On the deepest Love

For much of my time on this earth my romantic life has been a disaster. Men and Women have gotten close to me over the years but something always went wrong. I spent a great deal of my twenties constantly sobbing and hurting while desperately trying to figure out what the hell I wanted. People would tell me that they loved me but I was ‘too intense’ or they cheated on me or had intimacy issues or whatever. 

The Women I was with always wanted me to be way more alpha than I was and I knew I wanted to be with Men but I was still in the closet with a lot of people and being with women was the ‘safe’ thing. But I was miserable. In the times when I did have a boyfriend they got all weird when we got close and my personality was a bit too odd for them.  I was pretty sure I’d never be happy with another human being. This went on until I was about thirty-two.

I was coming off a terrible relationship with a girl who was my best friend in high school. She leeched off me and sucked me dry for years hardly ever working and just drained the life from me. When I finally got away my friends were really supportive. Apparently they all loved me and couldn’t understand why I put up with it as long as I did.  So then I actually did something rational and just stayed single for a year. Turned out to be a good move.

I was still active in theatre at the time and got offered a Stage Managing gig in a show I was cast in. At the audition i saw Shannon, an actor I knew from when we did Arsenic and Old Lace a year before. Didn’t think much of it at the time but things were already changing for me. 

As we got deeper into rehearsal Shannon and I started getting to know one another and whatnot. We were being professional but I was… sensing little things that made me go hmm. Finally we began performances after a grueling rehearsal process. 

In this play we were in there’s a scene where my character beats up his character. I got a bit carried away one night and actually kinda broke the set with his body. As we got backstage I asked him if he was alright. He says ‘Yeah, I’ve been waiting for you to manhandle me like that.’. I’m like ‘Yeah?’ and we went back to doing the show. One night I gave him a ride home and we had our first kiss. Things really started blossoming at the cast party. Showmance is supposed to be deadly but it freaking worked for me πŸ™‚

After that show closed we had an intense whirlwind romance. So exciting and passionate, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced with anyone. Not butterflies as much as deep contentment at having made a soul connection. I knew right away that I wanted to show this person my vulnerable underbelly and let him in my heart. Thus I have. It was so awesome of my Mom letting me borrow her car on the weekends to be with him. My Mom adores Shannon and I think she sees that he’s so much better to me than anyone ever has been. 

I feel like being with him has gotten me realigned with the better aspects of my nature. The part of me that just wants to promulgate love and light and beauty all around. I do my damnedest to be there for him in all the ways he is for me. It’s like ‘Goddammit I fucking love you and I’m taking care of you when you’re old!’. 

I mean it. He nurtures me in all the right ways. Inspires me. Builds me up. Helps me believe in myself. Holds me when I’m sad. Dries my tears. Rubs my shoulders when I’m stiff. Runs his fingers through my hair when I rest my head on his chest. Makes me feel more valued than I thought possible. Stirs the joy within me. Fills me with something that I can barely comprehend. 

He and I have lived together for two years now. We have a nice little family, his Dog and Cat and my Kitty and I. Our work schedules make it difficult but we capitalize on the time we do get. He has graduated from boyfriend, to lover , to fiancee. 

A lot of people seem to look down on guys being more feminine or ‘sissy’ or whatever you want to call it. I mean, I’m reasonably masculine, I just don’t limit myself to it. I’ve never really been a regular guy in that sense. I’m sensitive AF and I like being more submissive and giving in a romantic sense. Figuring this out about myself has been truly one of the greatest joys of my life. Articulating myself romantically, sexually and emotionally has been well worth the rough journey. I know who I am and how I want to love and live and I’m fucking doing it. 

Something about this Man lights a fire under my ass and I refuse to let him go. If you come near him I will fuck you up πŸ˜‰

I realize a diatribe about how much I love my boyfriend may not make for the most interesting reading but oh well πŸ™‚ I just had some thoughts I wished to share with the interwebz.

It’s funny. I say the last show we did is when we hooked up, but I think it started way earlier, at least for me. In our first show, (Arsenic) he was the police lieutenant who chews me out. During that scene he poked me in the chest like an Irish Nun. I didn’t understand at the time what it was making me feel but it obviously stirred me deeply. Every poke freaking stunned me and nearly threw me off. I maintained but the rest is obviously history πŸ™‚

Anyhow-

Love and Light:

Thom (Shannon’s Bride)

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Feeling sufficient

Sometimes I seriously feel like I’m playing with a stacked deck. I’m not sure where this developed but I rarely feel that great about myself. I know I’m not a bad guy but most of the people in my family have at least some kind of meaningful achievement whereas I’m constantly getting down on myself because I’ve done so little. I’m not as bad about this as I used to be. In a lot of ways being with Shannon makes me less apprehensive and does a great deal to build up my spirit. 

Sometimes I believe in myself. It’s a difficult frame of mind for me to get into, but it does happen. Sometimes I’m just so bent on not being arrogant or whatever that I go to the opposite extreme and either sell myself short or tear myself down somehow.  I’m working on this for real because I like to entertain the idea of having some artistic and creative potential yet to be realized. This is one way in which my Man is extremely encouraging with me. I mean, honestly I tried to put a Battle Vest together for years and never got anywhere with it. It’s amazing how much of a lift it gives your spirits when the person you’re with doesn’t think everything you’re into is stupid.

To put it bluntly, my Darling inspires me. He lights a creative fire under my ass and fills me with laughter. He and I are far from perfect but we’re perfect for each other and I can’t wait to marry him. He’s fiercely intelligent, nurturing and so compassionate. I hadn’t intended to turn this post into me gushing about my Man but here we are. I’ve never felt as loved or as safe in anyone’s arms. Now if we could just find him a day job I would be so happy.

Sometimes I feel insufficient, or perhaps insignificant. Shannon’s mental health background helps quite a bit, he’s pretty good about knowing when to let me be. I mean, I kick myself hard enough in the ass every day to appear normal, but I’m always going to be bipolar. I know I’m not either of those I words to Shannon, or my family. 

Let me be real for a moment. I don’t know what to do with my life. I had two severe mental breakdowns in my twenties and I’ve been pretty much adrift ever since. I don’t have a great deal of confidence in myself, but I’m trying to change that. At least giving myself credit for not being a jerk, for still working my ass off with mental illness and RA. I mean, I suppose there’s dignity in not being a deadbeat at least. 

This summer being home alone really wrecked me. I was hysterical most of that time. Didn’t do much outside of go to work and come home and be miserable. I was so happy when Shannon came home and it’s been such a blast. Only problem is my emotions got kind of weird over the summer and I can’t seem to shake it. It takes very little to upset me and make me cry these days. I don’t know how I became all fragile like this and it’s kind of disconcerting to me. 

Aside from that I’m basically alright. I just don’t have much of a social life these days and I miss my friends. It’s hard with opposing schedules and me not having a car. That is a major reason my job prospects are narrow , public transportation here is a joke.  

I’m sure I’ll figure something out here, just kind of bummed out lately. That’s about all I have at the moment. Sorry for being such a downer. 
-Thom

On being enough

Yep, this is gonna be one of those heavy deeply introspective Planet Berserk posts. Since I began this blog I have made no secret of the fact that I am mentally ill. It’s been a recurring theme of my writing, as it’s something I have a bit of experience and knowledge of. I do this blog because it helps me better understand and grasp what’s going on in my head. I’ve done it for a minute or two now and have some readers, which to me is great if you get something out of it. 

Anyhow, I hate to be a guy who constantly pisses and moans about everything under the sun. I do my best to avoid shit like that because it doesn’t help anyone really. With this said, if I write about the stuff I’m dealing with, I can at least get some outside inside perspective. A crude way of phrasing it but whatever. The ability to pick apart my own words from a distance is both crucial and precious to me. It helps me dial down my ego and be somewhat more… clinical I guess you could call it. Plus putting it on a blog that’s public enables without a mandate the possibility of genuine outside aka another person perspective. Perhaps I’m overthinking it but that IS what I do. 

Some days it feels like the deck is stacked against me. I do my best. I hurt a lot physically and mentally and I try my damnedest to be whatever ‘enough’ is. Strong enough, smart enough, hard working enough, I don’t know….. I just always feel like I’m not doing enough or far along enough or…I have no idea honestly. I know it’s my brain being all bipolarish but being self aware doesn’t just make everything better. It just makes your analysis better in my view. 

I’ve made a living with my body my whole life and now it’s revolting against me in the form of moderately active Rheumatoid Arthritis. The methotrexate and Enbrel are certainly helping but I guess my point of mentioning it is that it’s one more thing to deal with on top of being mentally interesting. There’s side effects from the meds, plus having a physically intense job, plus the creeping depression that is always harder to control than mania. I never go full manic on my meds. I get depressed a lot though. 

Everyone in my family has achieved something, all I’ve done is survive badly. At least this is the kind of stuff that creeps into my thoughts when I’m feeling sad. I chronically suffer from being down on myself. I know it’s stupid but it’s a hard habit to break myself of. RA also has a tendency to amplify depression, or so I’ve read. Of course flaring joints don’t have much of a mood improvement effect. 

I do the best I can. I get up and go to work. I try my hardest to keep up with everything life throws at me. Some days at my job I feel weak as all hell and I hurt all over and my wrists and knuckles are swollen and I go in the beer cooler and fucking sob for a minute. Only a minute though. Not getting paid to lose my shit here πŸ˜‰

It’s been hard on me this summer. All the while I’ve basically been the walking undead. I’ve been fine at work throughout the last two months, but privately I’ve been a fucking hot mess. Hysterical at times. I’m maxed out on my antidepressant that I had cut in half six months previous. I’ve been gradually getting better about giving myself a break and relaxing, but the first six weeks were pure hell.

In spite of all this, I actually feel like I’m enough today. I put in a solid day of work, made some money and had a pretty good time doing it. My baby comes home in less than two days. I’ve never been with anyone so supportive and encouraging and it’s pretty awesome. He helps me believe in myself and I believe in him. We’re just a couple of hard working guys with serious health issues that do our best to hold one another up. That’s what love should be, at least that’s what I think. I know I’m enough for him πŸ™‚

Again, I try not to bitch about my job or my health issues or whatever. I know lots of folks have it worse. I just have to get it out of my head to where I can see it. As I mentioned, this blog being public doesn’t serve any other purpose than giving outsiders a portal into my war. 

Anything else? I had a wonderful birthday party a few days ago. I’m thirty-five now. Got two Iron Maiden shirts and a pair of Iron Maiden socks too! I also switched to methotrexate injections this week which has helped significantly with side effects. 

Hope you enjoyed this disjointed head spew. Time to recuperate and prepare for Sunday breakfast shift.

Regards-

Thom

General (A)musingsΒ 

I’ve just been trying to find a little peace the last few weeks. Here are some of the recent issues/happenings here @ the Planet:

1. Methotrexate. This medication is a freaking punch in the gut. I’ve come to refer to it as my weekly flu. If I take it around 2 pm as I’m wrapping up work I have time to finish work and get home before it really kicks in. But by Six or Seven PM I’m starting to feel considerably less right. Not exactly throwing up sick, more like unbelievably weak and horrible brain fog. I thought I had a pretty good handle on this med but I had a rough time with last week’s dose. I felt relatively alright and decided to go to Publix for something to cook for dinner. I got a bad episode of the brain fog and fatigue as I was walking through the store. The person checking me out asked me if I was okay. After I spent way too long walking in circles confused and looking lost and sick. I was so embarrassed by this. The people at the downtown Publix are really nice and were just looking out but I just felt like such a fucking brainless twit which I hate. I’ve noticed a significant decline in symptoms since starting the higher dose of methotrexate but the stuff is so damn rough. Sometimes I get really sad because I want to do something fun but I have to sit at home by myself and feel like freaking death on what’s supposed to be my damn day off.  Apologies for being so dramatic but I’m really frustrated by this and not sure if it’s worth it or not.  The hilarious thing is that right after I wrote the last few paragraphs this week’s methotrexate dose was relatively mild. How about that? Life will go to any length to prove me wrong.

2. Shannon no home. This (still) makes me feel lost and adrift. I mean, I didn’t get to see a lot of him when he was here with him working overnight, but I could still crack the bedroom door and watch him sleep like a freaking Angel. Things are beginning to look up. Only two and a half weeks until he gets home. I’ve been doing my best to be strong. The nights stretch on for ages and drive me absolutely mad with desperate longing. However, there is plenty of hope in there as well. He calls or texts me every day and it always lifts up my weathered Spirit. The time seems to be passing more quickly than the first six weeks did. As the days creep away my twisted little heart swells with anticipation of my lover’s return. I always somehow knew when I was with women that it just felt awkward and uncomfortable. The sex was great but emotionally it just wasn’t what I was after. I never married a woman because I had to know what it was like to love another man. Having found my Darling makes me feel like I’m the luckiest dumb fuck on the face of the earth. He completes me in a way no-one else ever has. He’s kind, nurturing and more than just a bit weird. He brings out facets of my personality I had led myself to believe were no more. I like to think of it as my inner light or something. A kind, gentle and deeply affectionate and passionate energy I seem to radiate around him. This probably sounds like ridiculous disgusting couple shit but I’m merely trying to articulate what he makes me feel like. If I wanted to sum it up to a single statement it would be: Shannon brings out the best in me. 

3. My gnawing doubt about myself as an artist and performer. This is a sticky one. I’ve been outside the loop long enough that I feel like my modest skills are not really enough to stand on or market myself with. My boyfriend would disagree of course, and perhaps he’s right. It’s just that my confidence is a little screwed up. I know that I need to get back to my theatre life which I terribly miss. Maybe I’ll sing again some day. I just don’t know.

4.As far as work, I’m preparing myself for the unknown. I was talking to my boss while I was unloading a bus tub full of dishes. He says to me ‘So Thom, are you excited about next week?’. I pause for a moment and reply ‘What happens next week?’. Him: ‘Oh, maybe I should let Dan tell you.’. Me: ‘Am I in trouble?’ Him ‘No, quite the opposite. You begin Server training next week.’ I was surprised but said ‘Okay, cool.’. I’m excited about the earning potential and am going to do my best with it. We shall see. 

That’s about it for now. Counting down the days and trying to not go completely mad πŸ˜‰

Adios-

Thom

Through dark waters

I suppose that isn’t the most uplifting title, but such are the times and trials of late.  I’m on my feet and still fighting. I’m trying to not just bitch incessantly about things as all that really achieves is getting me MORE worked up. So that said I haven’t had the best of times lately. 
My RA is about as well controlled as I can hope for right now. The methotrexate is rough but pretty good at controlling my symptoms. Since I started this higher dose I’ve almost completely removed prednisone from my daily meds. I’ve done two three day bursts in the last month and a half which is not very much at all so naturally I’m happy about that.  I’m fairly certain that my bussing and barbacking days are nearly over. It’s just too damn much physical strain. I can’t keep up with it like I used to and I’m killing myself trying. Going to give serving a try as well as explore a few other things. 

So yeah, RA is currently alright. Bipolar disorder issues, not so much. I’m not having any mania or anything like that. I just frequently get really sad. Lately my phone just doesn’t ring, no-one comes over and I can’t find anyone to talk to or hang out with me and it’s kind of eating at me. I’m doing my best to be my own best friend here. Having the animals here helps, but I’m still getting pretty stir crazy being by myself all day everyday. 

Not badly depressed. Just frequently sad and lonely and morose. Agitated because I don’t know what to do with myself. I have to figure something out, I’m home alone for another four weeks. 

I got so bored I even set up an Instagram account. That one shocked even me. I don’t have many good pictures but perhaps I can start taking some. It’s just more internet crap to amuse myself with. Whatevers.

I don’t mean to make it sound like things are terrible. I’m just starved for the little things. Someone to hold me together when I fall apart, that sort of thing. I’ve been laying on our sofa a lot because if you lay against the back it kind of feels like someone spooning with you. 

I’m just doing my best to be there for myself and trying to properly maintain. I shouldn’t be counting the days but I totally am, of course. Here’s hoping for a better tomorrow.
Delicately yours,

Thom

Of malaise and persistence…

Things have been rougher than usual the last month. As  I compose this post  I find myself back in a state of relative peace. I’ve only regained my footing in the last five days. The Iron Maiden show gave me a much needed boost as the three weeks leading up to it were pure depressive hell.

I was fine at , say my job. That kept me plenty busy. It’s just the down time that’s been eating at me. I never know what in the hell to do with myself. I mean, I haven’t become a total house ape. I go for a good long bicycle ride fairly regularly and try to get out and do stuff with friends. It is difficult though with so many conflicting schedules and whatnot.

RA-wise  I’m continuing a trend for the better. I’ve been off the steroids for over two weeks and  I’m trying to keep it up. Since the methotrexate was raised I’ve noticed a reduction in  symptoms overall. Which is damn good because taking the stuff is harsh enough that I’d really feel cheated if it weren’t freaking effective. It plus the Enbrel seems like a pretty potent combination.  Last injection was a real Bear though. I think  I went too deep and muscled it. Most painful shot I’ve ever given myself. I started growl-screaming halfway through. My leg was sore at work all day 😦

Between RA and being Bipolar it kind of feels like  I never really get to relax. I mean, I shouldn’t make it sound like  I have it that bad. I’m still strong enough to work and  I’m going to try to make something of myself. If only  I could figure out what. I really have no idea what I’d be good at. Anyhow, the meds are doing me pretty well at present. The steroids were really throwing me off kilter for a while and  I’m happy to be off of them. 

Two days from today will make a month my Lover has been gone. Also, another month until he returns so yay for halfway there.I was hysterically depressed for the first three weeks but Iron Maiden plus time with my friends helped get my ass back among the living. It was an incredible experience. Obviously lots of tracks from The Book of Souls as it’s TBOS tour but also a ton of classics including:

Wrathchild, Children of the Damned, The Trooper, Powerslave, Fear of the Dark, Iron Maiden,  The Number of The Beast, Blood Brothers and Wasted Years.

Lots of fascinating people watching and my Buddy Justin came with me. His ticket was my birthday gift to him and we had an absolute blast. Went to a Killer Pizza place and had a little pre show meal then it was off to The Amalie Arena to see Metal’s Finest. They were top notch and sounded positively amazing. Pure professionals.

So yeah, I’m hanging in there. Got myself some great memories and my Holy Pilgrimage to see my backpatch band is complete. To anyone who may be reading, all I want for my birthday is an Iron Maiden T-shirt or two (available on the official Iron Maiden website)with North American tour dates on the back as  I was too strapped to buy one at the show πŸ˜‰

Hey, don’t hate me for trying. I’m just a happy crazy person who just achieved a major Bucket List goal πŸ™‚

That’s about all  I have for now except a photo from the Iron Maiden facebook page. My Buddy Justin and  I are in the upper midsection below the right spotlight. 

Until we meet again,

Thom

Muh Summer

It’s right around the corner. The humidity is spiking in grand Florida fashion as I prepare myself to go see Iron Maiden in June. That along with turning thirty-five are the main points of interest so far. 

On the home front I’m bracing myself for two lonely months without my Lover Man. He got a lead in a Play in Alaska. I would have liked to join him but  I simply couldn’t scrape together the funds. Also, I feel like it’ll be best for our animals having one of us here.

Rheumatologically the battle continues unabated. In spite of a year of various meds my Vectra DA score (Disease Activity) more than doubled since last year when  I was first diagnosed with RA. I’m trying to remind myself that this number doesn’t reflect the increase in my methotrexate which I’m sure is helping. 

Sometimes I’ll have a few days straight of my joints being relatively calm and painless. It’s easy to underestimate how capricious and erratic my body can be. I’ll start feeling strong and cocky but the swelling always returns and slaps me back into my place. Still, overall I think I’m showing some recent improvement and am optimistic that incorporating a gluten and sugar free diet will give me even more edge. My first diet attempt crashed and burned but  I plan to give it another go while my Man is in AK.

So yeah, the summer is pretty wide open. I am sure as shit not just being a house ape the whole damn time. I’m gonna miss the living fuck out of Him 😦

That’s about all for now. I find this is a useful protip to give oneself from time to time πŸ˜‰

Be well-

Thom