Thursday, May 31, 2012

When I talk about integrity what do I actually mean?

Integrity is a stance, it is something that is personal and when I think of integrity I think of talking and addressing only the truth.  You see, no matter what you do for a living, your personal views, or even how much money you have doesn't make you a person of integrity.

See, use my life as an example once again, I had achieved everything I ever wanted.  I had the houses, the career, the boyfriend, the car, and of course the pets and I lost it all when I got sick.  But, do you know what I have after the loss all of those things, I have my integrity, I have my word, and I honor what I say. The only way that you can loose your integrity is if you lie, cheat or steal.  Being someone of integrity is someone that you can trust, someone that you can look up to, in other words, a roll model.

Life is too short for us to lie about anything, because one lie leads to a million more being born to cover that one.  Speaking as someone with multiple terminal illnesses, and diagnosis's I realize that if nothing else I have my word.  I would rather have someone hurt because I told them the truth, then to lie to them and have them find out about it later.  Because someone who is your friend is going to understand.  A true friend also means that you are willing to point out the truth to them to save them from the pain, or disappointment that they may feel if you lie to them.  Plus, if you lie to them, how are they going to be able to trust you.

It is my opinion that a lasting friendship/relationship is based totally on trust.  You can survive anything if you keep your friends best interest at heart and you have their back in all situations.  In order to do this you must be brutally honest at time, but trust me they will get over it.  Remember, there is such a thing as tough love and sometimes you just have to say NO and mean it.  Otherwise you end up enabling them and letting them suffer in their bad decision.

Integrity means that you are stalwart, united of person, unchangeable and the uprightness of character.  Honesty plays an integral role in integrity, but so does all the other things I mentioned above.  You don't tolerate liars, you don't accept cheaters or thieves.  You are immovable what they call a pillar of society and above reproach.  You are a role model to others and you live your life the way that you preach.  I am not saying you have to go to church, or anything like that. You have a good character and a great sense of right and wrong.  I only hope that you are a person of Integrity, someone that your friends can trust. You are the type of person who can divorce themselves from there personal feelings and look objectively on every situation.  You can offer advice to your friends unbiased and not showing favor toward them or yourself.  Keep in mind that everything you do and say is based on the principle of the truth, and that someone out there is watching you and following in your footsteps.

I aspire to the day when I my words and deeds, and all actions continually demonstrate total integrity. I know that the people that know me know that I have long since left the lying and cheating behind.  I learned my lesson when I was doing drugs, that people lie and cheat and are just trying to get to the next fix.  I have been accused falsely of stealing drugs from time to time and I stress that it is because I have integrity I wouldn't lie about that.  What I don't understand is why I would be accused of doing this in the first place when I was getting drugs for free from the person in question so why would I take something.  It made no sense at the time and looking back it still doesn't.

I also realized that the ones accusing me of the theft, were the same people that lacked integrity in their lives, they had borrowed money on the premise that they were going to pay it back but after all was said and done, found out that they had bragged about how they had taken me and never intended to pay me back at all. Yes, I have made a series of bad choices in the past, and should have known better then lending out sums of money that large, but alas, I gave the benefit of the doubt, and I have a tendency to always believe the best about a person.  I had to learn the hard way over and over again.

Yet, through all of the things I have been through, I can tell you I would rather tell the truth and face the consequences than to have to live with the lie and all the work that goes into protecting that lie and keeping it going.  I don't actually care how it hurts someone, because if they really are my friend they are going to eventually understand that I told them the truth in order to protect them and not intentionally hurt them.

Anyhow, I hope this sheds some light on what I mean when I talk about integrity and what it means to me.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

You know what my biggest fear is?

I think my biggest fear is not being able to live my life as a gay man anymore.  Coupled with that is the fear that I will always be alone.  This maybe the reason why I am desperately clinging to my past and hoping beyond hope that I will get back together with one of my ex's. You see in the gay community there is still a stigma associated with being HIV +, and if you date someone that isn't positive like you there are another whole set of complications that come from that.

Yet, with all of that already going on in my head, I also have the problem of having a colostomy, meaning I have a bag that I use the bathroom through.  Which I am embarrassed by, try to hide with an ace bandage under my clothing, and yet I end up always telling prospective people about the cancer and the bag, because I don't want there to be any surprises.  Which is actually easier to talk to about then my HIV status, and yet I wonder why.  I believe the main reason is because I am afraid to be rejected by someone who isn't positive, or the fact that I am will send them packing way before anything real can develop.  This is probably why I feel more comfortable with people I have already dated and have spent time with, they know me and have been through my problems and have accepted me as I am.

Honestly, I am not sure with all of the problems I am going through with my health that I will ever be able to find another man that is going to be able to accept me the way I am currently.  Back in 2006 and 2007 when I first had the surgery that put in the colostomy I suffered from a deep abiding depression that I thought I had finally gotten over.  But it seems years later that nagging fear is still deep inside of me. There is one person that I have super strong feelings for, but I don't know how he feels about me.  Also there is another person that I dated for a couple of months last year that I care about, but there seems to be a problem there. I feel like he only calls me or wants to have anything to do with me so I can help him with his problems.  Maybe that isn't fair, but it is how I feel sometimes.

The person who I know that I love is someone that came into my life as a trick and we never asked each other out it just sort of happened and we were together 2 1/2 years, we went through some pretty tough things together, and when we parted it was because of other people coming in between us.  Looking back almost every single argument and fight we had was over someone else, never about us.  Even though some terrible things have happened between us we have somehow remained friends and have over come it all.  He is still the person I turn to when I need advice and he is the person who I keep telling that our story isn't finished yet.  See, even with all of my faults he was with me, he stuck with me when I was ill, and he didn't seem to mind me having the bag.  No matter what happened between us there was never a night when we didn't tell each other that we loved each other.  He was also the first person to introduce me to all of his friends as his partner and lover. He wasn't ashamed of me or what I did.  Even though we are pretty far away, he has made time to talk with me and listen to what has been happening in my life, and I have with him.

As I am sitting here thinking about all of this and him, I wonder why I am not depressed at all.  Being diagnosed with 6 terminal illnesses and having a terrible prognosis what bothers me is not being sick but about being a broken gay man. So broken that I might have to forgo ever being in a relationship, that illness doesn't even begin to keep me awake at night.  I guess this is not normal behavior, so why am I not depressed?   What is keeping me afloat?  Maybe it is the fact I write about what I am feeling, and I take the time out to listen to my friends and their problems, take time to offer advice, and I am trying to make a difference in the world and helping others like myself.

So I may have a rational fear, one that is so tangible that sometimes it creeps up when I least expect it, I don't let it paralyze me or let it drive me to despair and depression.  I keep myself busy and I try to write about my feelings.  Here is my one wish if I could be granted one before I move on to another plane, would be to know true love and experience all that it means. I just don't want to die alone and never know what true and lasting love really is.  It really is unfortunate, that my ex and I didn't last, because the honest to God truth is this that we were both so hi all the time that neither of us experienced real passion and romance.  I would love to have another opportunity to show him, that I am different and that I still have feeling for him.  I know he still has feelings for me, but because of circumstances and distance I don't know if we will ever get back together.

If you are feeling anything like me at this moment, please don't waste time and keep your feelings lock deep inside of you.  Please do us both a favor, reach out and let the other person know how you feel.  Trust me it is never too late!  If you are HIV Positive please be responsible and let your partner know your status, and though there might be social stigmas associated about being POS trust me if you don't go out and try and if you stay locked inside yourself with depression and fear how will you ever meet anyone.

Hopefully this helped someone, I know it helped me by getting it out there.  Keep in mind that each of us have a social responsibility to ourselves and our partners to disclose and discuss everything. Having an open communication line is the key to a successful and workable relationship.

As all ways my hopes and dreams are with you.

Uncle B

Do You? a follow up to Are You?

Do you always tell the truth?
Do you believe your word is your bond?
Do you know your own mind?
Do you always do the right thing?
Do you always turn away from cheaters, liars and thieves?
Do you meet another's eye when talking to them?
Do you always hold your head up high?
Do you speak with authority?
Do you offer unbiased advice?
Do you offer your opinion, even if it differs from everyone else?
Do you champion a good cause?
Do you think about others before yourself?
Do you have a charitable heart?
Do you love yourself?
Do you disregard others opinions of you?

If you do, then you are a person of integrity, you can be trusted above all else and you mean what you say.  You are a natural leader, a charismatic person that inspires others to trust.  You can champion the cause of right, be the defender against greed and selfishness.  You are a person who cannot be divided, you don't take sides, you are a balancer of forces, you don't tolerate tyranny, you stand against bully's.  You are who we need to shine your light and strength into the world, to prove that there are still kind and good people in the world.  You don't believe in avarice and games of malice, you alone can rewrite history and make a positive change in the world around you.

More people need to strive to be like you, you are strong you are worthy of trust and you inspire loyalty.  Reach out and help those around yourself with your long suffering love and patience, I am sure you will be rewarded.

Integrity is a thing that is sorely lacking in this world and if you can count yourself as someone who does, then go back and take a look at the blog on Are you?  Because if you are both of those things, the world better watch out because you are a force to be reckoned with, a force of change, and someone who change everything and inspire greatness in those around you.

So ask yourself these two very important questions:  Do you? and Are you?  and let me know the answer, because I am looking for you. I am counting on you to make this place a better place for all of us.  Be strong and know yourself above all else.  You are who you are and watch out you are about to change everything.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B

Bad things happen to good people too

When it comes to tragedy and illness no one is exempt.  Bad things happen to everyone, the poor and downtrodden do not hold the monopoly on bad things.  When you are in a minority group it is easy to think that bad things never happen to the rich or famous. But guess what I can tell you that no matter what your situation or status in life is you are not spared from your share of bad things.  See illness, bad fortunes, economy, car troubles and all sorts of things just happen.  Things break down, including your body and health.  Someone once said that there are no guaranties in life, and they were absolutely correct.

Famous and rich people get sick and die all the time, the difference is the level of care they are given and the amount of notoriety or press they receive when they pass away.  Cancer and other illnesses are the great equalizer, and death doesn't discern whether you are rich or poor.  When it is your time it is your time.  Nothing you can do will change or alter the fact.  Some people are very lucky and live a very full and long life, while others are destined to get ill and grow weak and fade.  But why am I telling you this?  I guess the reason why I want to talk about this is that at some point each of us has looked at another person and thought, "Gee, that person is so lucky, look at what they have got and look at what I have, and if I only didn't get sick or this hadn't happened I would be ahead just like them."  Whether, that is true or not, is not of value, because you see while you are looking at someone else's life and wishing and wondering someone is looking at your life the same way.

We each of us have received blessings and have accomplished things in our own lives that we should be proud of.  Yet, it is very easy for us as humans to focus or our failings and weaknesses and never give ourselves the credit we actually deserve.  Further, we are each of us selfish and long to have more and be more than what we are.  I think this is why so many of us are actually unhappy most of the time.  We have taken the things that we have achieved for granted, we remember how we struggled and sacrificed to get where we are, but we are not truely happy because we are too busy looking at what others have and what we lack.

The secret to true happiness as I have once told you is to be content with who and what you are and what you have at any given moment in your life.  If you can actually accomplish that you will find that you are happy, and you stop looking at the bad side of things.  You truly are accepting of what you have gained and what you have accomplished.  Goals keep us moving forward, and our goals are our landmarks to let us know how far we have come.  Each of us is on a journey and we have travelled great distances from where we have started, look back on all you landmarks and mile markers and see if what I am saying isn't true.

We can use my life as an example if you would like.  I am not rich or famous, though there have been times in my life where I have had lots of money and owned many things, and I have hung out with and know a great deal of people who are famous and are rich but I am not counted among them.  My grandparents had lots of money and when they died they took most of it with them and that I believe was the right thing to do. Everyone of us needs to go out there into the world and make something of ourselves, if we don't do that then what is given to us is taken for granted and a lesson isn't learned.  Even the richest people in the world didn't start out that way, and even if your family has a great deal of money, you still have to do things to find yourself and prove yourself. You can see people like Paris Hilton, who had large sums of money, she had a singing career, a clothing line, perfume collection and other industry interests till she found something that was her and hers alone.  I believe the same goes for everyone no matter who they are.  Now, as I was saying I had accomplished a lot in my life, had a great career, 2 cars, 2 houses, 2 dogs, owned my own company and many other things.  But, none of that was easily won, I worked hard, and I did what I set out to do.  I also got sick.

But what you may be unaware of is this, I started out right after high school and joined the Navy, I served my country and traveled the world.  Shortly after I got out I found out that I had large cell lymphoma, a very aggressive type of cancer, and leukemia I went through chemotherapy and radiation treatments at the age of 24, and it wasn't till I was done with that, that I actually had the opportunity to go to college and begin my life.  Which I did actually and I had almost 10 good years where I worked hard, loved hard, and played harder.  Built up things with the help of my partner and reached all the goals and dreams I had at the time.  Just like I told you about above, but at 15 years after my first encounter with cancer, it came back and when it did it came back with a vengeance, but coupled with it was damage caused by the radiation of the treatments I had had years earlier.  See back in the 90's there were no long term studies of how radiation affected the human body after long term exposure.  The problem was most of the people that were getting radiation treatment back then were older men and women that were battling breast and prostate cancer.  They were not living long enough for the effects of the treatments to be well known. So here I am now 20 years later and I am still battling radiation disease and cancer and a myriad of other things.  It didn't matter how much money I had or what kind of job I had, and what type of car I drove, it just didn't matter, the illness and disease was there.

I was young when I first found out I was sick, I had just turned 23 when cancer was discovered and I was told then that I was already in stage four and that I only had 18 months to live.  Guess what I am still here and I am still fighting.  I have lost most of what I had because of many different reasons, but one thing is sure with the illness came change, higher bills and quickly I went through my possessions and money.  I do not grieve over these losses, though sometimes I am frustrated and saddened that I had so much and now have virtually nothing.  But what I do have is my life and I have a greater understanding of my own body, and I have learned so many things along the way.  That is why I write, why I take the time and think about the things I do, why my blog is here.  I have been asked over and over again, how do I stay so positive, how do I keep going and how do I defeat depression. The long and the short of it is I just keep fighting and keep going because that is the only way I know how.  But, the other thing is this I love people and I love to talk, and I love to hear other peoples problems and concerns.  I may not have all the answers, and I may not be anything more than an ear to chew on or a shoulder for them to lean upon, but that is okay. Because, by listening to others, it makes me realize just how much I have to be thankful for and to remember that out there are people who are struggling and are much worse off then I am.

The suffering of others brings me no joy, but it has kept me from feeling sorry for myself, it has kept me from being idle with my time and my resources.  I have found needs that people have and try and fulfill them.  I try everyday to make a difference in the world, I try to give back to society what they have given to me.  I better myself each day by doing and listening, by helping and being understanding, I write to express myself and all of this is what keeps me going and happy.  I have no time for depression and thinking only of myself. As a matter of fact, I am working diligently right now to start an organization that will address the needs of sick people who want to live independently. Whether they are sick with cancer, leukemia, HIV, AIDS whatever their illness is, I think they should have to right to have a place to live, and the opportunity to do something they like.  My goal is to help those like myself who do make some money but don't have enough to actually get out there on their own and have a life.  See, I get disability from Social Security but I don't make enough to afford a car and a place to live, and still have food to eat.  It is my dream that I will be able to create an organization that will help with that, get you set up in an apartment and help you with the rent for a bit of time, to get you into a new career or profession that will allow you to have the necessary money to provide for yourself, and may even get you off of disability all together.

No matter who you are.  Where you come from. Who your family is. Tragedy and illness can befall you.  You can have everything you want one minute and in the blink of an eye it can all vanish and you could be like so many people standing around feeling sorry for yourself wondering why me? Looking enviously on at your friends and neighbors and wonder why did you get the bad break? What did you do wrong? Why is this happening to me?  Or you could be like me and turn that negative around and do something about it, you can reach out to others like yourself offer them your expertise and guidance, and make a difference in the world.  All it takes is one person with one small idea to change the world, alter the course of destiny and change another persons life.  I call for each of us to think about those we know, be the shoulder for their support, offer a friendly ear, give a kind smile, you have nothing to loose and so much to gain.

Remember, you are not the only one that this is happening too and you are not alone out there in the world.  There is someone else out there that is hurting and grieving and going through what you are going through or worse.  Give back to those who have helped you and help those you don't even know, because there is no greater joy in this world.  Plus, you are truly going to make yourself feel better by doing something, by doing anything.  Never sit around and just dwell on your misfortune, because you're only misfortunate if you believe that you are.  Because in another point of view you may be blessed and just can't see it.  Don't let your troubles blind you, don't let them bind you and never never give up.  Because when you give up and quit death has already won and your family and friends are left to mourn and suffer your loss.  So keep up the good fight, and keep marching forward.  Remember each day is a new start, there are no mistakes in let's go out there and screw them up together, and while we are doing that let's make the world a better place for us and those who love us.  We are strong, we have been fighting for our lives, and we are still here, we can do anything we really want to.  Trust me.  I did it, so can you!

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B

Monday, May 28, 2012

Normal, Why?

Today a friend of mine called me and as usual with him he was feeling really down and needed to just talk and vent.  I am used to this, it happens several times a week with him.  I have become a very good listener, but what he was talking about today really got me wondering.  He was telling me that he has been seeing a counselor trying to work on some of his long deep seated issues.  The therapist apparently asked him on Friday what was one goal that he hoped to accomplish by coming to see her and his response was he wanted to be normal.  Longed to be normal, was in fact what he said.  He said he wanted to be able to write a letter, read one and understand it totally, and to be able to do algebra, and on and on he went.  I stopped him there by asking why he wanted to be normal, and what did he mean by normal?

I tried to explain to him that there really isn't such a thing as being normal, because being normal is something that is perceived, but that isn't exactly right either.  Normal is derived from the word Norm and norm means a pattern or rule a model to be followed.  But who sets these norms? Who decides what is normal or abnormal?  Isn't norm or being normal another man made construct used to control and cower people?  I believe it is.  I believe that going along with the norm or being normal as my friend calls it, is just an idea created by man to create order and control the masses.  Societal norms have been set for centuries by nobility or the ruler of a country and enforced by the church as religious dogma.  However, throughout history there have been prodigy's and others that have stood apart from the norm.  Most of these people have either accomplished something great, changed the direction of the world or committed great atrocities.  You see if we cow down to the norm and accept the limitations that society puts upon us, are we not passive observers of life then?  I think we are, we go along with the crowd, a part of the herd, never voicing or sharing our opinions or doing anything to upset the balance of normality.

Being normal isn't all that it is cracked up to be. By being a conformist, you are not a leader, you are a follower, you refuse to be different or be seen as different. It is a slippery slope, because no one wants to be labeled as abnormal or different, they don't want to feel the isolation or loneliness of nonacceptance. But is it really better to be a part of the crowd, to be invisible, to be ordinary and just like everyone else? Wouldn't you rather be your own person, carve your own niche in the world?  Don't you want to have your own opinion? Do something that no one else has thought of, be unique and special.  I know I do.  I want to be a person who understands his differences, and has accepted them.  I rise above the challenges that society throws at me because I am different from other people.  I actually have had many years of practice at being different, and the one thing I can say is I always have been.  I made it work for me.  Despite being outside of the different cliques and groups in high school, I seemed to excel and be a part of each of them and yet still stand apart.  Somehow, despite not being a part of any single one of them I knew and associated with each and every group, by the time I was a senior, I do not believe there was not a person in my graduating class that didn't know who I was or who didn't like and accept me on my terms for who and what I was.  The shy lonely guy they all knew in middle school somehow transformed himself in such a way that he became a social butterfly flitting from one group to the next and fitting in perfectly with each group and yet not be a part of it.

The reason why I am writing about this today is because you shouldn't be ashamed of who and what you are and what you believe.  The absolute secret to all of this is be comfortable with who and what you are embrace your differences.  Because when you are comfortable and secure with yourself others will be too.  Ask any person who went to high school with me and they will tell you that I was always around somewhere, I was never with one group or another, I was everywhere.  I was popular, but wasn't in the popular crowd, I was kind and loving to everyone and treated everyone equally. I always made time for everyone and nothing was more important to me than being there for anyone who needed me. Sometimes it surprises me when I get an email or message from someone I went to high school with telling me how I was such a nice guy always happy and positive and kind to them.  Because my childhood was rough and not very happy, but I learned at a very early age how to hide behind my mask and only show the world that I was happy and nothing ever got to me.  Troubles in my home and family never followed me to school or anywhere.  I learned how to divorce myself from them and leave them at the door when I left the house and how to pick them up when I returned. This has been something I have done my entire life, so I know it can be done.

Now, understand that I have always marched to my own drum, except for the brief time that I had lost myself in my relationship that I talked about in an earlier entry.  As much as I would like to say that the opinions of others didn't matter to me and that I didn't actually care what they thought, the truth is that I did care and I cared deeply, and was hurt often by some of the things I heard, but the secret was no one ever knew, my feelings were mine alone and I shared them with no one.  All they ever got to see was the smile and happy person, I kept everything locked behind my mask.  By doing this I learned a very valuable lesson that I have never forgotten.  When you are indifferent to others opinions, and you get passed the hurt and finally get to the place where you are comfortable with yourself and have come to accept your differences, you realize that no one has any power of your.  You are your own person and believe it or not people start looking to you for advice and answers and clamoring for your attention.

The long and the short of it, is the person that cares the least has all the power in any situation;  Further, when you are you own person, no one can make you do anything, feel anything, or intimidate you or hurt your feelings nothing, and you know why?  Because they don't have any power over you, you haven't given them any.  Your opinion alone is the only one that matters and the only one you should ever listen too and be concerned with.  You are the only one that is going to look out for you and have your best interest at heart 100 percent of the time.  Remember, you don't have to be normal to fit in, you don't have to be pigeon-holed by society into a stereotype.  You have nothing to prove to anyone.  Be who you are, accept who you are, and be happy with yourself, because you are the only one that really matters.

Don't be like my friend so hurt and bitter because he has been told his whole life that he has mental problems and a learning disorder, that he is stupid and useless, because once you start feeling like that, it won't belong before you start believing what they are saying and before you know it you will start using it as an excuse a crutch and stop trying. You will be stuck in a never ending rut, an endless cycle of depression, with no self-confidence or self-esteem, and will never think yourself worthy enough for anything or anyone.  It can be crippling and demoralizing and definitely will lead to you total self destruction.  Your temper and the poisons will steep and brew inside of you twisting you and making you hate and feel bitterness and disappointment in everything you do and everything you try.

So why on earth would anyone want to be normal? A faceless nameless person in the crowd, dependent on others to lead and make our choices for us.  Why not be a leader, a doer, a builder, and an achiever?  If you don't know what I am talking about go back and read my entry titled "Am I?"  Because if you are not, then you stand a good chance of falling into the same rut my friend is in, and never feel like you accomplish anything or are worth anything. Your self esteem and self worth will keep you held down and trapped. Believe in yourself, love yourself, and be kind to yourself.  You deserve it.

All my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Addictions can be subtle and tricky things.

Tonight I have been thinking about my past, old relationships, friends, and things that once seemed so important to me.  I started smoking before I graduated high school and I am a smoker still to this day, but I have been through many different addictions.  Some of them I didn't even know were addictions, but now as I look back upon some of the crazy stupid things I have done in my past, I can see that they were real and true addictions whether I could admit it to myself or not.  I learned early when I was serving in the Navy how to rationalize my actions to myself and everyone else around me.  It wasn't until I got out of the Navy that I realized I had a drinking problem, which got worse when I was diagnosed with cancer 2 months after I received my discharge. Good thing that I had to go through chemotherapy and radiation because that really broke me of my need to drink.

For many long years, after I got better from all the cancer treatments, I dedicated myself to education and getting a career.  I had a good run of good health, from 1995 till 2004, I completed my bachelor's degree and master's degree and even got a great job.  I accomplished my dreams. I had met a friend and we moved to Atlanta, we built a pretty good life, and around October of 2004, I had my first encounter with a drug called Crystal Meth.  Now, let me tell you about this subtle drug can alter ones whole life and you don't even realize that it is happening.  I have to tell you this before I go any further, I tried Meth for several months from October till December of 2004, but at the end of December I got sick again,  now I had a great job working for the State of Georgia, 2 houses, owned 2 cars, and 2 dogs, and a cat, had relationship that had lasted 12 years and I got very ill that December.

I went through 9 major surgeries removing a large portion of my large intestines, and quite a few portions of my small intestines.  I had an ileostomy put in which I still have today.  I am telling you all of this because during all these surgeries, downtime and doctors visits and everything else I had no exposure to meth.  Seriously, I was laid up from December 2004 till September 2007, with multiple incisions and surgeries, I had no opportunity whatsoever to do drugs, but alas that was not to last.  My partner and I had broken up by this time but he was doing meth and it wasn't long before I was back on the drug again.  I never thought I did a lot and that I could quit at anytime that I wanted to, really I was only doing it a some every couple of weeks, but that was extremely short lived because it went from every couple of weeks, to almost every weekend, then in the summer of 2009 it was up to several times a day and doing more than most people I knew.  I had started smoking meth, and by December of 2009 I was shooting it up.  I can tell you this meth is a subtle drug, and most people don't believe that it is addicting.  However, the truth is that this drug is addicting in a more dangerous way than cocaine and crack, those drugs are physically addicting where meth is a psychological addicting drug.

The difference is much harder to explain and so much harder to escape.  Crack and cocaine and other types of drugs that are physical you do them for the high and if you stop you go through withdrawal and can get physically ill for stopping cold turkey, sometimes another drug has to substituted like methadone so that the habit can be broken.  The problem with meth is once you start using the drug, you do it for many different reasons, and trust me when I say that the excuses can get pretty wild.  But honestly, I used it at first to get past the embarrassment of having the ileostomy bag, and the daily pain that I have felt since the very first surgery, it is true that meth dulls the pain, it also relaxes inhibitions so you feel more comfortable and can do things you normally wouldn't do.  However, it goes so much further, I also did meth so I could have sex, see when I had my colon resection done there was a narrowing and tightening of the colon tract, and unless I did the drug I couldn't have sex.  I won't go in to great detail, just understand that it became necessary for me to have to drug so that certain sexual acts could actually take place.  However, over the years of usage of meth and the damage done by surgery had caused the re-sected portions of my colon to calcify and loose its ability to stretch and actually got hard and stiffen to bonelike hardness.  Eventually dehydration, lack of eating and other side effects of doing meth caught up with me.  It is extremely likely that the years of usage have helped speed up damage to my kidneys, liver and colon itself, resulting in the situation I am in today. There is some evidence that meth hid or masked some of the symptoms and pain that would have let my body know something was going on.

In December of 2009, I was fed up with what I was going through and the constant scrounging around for drugs, and the people that were always around me, so I made a clean break and left and went to Pennsylvania, was off the drug again for the whole year of 2010.  Though honestly I fantasized and thought about doing the drugs, missing the sex that I was used to and other things that I felt when I was on the drug, but for a whole year I neither touched the drug or any other.  But as soon as I went back to Atlanta and got involved with the same people over again, it was like I never stopped.  I started up again with a vengeance and continued right up until the day before I moved back to Florida.  However, my usage level was down because I was broke all the time and homeless and a myriad of other things were part of the picture.  However, every once and awhile I would find the money to get the stuff and be high.

Now, why I am dragging all of this up and talking about it here is because, I have been clean for months and months now, but yet I started thinking about doing it, how it felt and wondering what my friends are doing this holiday weekend.  A part of me would love to do some but there isn't a burning desire and I am not going to go out and do it. With all of that being said if it was offered to me at this very moment I am not sure I would refuse it or not.  The advantage I have now is a clearer understanding of what is going on within my own body, and I know that the drugs both prescribed and illegal have damaged my system to the point that it cannot be repaired.  The HIV medication in conjunction with the meth has left my kidney's severely damaged and if I were to do it again my body would fail in many different ways and death would come quickly to me.  I am not saying that I would drop dead instantly but with each usage the damage would become greater.  That small voice in my head wondering if my friends and ex are out getting high this weekend and another friend posting on facebook he was hosting a party tonight with favors, etc just brought all of this up, and I realized exactly what that small voice was, it is the subtle, hidden, possibly sleeping addiction that is still lingering within me.  I know that if I were to go back to Atlanta, I would be right back on that road to self destruction and the drug would be right there with me.

I have written all of this to warn you of the small things, to point out that the subtle voices might be lingering addiction that are speaking to you. Be wary, and be honest with yourself, if you continue to rationalize, make excuses and refuse to change you could end up in the same boat as I am with only a short amount of time left.  Don't throw your life away, get help if you need it, but do yourself a big favor, if you really want to break from an addiction or habit you must distance yourself from it, you must change your surroundings, your friends and everything about your life, or trust me you will fall back into the same pitfall and trap.  It becomes second nature to lie to yourself and make up reasons why you have to do something, but it becomes much harder if you don't know where to find it, and you aren't around anyone who does it.  It is very important to listen to your body, know your limitations and don't push them.  When something doesn't feel right, you need to get it checked out. Do something different, make a change and a conscious decision to walk away and stick too it.  Trust me I know it is hard, can be a long battle and you may need to get some help along the way.  I made sure that everyone that was important to me and a part of my life in the past now knows what I am facing the amount of time I have left and have urged them to stand by me as I remain steadfast and resolute to leave that world behind me and live what time I have left to the fullest and by the minute.  Not day by day, but by minute by minute, doing for myself finally and not all the others I have been doing for besides myself.

I hope someone out there reads this and is helped by it, or inspired to make a change for themselves.  Because you can't change for anyone but yourself, and only you can make the difference in your life to make the affirming changes needed to break the habit and cycle of addiction.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B

Friday, May 25, 2012

Why is Gay Marriage such a controversy?

I have been wondering about this subject a lot lately.  It seems to me that the institution of marriage is not revered as it once was. Ask any person you know if their parents are still married and I guarantee 1 out of every 3 people will tell you that their parents are divorced.  It is becoming an ever increasing trend in the United States for couples to get divorced instead of working out their problems.  It seems easier to just throw in the towel and walk away.  With this trend, why then would anyone care whether gays were able to marry or not?

I wonder why the powers that be still cling to the past and think that marriage is sacred and solemn. Further, why does the church feel that the union of two individuals is solely their jurisdiction.  A couple can get married by the Justice of the Peace, a Notary Public and by a ship's captain in international waters, and these weddings are just as binding in the eyes of the law as a marriage in a church presided over by a minister or priest.  Again, I would like to point out that prior to anyone getting married a license must be obtained by the court.  A license is another term for permit, and a permit is a formal request of permission to do something.  Therefore, if a state is responsible for granting permission and keeping track of the record of such permission, it is no longer a matter for the church.  In the United States of America, the Constitution forbids the interference of the church in matters of the state.

In the Amendments to the Constitution are liberties that are granted all people in this country.  It is called the Bill of Rights. My contention here is that under these articles personal freedom and choice are granted to the populace.  Therefore, anyone making changes must be ratified through congress and then accepted by vote by the people.  It is totally ridiculous for one organization, the church, to decree that a marriage is only between a man and a woman.  What is the foundation for this?  Why on earth would we allow anyone to limit our freedom to make our own choice? Trust me when I tell you by allowing Gay Marriages many changes would be made and the country stands to make more money because it. Each state would get to receive greater taxes, divorce attorney's stand to make more money, states would also make money off of licensing fees and registration fees associated with keeping these records.  Also the vehicle is in place already for this recording process, the bureau of Vital Statistic keep tracks of birth, deaths, marriages, name changes, etc.

When marriage became a matter of decision and recorded by the State, the church lost all authority over it.  It is not just a purview of the clergy anymore and hasn't been for a long time.  I see allowing gay marriages as a win-win for the state, especially from a revenue generating standpoint alone.  If the government truly is a Democracy and stands to defend freedom both home and abroad, then I honestly think that they need to take a look at this situation much more closely.  Freedom is a basic right to free choice, the freedom to choose who governs us, the freedom of which religion we would like to practice, the right to bear arms and to voice our opinions.  It is terrible that people we know and love have to keep their relationships secret, and have to make excuses for their lifestyle and their choices.

I think it too would be a wake-up call for the gay community, there would now be a financial cost associated with breaking up.  There would be ramifications to wanting to go outside the relationship, deeper entanglements and court interactions that would have to take place.  That is on top of all the benefits that they would receive if given the opportunity. Like I stated in my first blog entry on this subject, insurance benefits would be afforded to them, joint ownership of vehicles, debt, housing and other things.  Decisions could be made for each other if one was unable to be reached or incapacitated, survivor benefits would be paid out in such cases of death.  This person would also be considered immediate family and would be recognized as such by the state.  Disputes over estates would be easier settled and the list goes on and on.

Marriage is union, a partnership, it is an obligation and a duty not lightly entered into, it is very much the same as forming a business partnership or corporation, both of which have to be recorded by each state and taxed as a single entity by the IRS.  Take God and Religion out of the equation entirely, that is the law, and for that matter, I believe that they should not be allowed to have an lobby or special interest groups in congress anymore.  Each state has representation with senators and congressmen, why is there a need to have a group of people declaring what the Church wants?  Shouldn't each individual have a voice to decry what they want?  As a matter of fact lobbyist groups should all be done away with period, if a business wants something done they should speak to the representatives of the state in which they are incorporated in and if that doesn't help too bad, this country was fine when we didn't have them, we don't need them, and their alarmist views.

Now back to my original observation about more and more marriages ending in divorce than stay together these days.  It seems to me that this so called return to family values by the church is falling on deaf ears.  It makes no sense to me that they cannot even keep their own house clean and they are calling for others to do the work for them. We are not in the early 1900's anymore where and when people got married and stayed together for richer or poorer, for better or worse.  Since the 1970's divorce has been steadily on the rise, and what has the church done to resolve that?  Seems to me that they should follow what Jesus said "Let he who is blameless cast the first stone."  Even the pastor of my church divorced his wife and is now married to someone else.  If we were to follow the strict cannon of the Bible and the letter of the law, both the husband and wife would be living in sin, marriage is to death alone.  Since, it stands to reason that isn't reasonable anymore, can the whole institution of marriage still be reasonable?  Many don't think so, but here is what I think should happen, and what should have happened 236 years ago when the constitution was ratified by the Continental Congress and the United States of America declared it's independence from Mother England, that the church should have no voice in the matters pertaining to and about the government period.  That is what is meant by the separation of church and state, and since the church itself is so splintered and broken that they have to have different denominations and so forth maybe the institution should be finally put down.  Further, as more and more of these so called religious leaders flounder and fall from grace because of infidelity, perversion or other such non-sense, why on earth is anyone paying attention to them anyway.

Doesn't anyone besides me see that the Church was created to control the masses, to be a money making device, to instill fear and force adherence to laws?  If you take the Bible as fact then you will see that the church body was made up of the escaping tribes from Egypt and that they were in the desert wilderness for 40 years, now since there was so many people and different cultures and beliefs the ten commandments were then provided to the church to guide and cow the people into submission, and then extreme punishments and threats were written if these commandments were broken.  Thankfully that was under the old covenant between God and Man, when Christ came a New Covenant was established, the temple veil was torn in two and New commandments were given.  The old testament was to learn from but the new testament is where we are supposed to be living.  The old testament was nothing but a Terrible and Vengeful God, Fire and Brimstone, but the new testament is all about Love, Compassion and a Merciful and forgiving God.  No matter how you believe, if you are religious or not we are no longer bound by what was once known as the law.  We are not saved by law and adherence to the commandments any longer, we are saved by grace and victory and salvation are ensured through love, trust and obedience.

Every country on the planet has a set of laws that govern them and in those laws can be found the remnants of the 10 commandments.  The are enforced by the police and world organizations that are charged with the duty.  However, let me explain this too you, if you truly believe in God and the Bible, then how can you doubt what the Bible says in Genesis? God created all things on heaven and earth, and saw that it was good.  God doesn't make mistakes at all, everything was good and perfect.  Therefore, anyone who truly believes in God knows that we are created in His image, we are perfect and blameless.  The new testament in Romans talks about Homosexuality and what it says, if one reads and studies closely, is that if you don't keep God in your hearts and minds that you will be given to a reprobate mind, it also says that the burning of man for a man and woman for woman and doing that was unseemly that their punishment was meet.  Now, what does all of this really mean and I will tell you what it means as I have been a Bible student and I am currently working on my Doctorate of Divinity, is this.  If you keep the love of God in your heart and mind you will have to face the punishment of being gay on Earth, meet means here and now.  If you don't keep God in your heart and mind then you will be given over to a reprobate mind, and that is where it goes on to say that they become backbiters, haters, whispers, liars, etc, etc.  If you would like to know where I am getting this, it can all be found in the Paul's letter to the Romans.  Since this isn't a Bible class I am going to leave it there, however, anyone who would like to know more feel free to drop me a line and I will be more than happy to discuss this with you further.

Now, on with gay marriage, it is sad to say that this great nation of ours has always been slow to change and even slower to understand the needs of it's people.  In the Gettysburg address that was the foundation for the freeing of the slaves, Lincoln stated emphatically that all men were created equal, he led the country into the bloodiest war that tore the nation in two, just because of this fact.  Though there were other causes and backgrounds that led to the war, the main result was the freeing of the slaves, but it took years and years for them to be recognized and receive civil liberties and voting rights and equal housing and job opportunities, etc.  Look at how long women had to go without getting suffrage or the right to vote, much less break out of the stereotype that they had been locked into.  War War 2 brought to the nations attention that women were just as capable as men in running businesses and working in factories and assembling weapons and munitions because our boys were gone over seas to fight against tyranny and oppression.  My point is this change takes time and patience, and lots of marching and movements and speaking to get anything accomplished.  But valiant efforts by Martin Luther King, and Martin Luther King Jr. gave us the foundation for civil rights, and we are not far afield when we ask for gay rights.  All we are asking for is the right to have protections afforded under the law and the ability to choose who we want for a mate or partner.  We have already gotten the right to vote, there is no longer segregation, but there are still those that hate.  There are still those that don't tolerate difference, they don't tolerate interracial relationships and they do not like change at all.  These are the people that cling to the church, crying for it's protection and they are the biggest hypocrites of all.  They claim to be all righteous and pious, but they are hiding their actions behind closed doors, and hide in the shadows, afraid that they might be caught in the light, but come Sunday they are in the church praying for forgiveness once again.  These are the fundamentalist those who are against change, they cannot see the future as a bright and shining place of new possibilities and hopes, they want to keep the status-quo .  These are the leaders of our churches who that preach that anyone who doesn't believe like them has no place in heaven, such is the reason for so many different denominations, that is why there is still bigotry and intolerance in the world.  When are they going to stop spreading hate, denial, and indifference, and embrace the true nature of God and teach the lessons of Christ who spoke only of Love.

Bear with me just a little longer, because it is important for you to follow this through to the conclusion. You see I have laid the groundwork and foundation out for you in a simple a way as I could.  I know that some of my readers are not christian and don't necessarily agree with anything that I am writing about God and the Bible, but the honest truth is that it doesn't matter what any of us believes, because the fact remains that this Nation does believe and is founded upon that very belief, and as tragic as that may sound to you it is still a fact.  The constitution does call for the separation of church and state, because the revolutionaries were afraid that just like England, the whims and dictates of government would be governed by the church.  Such was the life they came from and their fear very real.  Remember until the time of Henry the 8th the Catholic church was the only recognized church, Henry wanted to divorce his wife and was denied approval by the pope, therefore Henry did what he thought was best and created the Church of England where he established himself the supreme head. He appointed  the Archbishop of Canterbury to be his voice and govern over the Church of England, the archbishop granted Henry his wish for a divorce.  Then came the reformation when the church underwent significant changes under Martin Luther, which affected both the Catholic church and the Church of England, because until the time of the Reformation the Church of England was governed by the wills and whims of the crown.  Because the Sovereign of England was also the head and supreme ruler of the church it stood to reason that whatever the king wanted would be declared by the clergy and enforced upon the parishioners.

So you can see that the fear of the founding fathers would be that interference of the church in matters of the state would lead to a similar rule as was in England at the time.  Do you understand now why the subject of Gay marriage is such a controversy, it is one last stronghold the church has.  You see marriage was the province of the church for centuries, but that has changed, and the value of marriage has either decreased in opinion and practice, or has given away to a society that no longer cares to fix that which is broken, but would rather throw it away and replace it with something new.  Gay Marriage is actually not a matter of religious debate though some would have you think it was.  You see marriage is just the joining of two individuals.  Marriage is granted by the government, certain privileges and rights, but these are not something that is granted by the church.  Marriage is a contractual agreement ratified by the government, and in this case by each state, that allows two individuals to be considered as one.  Husbands assume the liability of the wife and so forth.  If two men or two women want that same option it should be afforded to them.  This country is founded on our freedom to choose what we want.  Our troops are fighting in an operation called "Enduring Freedom", and what does that mean, we are fighting for others right to have a choice, all that the gay community is asking for is the right to choose their own partners and have it recognized by the state, just like it would recognize a business, medical partnership, or even a church body.  Gay marriage is just about wanting to be recognized as a couple, a union of souls, a partnership to building a life and future together.  Why the church is jumping in with their two cents worth is because they are stuck in the past, they are clinging to the old ways, and have not learned anything from the reformations of the church, Martin Luther, Calvin and so many others have spawned revisions of church dogma and philosophy over the centuries.  Now, with their grasp failing on current society they are clinging to old beliefs and trying to impose their beliefs on a government that is not supposed to even care about the wants and desires of the church.  We need a strong leader in office that is a Constitutional believer and one that can champion and uphold the values and laws that the founding fathers wrote 236 years ago. The church needs to learn to embrace change and let go of the past, leave the teachings of the old testament behind, come into the new century with a clear understanding of what Jesus was trying to teach and understand that Love, acceptance, and compassion are the way of the future.  It needs to leave the teaching of intolerance, hatred and bigotry, they have no place within its purview, and it needs to understand that all of us are the same, we vote the same, look the same, and do the same things, who we do them with is none of their damn business.  Let it go, look within itself and embrace change and espouse love and I guaranty the world will be a much better place to live in.  People need to understand that they are free to believe as they want, but are not and cannot impose those beliefs on others, there is no difference at all between same sex marriage and opposite sex marriage, they both mean and accomplish the same thing and if the church played it's cards right could also stand to draw in more money and people, if they just understood that Jesus preached love and acceptance.

I am sorry I rambled on so long and got so religious on you, but the foundation had to be laid, and understand needs to be easy to see and conclusions should be eliminated if you follow the logic here.
There should be no objection what-so-ever about Gay Marriage, the church has no voice, and it is the people and the states right to choose. If you don't like the way your state representatives are representing you then vote them out and put someone in who will listen. This is not rocket science, and someone needs to put the church back in it's place, and their voice should be stripped 100 percent from all political fronts as it was mandated and ratified in the constitution of the United States.

As always your comments are appreciated and welcome.  Please join my blog site and become a follower, it is easy just click on the follow button on the right hand of the blog and join my ever increasing readership.

All my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The elusive "Why"?

Spoiler alert:  This blog entry is of Religious Nature and content and if you don't believe the same way I do, I understand...Please keep an open mind and continue to read to the end.  Please keep an open mind and maybe you will understand what I am trying to talk to you about.

Most of us walk around questioning "Why am I here?", "Why am I going through this?", "Why does God allow me to suffer?", Why, why, why?"  This is the reason why! Each person is called for a purpose, we might not remember what it is, or what we are meant to do.  Yet, the fact remains that we are here for a reason and our passage through life either enriches it or changes it in some way, shape or form.

It is my contention that before we enter this world we have lived prior to our birth. I believe that we have communed with the Father, or whomever you believe as your deity, we are truly divine.I believe that as creatures of energy that are infused with a carbon host that we must have existed somewhere as something before we are born on to the earth.

The evidence is pretty compelling for this theory.  You see Albert Einstein told us in his theory of relativity that energy is created and once created it cannot be destroyed, it can be manipulated, changed and converted but continues to exist.  Now, if this is true it stands to reason that the electrical currents that flow through us and energize this body I inhabit had to come from somewhere. It dwelt somewhere and when this body dies the energy must continue to exist, so it moves on.  Are you with me so far?

Thus knowing this casts a whole new light on the subject of "Why?" How do I get to that? You are wondering so let me explain, God is divine and the divine created all things, and since created all things he knows everything and has planned accordingly.  From the beginning of time to the end, there has been a plan and in that plan are all of us.  Our soul, the divine energy that is us was there at the beginning and we shall be there at the end.

Because of human pride and arrogance the perfect was corrupted and death came into the world.  Now, lets not get caught up on the "Who to blame" game, we all know the result, the church calls it original sin.  But God in His infinite wisdom knew this and had a plan and that plan was Christ, and in order to ensure He was born into the world God used mankind.  Let me explain a bit further, Each of our spirit souls agreed to the plan and chose a spot and formed a sacred contract, this is the work we agreed to do on earth, which is why we live a specific amount of time, it is just enough to complete the agreed upon task.  You say that Christ already came and did His work, so "Why am I here?"

The answer is so simple, it's because He is coming again.  This time for a different purpose.  But, He is coming again and we each have a role to play.  You may say why don't I remember making this agreement? Why don't I remember being with God? Why can't I remember the job I agreed too?  Again the answer is simple.  In order for the Divine to become corporeal or alive, to live on the physical plane we must be born through pain, blood and water.  We enter this world through the breaking of water, in a rush of blood, through the heat of pain and then we take our first breath. The Divine is pure and cannot look upon sin, so the process of birth is traumatic and our memory of the divine is lost over time.  An infant is pure and if it dies, within the first five years is openly received openly back into heaven.

The reason for that is because the human body is frail and fragile, yet it grows stronger and more resilient with age.  The mind they say is a blank slate eager to learn. Yet, I disagree, the mind is divine and as we age the divine is forced out by the knowledge learned and experiences we endure.  This is why children can see spirits, believe in magic and to them time passes differently, because part of the divine still dwells with in them. Cognitive thought and rational thinking hasn't completely forced out the divine yet.It is around the age of five to seven when we loose our connection and don't remember the divine contact.  Thus begins our journey and our training in the crucible of life.  It is here through living that we learn and become prepared for our calling, where God can only guide our path indirectly because until we reach a certain point because we are separated by the barrier of sin.

Before the first coming of Christ, God only spoke to the people through the high priest's.  The mark of sin placed upon Adam and Eve rendered direct communication between God and man impossible.  Christ was God's plan to bridge that mark and open the communication line back up.  We now have a hot line through Jesus directly to God's ear.  Yet, God still can only interact and effect the way the world only indirectly through intermediaries like the angels.  Now once we reach the right level of consciousness and training we are then called to do our part.  Now our training and preparation are on God's time table not ours.

We must look deep within ourselves and pray for guidance and before you know it when you have reach the right level of training and spiritual awareness you will understand what your sacred contract and mission here on earth is.  God will point you in the right direction and set your feet on the path to your work.  Trust me when I tell us that eventually all of us are called to work and do our part.

Trust me God has a way of holding us where we need to be, to teach us what we need to know, to prepare us for the things we have to do and has a patience that is beyond comprehension.  We are saved by grace and are under the second covenant of God.  We are no longer constrained by the law, which is the old testament of the Bible with the coming of Christ and his subsequent death, the old covenant was done away with and we were given through Christ's teaching a set of new commandments to follow.  These commandments were few and simple.  He taught of love and doing for others as you would do unto yourself.  Second was to go out and be fishers of men.  He taught that we are not to judge, he walked and preached to the sinners.  He told us to love the person and hate the sin.  He spent His time with the lowly and downtrodden, he up lifted those who were persecuted, and recruited the most hated of the time the Tax Collectors to be disciples.  Saul, was a huge persecutor of christian's and a tax collectors he was visited by Christ and his vision was taken from him till he converted. Once he converted he changed his name from Saul to Paul and became an esteemed and highly effective disciple.   The last commandment was children obey your parents so that your days may be many.

If we all just obeyed the simple commandment of loving one another the world would be such a better place and so different from what it is today.  Even if you don't believe anything that I have said in this entry, please take away this one thing.  Love is the key to making the world a much healthier and happier place.  Love yourself and love one another and you can change everything.  You will have done your job and fulfilled your sacred contract.

So the reason why we are here is so that we can be trained and do our part in the Eternal Plan of God.
We are preparing the way for the Second Coming of Christ, and we are fulfilling the our sacred contract and fulfilling our destiny.

The reason why you are going through what you are going through, is to strengthen you and prepare you for the work you will be called to do.  The reason why God allows you to suffer, is because of original sin God cannot directly interfere with us except through intermediaries such as the Angels and Holy Spirit.  Hopefully this will help you in some way to search inside of yourself and seek with in for the answers you seek, and what are you mission here on earth through the fulfilling of your sacred contract.

Again, I hope that this wasn't too full of religion for you to follow me.  I hope you will continue to follow me and read my posts.  Feel free to write to me at, look me up on facebook or leave a comment on my blog page and I will get back to you.

All my hopes and dreams are with you.

Uncle B

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Can I ask you something, when did I become a Sir?

I went to the grocery store today and on my way home from the store there were 3 teenagers hanging out at the end of my street.  As I walked toward them the guy said to me "how are you doing today sir?"  When did this happen?  When did I go from being "Dude" or "Man" to "Sir"?  How did this happen to me?  Everyone tells me that I don't look my age, so why have I suddenly become my father?

For those of you that know me you know that I hang out with people that are younger then me and I do all sorts of activities that younger people do, I don't think of myself as old at all.  I still see myself like I am still in my 20's.  I make sure I eat right and try to take care of myself, but alas father time has been creeping up on me.  Most people have to ask me how old I am because they know that I am older but I do so many fun and active things that it makes pinning down and age to me.

Something happens to us when we reach 40.  Somehow we passed from being a "Dude" to "Sir". I am not sure what is is that happens that transforms us and propels us into middle age.  But, apparently I am not the only one this has happened too.  I guess before you know it I am going to wake up and see an old man staring me back in the mirror, but I am still going to feel like I am a young person.

I honestly think, that having a friend base of 20 somethings is what keeps me doing new things and keeps me feeling young.  So is this a bad thing? Am I supposed to grow old and feel old?  Does anyone out there have any idea of what I am talking about?

Can someone tell me why I went from being a peer to an elder?  Please fill me and give me some answers to all these questions. I really want to know the answer.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you.  Please feel free to drop me a line at or leave your answers on the blog.  Please feel free to join us by joining my blog and following my posts.

Uncle B

The Crucible called life is a training ground

When I started thinking about this subject I went at it from a wholey religious point of view.  I was going to talk about a story in the Bible, but I think I am going to come at this from a different point of view.  Because as I have said in previous entries we are the sum of all things, a sum of encounters, experiences, choices and the consequences of our actions.  But, what I never really touched on is how we get melded into this entity called an individual.  The more I think about this subject the bigger it becomes and the only thing that comes to mind is that life is a crucible, the impurities of our lives are burned away, and the heat and the pressure of life mold us and build us in such a way that we come out on the other side a person.  All the things we have been through and the culmination of all the things we are taught and the things we have suffered have shaped our destiny our path.  Now if you don't know what a crucible is, it is a device that is used in the smelting of ore or other substances, extreme pressure and heat are applied to change and make the substance malleable.  It transmutes the material placed with in it by calcifying it by extreme heat.

Using that as an example of what I am talking about you will begin to see that the pain, suffering and hardships we endure an go through are the heat and the pressure applied to our lives.  We are the material that has been placed in the crucible vessel and we are changed and transmuted from the innocence of birth to the individual we have become.  I would say that most of us go through the transforming pressures and heat of the crucible in our teen and early 20 years of life,  these are the years when we make the most mistakes and the world and society are harsh and quick to correct and punish us for those mistakes.  We are malleable and we change as we grow and learn.  However, when we reach our late 30's and early 40's we are starting to become tempered much like steel.  Steel is the heating of iron and coal within a crucible and cooled, the next process it goes through is tempering, that is the beating of it into shape, the hammering adds strength and density to steel, our experiences in life after our 20's is where we are tempered and become weathered.  Our strength increases as our knowledge and experiences increase, thus we become a stronger version of the transformed individual we were.

Now if you understand what I have been saying up to this point you can begin to see that when we are young and impressionable we are raw material, ingrained with the teaching of our parents and society, then we are put out on our own and we make mistakes and we fail and rise again, sometimes we rise above defeat and sometimes we just rise enough to pull through.  But each of these experiences leave with us a part of the coal product like in the production of steel...we are the iron ore, the coal added is our experiences, and the heat of the crucible is the failings and the pressure to rise back up, we have dreams and goals that spur us forward, we fear of failing ourselves and letting our parents down etc.  These are the pressures and heat that change us and make us from iron and coal into steel.  How we pick ourselves up after our failures and how we conduct ourselves with our triumphs are the tempering forces that harden us and make us from a piece of steel into a blade.  Our tragic circumstances, illness, bad luck and pitfalls hone our temperament to a razor sharpness.  But it is the kindness shown to us by others, especially our friends which buffer us and make us a kinder and gentler being.  Trust me when I tell you that friends are what make the world a place worth living in, even when your own personal world is falling and crashing around you.  It is the friendships you have inspired and support you and help you rebuild when things begin to crumble, and they do for all of us sometimes.

It is my contention here that learning and living are not mutually exclusive, they are mutually inclusive, we must continue to learn or we are not living, we are not moving forward, and if we are not moving forward then we are merely existing and sooner or later, the crucible will scorch us and burn us and if we are not already tempered and buffeted by friendship and love we are going to be filled with hate, bitterness and full of weakness and when the pressure builds up again to transmute us we fold and crack and break.  As I said earlier in our teens and 20's is when we first feel the heat of the crucible.  But what I didn't explain is that this is a never ending process, we are constantly heated and more pressures come upon us and we learn, we rise, and we go through it again.  The end process of this is a greater level of enlightenment, a spiritual journey, the understanding and the wisdom of age and other things.  Using my same analogy as the steel and adding coal, what happens if we just add coal to the crucible and we apply pressure and heat to it?  I tell you it becomes a diamond, the hardest substance we have on earth.  This is what the crucible of life is trying to make us, a beautiful and brilliant diamond.  Remember this every diamond has some flaws, no single one is perfect.  Neither are we as individuals we all go through the heat and the fusing of the raw materials we are first made into steel tempered into a blade and through adding of more harsh realities and benefit of friends that transmutation takes place again and from our roughen hardened steel comes, burnished and tarnish malleable substance yet again, which when heated again the steel mixture burns off and the coal is transformed within us to the rock hard qualities of a diamond.

Life is harsh, hard, demanding we are changed and mutated over and over again each of us striving for our own perfection one day at a time and guess what with the help of your friends and family and all the other relationships you have in your life you are transformed from a tiny chunk of iron, or coal into a gleaming and shining diamond for the world to see and behold.  Don't loose faith or hope that you aren't going to make it you are well on your way, throughout your life you have been trained for this and are an expert at rising above your pitfalls and short comings you are who you are a bright and shining star, an icon to be coveted and example for others to follow.  Trust that all you have been through has made you a better person, you have been there and done that.  Now it is your turn to reach out and give hope, understanding, knowledge and courage.  You have lived a life of your own, and you have learned many things along the way, be free to share your pearls of wisdom, don't be afraid to sing your own praises, and let the world know that yes it threw everything it could at you, it heated you and put extreme pressure upon you, but you made it through and you lived to see the victory.  You have become a jewel and a bright shining gem.

So when life is hard, and the pressures and stress seem so great. Know this that when you come out the other side, and you will, we all do, you are going to be so much more than you were, and you are going to be valued so much more for having done it and been there. You are a true inspiration to others, keep up the good work.  I will see you when your life is over, and we will chat about the things that took you from stone and steel and made you incorruptible and immutable as a diamond, I will be there to share in your tale of how you became that diamond.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you.  I long to hear from you, I value your input and I want you to be a part of my community of readers.  I pray that I have been a help to you all in some small way.

Uncle B

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What defines us, is how well we rise after falling

All of us falls or makes mistakes, we fail in some way or we are judged harshly and our courage and self esteem suffers.  What we need to remember is that we are not defined by the work we do, the charities we are associated with, or how much wealth we accumulate during our lifetime.  Often time we find ourselves either invisible or stereotyped.  It is frustrating when this happens, no one wants to go through life not being seen or ignored.  Neither do we want to be pigeonholed into a stereotype.  We are individuals and we have our own dreams, goals and ideals that drive us forward.  We are not what we do, we are who we are, and we make ourselves known by how we rise to challenges, and rise above the pitfalls that surround them.  How we pick ourselves up when we stumble an fall, and how we handle each new situation with knowledge and grace, so that we can persevere.

Don't ever let anyone tell you, you aren't worthy of anything, that you are not good enough, that you are reaching above your station.  Believe me these people don't have your best interests at heart.  They are tearing you down and not building you up. These are the types of people who don't take risks, don't take chances and are afraid of change.  If they are not holding and building you up they are holding you back.  You must understand that their opinion is just that and opinion and everyone has one.  Further, their opinion doesn't change the facts of a situation, and it doesn't change the need that you have seen and are trying to address or correct in the world.  There is no one better than you, we are all created equal and we all put on our pants the same way every morning.  No one can see the situation like you do, and they cannot see the big picture that you see.  Stick to your guns and dare to dream your dream, and above all else don't stop reaching.  You do deserve the best, you should want better, and those who don't agree let them go.

The secret here is that your dream is yours, you see it and know it, you are passionate about it, and you know you can achieve it.  Just because someone doesn't see see it like you doesn't mean the need isn't real and the goal isn't achievable. You are the only one who sees the need and realizes how it can benefit the rest of the world, you need to plant the seed and water it with your love and passion, others will begin to see it and want to help you do something about it.

My point is this: You can keep your head high, you can rise again, you can make it, make a stand and do something about it, because no one else can.  You will be judged and remembered for your triumph, victories, and accomplishments, and by whose lives you have touched and enriched in some way.  You are who you are, and the world is a much better place just because you are in it.  Please always remember that you are irreplaceable. unique and extremely capable.  Never accept the limitations others place on you. They don't have the vision you have or understand the situation like you.

Keep your head up, you can do it.  No matter what it is.  Just put your mind to it and go for it.  Remember whatever the mind can conceive and believe you can achieve.

As always, my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B

Monday, May 21, 2012

What would you do?

I went to the doctors today and I got a second opinion on the surgery that is coming up.  Now, what I would like to ask is your opinion on things, so let me get the background to what is going on so that you can help know exactly what I am facing and how you might answer the question I asked.

My kidney'/s are failing and so is my liver, and unless something drastic is done I might die. I have been given two alternative solutions to the problem.  The first involves surgery where the doctors are talking about trying to reverse both the colostomy and ileostomy that I have in place currently, now these things help me go to the bathroom and are supposed to make my life easier and close to normal as possible.  Unfortunately, by bypassing my large intestines allows a lot of impurities to flow directly to the kidneys and liver, and with them impaired my body is unable to cleanse the blood from the toxins and they are building up.  The idea here is to put me back together and the colon would be able to drain off some of the impurities and would take off the pressure from my kidneys and liver.  The problem with this option is that I found out on March 5, 2012 that my colon is very fragile, on March 5 they tried to perform a colonoscopy which is using a scope to find out why I was bleeding anally before they could insert the scope they have to push air into the colon to expand the walls so that scope can go in without damaging the tissue.  Unfortunately, the air they inserted into the colon blasted into the colon and found the weakened areas so that it could escape, thus rupturing my colon in 2 places.  7 hours of emergency surgery and they were able to fix me.  Now, this brings me to the current problem.  If they attempt to reconnect me and the colon doesn't hold then I will rupture and fecal matter will pour into my blood system and I will poison myself.  This is called poisoning by toxicplasmosis and it is extremely painful and most times in extreme cases it is fatal.  My fear is justified because air ripped me apart, what is going to happen when waste starts to go through, waste being more dense then air, I think it highly likely that the tissue will not hold and the above scenario will be the end result and I could die a lot faster than originally planned.

The second option that I have been given is extreme dialysis, meaning that I would have to undergo dialysis a minimum of 3 times a week.  This would would cause my immune system to crash, and even though we have finally begun to get my HIV back under control, I will still be opened up to opportunistic infections and illnesses that a normal person wouldn't expect to have in their lifetime.   Dialysis will not cure me of my problems it will just prolong my life.  I have tried dialysis once and it is very taxing on the body, leaves you week for the rest of the day on which it was performed and you feel better for the next but the day after you have to continue the treatment, and it becomes a never ending loop.  Eventually your body will weaken and your bodies natural resistance will also plummet.  There is no easy solution to this problem that I am facing and it doesn't look like either option gives me much time.  I do understand that by choosing the dialysis I can expect to gain approximately 2 additional years to my life. Keep that in mind.

When I spoke to the doctor this morning she recommended that I allow them to operate and essentially remove on of the ostomies I presently have as long as they can fix either one so that there isn't so much damage to my skin and would make it easier to care for.  Then take the dialysis option.  She explained that even if they could reconnect me and the colon holds, the problems would be that I would still have the issue of a damaged sphincter muscle which would make me incontinent and I would still have to endure physical limitations.  We do know that the motility of the colon has finally returned but the damage from the radiation and with the impairment of the kidneys and liver just seem to make this situation almost unbearable, and in my eyes totally frightening.

At this point I am not sure what road to take and I would appreciate any advice or comments that you care to offer.  Because I am not used to dealing with doom and gloom scenario's, I am not the one to throw in the towel, to give up and go quietly into the night.  There definitely has to be another solution out there that I haven't yet discovered, or maybe just maybe I am putting to much stock into the misgivings of the doctors.  Please drop me a line and let me know what you think.  I really value your opinion and I am looking forward to hear what you have to say.  Some of you might have something to say that tell would give me hope and opens me up to a whole new future.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you.  Please make sure that you follow my blog and join my community of readers.  I really do value your opinion and I would love to hear from you.

Uncle B

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What exactly is raw sex?

One of my good friends sent me a link to an article entitled "What exactly is raw sex? The article contends that raw sex is as follows: "purely physical, slightly rough, almost dangerous, gotta-have-you-now sex.  The kind where you morph into a sensual animal, leaving you incapable of thinking anything but satisfying your cravings.  It is extremely bonding because it re-affirms that you both still lust after each other."

Now I must admit that when I read the title of the article that isn't what first came to my mind.  Being a gay man, I think of raw sex as the act of having anal sex without the protection of a condom.  Further, being a member of the crystal community, I also think about sex parties, multiple partners and group sex while either shooting up or smoking all the while not using a condom.  Even though I am no longer doing drugs, these are the first thoughts that come into my mind.  Now, I do agree with the article that it is a bonding experience that is deeply personal to the individuals involved.  Yet, I think it needs to be expanded a bit more and a few other adjectives thrown in to complete the definition.

When I think about raw sex, I think of uninhibited sex between consenting partners, I also think of kink and other freak nasty acts that go into it, experimentation and exploring areas of the body and doing things never thought of before.  Many of the people that I hung around with and partied with would never consider using a condom because in their minds bare is better, and when high condoms inhibit mood.  Further, if you like to use silicon lubricants you quickly find out that latex condoms don't mix with it and you need to be extremely careful because the condom can actually stick inside of a person and cause problems if used with silicon lubes.

In the gay community there is an increasing number of t addicts and because of this fact there are countless bareback and raw sex parties that go on nightly.  Now, I am not advocating the use of t or meth, or crystal, whatever you want to call it.  As a matter of fact I would caution against it, it can be a devastating drug that seems non-addicting but I can honestly tell you, that you can stay off the stuff for a long period of time, however, when you can get it again you are easily swayed off the bandwagon and the allure of the drug is back in your life and you start all over again.

A word of caution here if you are in the party group and play with drugs, be sure to ask the appropriate questions because 9 times out of 10 the group of people that you are partying with and having bareback or raw sex are HIV + and they don't like to use condoms, so use your brain if you are not positive and don't want to be, then do everything you can to ensure you maintain your status.  Let the others know your status and don't let the moment of the high persuade you to let someone have sex with you without a condom, because it only takes once for you to contract HIV and or Hepatitis C or both.  I know I am speaking  from personal experience here.

Also fellows if you are positive please be responsible and let your partner know prior to having a sexual encounter with them so that they can make an informed and conscious decision.  Don't be selfish and take their free will away.  Do the right thing, because I can also tell you that if you don't you could be in some really deep crap, the consequence for sleeping with someone knowing that you are HIV + is now considered manslaughter and you could end up spending a great deal of time in jail just because you didn't want to disclose information and risk rejection.  It is better to be safe than sorry.

If you are in a committed and monogamous relationship and you have both been tested, I see nothing wrong with having unprotected sex if you both want to.  Since you know what you are doing and their are no hidden secrets it can only strengthen and enhance the feeling of sex.  So the choice is yours.  One last word of warning from me and then I will drop the subject.  If you play bareback then you must be prepared to face the consequences.  Further, if you have sex with someone and you don't use a condom you might as well consider yourself as having HIV, understand that you are playing Russian Roulette with your life.  So be responsible and think things through, be willing to face the results and accept the consequences of your actions.  Further, I cannot stress enough how important it is to get regularly and routinely tested for HIV, not only do you owe it to yourself but you owe it to your partner as well.

Becoming HIV is now no longer considered an immediate death sentence.  The CDC and HIV Counselors now consider it a 30 year death sentence. When HIV and AIDs came on the scene back in the 80's doctors and health officials didn't know what to do about it, drugs were hard and did as much or more damage to the body than the disease did.  Now we have available a whole range of drugs that keep the viral load undetectable and your T-Cell count close to the normal range.  I am telling you this not so you think that unprotected sex is okay or right, I believe it is a personal choice that each individual should have the right to make on their own if given all the details.  Further, I want you to think about the negative people out there and your responsibility to them.  I was given the disease without having a conscious choice.  But, in the same vein I need to take responsibility because if I hadn't been doing drugs by shooting up the needles wouldn't have gotten mixed up and I would be negative still today.

Please be responsible, think about yourself and the other person involved.  Act grown up and be prepared to face the consequences of your actions.  Be open and communicative with your partner, and  above all else be honest with yourself and it will be okay.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B

Thought I might take a minute and recommend some good movies to rent.

This week has been a tough week for me. For those of you who do not know, I am battling leukemia and radiation disease currently, and this has been one of the worst weeks I have had.  So besides taking some time to write in my blog and personal journal I took some time to just sit back and relax.  During my down time I rented some movies from Red Box that were very good and thought others might enjoy watching them.

I am an avid reader and since I moved to Florida I have read all 18 of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series.  So I decided to start off my movie watching experience with watching the newly released One for the Money which was book one in the series.  I have to tell you that I thought the book started slow, but picked up and kept my interest through the whole series.  The movie on the other hand starred Katherine Heigl and was a blast from start to finish and kept me laughing.  Debbie Reynolds plays Stephanie Plum's grandma Mazur and is perfect for the role and gives the movie a lot of laughter and fun.  So, I would definitely recommend watching this one even if you haven't read the books.

For those of you who love to laugh and enjoy wholesome family movies then I got to tell you Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton are a hoot in the family comedy Joyful Noise.  I think you will really like the fight scene between Dolly and Latifah.  The music is pretty good too.  If you liked Sister Act or Sister Act 2 you will definitely love this movie.  For those of you who like good wholesome true stories that are suitable for the whole family then I would recommend We Bought A Zoo staring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johannson, a delightful comedy and a story about renewing family connections after a tragedy.  Another great story that touches the heart and is also based on a true life story is the story of Winter the dolphin who was injured and washed up on the shore in Clearwater FL.  The movie is called a Dolphin Tale and the story is great, any movie that can have me in tears one moment and laughing and cheering the next is definitely worth me recommending. So do yourself a favor and if you have kids this is one they will really enjoy as well.

Since I love Science Fiction I couldn't let the week go by without at least watching one or two sci-fi movies.  Newly released Underworld: Awakening, which came out on Tuesday was on my list of must see movies, so I rented it.  It wasn't too bad and we get to see Kate Beckinsale once again clad in skin tight leather.  This movie goes a long way in establishing a continuing story line for the franchise and is well worth the viewing.  I missed Kate in the third movie which was Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, and it was refreshing to have her character back to see where the story line was going to go. Another sci-fi that I enjoyed was a film called the Darkest Hour and takes a new twist on planetary invasion.  So, if you are a fan of sci-fi movies I think you will like enjoy both of these movies.

Then to round out my week long convalescence with some really great wholesome dramas that touched my heart and mind you might want to check out the two following movies.  The first was My Week with Marilyn, a romantic drama based on the true story of Marilyn Monroe when she was filming the Prince and the Showgirl in London.  I know you are all going to just love the movie like I did, and it reveals to the world how Marilyn just wanted and longed to be loved for herself.  A great movie all together and one that will also bring a tear to your eye and a smile to your heart.  The last movie in the series of movies I watched over the past week was Hugo, and it was a cute drama.  A movie that is perfect for the whole family to watch together and teaches courage, strength and following your heart and dreams at all costs, and never to give up and quit.

So if you have the time to sit down and watch some movies, here are some that come to you highly recommended.  I am sure you will agree once you have seen them that these are some really good movies.  Renting them from Red Box is really affordable and easy to do.  These days the movies cost $1.28 to rent for 24 hours, it is definitely much cheaper than watching them on pay-per-view and a lot faster than waiting for them to be released on Netflix.  You can also go to and browse the latest selection of movies, new releases, and even reserve them right there so you can pick them up at the nearest red box location. If you don't know where the nearest kiosk is you can do a search on their website, very convenient and affordable.

I hope you enjoy watching movies as much as I do and if you take the time to read this little review and watch some of these movies I think you will be very happy you did.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B

I use these products to copy my rentals for my own collection.