Tag Archives: bipolar

#SLS 4/19/20 – San Antonio 2 Fer

song-lyric-sunday

This week for #SLS Jim has prompted us with Home Town or City and this may be more challenging, because it is different from the usual prompts that has given us for Song Lyric Sunday.  Pick a place that you consider to be your home town or city, or some place that you relate to and then try to find a song that mentions it.

I have lived in San Antonio, Texas since September 8, 1990. Since that time I have lived life to the fullest to include making many mistakes and having really great milestones. I turned 30, 40, 50 and all the ages in between those milestones in San Antonio. I met the love of my life in the summer of 1997 and didn’t know it at the time because we lost touch until January 2001 when we picked up where we never left off after he called information to get my telephone number because he needed a friend, , and have been together for over 19 years. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life than my Cruzer!!!  I earned my B.A. and M.A. in Communication both at The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Have I had my struggles in San Antonio, yes I have especially with alcoholism and addiction to cocaine. Learning that I was bipolar and have managed through years of deep depression. I have thrived not just survived living with HIV/AIDS since January 1997 (over 23 years). Now I am living through the strongest recovery from alcoholism and addiction than I have felt – there is just something different about this time around.

So, today I have chosen Tanya Tucker’s San Antonio Stroll  and Bob Wills’ San Antonio Rose. 

Lyrics
When I was a child down in South Caroline
Soon as Saturday sun went on down.
My folks and sister would go and leave me home all alone,
Going to that big square dance in town.
Well my old radio would play that old opry show,
So I never got lonesome or blue.
I’d fall asleep in my chair and dream that I was right there,
Just singing the whole night through.
When my folks would come home, they’d be humming a song,
Mama’d smile and say: “Child, don’t you know,
“There ain’t a thing in this world to make you fall in love girl,
“Like the San Antonio Stroll?”
Well the day finally come when my mama said, “Hun,
“It’s ’bout time you came with us as well.”
Well, I had me a time, yes, I danced all the night,
Till they rang that ol’ cracked-midnight bell.
Then the lights went down low, the fiddler picked up his bow,
And he played something stately and slow.
And my sister Eileen and her husband-to-be,
They held hands and began to stroll.
I’ve been away for a while, but it still brings a smile,
When I think of the way that it goes.
Now I’ll sing it to you just so we both can do,
That old San Antonio Stroll.
Yes, I’ll sing it to you just so we all can do,
That old San Antonio Stroll.
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Peter Noah

 

San Antonio Rose
Deep within my heart lies a melody
A song of old San Antone
Where in dreams I live with a memory
Beneath the stars all alone
It was there I found beside the Alamo
Enchantment strange as the blue up above
A moonlit pass that only she would know
Still hears my broken song of love
Moon in all your splendor know only my heart
Call back my rose, rose of San Antone
Lips so sweet and tender like petals falling apart
Speak once again of my love, my own.
Broken song, empty words I know
Still live in my heart all alone
For that moonlit pass by the Alamo
And Rose, my Rose of San Antone
Deep within my heart lies a melody,
A song of old San Antone
Where in dreams I live with a memory
Beneath the stars all alone
It was there I found beside the Alamo
Enchantment strange as…
Source: LyricFind

#AtoZChallenge & #1LinerWeds – 4/17/19

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#AtoZChallenge & #1LinerWeds 4/17/19

I am so excited that today my journey begins to a mouth full of new pearly whites by having my remaining teeth removed, but enough about me!!

“O” is for OVERCOMER!!! Thriving, not just surviving with HIV/AIDS for over 22 years, being bipolar and dealing with off and on bouts of depression and of course my issues with chronic relapses and return to recovery – I know that YES I AM AN OVERCOMER!!!!

 

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!!

A to Z 2019

“B” is for BRAVE

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter B

10th Anniversary Blogging from A to Z – “B”

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As many folks know, I am an open book about every aspect of my life. I am willing to share my EXPERIENCE, STRENGTH and HOPE about my struggles with chronic relapsing and returns to recovery from alcoholism and addiction to cocaine. I freely discuss my struggles with being bipolar and the depression that can be debilitating and baffling at times.

I gladly discuss my being a very proud, open and out gay man that has been with his partner for over 18 years (yes, someone has put up with me for that long besides my family). We have our struggles but that is life. I love talking about and sharing pictures of our five beautiful four-legged babies Crissy, Little Bitty, Zailey, Sadie and my boy Stitchy!!!

I am never a hesitant to discuss the fact that I have been thriving not just surviving with HIV/AIDS for over 22 years and all of the issues I have had with medication regimens and how I have been able live openly with the disease  and never be ashamed to share that fact because it is not what makes me who I am. All of these are things that are part of who I am.

Here is a where the word BRAVE comes into this post. All the time, I hear people tell me that I am so brave to be so open and honest as an open book. I do not see it as being BRAVE, I see it as being my authentic self!!

For your enjoyment Sara Bareilles’ “BRAVE!!!!!

 

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!!

 

A to Z 2019

#FOWC – Radar

ra·dar: /ˈrāˌdär/ – noun

  1. A system for detecting the presence, direction, distance, and speed of aircraft, ships, and other objects, by sending out pulses of high-frequency electromagnetic waves that are reflected off the object back to the source.

  2. An apparatus used for radar. Plural noun: radars

  3. Used to indicate that someone or something has or has not come to the attention of a person or group.

Related imageAs a person who not only suffers from being bipolar with depression but also has struggled through chronic relapses and forays into recovery, I always believed that my drinking or using was going on under the RADAR unless of course I was truly drunk or otherwise. Only a true sick person would not see that their behaviors when using never change and they always on their loved ones radar.

On Saturday 3/16/2019 I picked up a new 60 day chip, my 60 days was actually on 3/9 but I wanted to get my chip during our monthly BBQ at my home group The Goliad Group. It is so great to have people in your life that never judge you no matter how many times you fall and get back up!!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!!

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#FOWC

#FOWC – Health (Physical, Emotional and Mental)

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Areas of Physical, Mental and Emotional Health

This post is a little late because I have just been lazy and tired the last couple of days. Part of that is because of dealing with a situation that threw me for a loop on Sunday morning at my normal parish church St. Cecilia Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas. That is a different story and a different post.

When I saw this prompt, I thought how appropriate considering the weekend that I had had. I am very honest and open about being bipolar, fighting depression, recovering alcoholic and addict while also thriving not just surviving with HIV/AIDS for over 22 years. These aspects of my life make it vey clear that I have to be cognoscente and diligent in how I manage these three areas of my health. My physical, emotional and mental health have to be at the forefront of everything that I do.

I wish I could tell you which one of these three are the most important, but the truth is that everyday it varies. One day the depression can be so bad that the mental health takes center stage. Another day I can be so drained and tired even though I have done nothing that my physical health takes center stage. Then there are the days that the feelings are so manic that the emotional health takes center stage. Very seldom do all three aspects of my health take center stage together like the actors in a play at the end when they take their bows.

What I do know is that even when one aspect is taking center stage all three must be attended to or else my self will runs riot which is the reason I have had such a struggle with chronic relapsing over the years. My physical health is best when I am compliant with taking all of my medications as directed; when I exercise whether it be doing yard therapy or walking the dogs – which is therapy in itself, making sure that I am eating right. My current goal is to maintain my healthy weight of 180lbs and holding onto my size 34 waist – yes, I am bit vain when it comes to my weight. The highest I have been was almost 260lbs and I have fluctuated over the years with my most weight loss coming when I was deep into my addiction.

My mental health and emotional health while be separate, they are also extremely connected to each other. In order to maintain my mental health, again, I need to be compliant with my mental health medications. We recently simplified my regime so that I am not taking so many pills but an taking the exact same dosage. I also have to make sure that I am making all of my appointments with my chemical dependency therapist Stacy Jouffray and my psychiatrist Dr. Cervando Martinez. Another area that assists me with my mental health is my blog because it is very cathartic for me when  I share my experience, strength and hope with others through my writing.

My emotional must be maintained by having healthy relationships with my sisters, their husbands, my nieces and their children and families. I need to work at being better at calling my father who will be 79 in April. I work daily on my relationship with my husband of over 18 years along with his mother who love as though she were my own mother. Maintaining close relationships with my best friend Yoli and my friends the Sisters of The Holy Spirit, my other friends that I may not see often but we have been friends for 20 years now. I also need to maintain my relationships with my fellows in Alcoholics Anonymous. My most important relationship has got to be the one that I have with my Higher Power whom I choose to call God.  If I am working on all three of these along with my mental and physical health then every day I can state this with certainty “JUST FOR TODAY, I WILL REMAIN CLEAN AND SOBER!!!”

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!!!

 

Fitness Word Map

The ranges of Physical Health

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The Wheel of Emotions

 

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Ranges of Mental Health

fowc

#FOWC – Health

 

#JusJoJan 2019 – Jan. 31st – Highlight

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Today is the last day of #JuJoJan and I had several hightlights in my blog this month. Since I go through really dry spells, one of favorite highlights is that I reached 50+ followers on January 24th.

While some would say that I am an attention hog, okay – I am! I was ecstatic when our #JuJoJan fearless leader Linda G. Hill liked and commented on my posts from the 26th and the 29th. The comment on the 26th I actually saw on my Twitter feed before I saw it on my Word Press notifications on my phone.

My greatest highlight from this month is that I began writing and sharing again about my struggles with depression, being bipolar, alcoholism and addiction. I am a firm believer that we never know who we are going to touch through our written word, spoken word and most definitely our actions. I am truly blessed to have this cathartic means of artistic ability through my writing. 

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!

 

 

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#JusJoJan 2019 Daily Prompt – Jan. 31st

Late: #JusJoJan 2019 – Jan. 29th – Dirty

dirty

Dirty, there can be so many connotations of the word which can be clean or dirty depending on your frame of mind. I often have a horribly dirty sense of humor that can make me the life the party but must be reined in at times depending on the company I am with.

Our house is always dirty because we have five dogs, no central air, wooden floors throughout and of course my depression and manic episodes tend to drain the energy out of me at most times, therefore I do nothing. But then there are other times that my manic episodes put me on a cleaning tear, and I don’t stop projects until I am done, to the detriment of some of my mental faculties.

When the alcoholism and addict in me come out, that is when I feel the dirtiest because that is when the lies and the self-disrespect, disrespect of my husband and my family all come into play. It is the worst way to live one’s life, yet unfortunately, those of us who suffer from these issues can dive right back in without any reservation. Currently I am on the driest run that I have had since I turned 50 in 2016. I t has been three weeks since my last drink and I feel great physically and mentally that we are getting there slowly but surely.

One of things that I am most proud of, is that I have thriving not just surviving with HIV/AIDS for 22 years as of today. Recently during my most recent bout with my issues I have been the most non-compliant patient with both my HIV meds and my mental health meds. I got to a point where I was just exhausted and tired of taking any medications and I didn’t care. Since my last episode on 1/9/19, I have been on a driving force to simplify all my medication regimens. I am working with my Infectious Diseases doctor Delia E. Bullock, with the Family Focused AIDS Clinical Treatment (FFACTS) Clinic with the University Health System of San Antonio along with my therapist Stacy Jouffray and my psychiatrist Dr. Cervando Martinez on a plan to drop me from a total of 12 pills a day to 4 pills a day. One Prezcobix and one Jucula for the HIV/AIDS along with one Depakote ER for the bipolar manic episodes and one Bupropion ER for the depression. I feel that these will be very positive in making sure that I remain compliant and I will continue to work my program to remain clean and sober.

As I work to be the best me that I can be, I will continue to work on keeping the dirty side me very much at bay and keeping the spiritually faithful individual that I am on the path to remain CLEAN and SOBER JUST FOR TODAY!!!!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!

 

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#JusJoJan 2019 Daily Prompt – Jan. 29th

#JusJoJan 2019 – Jan. 27th – Cathartic

cathartic2Cathartic” is defined as “providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions; causing catharsis.” And catharsis is defined as “the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.”

As someone who has been suffering through a deep depression for over two years, being bipolar, recovering alcoholic and addict – I tend to cry, scream and I am very good at expressing my emotions. I wish it was as cathartic as psychologists say it is. Often times, it is just the opposite because nothing gets purged and the emotions just get worse.

I am in the middle of a situation with my priest Father Edvin Rodriguez of St. Cecilia Parish in San Antonio, TX  because of a difference of opinion. He feels he is the dictator of the church and judges individuals and continues to run people out of the church and I believe he is our priest, spiritual advisor and not the dictator of our parish. Today when he came into Mass, I tried to speak to him and he raised his hand and stated “I don’t want to speak to you!” When this happened, I again was immediately horrified and, disappointed and offended. This man does not know why I was coming to him, it could have been a spiritual issue that I needed help with. Mass for me today was very emotional because of this and I cried throughout because I am saddened by the way this priest behaves. Crying in mass was not cathartic at all, but I know that Christ is with me and I will continue to pray for this priest and the parish family.

cathartic1

I have been told often that I am funny. When people say that to me it reminds me of one of my favorite lines in one of my most favorite movies – Goodfellas – 

Henry Hill: Tommy, your funny!

Tommy DeVito: I’m funny how? Funny, Ha-ha or funny looking? Funny how?

I bring this up because for me, my sense of humor has always been cathartic. If I can make people laugh because of my one liner and my fun craziness, then it takes away from the non-funny craziness going on in my head. I have some very close friends that when we are together, I do tend to be the loud one, the one who wants to be the center of attention. I have been that way since I was a little boy, all I ever wanted was to be paid attention to, and even now at the age of 52 – I still want to be paid attention to.

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Finally, this blog has become the most cathartic thing in my life. I can pour out my heart and soul in this blog. I can be serious and write about my depression, addiction, alcoholism and anything else going on in my life. But I can also be lighthearted and funny if I want to. I can share my thoughts on whatever is in “My Rattled Cage” at any given moment. I am blessed that others in the blogosphere read my posts and follow me. I was very excited this week when I finally made it to 50 followers of my blog. While I am happy that others read my work and some enjoy my work, I truly do write for me because I can get so much off my chest and out my head!! Thank you to my followers and to all who visit this blog!!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!!

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#JusJoJan 2019 Daily Prompt – Jan. 27th

#JusJoJan 2019 – Jan. 25th – Balance

balance sheet of life

I found the above Balance Sheet of Life to be very useful and true because each one of those statements is essential to having a balanced emotional life.

I am one of those people that has always had issue with balancing all aspects of my life. I believe that has been a contributing factor to my alcoholism and addiction issues. The depression and being bipolar are just added circumstances. I tend to throw myself into whatever I am doing whole hog and blocking out other things. When I worked for the University of Texas at San Antonio, in every position I was always accessible whether in the office or not. I always took work home and spent many a weekend at the office, yet I did not take the best care of myself and that became the bane of my existence.

When I do yardwork, I do not quit until everything is done. My husband tells me all the time, take it easy and don’t do everything at once. I have been doing the four yards on my block for over 15 years. Our yard, the neighbor to the right is an older lady that has no one to manage her yard, the neighbor to the left is our old house and they pay me to do their yard and the neighbor to the left of them belonged to a nice lady who passed three years ago and her son still owns the house and pays me to manage the yard. When I start, I want everything uniform which means I tend to do all four yards edging and mowing on the same day. It wears me out.

I just am not good at balancing many things. I do believe the following:

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I believe that if I can get a better handle on holding on to the things I need to hold on to – my health, my husband, my four legged children, and of course our family and friends – and continue to let go of those things that I do not need – alcohol or any other substance that does not belong in my body, then YES – I will have a much more balanced life.

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!

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#JusJoJan 2019 Daily Prompt – Jan. 25th

#JusJoJan 2019 – Jan. 22nd – Curiosity

curiosity

As children our curiosity is boundless, because we want to touch, smell, even taste everything. Think about toddlers, they are curious about keys, anything shiny and even people. As they grow, they become curious about their toys and how they work, or even other things they like – playing outside, learning to ride their tricycle and then their bikes. Children become curious about different foods – that is how we become finicky eaters or adventurous eaters. Children become curious about other children, and as they become teenagers, they become even more curious about others.

As teenagers they become curious as to what is so cool about smoking cigarettes, what is so cool about attending parties where alcohol should not be at but is. Some teenagers become curious as to what happens if they smoke marijuana with their friends, they may even experience with other drugs or activities that are not their norm.

As adulthood sets in the curiosity may wane or change specifically towards what type of education they want to achieve, what their dream job may be all the while having that fear of the unknown deep in the recesses of their mind. The curiosity at this point in their early adulthood, if it has not already happened, is what is their faith and how does their faith play into their lives. They may be curious as to whether the person they are involved with are their one and only or they may be curious as to who else may be out there waiting for them.

As they get older and hopefully more mature, they may get to the stage where I am. I am at the stage where I am curious to know – why am I here, what is God’s purpose for me? I am curious and truly want to understand my depression and being bipolar. I am also curious and want to truly know exactly why the mental obsession regarding alcohol or other addictive substances can be so strong on some days and yet not even be present on others. I do have a fear of the unknown right now because I am unemployed, and I am working to find a job. I have had such a tough road over the last few years, some of it my own doing and some of it not my own doing. I also have a fear of the unknown because of all the turmoil going on in our country right now – mind you there is nothing I can do about this turmoil other than pray, but still the fear is there.

The great thing is that at the age of 52, I am still very curious about many things. I specifically am curious as to know what would happen if I chose to join a political campaign if there were an opening or is it possible for me to even enter politics myself considering my background. I am curious as to where my writing is going to take me, I know that deep inside I do have one heck of a novel that is itching to be written. I do know this, I am looking forward to whatever is coming down the road for me and mine, because the one thing am curious about is the fact that my God does not make mistakes and He has me here for a reason!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!!

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#JusJoJan 2019 Daily Prompt – Jan. 22nd