Hot, Hot, Hot!

Whoa!  It was some fucking hot here in Maine today!  It got up to about 95 here where I live in little town southern Maine.  And that is not only very hot, but very unusual for this part of the country.  We generally don’t see temperatures in the 90’s until late July, early August, and even then they are short lived.  Good summer temps here are generally in the high 80’s and the humidity can vary depending on rainfall and how close you are to the water.  I get a lot of ocean breeze here where I am, which is kind of nice.  You can always tell when the tide is rolling in because you can smell the salt in the air.

My moods have been fucked up lately. But I am feeling better overall.  I know that the moods are affected by my various medications, and that’s to be somewhat expected, but still it can be aggravating to me.  I am going to try a new product, called Kratom.  I’ll be doing a bunch of research on it this weekend and hopefully finding some quality product to try out.  It came as a recommendation from a good friends in California who uses it for pain relief and a mood booster — which is close to exactly what I would want to use it for.  It’s an herbal productr from Asia, and isn’t FDA approved, but it’s legal and it has been shown to have significant benefits used in the correct manner.  I’d love to hear from any one who has any personal experience with Kratom as to how you like it and what kinds of benefits it has brought to you.

The house looks pretty good.  I am getting ready to paint the font and back porches, spruce them up a bit.  They could use a good coat of new paint.  I did get the skirting done on both porches, so that animals can’t easily get under there and bother me.  We have some resident ground hogs that live under our various neighborhood sheds.  Hopefully they will stay out of the veggie garden!

I been catching up on my blog reading, so if you are seeing comments from me suddenly on your blogs it’s because I am playing catch up.  This last month I have been really not reading or writing much.  I just needed time to THINK without processing every little bit through my writing.  I have been going to group still, but I think I am about done with that for now.  I’m not feeling like I am getting much out of it personally.  And it’s expensive, as it’s an out of pocket cost for me every week.  I’ve done well, things are still right on track and I feel that I can drop the group therapy thing with no problem.  I will continue with one-on-one therapy for a bit longer, until I feel that I am solid in my recovery.  Plus, hey personal therapy doesn’t hurt one bit.  It’s actually been good for me, helps me process some of the fucked up shit I have had to deal with lately.  And that is good.

Linda and I are going to take the dogs to the doggie event at the Raitt Farm this weekend.  They are having a big event to promote adoption and support for the local shelters.  Ought to be fun and interesting.  Food, games, dog stuff, dog fun events, etc.  I’m looking forward to Saturday for this reason!

I’ve been working a little more than usual lately.  It’s really gotten wicked busy at my place of employment.  Like today, we sold TONS of water and ice, seemed that everyone who came in was stocking up on hydration and ice.  We have many customers who are local landscapers and construction workers, so they need to stay hydrated as they are working ou in the heat and sun.  I still enjoy the job, enjoy the people and seeing all the locals on a regular basis.  It’s nice when people come in and know my name, greet me with enthusiasm and make small talk about townie stuff.  Yeah, I don’t foresee leaving there anytime soon.  It’s really a perfect little part time job for me.  Keeps me with a weekly schedule, holds me responsible to others and gives me a little sense of purpose and security.  The money isn’t great, but it’s enough to make a difference in my budget…I would not stay if it weren’t.  I also really like the people that I work with, and that always makes a difference to me.

On the political front…I have been keeping up per my usual habits.  I keep a very close eye on the imbicile in the White House, aka the UGLY ASS ORANGE ONE who is our “fake POTUS”.  I have had to temper my reactions a bit.  I was allowing myself to be negatively affected by the news, and that’s not good. It’s important to have good information and a measured response.  I can’t do anything about the situation on my own, thus I cannot let it eat at me like I was previously allowing.  Staying informed, watching and contacting my representatives every chance I get is how I am staying involved.  I think you will soon see another big march on the White House, especially with things getting a super hot as they are there.  Just in the last 10 days alone things have begun to spiral out of control in the White House.  Trump is feeling the pressure and doesn’t like it one bit.  While he likes attention like no one I have ever previously seen, he is not as fond of “negative attention” – even though it still serves it’s purpose in getting him to the front and center of everyone’s minds.  He would rather be adored than abhorred, but he’ll take whatever he can get at this point, I believe.  It’s AMAZING how he can lie daily to us, and yet there is still a loyal following that actually believe what this asshole is dishing out to them.  They are like hogs slathering at the feed though, sucking up his vile words like they are candy.  Yep, he is quite the con artist for sure. I am just really saddened that so many people have been  bamboozled by his insanity and daily lies.

Ah, it’s 4:21 am and the birds are starting to sing outside.  I have all of the windows and doors open, am sitting her in just my boxer briefs enjoying the coolness of the air upon my skin.  Yep, semi-naked blogging, hahahaha.  I love this time of morning, the peace and quiet, save for the sounds of nature waking up to this new day.  I feel like I can think so much more clearly and without noise pollution and obstruction from outside sources at this time of morning.

I am working at 6am, until probably about 1pm today.  Depending on how busy it gets there, I will stay as long as I am needed.  It’s going to be a bit more normal temperature wise, in the high 70’s, today.  Plus it’s air conditioned at work, so it’s not so bad hanging out there and working instead of being at home fighting the heat at high-noon!  Today is Friday, payday and errand day!  Linda and I will get together after we are done with our work/jobs.  We will go to town (Portsmouth) and take care of our weekly Friday errand lists.  Generally that entails a stop at the grocery store, smoke shop, gas station, Walmart and wherever else we need to go.  It’s become a ritual with us on Fridays now.  We team up in one vehicle as to save gas and wear and tear on our trucks.  We alternate vehicles each week, one week using mine and the next using hers.  I gassed up yesterday evening, so today I am sure we’ll use Linda’s truck so we can gas that one up and do our stuff.

I spent last evening cleaning up my house really good, getting organized for the weekend and so I won’t have any of that stuff to do today!  I like this feeling of accomplishment that comes with having a clean, organized and well maintained household.  I’m so excited for a good weekend, which I totally plan on having, that I even got up earlier than usual this morning.  I was up by about 2:45am, and raring to go!  I went to bed pretty early, so I got plenty of sleep I am sure.

Ok, Happy Friday!  I do sincerely hope that each of your days are good ones!  Everyone have a great weekend, and I may even write more tomorrow, depending upon time and how I am feeling.  Thanks for reading!  Thanks for following!  I sincerely appreciate you, my dear readers!    Peace!  ~MB

 

A Glimpse into My Life

I know I’ve been writing about a lot of different things lately, like my political rants and things like that, so I thought I would write you all a personal note tonight, to say #1, I am very very appreciative for all of your presence here on my blog.  Thank you for your readership, comments, conversations and support.  It means a lot to me, I mean it.

On more personal notes, I’ve been doing quite well lately.  I’m strong in my recovery and have been attending Groups: Recover Together meetings every Wednesday.  It’s group therapy for opioid addicts, primarily heroin and oxycodone.  We meet weekly, voluntarily are tested for substances abuse, see the doctor once a month and pick up our Suboxone prescriptions.  The Suboxone is a life saver.  I haven’t felt this good about my recovery ever.  The suboxone kills the cravings for the drugs.  Flat out.  It’s a miracle drug in my opinion.  I had previously tried detoxing and maintaining with methadone, but I found that it made me high just like the heroin did and I didn’t want the “high” feeling.  With the suboxone you don’t get that, you just don’t have the craving for the opioid at all.  Don’t know why, but it works the balls!  I highly recommend it as part of your recovery program if you are an addict.

Also, the group therapy piece is important too.  It gives me a place where I can bring up subjects and talk about things that are challenging during this process, with other people who are in similar situations with their addictions; a place where I am not ashamed and can actually be proud of my accomplishments and have someone understand that pride.

Around home things are going really well.  I did run out of heating fuel this weekend, which was unfortunate.  I didn’t want to pay for an emergency weekend delivery so I borrowed two 5 gallon diesel fuel containers from my brother and hauled 20 gallons of diesel over (2 trips to the station) and put it in to burn until I can get 100 gallons of heating oil.  The hardest part was getting the furnace running again.  I had never had to do that before, so I watched a YouTube video on it, tried to bleed the line and get it running myself…no luck.  Several tries later, I conceded my defeat and called my heater technician.  He came by and was here all of 12 minutes, got it going and walked me through the entire procedure so that I can do it myself next time.  I just have to get over to Home Depot and pick up a jumper wire, which will help me to get it going in the future if this ever happens again.  I’m going to be a bit more vigilant now and not let it run out!  I did calculate and figured out that I am burning approximately 50 gallons of fuel mix per month, in the dead of winter, to heat this place.  That’s not bad!  And knowing this will give me a better idea of how to budget for next winter’s oil deliveries.  Live & Learn.

I have been uploading new videos to my YouTube channel.  It’s been a struggle to get back into the swing of doing videos.  Plus, of course, I have changed a little bit in the last couple of years, and the world has changed too.  I’ve gotten older, perhaps a bit wiser, and definitively more comfortable with myself.  It’s fun to go back sometimes and watch the really old videos of my younger, cockier self.  I feel like I am much more conscientious of what I am saying in my videos now.  I am more aware of my own internalized phobias and prejudices to begin with, and I fight to change those.  I never realized that one could have those types of things.  I like to think of myself as open minded and educated, but I had to admit that I, like most every person, also have my baggage and am not perfect in my thought processes.  Like today for instance, I was reading about the Russian people revolting against Putin and the powers that be in Russia where they suffer under his rule.  It occurred to me that while I hate Putin and Russian politics, I am not a hater of the Russian people, and I hope they over throw that demon.  Formerly, I would say I hated Russians…but it’s not exactly that way, it’s more a hating of the authoritarian rule of Russia and a healthy fear of it as well.  Am I making sense?

The first day of Spring was last week, but it still is very cold and wintery here in southern Maine.  I am really looking forward to some warmer weather, sunshine and the greening up of the landscape.  Right now everything is brown and dead looking, with smatterings of snowbanks that haven’t yet melted.  It will be good to see green grass and buds on the trees soon.  I always fight my depression more in the winter too.  Although this winter seemed to be a bit better on that front.  I had my best friend Linda around a lot and she helped me snap out of my moods quite often.  She wouldn’t LET me get sullen and depressed; she would refocus me on doing things to keep myself busy and not give me time to get bored, which often brings on the depression for me.  I really thank my lucky stars that she is there for me.  I’ve even come to depend upon her in many ways, which takes a large amount of trust for me to do.  She’s shown me real friendship, and for that I am grateful.

The dogs, Nola and Lulu, are doing great.  Of course they have been cooped up a lot with the inclement weather of winter too.  I try to get them out of the house any chance I get, taking them with me in the truck whenever possible.  They love to ride in the truck and are just as happy to wait for me in the truck when I get out to go into any place we stop at.  Thankfully they are good dogs, don’t chew or destroy stuff and can be trusted to wait patiently while I get things done.  As the days get warmer we will do more outings like going to the local beaches and parks for walks and outside time.  They also have a nice pen outside of my house that they can safely be outside in during good weather, and to do their business every couple of hours.  That pen is a lifesaver.  I built it right out my back door, so all I have to do is open the door and they can scoot out into their yard, which is like 20′ x 40′ in size.

So, there you have it.  A basic update about me.  No politics.  No deep questions.  Just a little window into my more personal side.  I’m healthy, happy and doing well.  And I hope all of you are too!  Peace!  ~MB

 

The Truth Hurts Sometimes

I’ve met more than one woman in my life journey that could not handle all of the technicalities of being with me.  I admit, I am not easy to process.  I have a bit of a troubled history.  Don’t read me wrong, I’m a good person with some high morals and ethics, but I’ve taken some forks in the proverbial road of life that others have managed to avoid.  I’ve had issues with drugs and addiction.  That’s probably the one thing that I’ve struggled with most in my entire life.  When I was young I sought out a safety net for myself and found it substance abuse and the people involved with it.  I wised up in my late 20’s and got clean and sober for many years.  I did the typical “mid-life crisis” shit in my mid 40’s and backslid a bit.

I strive to keep that stuff out of my life now.  I stay away from the “friends” that I have that are involved in that world now.  That’s a big part of how I am staying clean and following the good road now.  I tend to let myself be influenced by them if I hang around them, so now I avoid them and I avoid the whole drug scene.

It’s really hard to meet women as you get older.  Being single isn’t easy in your 50’s, believe me.  But add a history of drug addiction to the menu and it becomes even more difficult.  I completely understand that some people do not understand me or understand addictions.  That is just the way that it is.  When I begin to show interest in anyone I make sure that they know 3 things about me right up front – why?  Because I would rather they walk away sooner rather than after I become attached to them – or God forbid, fall in love with them.  what are my 3 things?  1.  I am Butch and that will never change.  2.  I live with HIV infection, which is under control but it’s a fact of life for me….which leads me to #3…I am a recovering drug addict.

Those 3 facts put me into a whole new space with people.  Either they are able to handle it, and give me a chance, or they are not, which is completely okay.  I get it.  Those are 3 major pieces of who I am.  I can’t hide them very well.   And I don’t want to pretend that I can.  Those 3 things are only a small fraction of what I am made of, but they are important if you are going to be involved with me – or even be a friend to me.  It’s important that you understand that I struggle with all 3 on a daily basis.  That doesn’t mean that I am unhappy – quite to the contrary, I am very happy in general.  But I am well aware that these 3 things make me “different” than the typical 55 year old lesbian with 2 dogs and a college degree.  I bring a whole different scene to the table.

I have lived with my addiction and my HIV for many years.  One lead to the other obviously.  Yes, I was an IV drug user and this is how I contracted the virus.  I’ve been clean for many years, fell off the wagon and got back on a few times.  So what is involved for me is knowing what triggers me to fall off and avoiding it altogether.  I’ve gotten pretty good at that, and I am proud to say that living clean and right is what I strive to do every day now.

It’s not easy being with someone who has addiction in their history, and it’s even harder when you add HIV.   I know the precautions to protect my partner from HIV but there is no protection from addiction.  No guarantee that I won’t relapse again, except for my sheer determination to stay on the straight path.  I don’t know how to reassure someone that I will stay on this path.  I guess they either have to believe me, or not.  There is no magic bullet or cure – for either condition.

I don’t want to pursue anything beyond a basic friendship with anyone who can’t deal with the baggage that I carry.  I know everyone has their struggle in life and their burdens to bear, mine are just a little more difficult for some people to understand, and that’s perfectly fine.  There are zillions of other people out there to be involved with, I am just one.

I have been fortunate to have been involved over the years, with women who gave me the benefit of doubt; who trusted me and tried to understand my complications.  I’ve sincerely appreciated them.  I’ve been lucky.

Right now I am trying to deal with quite a full plate of issues in my personal life.  I’ve avoided bringing anyone else into my life for this reason.  But I so want someone special in my life on a regular basis.  I would like to let down that wall that keeps me by myself.  I’ve punished myself for the past 2 yeas now and I’m sick and tired of it.  I’ve seen people who say they care disappear more than once.  I built a wall around myself, insulated myself from hurt and despair.  But it’s not a happy place all the time.  I want to learn to trust again, and to love again.

I’m a good person, I am strong, sensitive and caring.  I deserve to find someone good who can deal with life with me and who won’t be afraid of my past.  Someone who sees me for who I am now and not who I once pretended to be.  But how can anyone believe in someone who has such a history?  I don’t know if it can be done, which is exactly what I fear the most.  (although my ex did it for almost 14 years and never let it sway how she felt about me…so perhaps it could be possible again.)  I long for a good strong relationship that will endure.  Something beyond “just friends” –dammit, I want to be loved and understood.  Maybe it’s just too much to ask for at this point.

Ok, let me close this up before my mind explodes.  I am trying so hard to just be cheerful for the holiday season, and to keep on keeping on.  But tonight I was reminded of my flaws (see above) and it stung hard.  I am hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst – as always it seems.  Sometimes the truth just hurts.  There’s no way around it.

Peace.  ~MB

An Addict’s Disclosure

I got up this morning to get ready for my daily hospital visit and Jamie Ray’s post A boy and her dog was just stuck in my head. He wrote about losing his friend Ryan to a heroin overdose recently.  I didn’t know Ryan, and sadly now I never will.  I don’t know a little about the struggles that were his to bare; those struggles where using made it all better for a while.  But I do know first hand the attempt to make that happen.  Drug addiction is no stranger to me.  I battle it whenever I’m down and that little voice deep in my head says “I know what will make it better for a little while…” Fuck that little voice, it just drives me insane sometimes. Sometimes even there is no reasoning with it.

We don’t talk about some things out loud. There is a heroin epidemic in this country, it’s rampant and is just getting worse. We’re losing wonderful people over this, not just your street users as everyone pictures, but we’re losing kids in high school,  teachers, lawyers, Prince even!   (fentanal is what most heroin is cut with so the dealer can make more money, and it’s 100’s of times stronger than the heroin itself).

It’s a fairly easy drug to be stealth about.  You can snort it which leaves no trace that your doing it – except for the inquisitive person who wants to know how you get your pupils so small.  And you can shoot – or inject it.  This poses a slight problem of keeping your injection sites out of sight but believe me when you want it badly enough you know all the tricks.

Our government has this thing they cal the War on Drugs, started in the 80’s by Reagan.  I think it’s a farce. If we took the money we spend doing that and opened some quality rehabilitation and recovery programs  – both medical and non-medical (let that be up to the individual seeking treatment and recovery).   One can kick this aweful habit.  I did it back in 1992 and stayed clean for many years, but then I slipped up and started to back slide into it again.  Yeah, I admit it I am not perfect, I have this demon that haunts me to hell and back. How can such a small amount of a powdery substance get ahold of a person like this shit does?  It baffles me. I’ve been fighting like crazy not to give in to my cravings.  I’m doing pretty good, trying to keep myself upbeat and positive and away from anything to do with it.  Problem is that it seems to be everywhere up here in the coastal area. I wish it was eradicated from the earth.

I know my triggers, and am constantly working on staying clean.  I have a good amount of familial support, as well as friends who have been there that I can talk to when I have to. My doctors are pushing me to go to the rehab program and medically maintain my cravings with a drug called Methadone. It blocks the pleasure receptors that the heroin attaches to and keeps the cravings away.  I, as block headed as I am, have thus far refrained.  Seems like I would be swapping one drug for another in a way.  Plus I heard that the Methadone can be addictive too. I don’t know what’s best yet.  I’m clean now, and putting all I have into keeping it that way.  I’m just afraid of slipping again, and I don’t’ want that kind of life.  And I don’t want to repeat the cycle of using/clean/using….it’s like a roller coaster and this Butch is OFF. Plus, I don’t want to die from it for sure.

I haven’t previously written about any of this because I have a good healthy amount of shame about it.  I never wanted this to be part of my life.  I didn’t get born and say “hey I’m going to be a junkie!”  No, these things seem to happen through the course of  life events and moments of weakness,experimentation or curiousity, and sometimes even peer pressure.

So.  Now you know a shameful secret I have kept for many years.  I feel that until I said it out loud here that it was just going to eat me up inside.  This is part of my recovery, coming clean with what’s going on and has gone on.