brotherly love

Reaching Out
I made it into this Program because someone else worked their Twelfth Step on me. Someone passed it on to me. Someone was out there after they got clean and sober, caring about others. I need to never, ever forget that. Had they simply gone on with their lives and forgotten about people like me who were still out there using and suffering, I wouldn’t be here today. My gratitude begins with that fact. It is with that gratitude in mind that I reach out to others, especially the newcomers. I need to have them in my life. That is where my spirituality begins.
For me, spirituality comes from caring about others. I have found that the more I focus on improving the quality of the lives of others, the less I am into myself and my will. I feel a freedom and peace from within. The gifts I am beginning to receive in my life are greater than I could have ever imagined.
Something else I have done is that I have forgiven myself. I have forgiven myself for being an addict. I have forgiven myself for all the damage I did to my life, to my physical health, and to my career and finances. But most of all, I have forgiven myself for all of the horrible, negative and unloving things I have felt about myself. It was not until I offered and accepted my own forgiveness, that I was truly able to grow in my sobriety.. 
From CA’s Faith, Hope, and Courage

i thought about the quote about forgiveness today. i met a young man who has been spinning out of control with meth and other things for a few years now. he appeared after he found out that he had tested negative for hiv yet again. he truly seemed disappointed- almost hurt- that he had not made the club. he was telling his story around several guys who are hiv positive and i think it really had them scratching their heads. i have learned that the concept of bug-chaser, or trying to get the virus is very real. and i would venture to say that much of it is in direct response to how these men feel about themselves. often it stems around their sexual preferences and the self judgement and societal judgement. men have enmeshed connection to their sexual prowess with their self worth. we often feel validation through sexual activity. so when we seek validation, but it is cancelled out by our judgement of the activity, it creates inner turmoil. confusion, drama, and self punishment. needless to say it was a rich afternoon. 
all in all though, it was a day of starts and stops. i guess they are all that way, but today did seem clunkier than usual somehow. i do believe that things are moving and that feels good. i haven’t heard about my house loan, which is odd, but surrender is the sane choice here. i booked my flight to philadelphia in december for the roundup. my good friend alex moved there about a month ago and won 2 free registrations for the conference, so it gives me a reason to get outa town. i can certainly use some time away. i have been doing day or weekend jaunts in my lovely home state, but i haven’t gotten on a plane in about a year, so it certainly is time. i have never been to philly either, so i am getting a bit stoked.
i could really do with an infusion of my own recovery, and so this will allow me the chance to not be a caregiver for few days. i’m not complaining here. i am just saying. i’m ready to experience a little different kind of brotherly love.
i heard this song on groove salad on somafm. i find it tickling and wonderful. i will be looking further into shantel.

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2 replies

  1. It's a sad day in community when a man comes in and admits he is a bug chaser. How could anyone want to be part of our club? I mean, really now! Sounds like you have your hands full with that one. Maybe he needs a LOT of self love and love from others in his life. Not an easy task. Coming off the drugs is one thing. Chasing the bug is entirely another beast in itself.Sometimes it takes a village. I hope you can help him and many others. Nobody can be that masochistic and intentionally want to be infected. That's just very sad. I feel for him. Keep us posted won't you…Jeremy

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  2. my perspective on this is slightly different. when i tested positive in 1986, i became an ardent follower and admirer of louise hay. i remember her inferring that we as gay men had attracted this illness to ourselves somehow. we had made ourselves vulnerable and allowed this to occur. within this perspective is also held the idea that we can heal ourselves. i still appreciate this perspective because it allows me to have some control in all this. in some ways, i believe that gay men are more vulnerable to hiv because of our collective belief system. we learn to lead double lives, we learn to not tell the truth about ourselves, and we learn that this is the best way to survive. i also believe that this may very well affect how we love ourselves and each other. just some thoughts. gay men who don't love themselves may need understanding just as much as those who are less self-destructive. i think gay men are the harshest critics of ourselves-much more than we are of the rest of society. i believe we trigger the weaknesses in each other. and i think that harsh judgement feeds mental health issues, substance abuse, and viral proliferation. just some thoughts.

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