Pushing through

Lately I find myself happy but somewhat discontent. Things with my Man go quite well but I’m rather frustrated with my working life. Most of the places I’ve checked out don’t pay dick. I’m barely getting by now, so taking a pay cut just to get out of the kitchen is not an option. I don’t have zero education or skills. However, the most lucrative work I’ve ever done (HVAC) messed up my back and shoulders to the point that I can no longer stand up to that kind of work.  I try to cut myself some slack given the fact that I was on disability for nearly five years and barely worked.

It eats at me pretty frequently to be honest. I’m certainly not interested in being a kitchen rat forever. I’d like to get some kind of healthcare/technical certification eventually. It’s just kind of out of reach at present. I have no car, no savings and I owe social security eleven grand. Kay. I’m grateful to be alive and relatively functional, really. I’m just feeling a bit trapped combined with the fact that I’m just not making enough money.

Still, it could be worse. I keep telling myself this.

Time marches on…

Things have been super chill lately. I’m living relatively stress free, which is kind of unusual for me. The last few weeks I’ve been in a pretty nice groove with work. I’ve taken some of the sting out of my work week and have been very happy on the boyfriend front. We went to a Mexican place Saturday night that a lot of our theatre people go to and naturally we encountered like ten of them. So it’s fairly certain that the whole theatre knows now. Not that I care, I just find it very funny is all.

I’m still steady at three milligrams of Risperdal. I was close to losing it at the end of my last show but I dropped my activity level quickly enough to calm myself the fuck down. I’ve determined that one show at a time is a good rule to adhere to. The Adderall is at 15mg of XR. Seems to be a good fit for me. I’m trying to be more organizational when I’m working and not rely so much on doing things a certain way. Exploring shortcuts and being more adaptable as I go. I do believe I’ve gotten better in this regard.

So otherwise I’m doing well enough I suppose. Got the bicycle fixed up and am trying to be a bit more active with it. I suddenly care a little about muh figure. Fancy that, eh?

Really though, I adore this Man. Such a sense of humor he has. That’s a deal breaker for me. He treats me really well and makes me laugh. When I speak, he doesn’t look at me like I’m a freaking lunatic. We’re very different people with many common interests. I find it highly entertaining. We’re both kind of geeky and awkward and it just works really nicely.

I’m hoping to get us to either go to the beach or for a decent hike. I’m starved for outdoor activities lately and hiking is my favorite thing in the world outside of death metal. I like going to the huge parks and going like ten or twelve miles. Maybe take a lunch with us. Look at birds and trees and shit. Sounds like a blast, yo.

I’m debating on when to go back to theatre. I did sorely need a break recently. I can’t overload myself like that again. Still, I’m not sure how long a break we’re talking here. There are a lot of shows coming up that I’m interested in. It would be cool if my boyfriend got cast in ‘Tale of The Allergist’s Wife’ because I’m already kind of planning to stage crew that one.

I don’t know. We’ll see I guess.

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Falling…..

I really think it’s happening. I’ve tried so adamantly to take it slow but I am seriously intoxicated with him. Maybe it’s his quiet confidence, or the way he calls me baby. I’m not sure. All I know is that lately I’m in another world. One of the girls I work with said to me recently ‘What the hell are YOU smiling about’?’. I played it coy like ‘Just happy is all.’ and she proceeded to make the ‘You are SO full of shit’ face at me. I have a feeling she knows.

I’m usually pretty level headed, that is to say I’m not generally the one to lose myself in these kinds of situations. There’s something highly different about this Man from others I’ve been with. Most of the men I’ve been with were kind of blocked and/or mixed up when it comes to intimacy so Shannon is a welcome change. Also, the uber Irish name is a huge turn on.

I know it’s such a cliche but he really makes me feel beautiful. More so than anyone I’ve ever been with, actually. Like seriously, every molecule in my body is screaming and twisting with feral delight.

This as you might have guessed is kind of turning my brain to mush. Honestly, I’m having a hard time not acting like a drunk teenage girl around him. I told this to my middle aged gay friend and he laughed heartily. He then said ‘ Is this really such a bad thing?.’ I responded ‘Honestly, it’s pretty awesome’. Aside from all the random blushing it truly is. Not that I mind blushing, it just tends to lead to questions.

I’m going to see him today and I’m well past excited about it. We’re going to watch a DVD of our theatre’s production of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ which was actually how we first met. He initially wrote me off as a romantic possibility because I had a girlfriend. It didn’t occur to him that I might swing both ways. Flash forward to recently and all it took was a little saucy comment and we were both like ‘Yeah? Okay cool.’.

I’m still trying to take things easy. That said, I’ve already gotten pretty deep. I don’t want to jump the gun but I think I’m falling in love here. So yeah, that’s where I’m at currently.

Pray for me-

Thom

Date Night…

It was lovely. Time kind of got away from us so we tabled the movie idea and just went to dinner. Had some great food, a few beers and some awesome conversation. I must confess a realization that is slowly overtaking me:

I am falling hard for this Man. He’s so witty/charming/intelligent/warm that I absolutely melt in his presence.  I can’t honestly say I’ve ever been this into someone, male or female. I’ve been doing my best to not act  like a tipsy schoolgirl around him but one can only do so much. I mean, I’m glowing here.

Now comes the fun part. Trying to keep a level head. Steady as she goes, Thom.

Well…

Things are alright. I’m working hard as usual. I work at a burrito joint as a prep cook in the mornings. Not exactly my life’s ambition, but considering I was unemployed for years, it’s a start I suppose. It’s actually not so bad. It’s the same company I started working for part time when I was still on disability. After two years I switched locations and went full time, effectively terminating my SSDI. As I sit here absorbing King Diamond’s ‘Fatal Portrait’ album I realize that I’m actually something of a survivor. The first two years I worked 15-20 hours a week and could barely handle that. Worse still, I absolutely despised the job.

Allow me to explain a bit further. Sorry, I spaced for a moment as Andy Laroque and Michael Denner’s delicious riffing seriously distracted me. A friend of mine who worked there basically gift-wrapped the job for me. I just had to apply. I was still nervous as hell because by then I had been largely unemployed for the past three years. I started as a prep guy, but there was more to it than just that. I was also a dishwasher and a front of the house employee (bussing tables, cooking whatever the hot line needed more of on the grill (open assembly line type of situation). I was running around like a rat on meth trying to keep up. Some days I simply got buried and left three or four hours late. I couldn’t leave until the responsibilities of the day were complete, no matter how ridiculous.

I was losing my bloody mind. I was also zonked out on Lithium the whole time. It was icky beyond words. I was horribly bent out of shape most of the time. Then something cool occurred. I was cast in a production of ‘Guys and Dolls’ around the time my relationship with my girlfriend of four years was crumbling. This was a clear case of theatre saving my life and sanity. I had so much fun with this show that nothing could touch me. I split with her and moved home to start over. Happens to the best of us I guess.

So I kept working at burritoland. But a guy I worked with told me about the other location he worked at with a different franchise owner and slightly different way of operating. I was intrigued. I went in, got hired as the same job (or so I thought).After a few weeks I told the other store very politely that I was done and went full-time at the other, closer to home store. Right around this time I switched from Lithium to risperdal. Both this and the new job were huge improvements. It was so much better it blew my mind.  I could just be a cook and not do three jobs at once. I don’t mind having to do dishes but all that plus front of the house was too freaking much. I’ve worked there six months now and am fully off of social security benefits and it’s going just fine. Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side.

So what else is up with me? I’m psyched to be going out with muh Man to see a movie Wednesday night. I have a bit of nerves for an unrelated reason though. My Dad left me a voicemail the other night that made me a bit uneasy. He said something like ‘I have a few things to talk to you about.’. My Dad has kind of a highly serious air even when he’s totally relaxed so I could be misinterpreting. But I remember what I did on Facebook that day. My hairdresser/theatre friend got married to his boyfriend that day and I congratulated them on Facebook. I think my Dad may have been perturbed by this.

My Father’s side of the family are conservative Catholics. Wonderful people but highly intense. As a bisexual man, I’ve always worn a cloak of heterosexuality around them, save for one Aunt who happens to be my Godmother. We don’t talk about it much, but she’s aware and is totally cool.

I’m not out on Facebook. Most of my friends know this about me but I’m not an ‘Advertise it with a neon sign’ sort of guy. I just try to be myself insofar as I can. Too many family members and not well known people are on there and I’m really intimidated by the prospect of how the men in my family would react.  Social networks carry with them some immense social pressures. I’m really not in the closet with most people. With my family it’s different I suppose. I’ve always known it would come up eventually. Still, I’ve played keep away for so many years.

Damnit. I never thought I’d accept this sort of cowardice from myself. I’m so desperate to not upset them that I’m upsetting the hell out of myself. Incidentally, what I’ve described is part of the reason bisexuals are despised by the gay community. They call it hiding behind heterosexual privilege or something. They think when the chips are down we put on the mask and play it safe behind a mask of ‘socially acceptable’. It isn’t like that, though I have asked myself these kinds of questions.

I don’t know. Maybe they would shrug it off. Or they might call me a sodomite and tell me some shit like ‘turn or burn’.I don’t know what to expect. I’m pretty sure they would not get it. It’s a generational thing I guess. My Dad is a good man. When I was a kid I got caught in an Atlantic riptide. My Dad went after me and pulled me to shore. I at least doubly owe him my life. He’s a very cultured man with incredible taste in music and literature. A man of relentless integrity. A man who’s flaws I can easily see past. I don’t know. Maybe someday I’ll summon the testicular fortitude. Just not today *sigh*.

I know sooner or later the cat is going to escape the bag. I mean, if the show Dexter taught us anything it’s this:

NOTHING STAYS BURIED FOREVER.

In the meantime I’m just delighted to find someone I can be myself with. Honestly, this is some of the most intense romance I’ve ever experienced. He’s strong yet delicate, witty yet absurd and just so very sultry in his geeky way.  I don’t really know why I let the family crap bother me. It’s me I have to live with, yanno?

On that note, have a pleasant evening.

-Thom

Depression Part One…

Depression is the often overlooked facet of my psyche. I’m usually in so much danger of impending mania that depression never has a chance. Make no mistake though. It is by far the most fearsome feature of my mental illness. Mania is easily identifiable and familiar. Depression for me is far more sinister and difficult.  The fact that it doesn’t come around much is both a blessing and a curse.

There’s this idea that Bipolar One folks like me only really have to deal with mania. Nothing could be further from the reality. The real killer with bipolar disorder regardless of subtype is the abrupt shifts and rapid cycling between moods. Which are inevitably followed by profound crashes into the most agonizing pit of profound despair and despondency one can possibly imagine.

Admittedly, It doesn’t happen much. Anxiety? Agitation? Sure. But genuine depression in me takes just the right alignment of the stars. I’m usually busy (if I’m unmedicated) plugging away with some awesome plan or obsessive ritual of study or analysis.

When I’m depressed, there is no plan or ritual or routine. I’m just DEPRESSED. AS FUCK. Like sleeping eighteen hours a day depressed. Like avoiding light, human contact, food, pretty much just living off my own insides as I slowly but surely wither away. I’ve been a cutter in the past, but that was more of a pseudo-masochistic/ pushing my threshold type of thing. Never done that kind of stuff in my throes of total fucking darkness. If I had the energy I might. But while I’m never honestly suicidal, I just lose the will to keep being. No plans, no sharp objects or hazards. Just a broken shell of a man slowly starving.

I suppose it’s extremely fortunate this doesn’t happen much. However, conversely I wonder if it was more regular, then might I be more adept at dealing with it? I really don’t know. All I know is that once in a while I feel like what the crazymeds.us guy would call whale shit at the bottom of the ocean.

So…. I take my pills. Go to appointments. Get blood draws. See a therapist, and try to come to a better understanding of why I am the way I am. I’m not as intense as I used to be. There was a time when I had a picture of the kevorkian machine as a desktop wallpaper. Honestly that was probably just me being a punk-ass kid. Still, it’s easy to forget everything you’ve learned and just break over the same stupid shit.

I’m certain I need Psych drugs to live a normal life. I’ve resigned myself to a life sentence. However, these treatments are not enough in and of themselves. Mind over matter seems like a tired old folks saying but it’s totally valid. I get through each day by reminding myself that the drugs and the doctors are not going to do it for me.

So, um… yeah.

Thom

On the subject of romantic attractions…

It has always been something of a puzzlement to me, human sexual and romantic chemistry. I guess I kind of bewilder some people in this sense at times myself. Not deliberately, mind. I mean, it makes pretty good sense to me. I ebb and flow at times, but by and large I’m an even split bisexual. I’ve had meaningful and passionate relationships with both men and women. I remember years ago I saw a great quote. It read “It’s not that I mind being queer, I just wish people weren’t so put off by it.”. That pretty well sums it up for me.

I don’t entertain some ludicrous notion that everyone is some moral fascist trying to force me into repentance or some such hogwash. By and large most people are pretty cool. But I’ve had plenty of people tell me “It’s time to choose a side” or something equally insipid that implies they know me better than I do. Bah.

When I was a teenager I was pretty damn sure I was gay. My first experiences were with other guys.  Then a girl I knew seduced me and I really liked it. I’ve found myself confounded at times but I’ve learned to just enjoy the journey. I’ve had three serious girlfriends and three serious boyfriends so, um… yeah. Pretty sure that screams *insert generic term for bisexual here*. Honestly, I don’t think about it nearly as much as some people do. If I’m with someone then that relationship is what’s important, not conforming to some fundamentalist interpretation of what it means to be not straight.

I also despise the notion that all non-straight folks are die-hard democrats. I happen to be a member of the Libertarian Party of Florida and think both the elephants AND the donkeys are full of the most succulent kind of bullshit. I believe in individual responsibility and am a staunch anti-federalist.  However, I don’t really want this to be a political blog. I’m just asserting Randall’s (from Clerks) point: Title does not dictate behavior.

There’s something a bit different with the new Boyfriend though….

He’s so much sweeter than the other two were. He’s a gentle soul and very nurturing. Some of the men I’ve been with have not been that secure in themselves and seemed terrified of actual intimacy. The guy I’m seeing now is thoroughly affectionate and not afraid to express it. It’s WONDERFUL!!!!

Sometimes people in my family irritate me a little but I don’t think they are actually trying to be jerks or anything. They are just a bit old-school or something. One thing that bugs me is if my boyfriend gets referred to as my ‘friend’. I know it’s probably not trolling but let’s call a spade a spade, damnit. We’re adults here. Yeesh.

Being bi, at least in the open sense can be troubling. Neither camp really seems to trust you. My new boyfriend is very accepting of it, but a lot of gay guys I’ve met can be downright mean about it. And straight people tend to be a mixed bag too. Still, I know who I am, damnit. That in itself is worth infinitely more than any passing frustration.

Aside from being told my sexuality is correlated to my bipolar disorder and that I’m just hypersexual. That still hurts. I’ve only had six serious long term partners and I’m thirty-two. Fuck it. Can’t please everyone.

Until we meet again-

Thom