My Best Version

I am wrapping-up some topics that I started to write about and never did finish.  This post I started early last year, and then it sat quietly waiting for me to complete it.

Because my OCD tells me that if I start something I must complete it; this also applies to posts I write – I will be bothered if I do not complete them – so, here I am finishing this post and concluding this topic.

This year will bring many different topics to write about and I have a feeling this one will not be one of them and will be left in the past.

So here we go –

In my post ‘BPD; is this me?‘, I wrote the following –

After I wrote this comment, I decided to do some online research on Borderline Personality Disorder, and after reading several websites, “Yes, this is me.”

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I do not recall ever receiving this diagnosis during my therapy years and I found that Borderline Personality Disorder was not an official diagnosable disorder until 1980.  The late 80s and the 90s are the years I received therapy that was really geared more for my depression, what was causing it and how to get through it.  There were never underlining disorders that were treated, but me knowing me and hindsight being 20/20 indicates I most likely had an underlining issue.

So, I decided to diagnosis myself and believe this is just one of many reasons for the person I am today.

In today’s post I write the following –

I have performed some additional research on Borderline Personality Disorder.  And the results are maybe I do not have BPD; maybe I am looking to label myself so that I can help myself – you know, find a cure for myself.  But then again, why do I need a label?  Why not view myself as an individual and work on myself as an individual.  All these years, this is what I have been doing.

Several months ago, I was watching a movie and heard the phrase ‘I spent a lifetime looking for a lifetime.’  That is what I have been doing all these years and I need no label – I am who I am.

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As my wonderful friend and fellow blogger Osyth put it in her magnificent post ‘One shaft of light that shows the way’ –

Death comes to us all and when it does there is no moment to regret the moments that you forgot to be thankful.  So I implore you to put politics aside, squish ill-will, banish anxiety about things you can’t fix and just be the best version of you that you can be.

I am trying to be the best version I can be.  With all my faults, short-comings and defects; I no longer need to label myself with Borderline Personality Disorder or anything else.

Life is short – I will die someday – I will die being the best version I can be.

Controlled Drinking

Okay stay with me – there is some time warping taking place here – I write some thoughts today – then there are thoughts from the past – thoughts from other posts – then back to today.

I sometimes will write a post and for certain reasons will not publish it.  I then will go back to an unpublished post and feel it needs to be published because it is important and relevant today.

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Here is one of those posts; I wrote the following words over a year ago –

This will be the last post I write about drinking!  From my post ‘Thoughts From Years Past.18’, I ended with the following –

I was feeling out of control and handled it by drinking everyday as much as I could.  The alcohol changed my behavior from bad to evil.  It was not creating a state of mind that took me away from the craziness I felt: instead it created an evil person that hated life and everything about it.

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In my post ‘Drink, Drink, Drink’, I ended with the following –

Ok, there you have it; I am in the heavy drinking category and have AUD.  On the NIH site I read some questions to ask to assess oneself with AUD.  Of the 11 questions they asked, I answered ‘Yes’ to 1 question.

I ask again “So, am I an alcoholic?”  I guess I may be per the definition of the word – but I answered ‘Yes’ to 1 question indicating I have AUD – I understand the effects of heavy drinking – but I continue to do it anyway.

There is a good article on the goodtherapy.org website titled ‘Stopping at the Buzz: How to Control Your Drinking’ and includes the following –

In my practice as an addiction psychologist, it’s probably the most common question I encounter; when it comes right down to it, it’s what most people who are struggling with alcohol really want to know:

“How can I control my drinking or drug use?”

For some drinkers, controlled drinking or moderate drinking is an option, and for a small portion of the population, about 5%, controlled drinking is nearly impossible. While many people believe “once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic,” many people diagnosed with alcoholism can learn to control their drinking and become social drinkers again. That said, if you have been diagnosed with alcohol dependence, most addiction psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, social workers, and addiction counselors would strongly recommend abstinence. This is always a very personal decision that should be made with careful consideration of the risks and benefits of drinking versus abstinence.

Okay there you have it – I am controlling my drinking.  I am aware of the risks of long term drinking use, but unlike in my 20s, I have it under control and do not drink for the wrong reasons.  The depression years are over, the stress in my life is reduced, and yes, I still have a few issues in my mind to deal with, but my mind is no longer out of control.

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I have taken the option to control my drinking and to not use it to take me away from reality.

Today, I write and conclude with these words –

The above words I wrote a year ago, and little did I know; I was totally correct about me and my drinking behavior.  I do have it under control as since my cancer diagnosis I have all but quit drinking.  For a time, a few months ago, I stopped drinking because of chemo.  Since my chemo is over, I do drink again, but limit myself.

Do I need to justify my drinking habits to anyone?  I don’t think so, but I just did.

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(Note: recently no alcohol intake is taking place due to antibiotics and pain medication intake.  With a major surgery scheduled in 3 weeks, the continued practice of not drinking will continue.)

‘I have been there, done that’

Over the past couple of months, I have had mixed emotions at times when dealing with my current health situation.  Immediately prior to starting chemotherapy, I had anxiety and concern and I knew this was okay and to be expected.

As I continued through these past weeks with my emotions very often one of strength and positivity, I have written about my journey so far with my cancer, my treatment and the possible future.  I do not want to leave anything out, it will all be here; the good and the bad, the weak and the strong, it will all be here.

This blog is about my life.  My life right now is cancer and I am making a big deal out of it.  But many people on this world have cancer, so why is mine any more important than theirs?  I tell myself at times others that have experienced cancer or know someone that has; well maybe are thinking in their minds that I overdo my emotions, my thinking or reactions.

I tell myself, those others who know cancer may have the thinking “I have been there, done that”, and maybe those other people know more than I and therefore “he (meaning me), overreacts”.  My point is I am dealing with my cancer the best I can, that which is me and a part of me – with what I have learned up to this point.  It is my life.  I read other blog posts with people writing about their struggles and I tell myself, “I have been there, done that.”  And I could respond with my personal experience or ‘tips’, ‘suggestions’, or the ‘solution’ to their problem – like I really know the answer to their struggles!

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I do feel that it is my responsibility as a reader to read what the writer is putting down in print that which is their thinking, their feelings, their emotions and their life.  This is what I am doing here.

From cancer.net –

This year, an estimated 76,960 adults (58,950 men and 18,010 women) will be diagnosed with bladder cancer in the United States. Among men, bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer. It is estimated that 16,390 deaths (11,820 men and 4,570 women) from this disease will occur this year.

From cancer.org –

About half of all bladder cancers are first found while the cancer is still confined to the inner layer of the bladder wall. (These are called non-invasive or in situ cancers.) About 1 in 3 bladder cancers have invaded into deeper layers but are still only in the bladder. In most of the remaining cases, the cancer has spread to nearby tissues or lymph nodes outside the bladder. Rarely (in about 4% of cases), it has spread to distant parts of the body.

My cancer is Stage 4 bladder cancer and I know the statistics.

This blog is about my life.  My life right now is cancer and I am making a big deal out of it.  But many people on this world have cancer, so why is mine more important than theirs?

significant

significant

From vocabulary.com –

Significance means having the quality of being “significant” — meaningful, important. It also refers to the meaning of something. A certain date might have significance because it’s your birthday or the anniversary of Princess Di’s wedding.

Today has significance for me.  Today is the day I noticed it.  Today is the day it started.  Today is the day the new journey and the new way of life would begin.

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Today a year ago; the journey with cancer began.

One year ago today, it was the day before my son #3 was to be married.  On October 29th of last year I wrote a post ‘A Week’s Occurrence‘.  In that post, I wrote the following –

Again, I have always told my partner if I ever become sick with a life threating disease, I do not want medical treatment, I accept the consequences and why would I want to extend my life when I will be dying someday anyway?  This is easy for me to say while healthy and based on my life; past and present, in my mind this makes sense.  But then there is that week’s occurrence with my body and I am thinking about this.  Do I really mean it?  Do I really accept the consequences?

In today’s post, I write the following –

A year later and I am in the process of receiving chemotherapy for cancer.

3 weeks ago, Gary, Roxy and I went on a walk.  Now that we are living in our RV in an RV park, many walks are taking place.  It was evening and the sun was starting to set and like many conversations taking place numerous times a day; we were discussing my health and my cancer.  I mentioned to Gary it was coming up to a year that I first noticed something was different.  I also mentioned to him about my past conversations about not having treatment for any serious illness and letting it take its course.  Gary reminded me of the pain and discomfort I experience now would only be worse if nothing was done to fight the cancer that is within me.  I agreed!

The past conversations had me thinking about why I would not seek treatment.

Those of you who have followed me for quite some time know; I attempted suicide several times as a young man in my twenties.  And throughout the years I have often thought about suicide and the ending of my life.  I often feel I do not want to be here; in this world and amongst the living – I would rather be gone; away, never to return.

I think those past conversations had me thinking, that not seeking treatment for a life threatening illness would be another method to commit suicide.  This makes sense in my mind; a mind that at times lacks in logic and is chaotic.

As a young man in my twenties and as an older man in my fifties, for me, my thinking tells me taking of my own life is not the answer.

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Today has significance for me.  Today is the day I noticed it.  Today is the day it started.  Today is the day the new journey and the new way of life did begin.

Today; a journey to become cancer free begins, and a journey to live a better life begins.

in a pickle

Google ‘in a pickle’ and one of the results is –

People also ask

What does the idiom in a pickle mean?

If you are in a pickle, you are in a difficult position, or have a problem to which no easy answer can be found. The word ‘pickle’ comes from the Dutch word ‘pekel’, meaning ‘something piquant’, and originally referred to a spiced, salted vinegar that was used as a preservative.

I heard I am ‘in a pickle’.

In my post ‘Inspection, Procedure & Follow-up‘, I wrote the following –

I had another appointment with my urologist this past Wednesday.

Dr. F. viewed the results of the IVP procedure and it was determined there is no blockage in my ureter from my right kidney.  There will be no stent inserted into my ureter prior to my next surgery.  Dr. F. indicated the cancer and scar tissue are very close to the ureter opening.  Upon my next surgery Dr. F. will insert a temporary stent in my ureter, then remove the cancer and scar tissue, then remove the stent.

In today’s post, I write the following –

That last appointment with Dr. F., I was sitting in a patient room alone.  Gary usually comes with me on my visits, but this particular day, he was taking care of business related to selling the home.  I sat there alone in the room and I could hear voices outside the door.  Across the room I was in, is a small enclave that has desks and computers.  I could hear Dr. F’s. voice and I heard the words “Terry is in a pickle.”

Umm, what does he mean by that?  I found out later that he had been viewing the CD of my IVP test.  I think ‘in a pickle’ is referring to the flow of my urine looking good from my right kidney to my bladder.  But, the cancer and scar tissue are very near my ureter opening.  This is the reason for the temporary stent.

My bladder continues to burn, my urination process is painful and the blood clots are more frequent and getting larger.  My lower right back pain continues with pain and is strong at night.  At this time, it is difficult to sleep in the bed as lying flat increases the pain in my lower back.  Most of the night I am in a recliner and trying to get some reasonable sleep.  Don’t forget, I am usually up every hour to go pee.

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Yesterday I received the date; the date for the next surgery.  My surgery will be June 29th, a week from tomorrow. After speaking with Dr. F. yesterday, most likely the stent that will be inserted first upon surgery will not be removed for at least 2 weeks. Again another biopsy will take place on the new cancer growth to determine if it has grown further into the wall of my bladder.  Remember with my last biopsy, it was determined the cancer had NOT grown into my bladder wall, but HAD grown into the connective layer outside my bladder lining.

You know who you are

In my post ‘It’s about you – not me‘, I concluded with the following –

A couple of months ago, I received some comments from readers that bothered me some; they affected me, I was a little offended and I responded nicely and appropriately.  These feelings I have come from my insecurities; I want to be honest with myself and those that read my words.  I try not to write uncomfortable words that offend or degrade or abuse others – that is not my purpose.

So after sometime thinking about those comments those words I read, I decided they were opinions and suggestions of others and not really about me.

Those comments, those words – It’s all about you – not me.

My words are my own and those are about me.

In today’s post I write the following –

So your comment ended up in my ‘Pending’ folder.  You know who you are.

I am a nice guy most of the time; yes, I can be mean and I have written posts about this.  I am complex and complicated and on this world trying to be a better person and live a better life.  Many of you have followed me for quite some time and others are just getting to know me.  I feel most of you know me well.

If you leave a comment on a post and it is displayed immediately, it is not you.

If you leave a comment for the first time and it needs to be approved, it is not you.

If you have left a previous comment and now your comment needs to be approved, it is you.

For that one person, who has commented before and now your comment goes to my ‘Pending’ folder, look at the top of this page.  What does it display?  It displays ‘it’s my life’.  That indicates I am writing about my life, not yours, nobody else’s, but mine.  I appreciate comments, but not yours.  First of all, you do not read all my posts, or maybe you do and do not click the ‘Like’ button.  I feel you do not know me, so therefore the comments I receive from you are about you and not me.  You know the comments you write are about you, because you end your comments with ‘Butting out again.’

Per thefreedictionary.com

butt in

Interfere, interrupt, intrude. For example, Mom is always butting in on our conversations, or It’s against the law for employers to butt in on personal matters. This term alludes to the thrusting of an animal with its horns. [Slang; 1890s]

Your ‘Butting out again’ comments that are few are no longer allowed on my blog.  I certainly do not go on your blog or anyone else’s and tell them how they should live their life.  If you are ‘Butting out again’, that means you were butting in; meaning you are interfering, interrupting or intruding.

Please do not interfere, interrupt or intrude any longer – please unfollow me – please butt out!

Me (2)

Interference

In my post ‘Trouble Concentrating and Staying Focused‘, I started with the following –

Common adult symptoms of ADD – Trouble concentrating and staying focused

  • “zoning out” without realizing it, even in the middle of a conversation
  • extreme distractibility; wandering attention makes it hard to stay on track
  • difficulty paying attention or focusing, such as when reading or listening to others
  • struggling to complete tasks, even ones that seem simple
  • tendency to overlook details, leading to errors or incomplete work
  • poor listening skills; hard time remembering conversations and following directions

In today’s post I start with the following –

My mind wanders and my thinking is fast and furious; therefore, trying to concentrate each day to accomplish any task can be difficult.

That is the ADD part of me, I become defensive when interrupted while trying to complete tasks.  Gary will interrupt me and I become upset because I am already frustrated with the lack of concentration I am experiencing.

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I look forward to trying to complete something, anything and Gary’s interruptions makes me feel he needs my attention at that very moment.  This frustrates me as I am unable to complete my tasks and I take my frustrations out on him.

This is not good and I understand this; the frustration is within myself because of myself and I should not allow the outside interference to upset me.

In my post ‘Trouble Concentrating and Staying Focused‘, I ended with the following –

I try to stay focused on what I need to overcome, focus on listening when someone is talking to me, focus on completing tasks, focus on concentrating and focus on focusing.

I understand taking medications would diminish the symptoms and then I would not have such a challenge to take on.  But without the challenge I will not become stronger to overcome the symptoms.

In today’s post I conclude with the following –

thefreedictionary.com –

in·ter·fer·ence    (ĭn′tər-fîr′əns)

1.

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  1. The act or an instance of hindering, obstructing, or impeding.
  2. Something that hinders, obstructs, or impedes.

2.

  1. The wave that forms when two or more waves of the same or different frequencies come together. The amplitude of the resulting wave will be either larger or smaller than the amplitude of the individual waves, depending on whether or not their peaks and troughs match up. ♦ If the peaks of the waves match up, the amplitude of the resulting wave will be larger than that of the individual waves.

Last night

Last night was one of the worst nights I have had.  I literally was up every hour to go to the bathroom.  I looked at the clock each time and once an hour I went to pee.  During the times I was not in the bathroom, my bladder was burning and my lower right back side was pounding with pain.  During the times I was in the bathroom, I was peeing and was in pain during the process.  I cried quite a bit last night, not because of the pain, but because I do not want this type of quality of life.  Why now?

Things are looking good for Gary and I.  The home is in the process of being sold and we are planning our not so distant travel adventure.  I ask again, why now?

During my restless, painful and emotional night, I kept telling myself.  PHAIN – Patience, Happiness And In the moment Now.

I do not want anyone feeling sorry for me because I am feeling what I am feeling at this moment.

Words of encouragement are always helpful – but not needed – but I do favor them.

Yesterday, I spoke with my mom on the phone about the status of me and my future.  She knows I am awaiting surgery and as always she offers words of encouragement as she has always done.  She said you will get through this and I have all my brothers praying for you.  A tear came from my eye and I said “Thank You”.  I told her, I am okay with the cancer and said “It is what it is.”  I also told her that this was not my greatest challenge in my life.  I told her I have already been through the greatest challenge in my life.  “You remember mom, you were there with me during the dark years of depression, the suicide attempts, the physiatrist hospital, the tears, the self-doubt, the self-hating, the self-hurting, the having no reason to live – all those many, many years.”  “That IS my biggest challenge in my life.  And if I can make it through years and years of self-destruction and re-construction to be here today – I can and will get through what life wants to throw in my way.”

You see I know there are others that suffer more than I; both physically and mentally.  I just have a little cancer on my bladder, that is it.  Do I suffer as a result of it?  Yes, I do.

I take responsibility of my cancer for I know I have and had bad habits in my life.  But, I have no regrets.  I cannot have regrets, only experiences and things I learned along the way in my life that brought me here today.

I will get through this, I will make more changes in my life to improve myself and improve my life.

I am down, sad, upset, but motivated.  I may be broken, but I am not defeated.

Me (2)

stereotyping

In my post ‘Pretending?‘, it started with the following –

That man wearing the expensive suit and driving that expensive car and with that expensive haircut – there is a man who is fake, a man who feels sadness, a man who needs fulfillment in his life.

The woman behind the shabby apron and torn outfit, with the hair falling in her face to hide the bruise, who is frustrated and tired – there is a woman who is scared and fragile, who wants more, who is searching for something else.

A boy who is taking his frustrations on someone else; making someone else feel less than him, making someone else feel bad with pain – there is a boy who is looking for something more in his life, something better, because he is empty and needs to be complete.

That girl who is consuming to exist, struggling, using her body, making someone else feel good – there is a girl who is weak in search for more, in search for herself, a chance, a better person, a better path and a better journey.

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In today’s post, I write the following –

When I started writing that post, the words started flowing and I put my thoughts on paper – the post is created – not much forethought except just the idea for the post.

When I completed the beginning of that post – I read what I wrote and I realized I was stereotyping.  Or maybe it came across to you as stereotyping.  At times I will write a post and then reword it to not come across as abusive, harmful or offensive.  After I read those first sentences, I felt they may come across to you the reader differently then what I meant them to be.  It was not my intent to say all men are fakes, for woman can also be fake.  It was not my intent to claim all women are abused; for men are abused also.  It was not my intent to indicate all boys are bullies; for girls are bullies also.  And it was not my intent to portray only girls are prostitutes; because boys use their bodies as well for pleasure to someone else.

SimplyPsychology.org article ‘Stereotypes’ starts with the following –

Definition: A stereotype is “…a fixed, over generalized belief about a particular group or class of people.” (Cardwell, 1996). 

For example, a “hells angel” biker dresses in leather.

One advantage of a stereotype is that it enables us to respond rapidly to situations because we may have had a similar experience before.

One disadvantage is that it makes us ignore differences between individuals; therefore we think things about people that might not be true (i.e. make generalizations).

The use of stereotypes is a major way in which we simplify our social world; since they reduce the amount of processing (i.e. thinking) we have to do when we meet a new person.

By stereotyping we infer that a person has a whole range of characteristics and abilities that we assume all members of that group have. Stereotypes lead to social categorization, which is one of the reasons for prejudice attitudes (i.e. “them” and “us” mentality) which leads to in-groups and out-groups.

When my words were written, I had no intention to stereotype – but I did.

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Pretending?

That man wearing the expensive suit and driving that expensive car and with that expensive haircut – there is a man who is fake, a man who feels sadness, a man who needs fulfillment in his life.

The woman behind the shabby apron and torn outfit, with the hair falling in her face to hide the bruise, who is frustrated and tired – there is a woman who is scared and fragile, who wants more, who is searching for something else.

A boy who is taking his frustrations on someone else; making someone else feel less than him, making someone else feel bad with pain – there is a boy who is looking for something more in his life, something better, because he is empty and needs to be complete.

That girl who is consuming to exist, struggling, using her body, making someone else feel good – there is a girl who is weak in search for more, in search for herself, a chance, a better person, a better path and a better journey.

Are these people all the same?

Do they have needs and wants and desires?

That man, the woman, a boy, that girl: are there things missing in their lives, things that need to be found, areas of their lives that are vacant that need to be filled with something?

Are they looking for joy, happiness, appreciation, searching for love, value and looking to be noticed?

Those exteriors, those actions, those fronts, those pretends – do they really help, do they really bring something to their lives, that fulfill them?

I just want to see them how they are with their thoughts – who they are with their true actions.

I have my thoughts, I may talk funny and I may not use the correct speech and I make mistakes and have typos on my blog, and I may not use the correct words; but that is who I am.

I am not pretending to be something I am not.  Or am I?  I am who I am, but I pretend to be more.

That man is no longer; he no longer feels sadness and has found some fulfillment in his life.

The woman is no longer; she is strong and secure, no longer searching for something else.

A boy may still exist; but he continues to search to be better, there is still some emptiness and completeness that needs to take place.

That girl may still struggle some; but she is finding a chance, a better person, a better path and a better journey.

Those people; that man, the woman, a boy and that girl – all those people are me at some point in my life.

I had needs and wants and desires. And I Was Pretending.

I have needs and wants and desires.  And I Am Still Pretending.

I pretended to be someone I was not.  I pretend to be someone I want to be.  I am not pretending to be who I am.

Pretending?