Sunday, July 22, 2007

Catching Up

It’s been such a long time since my last entry. Why did I take so long? Many things have happened. Gay Pride, school, evictions, house hunting, papers, test, finals, moving boxes, dump-runs, phone calls, bills, cars, loans and on it goes. Life has been to severe. Many things have happened and all at once.

I should start with the big ticket items.Gay Pride, we had a good time. Talal and I, joined by our good friend Beth, decided to make the journey into the city. We enjoyed ourselves; the debauchery and decadence were fabulous in a fun sort of way. Nothing unhealthy about pride, it’s one the few times that I can relax while holding Talal’s hand in public. The parade was festive, inventive and colorful. Gay pride was as it should be. The queens and the scantly clad men strutting there stuff to the applause of the adoring crowds. What a hoot, I felt energized and excited. After that parade we went a Thai restaurant and then over to the Seattle Center. I didn’t care for the Seattle Center. Too crowded, it was like a giant gay bar. No thanks. We stayed just a short time and left.

I completed my summer course of Law and Ethics. Five weeks and it was brutal. This class went from 9:00 – 4:00 with a working lunch. You get 15 minutes to heat your food in a microwave, urinate and return to the class. It’s quite lovely. The class is non-stop all day long with very few breaks. I’m exhausted by the time I get home. I end up sleeping 10 hours, well into my Sunday. Not a very exciting Saturday night. Additionally, the teacher of this class really wears my nerves thin. I’m so happy to be done. I get the next 7 weeks off and then I go back for my final quarter in the fall. I will enroll in a Practicum Class and General Psychology. After the fall quarter has been completed I’ll be done with all my CDP classes that includes a 2500 hour internship. Not bad for three years. . Over Christmas break I’ll need to make some important decisions in regards to my future. I’m not sure that I want to attend BCC for my associate’s degree. I’m a little tired of the place. Cost and convenience will win the race. Highline Community, Central? Who knows where I may end up? That’s what I need to think about.

The big news is that we were evicted. At the end of July we received word that the owner wanted to sell the house we currently live in, consequently, we had a month to secure the financing and get a new place to live. Not a fun task by any stretch of the imagination. However, things came together and both happened, money and house. We found a place to live on Craig’s List, by the way Craig’s List is my new addiction, a nice 750 square foot house with two bedrooms and garage. New carpet, new paint job, a big porch and a nice yard. I should tell you that this little gem of house didn’t come easily. We really had to wine and dine the owner. She was nervous and uncertain. However, in the end, she decided on us and I’m so happy that she did. I kept saying that I felt like I was in a reality TV Show called “The Renter” Today we meant her, signed the lease and paid our deposit. We move in mid-August. I want to mention that Talal’s father; his name is Sager, helped us with the deposit. I’m very grateful that he helped us. Since Talal and I have been together it’s the first offering of kindness that I’ve seen.

My 43rd birthday is just around the corner. On August 1st I become 43. We’re celebrating by attending a show at a Gay Dinner Club. The following day we’ll head to mothers house for a BBQ. 43 sounds old, I’m just not ready to die yet. 43 feels really close to death. I don’t like that feeling. I’m starting to remember things my child hood, very old memories are beginning to return and I’m finding myself reminiscent and sentimental. Deep breath, it happens as it happens I guess. I’m still focused on what I want to bring to the world and how I want to do it. I’ve considered myself to be person will be successful later in life and that’s just fine by me.

Tomorrow it’s back to work. The sunshine returns and I’m going to wear a Hawaiian Shirt to work. I have a new office at work and I enjoy it. Monday’s are always difficult for me, fatigue seems to be problematic and getting out the door is always difficult. As long as I have coffee and time to wake up I’ll be fine.

Well I guess it’s time to go. I’ll blog again, this time a lot quicker. We have a big move and lots of packing ahead of us. I’m excited about the new house and I look forward to living in it. I love Talal. As always I’m glad that he’s on my side and that I have him with me through these ups and downs.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Landlord: The True Face Of Evil

My landlord is the face of evil. I’ve lived in ghetto house for 8 years. Numb-nuts lives on the east coast and has been here a total of two times. He leaves his elderly father of 80 some odd years to take care of things around the house. That means nothing gets done. Here is the current list of things that don’t work: back door wont open, front door is sticky, large crack in bedroom wall. Pieces of the wall are falling of in the living room above the base board. The bathroom floor has nail heads sticking out of the tile, the back burner on the stove doesn’t work, the freezer only works if you keep it half way full, the sink leaks, the hot water faucet doesn’t turn unless you bench press it and the carpet is nasty that means about 20 years old.

Yesterday he breezed into town and took a look at the yard. We just spent $300.00 for landscaping. Despite the fact that the yard looked fairly good, the asshole flew into a tirade over what he didn’t think looked good. Additionally, he’s told us that we can’t use the garage or the basement to store belongings. His father allotted space for me in both places when I first moved in. This change in position is astonishing.

For eight years I’ve lived here and for eight years I’ve had to endure this shit-hole of house. I’ve kept my mouth shut because I felt like there was and understanding. We stay quiet and in return we get cheap rent. Now we get this asshole of land lord snapping at us, talking to us like we are a piece of shit and placing new restrictions on us. This guy has come unhinged.

Tomorrow is the face-off. I don’t think I’m going to be able to maintain my composure. I can’t remember the last time I was this angry. I’ve told Talal that he’s going to have to intervene on my behalf. Perhaps it’s best that I don’t talk with him at all. This is one time when I’m willing to admit that I need grace and guidance. My anger blinds me. I need help from my higher power. I want punch this little butt-fucker right in the face. I can’t do that. I need help to move past my anger and handle him with dignity and grace. Breathe deep, hold my head up and move on. I can do this. I have the tools.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Grief and Loss; Death by Addiction.

Being a chemical dependency counselor has its ups and downs. Some days you’re on top of the world, while other days it feels as if everything is crashing down around you. One of the hardest things to walk through is the death of a client. Over the course of 28 days, you become close to your patients. You can’t help it. You hear their stores of pain and tragedy and it speaks to your spirit. Bit by bit and piece by piece, they begin to push the idea of addiction out of mind and open their hearts to the concept of sobriety. Slowly, they begin to reclaim their selfhood that was lost to a ruthless addiction.

At the end of treatment you say good bye to them. That includes a coin, hug and discharge summary. In the discharge summary you say something like “client has now created value in their lives for clean and sober living.” As they walk down the hallway for the last time, you feel a pang of sadness. Inside you're hoping to God that they get it. You want them to stay clean and sober. Yet there is that part of you that understands that bad news can return. Too many times there is not a happily ever after.

This morning when I got up, I checked my e-mail and there it was, the announcement: another good hearted, well meaning addict died. This time it was heroin. He died all alone. His roommate found him ten hours later. His sister, a friend of mine, delivered the news with a heartfelt e-mail that explained her inner pain. I responded and told her that I would like to come to the funeral. She’ll send me the details later. All day long he’s been on my mind. Mostly there is a huge sadness and feeling of loss. Some of them make it and some don’t. I clearly recall one of the last conversations I had with him. I told him that he couldn’t survive another relapse. I warned, above all else, stay sober. “If you relapse you may not come back.” That’s what I told him. I became sick to my stomach when I realized that I’d been right. He relapsed. He never came back.

Today is one of those days that I feel great heaviness weighing on my spirit. The addiction won; sobriety lost. Tomorrow I’ll get up, have a cup of coffee, check my e-mail, take a shower and then work. When I get there I’ll sit in a room with ten other people who are trying to get sober. Honestly, I know that about 50% of them may make it. That’s a generous estimate. It will probably be a lot less. I will continue. Despite my great sadness, I will continue to do this thing. It’s not always easy to fight the war when you lose battles so often. I just can’t stop. When I see the hope in their faces and hear their stories, something inside of me stirs. I can’t stop doing what I’ve been called to do. I didn’t chose this. It choose me. A fire burns inside, something drives me to move ahead and forge onward. It’s not about me. It’s about doing the right thing. It’s about them. Even if they don’t get it, they still deserve a chance. That’s my job. I help them find the way. The rest is up to them. That’s it. That’s all. The end.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

We had a peaceful Sunday. It started off by waking late. Then it moved to a nice breakfast, movies, internet and some good music. We went to my mother’s house for dinner and ended the day by staying late and chatting for hours. It was enjoyable. I liked the long conversation with my mother, brother and sister. We talked about everything while discussing nothing. Ocasionally Talal would chime in with witty banter. Smiles were plentiful and times were good. I have no real news, just felt the need to be reflective and talk about how much I enjoyed myself. Right now Talal is making our healthy-style home-made pizza. Tonight is going to be a continuation of our relaxing day. Cuddle time on the couch with a good movie. Today was blissful.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Time To Defend What's Right!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE Rosie O'Donnell, if you don't then get the hell off my blog. I have a burning desire to talk about a real modern day hero, Rosie O'Donnell. Rosie is a beautiful and rare person. She has the courage to speak the truth. Ladies and gentleman we live in the United States of America, the man in charge, George Bush, is destroying our country. It needs be said and continue to be said that our president is wrong, wrong, wrong. He's managed to manipulate our country into an environment of fear and fire up the religious zealots that are nothing short of Nazi like. Thank God for Rosie O'Donnell who has the courage to stand up and speak the truth. Rosie is my voice, If I could go on national TV and speak my truth she and I would sound alike. AND I'm sick of this bullshit media spin. They take one little snippet of what she says, spin it, and completely use her words out of context. Therefore the true meaning of what she's all about gets completely lost. Come on people, the media needs to open their eyes. What ever happened to good old fashioned integrity by doing the job well. Have we become that greedy and insenstive, my God, what does that say about us. There are some serious problems with this country and they start with that jug-head of a president and perpetuated by our pansy-ass, money grubbing, sorry ass of an excuse for a press. Excuse my mouth but we need to wake the fuck up. Thank you Rosie for being a voice in the dark!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Perfect Moment

I've been looking at other blogs and it occurs to me that I use mine like a diary. That's okay, it makes me feel better there are certain things that I want to share about myself. Taking the mundane items from my every day life and recreating them in a blog helps me to understand that my life is not so mundane after all. Yesterday, after I was finished with school, Talal and I went for walk on the banks of the cedar river. About 10 minutes into the walk we got caught in a down poor. We made the dash for a shelter and then it occurred to me that I was having the perfect moment. True, it was raining and cold, however, I was safe under the shelter sitting on a picnic bench. As I listened to the rain pounding down on our reliable aluminum roof it struck me that I was perfectly dry and not being touched by the rain. The cedar river right in front of me and sprawling green grassy hills and lots of trees. It was perfect, I was happy. Talal however wasn’t so happy. I was content to sit there for a while. As soon as the rain went from a down poor to a drizzle Talal insisted that we leave. He was only wearing a t-shirt and was cold. So back to the car we went. As we rounded the last curve I happened to glance at the skyline and there it was right in front of me a double rainbow with absolutely beautifully brilliant colors that arched its way through a misty sky. I was in awe, Talal and I both stood there captivated by the wonder of what we were experiencing. Again the perfect moment, two right in a row. Eventually we got back into the car and turned the heater on full blast and quickly warmed up. As we drove away I felt spec of sadness that my two perfect moments ended so quickly. Today is Sunday morning, it’s been raining again I’m sitting here on the coach with big cup coffee. Talal is in the Kitchen bitching about the forks. Again it’s another perfect moment. There not so far apart really, I just need to pay attention. Peace Out!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I’ve managed to do it two days in a row. Disturb myself by watching a movie. Last nights movie made a big impact on me. Only this time the movie was a documentary and that was even more disturbing. The movie is called Jesus Camp. Without any narration the cameras allow us to watch a female minister as she shapes the minds of the children with flare, showmanship and lots of spiritual muscle. Frankly, she struck me a repressed lesbian. Of course it goes with out saying these religious zealots love George Bush. At one point they have a card board statue of George Bush that’s placed at the front of the chapel. The children are instructed to pray and praise George Bush, as if he were some type of Demi-God. The Children respond by lifting there hands and arms out stretched, eyes closed with a fervent desire to live for, pray for and love George Bush. Additionally the repressed lesbian, head Minster explained that she honors George Bush for being a born again Christian. She continued by saying that his example has been permission giving to the evangelical movement. This movie was disturbing for a few reasons. The militant approach coupled with the absolute belief that they are right and everybody else is wrong. I’m not surprised really so much as I’m sad. As a counselor I understand how denial works and how people are driven by their narrative. What’s bothersome is there absolute desire to condemn anyone who doesn’t conform to their way of belief and they manage to wrap it all up by saying Jesus told them so. Some how I suspect that this isn’t what Christ had in mind. My heart goes out to the children who never had a fighting chance. This stuck me as religious abuse where the children are being taken advantage of. I’ve accepted the fact that Christ true meaning of love, acceptance and understanding has gotten lost over the years. This documentary clearly illustrated how dangerous and disturbing fanaticism is.