Pulling It All Together

Writing again from my spot of dirt on this big blue marble that we all inhabit.

I am venturing into pulling all of my web content together so that it’s all linked and easy to navigate.  This is no easy task.  Over the last 10 years I have spread myself out a bit across the web, in some good ways…and in some no-so-good ways I am finding.  So, I thought that with the new changes and updates to my two major go-to sites, YouTube and WordPress, that it’s high time for me to get my web presence shit together.

This will be the focus of my weekend.  I’ve been reading up and watching videos on all of the new things we can do on both sites, the costs associated with upgrading each of them, and I’m pulling all of my social media pages into the mix as well, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.  I am seeing linking it all together as a way to have some consistency in my presence.

On YouTube my videos are all very old now.  Outdated, and not very reflective of who I now am.  I haven’t been posting much in the last 2 years, and so much has changed.  I have grown and changed in so many ways.  And I definitely like who I am now far better than who I was even 4 years ago.  Life is happier.  I am happier, healthier, and personally more enthusiastic about life and whatever lies in my future.  So, I am going to review all of my old video content and most likely remove most of them from public viewing.  I’ll keep some of the older, funny, or interesting ones but I am sure that most of the over 500 I did will end up on a private list.  Of course, I’ll personally keep them for the hell of it, and to look back on in years to come.

It’s kind of the same way with WordPress.  I need to review and archive many of the less relevant ones.  My blog has been a sort of diary on some days, and those are less interesting and kind of pointless to keep up in public viewing space.  When I upgrade my WordPress to the Premium package it will afford me the ability to do a LOT more with the page, too!  I will be able to share video and audio content, have a direct email address linked to the page and will have an actual web address.  It will be so much cleaner and nicer looking, so hopefully it will be more interesting and/or fun to read my posts.  I’ll depend on all of YOU to let me know; to give me some feedback and to help me tweak things to improve the whole experience for both of us.

…A Little Personal Life Update…

I know that I haven’t been very good getting posts up lately.  I seem to start one and get half way through it and a squirrel runs by….*poof*…it never gets finished or posted.  Story of my life is half-finished tasks….dealing with adult attention deficit disorder and a bit of OCD thrown in for good measure, makes completing things a challenge sometimes. Which is why I have designated this weekend to focus completely on over-hauling my web pages, social media and pulling it all together.

Everything else is going pretty damned good.  Work is going well, I still like my job and just celebrated 2 years there back on January 14th.  Feels like it’s been much longer, but many things can – and did – happen in those 2 years.  I moved into this house on Dec. 3, 2015 and started the job on Jan. 14, 2016.  There were different people in my life back then, and life was not going very smoothly.  I had too many demons in my world at that time.  I was involved in a toxic relationship of sorts, and wasn’t treating myself very good at all.  Not a healthy way to live I discovered.

It took me some time, and I had to go through rough terrain, but I managed to work my way back to a really super good place in life.  I’m far more healthy, and way more happy!  I don’t constantly question if I am doing the right thing anymore.  I don’t feel over-stressed about how other people are feeling or doing.  I’m not trying to please anyone, just worrying about myself and my own happiness.  And through that re-set of my mind, I have found a renewed energy and enthusiasm for living life to it’s potential.

I am very grateful for where I am today.  I have a pretty nice living space, two awesome little companion dogs, my best friend living just up the road, great family support, a good job, and the possibility of a new romantic relationship on the horizon.  What the hell more could I even wish for??

Sure, I still have the stupid things happen, like the thermostat for my heating system shorted out last weekend.  It got pretty freaking cold in here!  I had to go purchase a new thermostat unit from Lowe’s and replace the burnt out one.  I’m glad my Dad taught me to do things like that.  I got it done, but unfortunately found that the furnace burner was bad as well…so I had a repairman come out on Super Bowl Sunday to replace the burner motor.  Luckily it was around 1pm, and not later!  So, I got to go to a Super Bowl game party and watch my team lose…sadly.  But we don’t need to talk about that.  There’s always next season!

I also go pneumonia in January.  But I caught it really quickly and got right in to see my doctor.  Antibiotics, steroids, and an inhaler…and it was gone about 5 days later.  I lost a couple of days of work, but it’s all good.  I recovered and am back to smartass self.  🙂

I now have this kind of attitude that you cannot stop things from happening most of the time.  You can be as careful as you want, and wear your seatbelt, but there are times when things just happen in life and you just have to get through it; deal with it and keep on going.  I find very few things that I face that I cannot handle in some way.  Keeping a calm attitude is the key; not letting myself get unduly upset or stressed out when it’s something that I just can’t change, but have to deal with head-on.

By changing up my attitude, and adding the right vitamins, I avoided the seasonal depression that I usually get.  This winter has actually been pretty good.  Right now I can’t even remember the last time I felt depressed – which is awesome!  I like the happy-go-lucky me WAY better!  I have more energy and physically feel stronger and healthier than I have in quite a few years.  I am eternally grateful to modern medicine for that.  By keeping my chronic health condition in check and staying true to my recovery program, I have improved my health immensely.  It’s just good to feel good.

I still have my share of worries.  I worry about the toxic political climate in my country.  I worry about my aging parents.  And I worry about friends who are struggling.  I try to do as much about those worries as I am able to do.  I stay well-informed about world happenings; politics and events.  I keep a close eye on my parents, calling them daily to check in and make sure they are well.  I call, text and email various friends, just to stay in touch and to let them know I am thinking of them.  While I wish I could be more of a help on all fronts, I realize I am doing all that I can possibly do as it is.  I try not to let worries take up too much space in my head.  Space in there is expensive and worries don’t pay rent!  I have many more important things to think about, to plan and to do than to fill my head with worrying about things that I cannot control.

That’s what’s been going on with me.  January and February are always fairly slow months.  My birthday was in January.  My family gave me an Amazon Echo (Alexa) and I really love the thing!  I use it to do lots of things, from listening to music to making lists for shopping, tasks, appointments and more.

Thus far February hasn’t been very eventful.  I’ve had to do repairs on my truck, and repairs on my heating system.  I’ve been watching the news about the chaos and calamity in Washington DC and getting angry over that sporadically.  It’s this gut-level sort of anger.  Anger at why those grown men and women cannot seem to ACT like adults, and have so much scandal and corruption going on constantly.  I admit that I am a new junkie; a political pundit of sorts.  I have some strong opinions and views on these topics – as you probably already know from some of my previous writings.

I’ll wrap this up here.  I am going to drop in a few photos of the snow, Nola, Lulu and myself all taken in the last couple of weeks.  Tell me, how has your winter been going?  Done anything fun or interesting so far in 2018?

Peace…~MB

 

 

 

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A Very Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas Eve….it’s been a truly beautiful day in my world.  Tonight I am winding down and feeling very lucky and happy about everything.  I have been trying to get a post up on this blog all week, but most are half written rants about politics or other topics.  Tonight I just wanted to stop in here and wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas, for all who celebrate, and a Happy Hanukka to my Jewish readers.  Whatever your holiday, I wish you the VERY best of peace and love!  It’s an amazing time of year where we all put love and family ahead of most everything else.  Too bad we don’t do it more often!

I made my Christmas very differently this year.  I decided back in October that I would celebrate and enjoy my holiday season this year.  I did not want any negativity – despite what is happening in America – and I refused to let it affect my Christmas festivities.

I decorated my house nicely; put up a sweet Christmas tree in front of the big bay window in my living room.  I put the little green fireplace next to it and sat a cute little Santa sculpture on top.  I placed a poinsettia in the kitchen.  Put up a card tree and strung it with a mini-string of lights.  Yes, I really did it up this year.  And it felt terrific!

I managed to do my shopping over the last several months, picking up a gift or two here and there when I had the money.  That way I wasn’t stretched too thin close to the actual holiday.  I got something for each person on my list, and even stuffed a stocking for my bestie.  I got the dogs both a few little “dog gifts” and everything looked wonderful all wrapped and under my tree.

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Today, Christmas Eve day, I got up and made some coffee and fed the dogs.  After they came back inside from their morning romp in the backyard, I got them all excited to open their presents.  They had a blast!  Two little wiggly dogs, all full of excitement and helping me rip the paper off their presents.  They got balls, a new bath towel, a new food mat, half a dozen new “stuffies” each and treats galore!  Spoiled rotten they are!

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This afternoon I took my bestie’s gifts over to her, she was home sick with a really bad cold.  We hung out for a little while, and I invited her over to supper.  She took a nap after I left, but did manage to make it over.  I got her settled on the other couch and took care of her for a couple of hours; making her dinner and setting her up with a new regimen of vitamins and supplements to try to help her feel better.  She’s been contending with some depression and is really having a difficult time lately.  We are both in recovery, and sometimes I think she struggles with that more than I do.

She told me she hasn’t been coming around because she’s been so down and out that she didn’t want ME to feel that way too!  Problem is that when she does that I think she’s blowing me off…and that’s not good.  I appreciate her trying to protect me, but I want our friendship to be one where she feels comfortable being around me no matter what’s going on with us.  We both have our struggles, and we should be able to talk about anything as friends.   We talked a lot about this today and I hope we have cleared it up and things will be better between us.  She really means a lot to me; it’s like we are sisters.

Tomorrow, Christmas Day, I will do the early morning shift at work.  It will probably be pretty slow as most people will be home with their families having Christmas morning.  I only have to work 4 hours, then I will change clothes and head up to spend Christmas Day with my family at my parents’ house.  I’m aiming for a political conversation free day; hopefully no one will mention politics.  My family is divided over these issues, so it can get a bit heated in that respect.  Most all of my family will be there, except my youngest brother and his wife and kids, who have gone snowmobiling and rented a cabin down Maine.  Nola and Lulu will unfortunately have to stay home tomorrow, and I am feeling a twinge of guilt because of that.  I will try to be home by 3pm-4pm for them.  By that time I will have had plenty of family time and Christmas festivity!
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Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

Peace.   !MB

 

 

The Week Begins…

This past weekend was a pretty rough one for me.  I didn’t do much.  I had so much on my mind that I felt paralyzed and couldn’t focus on doing anything constructive.  So I spend much of it watching TV, listening to news, surfing the web and hibernating in my house.  I didn’t see a soul all weekend.  I had planned to spend Saturday with my best friend, but she never showed…she’s been avoiding me.  I suspect that she’s been using again and doesn’t want to hear any shit from me about it.  That’s the only reason she wouldn’t be around like normal.

This morning I got up to go to work, went out to start my truck and it was iced up.  So I started it and got the scraper out of the back and started scraping the windows.  When I reached to open the driver’s door it was LOCKED.  Fuck.  And I had locked the house door behind me when I went out.  So, I was locked out of the house AND the truck – which was running.  I also had forgotten my wallet inside the house.  But, I had my cell phone!  Thankfully.  I ended up calling my friend Linda and she came over.  She has spare keys to my house and truck.  In the end I got to work about 30 minutes late, but it was all good because I had called them to let them know.  Lesson learned.  I went to the hardware store after work and had a couple of spare keys made.  I now have one outside in the lock box on the porch, and an extra in my key cabinet.  I don’t anticipate pulling the same stupid stunt twice, but I’ll be prepared if I do!

I emailed with my attorney today.  She says I won’t be going back to jail on the 21st when I go for my hearing.  That came as a huge relief to me.  She just advised me to keep myself clean and do everything I’m supposed to be doing.  So that’s exactly what I am going to do.  I have to get letters from my boss, my counsellor and my group therapy leader, as well as a letter stating I’ve had all negative urine tests (I am tested weekly), a letter from my doctor and as much documentation as I can rustle up that makes me look good.  I’ll be working on all these things this week.  I go to court for the hearing next Tuesday.

I’m supposed to go to court on the restraining order that I have on that guy I had let stay here.  But I think I am going to drop the request for a longer order.  He hasn’t bothered me at all, and I don’t think that he will.  I think he’s pretty embarrassed about all that happened.   So I’m just going to drop the issue and not put either of us through going to court over it.  If he starts to bother me again I won’t hesitate to call the cops and push the restraining order issue to a full year.

I’ve been setting up my day-runner organizer book for 2018.  Transferring important numbers and information to it.  It’s going to help me stay far more on track with everything.  I also picked up a new 7 pocket expandable file today for 2018’s receipts.  I tend to keep impeccable track of most everything.  That way if I need to refer back to a receipt for any reason I can locate it easily.

I signed up on www.AdoptafamilyUSVI.com to adopt a family in need in the US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico today.  I will be putting together care packages to send to them every couple of weeks.   I had been looking for a way I could help, and saw this program on the news here tonight.  I checked out the website, and encourage you to do the same!  It’s pretty straight forward, you sign up and they assign you a family.  The family gives you a “wish list” of small items they could use to make life easier for a few days.  Seems like the least I can do to help out and maybe make someone a little more comfortable in those storm ravaged areas.  They’re still mostly without power and drinkable water in both the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Sad that our Fucking Moron “president” just ignores them and is so busy sucking up to Putin and Duterte, killing trade for the US and sucking money out of us citizens.  I haven’t written much about him lately, but believe me I am watching his every move and can’t wait for him to be taken out.  I believe Mueller will get him and his pack eventually.

The weather here in southern Maine has finally turned cold.  It’s going down below 30 degrees tonight.  I’ve had the heat on now for about a week and a half.  I like it pretty chilly anyway, so I only set my thermostat at 65-68 during the day and drop it down to 62 at night.  I like to sleep in the cool air with heavy blankets.  The weight of the blankets seems to calm my anxiety and helps me fall asleep.  Also I’ve added 10mg of melatonin to my night time ritual as well.  That does seem to help.  Sleep is always a bit illusive, no matter what I do.  I’m pretty used to functioning well on about 4-5 hours of total sleep.

So, anyway, it’s been a rather rough few days, but I am in a pretty good mood tonight.  I know things will get better; I’m going to MAKE them better.  I’ve got the right attitude and am really focusing on improving myself personally and living better.  I might have my down days, but overall I’m actually doing really well.  I do think that being consistent on my medications has helped with that too.

Hope you are all doing well.  Peace.  ~MB

Ten Months…

Today I had my Groups: Recover Together meeting.  It’s basically weekly group therapy for opioid addicts trying to get clean, and in recovery.  I have been going to Groups now for over 6 months, and today got my 6 month token.  Its’ just a little pocket coin to fiddle with and remind yourself that you are in recovery and yes, you can do this!

2017-09-13 19.46.10I’m pretty proud that I have managed to kick my opioid addiction and stay clean for almost 10 months now.  Oct. 28th will be my 1 year anniversary.  It hasn’t been easy, I’ve had some really tough days and brutal nights.  I am currently in the Suboxone program. Suboxone is a drug used to curb the cravings and block the effect of opioids.  Basically, as long as I take my daily sublingual strips, which are paper strip that I put under my tongue and let dissolve for 7 minutes without swallowing — yeah, TRY to go 7 whole minutes without swallowing, it’s a real trick!  Anyway, as long as I take those I don’t have the hellish cravings for the drug, and even if I did do any dope it would be “blocked” by the Naloxone in the Suboxone strip.  Rendering doing it absolutely useless…I wouldn’t get high, so why bother?  It’s a phychological thing as well as a physical thing I believe.

Going to the weekly group meeting, where I am in a room with 8-10 other addicts all in the same boat, and all doing the same basic thing – trying to eliminate addiction from their lives.  We have developed a pretty tightly knit group at this point.  We’ve come to hold one another’s feet to the fire.  When you arrive at the office for the meeting you have to take a piss test, and they test it on the spot for any drugs.  It’s a 6 way test.  As long as you don’t test for any drugs except for the Suboxone (buprenorphine) you are good to go.  You go into the group meeting and when you are finished you pick up your weekly prescription from the coordinator on the way out.  You can test positive for marijuana also, it’s legal here so they don’t dock you for having it in your system.  Plus, many of us use it for pain relief, which is why many of us started using the opioid drugs to begin with.  Marijuana isn’t considered to be a problem in this program, and I don’t believe it’s a problem drug if used smartly.  If you test positive for any other drug you are pulled aside and have to meet with the counsellor before you can pick up your script.  You have to explain why you are positive and generally they will give you a break and a chance to continue.  If you habitually test positive, or have a “dirty” or “hot” result you can be tossed out of the program.  And no one wants that!  Going to these meetings in order to get your prescription, being tested weekly, and bein accountable has become pretty damned important to me.  I need the Subs, so I follow the program and it’s kept me on track very well.

The opioid crisis is a nationwide crisis affecting all communities regardless of age, race, gender, religion, social status, or wealth.  It doesn’t discriminate.  I know many very prominent people in my community that hide secret addictions to these powerful drugs such as Percocet, oxycodone, Vicodin, Heroin and Fentanyl.  Once the drug gets you hooked you are in a fight for your life.  Too many times I have seen that fight end in death.  I didn’t want to be another one of those statistics.  Maine has an unusually high number of addicts, and a very high over-dose rate.  It’s a rural state, and for some reason has become a very big state for the trafficking of these potent drugs.

Tonight on ABC television here in the US there is a show that’s going to be on that’s called “State of Addiction” which will talk all about the epidemic we are facing here.  I plan to watch it and have encouraged my family and loved ones to do the same.  I can tell them things, but I think that hearing them from people who combat this every day will be even better for them to understand.  I am very lucky to have a very good support network of family, friends and a very supportive and loving girlfriend.  Without them I don’t think I would have made it back to sobriety….I thank every single one of them, and especially my dear Mother who I put through hell and back with worry and angst.  I’m sorry for all of it, but an addict doesn’t see those things or the way they are affecting people around them when they are actively using.  It’s not til one gets clean that we can look back and realize the damage we have done, and just hope and try to fix it somehow.

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.