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Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Fear…

It’s easy to keep making excuses why we don’t want to do something. It’s easy to come up with different reasons why we don’t want to something. It’s easy to create stories why we don’t want to something. But the fact is that they are all excuses, reasons, and stories.

The reality of why we don’t is usually quite simple and non-complicated. The reality of why we don’t pursue options, take adventures, just jump usually falls under one answer. Usually can be labeled by one word: FEAR!

Fear can keep us from love. Fear can keep us from relationships. Fear is strong enough to keep us from taking that job we always wanted or going on the vacation we have been dreaming of. Fear is weaker than LOVE but sneakier.

Fear makes moving on, moving forward, and moving past it a hard move. Fear can bring down a person, a home, a country, the world. Fear can corrupt every logical thought with doubt, angst, and sorrow. Fear has that kind of power.

Fear, my friends, can keep you safe, guarded, and secure. Fear is a great body guard and keeper but a horrible counselor or therapist. Fear makes ice cream taste better on a lonely Saturday night and sad movies even sadder.

Fear to conclude this story is the reason I haven’t said I love you. Why I haven’t been open enough. Fear is the reason I pull back and why think I’m really strong. Fear is why ‘This’ is never good enough and I’m always searching for more.

So I’m slowly breaking that relationship, slowly I’m letting go the word. Slowly I’m growing into my own and taking ownership of my world. Slowly I’m standing firm and can only move forward. Slowly, with fear there is no other way!

A Piece of Me…

I want to make sure that from the beginning it’s understood that I’m not putting down the dating process. I feel like with every person I meet the possibility of finding an ever lasting relationship gets closer. My romantic side will not die, it may take a beating, but it will not die!

I just feel like not everyone is ready for a person like me. I say “Like Me” because I’m sure there are more guys and girls like me out there… I know there are. We are active, we socialize, we are independent, some may be in Recovery and some may be HIV+.

I’ve met some that give me a run for my money and that I admire for all they do. Some are what I like to call “Bench Warmers”; never really get in the game but are great cheerleaders. Either way we count them as part of the team and encourage them.

So here is where the tougher part of the process comes along, well at least for me. Being Positive is sometimes a negative when it comes to intimacy. It doesn’t help that I know the do’s and don’ts of sex with a Positive person. The other person has to be up to date.

Before I let anyone come into my world I need to know that they know what they are getting into. I didn’t this time and it left me feeling hurt and empty. I don’t forget that I’m Positive, I just shelve it… This last visit reminded me… And it hurt… Like a slap in the face hurt!

So my tip for you folks reading is that HIV+ are sexual, we can have sex. We know how to be safe and take care of our partners. But if you aren’t sure about what you are doing or how to handle the situation don’t go in, don’t sign the contract.

Don’t go to war without a gun.

I will survive this… Just part of being Positive… But it did take a piece of me…

This is the first time I come back and edit an entry. I don’t edit myself often but this time the story didn’t end there…

The person included in this story read it and called me out on my shit… It isn’t always the way we see things. I’ve been told that there is usually your version, my version, and the truth. But my feelings get in the way and I only see what I think I see… You see…

Once we talked and argued and yelled and I almost hung-up. We realized that it just wasn’t meant to be. For more reasons than HIV… There is distance and careers… We both want the same thing but can’t have it with each other.

So if you come back and read this: Thank you for an amazing week, 

Lover.

 

One Week Vacation Romance…

The great thing of being on vacation is that you get to be someone different for a bit. Even if you are visiting old friends or family there is always a chance to reinvent yourself. On this particular trip I get to be a writer.

Not too famous just enough to show my friends that I’m moving up in the world. Don’t brag about anything published unless I had a magazine copy ready to give out, and I usually did. No book in the works but I’m considering the idea.

There is also the chance to find romance, the wild wind kind, where you meet fall madly in love and then you disappear. I’ve always wanted to say, “Here’s looking at you, babe”. I didn’t get to but it would have been a great ending.

If you have been following my blogs for the last year you are aware of the fact that I have been looking for love through the dating sites and I have been very forward in reaching out to folks. Been on several dates and even repeated some.

This time I was approached by someone that I found interesting too. Looks, attitude, voice, walk, goals, dreams… everything! Okay so he smoked and had a dog, can’t get it all right now can we (some folks know that I’m not a big pet person).

This was a one week romance we met on Saturday for dinner, which turned out to be popcorn and a movie on his bed.  A long conversations about life and the meaning of, about dreams and goals and how to make them reality and a kiss here and there.

Everything was great, I skipped out on some folks to keep his company, if you are reading this and I skipped out on you now you know why. Insert “I’ll come visit you more and you can visit me” conversation, needed in every long distance romance.

Everything sounding too good to believe, yep it was. Then came the last night and it would be that part of the movie where everything reaches a climax and one person ends up not getting on the bus or the other buys a ticket gets on the bus with no luggage ready for a great adventure.

Hold the tissues that didn’t happen. What happened was not on my script, I didn’t get the memo it was more of a tragedy. There were harsh words and some accusations I chucked them up to the tension of leaving.

There were “you don’t love me and I really love you”. There was even or at least in my head a Whitney Houston song playing in the background. A couple of tears shared that will forever remain on the seat of a Greyhound bus.

There was a song playing on the background that over the course of the week became our song. But the real end came when I was deleted from Facebook… What??? Oh no you didn’t… I was deleted!!! So there ends the one week vacation romance.

Compromise and Tolerate…

So we all have couple friends where the two folks in the relationship are so different in personality that we always question how they even got together. Usually we are more or better friends with one over the other, so we start to question how one tolerates the other or do they compromise?

Lets face it we really don’t know what goes on behind close doors, right? There are always two sides to every story and then there is the truth. We see how one treats the other in public but we don’t know in the privacy of their own homes. I mean, from my parents I remember my dad all sweet around other folks.

The definition of compromise: settle a dispute by mutual concession.

The definition of tolerate: accept or endure.

I wondered about it from my former partners. I was very different from most of them, there was usually a bit of tension in public. After the break-up my friends would ask what kept me in the relationship and honestly there was only one answer. Love. Being in love blures the line between compromise and tolerate.

So when that line begins to vanish and we see it all as part of being part of a relationship would we get out if we could? At what point will we snap out of the magic spell of love and realize that we are loosing ourselves into our partner and allow us to just exist and not live, at what point?

I mean when did I forget that I liked jalapeños on my pizza or lime on my salad. That I liked the nice smelling shampoo and had a favorite cologne. Tide over Cheer and two dryer sheets in my laundry. That I iron all my clothes and I fold my underwear. When did I become you?

After the break-up and as I begin to find me in the boxes that I have to unpack small parts of my previous life begin to take shape. The shell of me, which now feels odd, is like an old pair of jeans that I couldn’t wear without loosing some weight. I had to loose you to find me.

So when the fog that filled my head, translating tolerance into compromise, begins to clear and the horizon is filled with my dreams and goals. My wants and needs. Filled with me, I realize that I did compromise a lot so I could tolerate being with you. I tolerated things so I could compromise on the love that I needed.

So now that time has passed and I find myself living alone and sometimes a bit lonely I think about the usual argument or discussion of where are we going to eat; Mexican or Italian, take out or dine in, I pay you pay. Suddenly I can’t tolerate to be alone and would compromise it all by spending one more night with you.

I would give up the jalapeños on my pizza and not wear the cologne if you compromise and tolerate being with me.

 

One Drink…

I’ve been asked several times if dating is hard when you live a life of Recovery. At first I always said it wasn’t and for the most part I don’t think it is. But there are days when it seems harder than others. There are days when I wish I could go to a bar and have a cocktail and flirt with a cute guy.

I wish my brain would allow me to have one drink and walk away, but last I remember, I can’t do that. I can’t just have one drink, what is the point of one drink. How much can my inhibitions really be lowered with one drink. I’m pretty crazy and silly sober. I would need several drinks to get me where I want to be.

Where you ask, well, at the point where sex is just sex. You see when I was drinking sex was just sex. I repeat that because that’s how it was. Although a part of me wished that the guy I picked up would be the one to make an honest man out of me it was just that. I was a realist in the midst of my drunkness.

I knew that ‘True Love” would not be found at the bottom of a shot glass or in a condom wrapper. Stuck between the sheets or in a strangers shoes. It would be a one night stand or a couple of weeks of dating, well  meeting at the local bar for drinks, maybe some dinner and sex.

But when it came time to take it to the next level the relationship was over. You see for me, and I stress that For Me, there was no example of a Sober relationship to base a standard on. I had never until my last relationship, had a Sober relationship, and the first one was a learning process.

He helped me take the training wheels off and go off on my own. That hasn’t worked out to well. I do find myself missing drunk dating at times. Not that I would go back so don’t start worrying about finding me and dragging me to a meeting or calling my Sponsor. Just that Daniel was more open.

And I do mean sexually. I had no fear. If I was interested I would put it out there. Now I fear rejection a bit more. Not that I wasn’t rejected before just that now I feel it. That, my friends, is the hard part, the fact that I feel it even more than before. Alcohol for all the bad it was it served its purpose.

It numbed the feelings and that in the end is why I drank to hide my pain and hurt. My loneliness and anger. My tears and sadness… One, two, three, four, five drinks and I was ready to go. I miss the days when I didn’t have to feel and could lose myself in a shot of Tequila or a good Bourbon and 7… One drink!

Like, Love, and Hate…

At my age and after many years dating and being in relationships I have done and been just about every kind of person. I have been the caregiver, the lover, the high maintenance boy friend, the frugal one. I’ve sat in the back and I’ve been loud in front all in order to please my lover at the time.

Tiring… Yes. It’s tiring just to write and even more to read over but I did it all in the name of love or the closest thing to it. I have morphed and changed all in an effort to not be alone. All in an effort to be part of something and not wake up in bed alone again.

I have loved big dogs, small dogs, I have even shared a bed with some. I have hated cats, disliked birds, babysat children, avoided places with children. Loud restaurants, quiet places, too close to the highway, too close to downtown. The table is too close to the bathroom.

I’ve had my hair short and left it long. Didn’t wear cologne or used scented soaps. No gel in my hair or no hair spray. Wore a cap and a cowboy hat or never wore a hat again. Wore boots to the beach and sandals to the club. Shorts and a tux even all in an effort to fit in.

Spoke just English and even just Spanish, learned Sign Language and tried to learn Italian. Ate strange food I couldn’t pronounce and some that I didn’t want to smell. Some that looked back at me and I think one that even moved. But I tried it so I wouldn’t eat alone.

I slept on the right side of the bed and then on the left. I slept on a futon and on the floor, on a couch. I slept with more than two persons in bed and at some point I slept outside on a camping trip. I slept in a camper, bed of a pick-up truck and an RV, he was a traveling nurse.

I have tried everything to not be alone, done anything to not be alone, and yet today I’m alone. I’m alone writing about why I’m alone and I’m really not any of those things and a lot of those things. I have learned and grown, I have liked, loved, and hated some of those things.

Maybe this time I’m gonna try to find out what I like, love, and hate. I’m gonna give ‘Me’ a chance to decide what he wants and when he finds out what he likes, loves, and hates I’ll meet someone that knows what they like, love, and hate. Then together we can like, love, and hate the same things.

Because in the end I like, love, and hate myself. Sometime apart, sometimes together.

 

I do love Disneyland...

 

Happily Ever After…

I think by now it’s no secret that I am on the constant search for a stable, monogamous, exclusive relationship. I still believe it exists and I know that it’s out there waiting for me. I know it is because I see so many friends in one and I’m sure there is one just the right size for me.

I’ve given descriptions of what I want in a partner but maybe I haven’t said what I enjoy so much about being in a relationship. Maybe you or someone you know likes these things too and we can be a perfect match or as perfect as possible. I really don’t think they are unrealistic.

Disclaimer should be that I am a romantic at heart and I do imagine there being love and harmony in my home all the time. I am also a realist and know that at times we may get on each other’s nerves an need some space. And I know that there will be the times in between.

I miss coming home from a long day of work and have someone to talk about it. Share a lemonade in the patio and let the day just melt away while we tell each other the adventures of the day. Be it lunch with the guys or that horrible coworker that smells like tuna.

Who ever has a turn at cooking will make dinner, no need to ask what do you want because we know each other and we know the other will eat it. Even though I want to make Chicken Casserole again and you’ll eat it because you love it even though you wanted Enchiladas.

Sitting down to watch TV and just hitting anything on the DVR because we like some of the same shows and tolerate the others we don’t. I mean really how many marathons of Hoarders can a person watch? But you’ll sit there and let me cry with another melodrama.

The kitchen is clean and the dishwasher is running and we head to bed, brush your teeth and then I go to the bathroom and off to bed we go. We know each others side, set the alarm a good night kiss full of passion and maybe some nookie. Is it time or are we just gonna snuggle?

Wake up in the morning to coffee brewing, you remembered to set the timer. The day starts again as we head out to another day of work. All along looking forward to the end of the day when I get to come home to you. When I get to hug the person that is sharing my life.

Sounds  a little too good? Maybe. Real or fantasy? Either or both. I want it all, I want the fantasy. I want my happily ever after…

A Steady Man…

I really became an Oprah fan in the last season more so because I was able to watch the behind the scenes show. How ideas came to be, how the shows came to be, how the woman came to be. For any aspiring host, writer, motivator she is the queen, you have to give her credit for reaching millions of folks, just what I want.

But along with what I learned about putting on a show I learned what to put on as a human. How she handled herself the energy she put out and how it was received by folks. That is what I really want, that is the kind of energy I want to put out. I want to be an Oprah.

I’m guessing there is room for a Male/Hispanic/Oprah… Right?

Well in one of those segments I saw her talk about Steadman, her boyfriend. She said how his name was such a representation of him. Steadman – Steady Man. That got me to thinking about my relationships and what I wanted in my life and I realized I wanted my own Steadman.

Well actually I want to be and have a Steady Man. Someone that I can turn to when I need and that I am comfortable being there for him when he needs me. Someone who feels just as comfortable as I do in sharing our feelings. Someone who doesn’t run when things get serious.

So I will be adding that in my dating profile. I want a Steady Man…

What Has Changed…

I have been playing by the rules for over 4 years now or as close to it as I can. Keeping myself out of trouble, keeping my connection with my Higher Power, calling my Sponsor, a tight support group, changing my behaviors. Everything, or as close to it, as I can and it has kept me Clean & Sober.

I’m not really complaining, well maybe a little, but every once in a while, I want to be wild again. I want to be a little reckless and irresponsible. Forget about everything and everyone and satisfy my need for danger without being concerned for anyone. Like I was born to be wild!!!

Then I look at everything that I have accomplished in the last 4 years and I run back into the hole that I feel I’m in. I sometimes wonder is it love of Recovery or the fear of relapse that keep me in that hole. Either way I feel that I’m missing out on something, despite everything that I have accomplished.

I see my friends living out their lives being open about their sexuality, going to parties, enjoying people. I set limits and standards, I avoid to much socializing, and few people at a time. I don’t think folks would know that about me. From the outside looking in I seem right there with everyone else.

I often wonder, okay I wonder a lot, am I the only one, I’m sure not, that steps out of themselves and looks back in to analyze and review their lives. I see me sitting there on the weekend typing away, writing in my blogs (like now) or watching another show on my DVR or eating.

And I ask Sober Daniel , cause I often have conversations with myself, I ask, “What are you doing?”. And Responsible Daniel answers, “Staying home, being a good boy, waiting for a good person to date.” and Sober Daniel responds to that. “You will never find true love behind a computer you need to get out there… Now get out there!!!”

So we hug, cause in my mind Sober Daniel and Responsible Daniel are very real, we hug and we cry a little, we encourage and support each other, we laugh and we make future plans, we visualize and thank God and the Universe for all the gifts and then we all go back to eating, writing, and watching TV.

Really what changes? What has changed? Don’t be alarmed I’m not letting any of the Daniels relapse, fall off, or get down. We just ask that question a lot in our support group. When all the Daniels come together we ask, “What has changed?”

Here to Make Friends…

Okay so this is really not an excuse but more of a fact. I was raised in the 70’s and television was a great babysitter. My parents would take a nap and I would sit and do my homework. To this date my favorite shows are Sid & Kroft shows and The Muppets, I could watch for hours.

I can still do that, sit and watch TV for hours and I still like those shows and competition shows. “Project Runway”, “Top Chef”, “Master Chef” and anything that brings people to compete and live in the same house. GENIUS, there is so much energy and fighting and arguing!!!

There is always one, usually the most aggressive, that will say, “I’m not here to make friends”. Really, you don’t think that at some point you will cross paths with these folks again. You really think that through your whole career you will never need them… Really?

Of course later on in the show they always have an ‘AHA’ moment and they are best buddies with one of them. There are tears and hugs and ‘I’ll call you’. Then we see them at the reunion show and they are back to their cocky, phony, annoying personality.

Well, it got me to think what if I had that attitude about life. ‘I’M NOT HERE TO MAKE FRIENDS” What if I attempted to go through life not counting on anyone or needing anyone or wanting anyone around? Well, probably I would not write because there would no one to read it… Right?

I have said many times, “It takes a village to put me together” and I mean it. I have amazing friends that keep me in check. Even when they don’t realize that they are doing it, they really ground me. I would start a list of names but I’m sure I would miss someone.

Thank you to all my friends because when it comes to the reality show that is my life… I am here to make friends.