weekend here at home.  I deep cleaned my house, caught up on all of the laundry and got things very organized.  I even got new shelving in the shed and got that more organized.  It feels great to have everything around me in it’s place.  Now to keep it well organized and picked up is all I need to do.  That and my normal weekly cleaning of everything I normally tend to, like changing my bed sheets, vacuuming and washing the floors as necessary.  I have to vacuum quite frequently because of the amount of Nola and Lulu hair that accumulates in the form of hair balls and dust bunnies.  Being ADHD I always do better when things are right in the world around me.  I even got the new knobs on the cabinet doors, although I am having screw-length issues with the draw pulls.  Seems that I need longer machine screws than those that came in the package with the pulls, and I got some longer ones but they were too long.

I’ve been doing better with my depression lately.  I take an anti depressant medication, and I think that I was on too high a dose, which was messing with me.  I’ve cut my dose in half and that seems to be doing the trick without the side effects.  I did discuss the change with my doctor and she was in agreement that I should try the lower dose.  I seem to be adjusting to it well, and my moods have stabilized very quickly.

I am starting to participate in a therapy group.  It’s for addiction issues and should be a good thing for me.  I haven’t done group therapy for years, my last group was of people dealing with living with HIV.  I liked it except that they were so focused on “dying” from HIV and not “living” with it.  I wanted more from the living aspect, and not the dying.  I had decided a long time before that that I would find a way to be at peace with my virus.  I take my medication, remain undetectable and keep very high T-cell counts.  Meds now consist of 3 pills once a day – a far cry from the 90’s and the handfuls of medications they threw at us to see what worked.  I’ve been lucky, I’ve taken pretty good care to stay healthy and to adhere to my medication regimen.

The new group will focus on addiction issues.  I am at a point where things are going relatively well in that area of my life.  I’m taking good care to stay clean and sober.  I have a whole new attitude and find that life is just far easier this way.  Plus I care deeply for the people in my life and want to keep them there.  LIVING successfully clean is my goal.   Sure, I will always fight addiction on some level, but I won’t let it beat me.

(written last weekend…finished today)