Posts Tagged With: struggles

GASP!!!

face of the young handsome guy on the water

There have been many times in my life I have described my disposition as simply “treading water”. Now, I am more frequently finding myself struggling to keep just my nose and mouth above the waterline, I feel I am sinking. What makes the situation even more challenging… I see no boat or shoreline on my horizon. 90% of my desperation comes from the simple fact… I am broke. A lack of money blocks the opportunity to even achieve a few minutes of life on a pool noodle.

I always seem to be close to an idea that my help my situation, but then I find am short treading-waterfinancially to make it happen. This blog at one point was an idea that I felt could bring in a dollar or two. I have had a few people (3) hit the donate button, this blog has never been successful enough to even cover the annual costs! To ask someone that “knows” how I could monetize this blog – costs more money I don’t have. I planned to start doing a video-blog or a podcast until I found I would need some basic equipment that I also don’t have money for. So, I continue to blog as my therapy because I can’t afford the co-pays to see a real therapist!

I have become desperate enough lately that I have resorted to living in my car for short drownperiods because I feel so trapped in my childhood bedroom at my Mom’s house. Yes, I am 51 year old and living at my Mom’s basically because I can’t afford any other option. I also use my car because I don’t want to make my drama/problems other people’s problems. So why don’t I just get a job? I also have Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, and now severe depression. I have “come out” as gay. I have “come out” as disabled. I have even “come out” as POOR. All things in my life I seem to not be able to control. I also feel as I tread water, barely keeping my head above water, life keeps throwing rocks at me.

I have also witnessed friendships vanish once I quit making the effort to go visit them, to call them, and eventually to even care to chase their friendship. I have a few friends that are as good as gold, but the “Cash for Gold” places don’t seem to be willing to take friends as trade! I do value friends that do “go the distance” to be Fingersure I am included and a part of their lives. One friend even offers an “open-date” plane ticket to come visit, but I still haven’t accepted because I would need some money once I get there. Other friends just get me out for a dinner or movie. I sometimes feel the friendship with the “plane ticket friend” is often strained because I am not sure he truly realizes the severity of my situation. But bless him for trying, he is a TRUE friend (but I don’t think he even knows I blog lol). On the other hand, a friend (long-time friend) accused me of lying about my family’s experiences with house fires because I had not “told her about it before”! Then she accused me of “using” her as just a place to stay (of course after I would have to drive 7 hours to get to where she lived and she had only made the drive to my place once – on her way somewhere else). One friend I flew to see several times to visit in Tampa and D.C. but didn’t even let me know he was visiting family an hour from me became too busy to talk or call back or to care about me. It’s understandable that not everyone will like me, including friends and family… even 2 year olds … it none-the-less hurts to be told… change so we will like you! So for some friends (and some family) it just needs to be – good riddance. 

I was once Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Certified. One thing that lifeguards learn is sinkingthat sometimes a drowning victim may try to also to pull them under. Someone people drowning are unpredictable and at times dangerous. I feel my (remaining) friends are like lifeguards and I am scared what I save memay do as they offer help. As I bob in the water, I know they have their eyes on me even when I can’t see them. So, I keep my distance and sometimes just have to say… later, you don’t want to (can’t) deal with me right now. I am afraid of what I may do in my desperation that will only make things worse. I feel I am giving up on looking for a boat or shoreline because all my energy is spent keeping my nose above water. One day my Prince Charming (young, rich lifeguard) will rescue me and/or I will win the Powerball, and/or I will be cure of Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, and Depression – I hope! 

 

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Sleeping Is All I Do Good (Or Is It Well?)

Experience "faking" a smile is often confused with "having" a nice smile!

I am trapped in a life of feeling like a victim fighting to defend myself.  Depression is my way of existing. The one thing I do good is sleeping!  I even question my grammar skills to ask, is it only sleeping I do well or good?  I was molested as a child (1) and that may have set my path for life to fight to not be a defenseless victim again. I cannot break this feeling of constant defensiveness that borders on aggression (ok, ok, I am a mean, angry bloke that fights too much!! lol).  I want to write and explain how I feel and I find myself the victim of a poor education or weak mind that even infects this expression. Or should I say can not instead of cannot?

I have great friends and see them struggling with the pressures of life as well.  I know I am not alone in this experience of struggle, but, in general, they do not feel victimized by life.  To me I feel EVERYTHING is a struggle.  I have to FIGHT an insurance company to do what they are supposed to do for me.  I have to FIGHT my demons of a victimized childhood.  I try to bring attention to my cause with political leaders and have to FIGHT to be heard. I live with Multiple Sclerosis and FIGHT to live the best life I can in-spite of the constant pain and discomfort.  I am gay and have to FIGHT to prevent society from discounting my worth as a human for simply wanting equal treatment.  I have learned to live with this and feel the struggles and fighting to defend myself have made me a stronger man. Sadly now I also find I have to FIGHT to be respected within my own family.

Dad - The Watermelon King!

Recently my father passed away.(2)   It is understandable to be melancholy (or ma lunk o lee as Mega Mind would say).  But even feeling like a constant victim, I felt my father was in my corner.  When I “came out” to my family; my father, a very religious and conservative man, hugged me and held me by the shoulders and explained, “We (he and Mom) do not understand this.  But as long  as we remember we love each other, we will get through this.”  My life has become a series of getting through things.  I’ve lost the man in my corner.

Being disrespected could be my career also Mr Dangerfield!

A recent family situation helped bring focus to the fact my family has little or no respect for me.  Why not, who the hell am I to be respected?  Respect is earned.  My father respected me even if I had not earned it and again I feel I fight life alone.  I may not have earned respect, but I sure have not earned disrespect!  The disrespect is spreading to the next generation of my family and with no one in my corner in the family anymore, I choose to isolate myself from my family because the acceptance of the disrespect makes even sleeping, the one thing I am good at doing, more of a struggle.

Writing my little blog is even becoming a struggle.  I voice my opinions about the selfish attitudes of politicians and this “Tea Party”  movement (teabaggers as I affectionately call them) and I get people justifying why their opinion is more valid than mine or trying persuade my opinion.  I used to enjoy respectable debate, but have even grown tired of feeling I need to justify why I feel as I do.  I guess the teabaggers feel they are victims themselves for having to pay taxes for programs that do not benefit them directly – so they have the attitude do away with them.  But since I feel I identify more with the people that these programs are intended to help – I only see them as bullies.  When they have solutions other than just cut, cut, cut – then I may see them differently.

I still feel like this kid inside!

Sleep and depression go hand in hand.  Fatigue is my most common symptom of my MS.  Struggle wears a soul down.  I still feel my Dad’s hands on my shoulders and hear him saying, “We do not understand this.  But as long  as we remember we love each other, we will get through this.”  I am just struggling to remember the “feeling” of being loved, respected and protected.  I am tired of all the struggle and resign to do the one the I am good at – sleep.


Maybe you can show me some respect? lol

1  https://thomasajohnston.com/2010/05/25/innocence-taken/
2 https://thomasajohnston.com/2011/03/24/no-one-wants-to-write-their-fathers-obituary/

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Funny How Falling Feels Like Flying…For a Little While!


The title is a line from a song in the movie “Crazy Heart”.

I love that line, “Funny how falling feels like flying….for a little while!”  How true is this?  Nothing like a country song to tap into how I often feel. Sometimes we know we are on our way down, but we pretend it is a roller-coaster and throw our arms up like we are flying.  I am in a roller-coaster cart with lose seat-belts.  I am reminded how my life was as a struggling college student with little money!


 

Me with Mom & Dad December 2009 – 212 pounds, 97 kgs

My decision to move to Colombia was largely based on the exchange rate with the U.S. dollar.  Roughly 2000 (COP) Colombian pesos = $1 (USD) U.S.Dollar.  I live next to the Catholic University of Colombia and places catering to students allows me to buy lunches at a lot of places for 2000 – 5000 COP – that is $1 to $2.50 for some really good meals.  I have a 1,400 square feet, 3 bedroom, 2 bath apartment for less than I paid to rent 1 bedroom and share a bathroom in Las Vegas.  I do not need to own a car, eliminating that expense.  So, with careful planning, I can live on my social security check alone comfortably.


 

January 26, 2010 – 207 pounds, 94 kgs

The key to that last statement was “careful planning”.  Since being in Bogotá, I have lost almost 4o pounds.  That is all well and good, but none of my clothes fit me anymore and I need new clothes.  I do not understand with the weight loss why my feet would be growing because my shoes are feeling too small, but at least my socks still fit properly!  So there were no plans to buy a new wardrobe.  I have used a corkscrew remover to poke hole in belts to hold my pants up.  Anyone knowing me knows clothes are important to me.


 

February 20, 2010 – 203 pounds, 92 kgs

Moving first from size 38 waist pants to 34, the belt just was not cutting it anymore.  I bought a pair of inexpensive jeans size 34.  I never thought I would be that size again.  Then a couple of months pass and the 34 waist is too large.  Here is where I started flying…. I bought a pair of Diesel jeans to mark the occasion of needing a size 32 waist.  Rent from the 2 unused bedrooms financed this idea.  I never expected to be in a size 34… so investing in size 32 waist seemed a safe move.  Along the way I did by some Exito store brand shirts (Exito is Colombia’s version of WalMart).  For most… the fact I was buying discount store brand shirts was evidence I was falling, not flying.  But I was so happy I kept my arms up enjoying the ride.


 

March 20, 2010 – 194 pounds, 88 kgs

One roommate moved out, now the other roommates were moving out at the end the next month and was faced with living on the “careful planned budget” and still needing clothes that fit.  The rent from the rooms was not much money because I do not pay a lot to start with but the extra helped.  I kept flying with my arms up, eating out most meals.  The meals are inexpensive I thought and can’t add up to much.  Then I noticed I have 1o days until payday and only 10,000 COP ($5.00) in the “carefully planned budget”.  It is amazing how far I stretched that 10,000 COP.  I was able to buy a pack of ham, a loaf of bread and splurged on a pack of cheese also.  I would have sandwiches if nothing else, I would not starve those 10 days.  5,000 of the 10,000 COP was in coins. The other day I had 1,200 in coins left and the ham was running out so I decided to buy eggs.  I found eggs here for 300 COP each and I was proud to get my 4 eggs.  It is a humbling experience counting eggs and counting the change to pay for them.


 

April 5, 2010 – In the Diesel Jeans! lol 185 pounds, 85 kgs

The exchange rate was not the only reason for wanting to move to Colombia, I wanted to learn to live and fit in living in a new culture.  The common misconception is that all Gringos have money.  I am proof that is not true.  Most Colombians live on carefully planned budgets and I will now be right along with them, counting my eggs, sometimes paying with coins; but I will learn to feel like I am flying….even if it is just for a little while!


 

May 10, 2010 – 178 pounds, 81 kgs

I am not worried about starving, but worried about being hungry.  There is a difference and someone wearing relatively new Diesel jeans cannot say they are starving.  I fired my last egg a couple of hours ago and my pay for the month will be available in the morning.  I survived. The feeling of flying has passed and now I see I am falling, but if I can eat 10 days on 10,000 (COP) I know the next month will be more carefully planned and I will just poke holes in my belts again.  I have another problem that is also a mixed blessing, the Diesel jeans are too big now!!

No photo at this time… But May 24,2010 – 175 pounds, 79 kgs

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