I struggle with the new me

Little over 4 weeks now since surgery, since the new me was created or updated from the old me.

Many of you know, I now have an urostomy bag on the outside of my body because I now no longer have a bladder.

These past weeks have me struggling at times, less with the physical part, though that can be challenging at times, but more with the mental part.   The changes to my body at times brings me to tears; what has taken place to me and how am I supposed to accept this?

As my body continues to recover and become stronger, I know too will my mind, my thinking and my attitude.

A couple of weeks ago in my post ‘my struggle with cancer‘, I updated you with the most recent information concerning my health and my cancer.  That post received many comments from you with your always welcomed support and encouragement.  Those comments, your comments have great meaning to me and bring me strength in more ways than you can imagine.

My friend Kat over at Time No Matter left me one of those strengthening comments –

IN my belief of healing and beating all odds…is first the positive attitude, and man do you have that one nailed down….your outlook on life up close and personal is so important to your healing….in my opinion of course, and its always right !!! lol second is your support group…you couldn’t be more supported if you were a pair of veins in good Ted hose…LOL you have a loving, caring, devoted husband, your personal family, Roxy, and then all of us…there isn’t a day that goes by your not in my thoughts !!!! We may have never met, but my friend I hold you near and dear !!! And then there’s your medical team…and I think you have a wonderful group of professionals that know their stuff….I know you feel the same as you have literally put your life in their hands and they are caring, loving, knowledgeable group of people…finally there is the sprit, social ideologies, we all believe in our own ways, no ones God, Goddess, Buddha, moon worshiper – whomever/whatever is better than someone else’s, but to me its important to be spiritual…and I know you are……you have cancer on the run….you are over a huge hurdle in your fight…..you’ve got this my friend….one day at a time…one moment at a time….danced in the sliver of a moon for you last night….sending you much warmth, love and moon beams……xxxxkat

I responded with the following  –

You bring tears to my eyes, because I know what you write is the truth. I have this past week have had my challenges mentally as I struggle to accept the new me and still the unknown that lies ahead. I find strength in your words and your friendship. kat, you are special – I appreciate you very much, thanks dear.

So, as you see from her comment and many others I receive, I have great support from you that brings great strength to me.  The physical strength is returning and with your help I know my mental strength will continue to increase as well.

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Freakshows

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The priceonomics.com article ‘The Rise and Fall of Circus Freakshows’ begins with the following –

In 19th century America, gawking at people who were born with deformities was not only socially acceptable — it was considered family entertainment.

P.T. Barnum made millions by capitalizing on this. His “freakshows” brought together an amalgam of people considered to be curiosities — bearded ladies, tattooed men, the severely disfigured, and the abnormally short and tall — many of whom were unwillingly forced into the industry as young children.

In my post ‘I remain grateful (Reader Discretion Is Advised)‘, I wrote the following –

In 5 days, this coming Monday, I will no longer have control of my urination.

Let me be honest, one more time, I have always been honest here on my blog and at times direct.

In 5 days, this coming Monday, I will have a stoma or also referred to as a urostomy, an ileal conduit or urinary diversion.

I will have a pouch or bag on the outside of my body to collect my urine.  I will no longer have control of my urination.

In today’s post, I write the following –

In yesterday’s video post, I mentioned the physical strength is slowly becoming better, but at times my mind is weak when dealing with the changes made to my body.  As with the physical strength, I know the mental strength will increase as well.

A comment on yesterday’s post from my friend and fellow blogger Osyth included the following words –

….your psyche is bound to ricochet back and forth but you are endeavouring and doing your best and that is all you can ask of yourself.

This is a great description of what my mind is going through during the past several weeks and most likely weeks to come.

I am home recovering from my surgery and at times my typing continues to be a little slow and at times the computer is limited because I need to rest.  During rest sometimes I will voice record my thoughts.

About a week ago, I voice recorded the following –

It is in the afternoon and I decided to take a nap and I lay here by myself because Gary is at the gym.  I feel the urostomy bag touch my waist area and I start to cry.  I cry because I do not feel – I no longer feel whole, I feel defective.  I feel like a freak.  I feel unattractive and this is just something I have to become accustomed to.  But these are my feelings right now.  I know there are many people in the world that have bags on the side of their bodies to collect urine and other body waste and maybe other things I don’t even know about.  But this is me, this is new to me and though my recovery from my surgery is going well, my physical body and the emotional part of it is going well also – I still have my moments.   I still have my moments where I just feel different, I don’t feel myself. 

I feel like a freak.

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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.

a job; and I was naked!

In my post ‘Spending time away‘, I wrote the following –

While I am on one of the biggest ships, sailing the Atlantic Ocean visiting several Caribbean islands; my plan involves some days publishing a brand-new post and other days re-publishing an older post.  I wrote posts early in my blog that received little exposer and I consider them among others as interesting posts. I know I can reblog these posts, but decided instead to create a new post for each and give a different name to them.

I appreciate everyone taking the time to stop by, read and leave many wonderful comments.  My time away sailing and enjoying other activities will result in time offline and will prevent me from responding to the many wonderful comments I receive.  Therefore, I will be disabling the comments on many of my upcoming posts while spending time away.  There will be times I will have some time online and you will see me a little here and there on WP.  But, most of my time will be offline having fun, relaxing and enjoying the sun.

In today’s post, I write the following –

These words were originally published in June, 2015 –

Recently I have been having some interesting dreams while sleeping.  A couple of nights ago I had a dream that included my boss at my last job I had prior to retiring.  She is a pretty lady, about 20 years younger than me and I liked her and respected her very much.  She was in my thoughts earlier in the day so I assume that is why she was in my dream – no other reason I can think of.  Anyway I dreamed I was going back to work and I was thinking I had 2 job offers, one from her and one from someone else.  I went to see her first to find out if I was offered a job; and I was naked!

I was in a room by myself naked, standing with no clothes on, nothing!  She walked in and gave me a look, not a surprised look, just a look.  I remember being a little embarrassed, but was somewhat ok with the situation.  Previously having worked for her and others in a small company for almost 10 years, we all became close friends – almost like family.  By no means did I have an attraction for her and there was certainly no attraction from her for me – so not sure why I was naked in front of her in my dream.  Back to the dream; there I am standing in front of her naked and I do not remember anything being said, but I some point it was obvious to me there was a company policy that when someone was offered a job, the whole company was present to offer it.  One by one, other people started to walk into the room with me standing there naked.  No one said a word and neither did I.  The others when walking into the room gave me a look, not a surprised look, just a look.  I remember continuing to be a little embarrassed, but was still ok with the situation.

I decided to research dreaming about being naked and this is what I found on the dreammoods.com website:

This website indicates an in depth analyses for common naked dreams include the following: Nudity indicates vulnerability, Nudity indicates fear of exposure, Nudity indicates insecurity, Nudity indicates feeling unprepared, Nudity indicates arrogance, Nudity indicates freedom of expression, Nudity indicates attention.

The conclusion of the naked dreams analysis –

Often times, when you realize that you are naked in your dream, no one else seems to notice. Everyone else in the dream is going about their business without giving a second look at your nakedness. It just reiterates that your concerns or anxieties are your own projections; no one will notice except you. You may be magnifying the situation and making an issue out of nothing.

So here I am writing my blog posts and telling my life stories, the good, the bad and the ugly parts of me and my life, this process I believe is me taking my clothes off and standing naked in front of you.

Me (2)

here is your answer

There are many posts on this blog that describe me; my personality, my physical body, my mind, my habits, my behaviors and many other aspects me.

I am not Ricky

There is a word that others use to describe me – I do not use it – society decided to give it to me – others decided to label me with it.

I have used the label, the word that others describe me here a couple of times in posts – not to label me, and not to describe me.

What am I really writing about here?

Having written over 600 posts since the start of this blog; some topics come to me in an instant while others I think about for awhile.  This post came to me per a comment I received from a reader.  I receive many comments here on my blog, and I respond to 99.99% of them.  I have a few comments that require approval; these are from readers who are commenting for the first time and yes, I have a couple of readers that I have their comments go to the ‘Pending’ folder because they left a previous comment that I did not appreciate.  Okay, let’s move on.

Recently I had a comment in my ‘Pending’ folder from a first-time comment reader.  I was not offended by the comment, but it did involve a detailed response from me.  You know me, sometimes I respond to comments via a post – here is that post.

The reader that left that comment; I did not approve your comment, but here is my response.  Your comment mentioned the ‘G’ word, the word others use to describe me; but does it describe me?

Am I a ‘Gentleman’, some would think so.  Am I ‘Gentle’, I can be.  Am I a ‘Gem’, well ask Gary.  Am I ‘Gracious’, ‘Gratifying’, ‘Guiltless’, ‘Growing’ and ‘Groovy’?  These are words that can describe me.

That other ‘G’ word, if I am correct; the word was used in 2 posts here on my blog; I do use it often, as I really do not like it much.  Have I use the ‘G’ word to describe myself?

The answer is in the many posts published on my blog.

Last year, I wrote a series of posts to describe me, to expose me and let you know me – to meet me.

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You can read these posts and find if I used the ‘G’ word or not to describe me –

Easy to Label, Easy to Judge

Being Different – aren’t we all

Word Meanings

my sexuality will die with me

‘The Outcast’

Queer, Geek, Gay

I Am Me

Okay, again for that reader that left the comment – here is your answer –

Gary and I have been mistaken for brothers many times.  There are many of us out there everywhere, and you say you have not met anyone from that side – you most likely have – you just did not know it.  Crystal clear is a word that is always crystal clear.  You know when you know – for some that is earlier and for others that is later.  Many people can become anything they want to be, many people choose to be something, anything they want to be.  I choose not to be anything, something I am not – but instead I am who I am.

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My rant is over… I actually wanted to start with ‘Thank you for your comment.’

The What Ifs

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The tearing of the minds
The tears, the pain, the heartache
The whys, the wanders, the what ifs

Minds are crazy and hateful and fearful and destructive
That one mind so complex yet so simple

The tearing of that mind
The tears, the pain, the heartache
The whys, the wanders, the what ifs

Bring forth the destruction, the death, the final breath
For he who loves but then hates

The tearing of his mind
The tears, the pain, the heartache
The whys, the wanders, the what ifs

The hiding of one is the prison of another
Stop the madness, stop the hurting

The tearing of my mind
The tears, the pain, the heartache of his
The whys, the wanders, the what ifs of both

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…just listen

…just listen

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Just listen to my words, they have purpose, they have a way with them in describing someone, something, an occurrence, an event, a moment, a feeling, an emotion.

I do not want judgement, I do not desire compassion, I do not need understanding.  Just hear, just listen to the words.  I want to be a better person and to have a better life.  Just listen to my words.

I just need to express, I need to let out, I need to put the information out there and get it out of my head.  Let it be express and let the words be read.  This is my mind, my complex thinking of many thoughts and many emotions; and though it may be complicated, sometimes simple, sometimes difficult to understand and to comprehend, to calculate.

It is sane and happy many times, but other times can be insane and unhappy.

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Am I different from everyone else – just like everyone else is different from me?

This is my life…just listen to my words.

…just listen

My Greatest Fight

Back in July of this year, in my post ‘Mother Mary‘, I wrote the following –

I talked with my mom a couple of weeks ago about this upcoming surgery, the most recent one; and I had told her, I said this is not the end, I feel it, I just know there is more to come.

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And I told her also that I will get through it because this is not my greatest battle, my greatest battle has already occurred.  It was that depression, that great depression within me, about me that wanted to bring me down, wanted to end my life, kill me, destroy me – and I battled back, I found the strength and courage and I won that battle.  I overcame that which wanted to beat me down to nothing.

Today’s post, I write the following –

I have cancer!  Yes, I know many people in this world have cancer; but I have cancer.  I never ever thought I would say those words.  And though it could be worse, because it could be worse, I will get through this and be better as a result of it.  As mentioned in the opening of this post, this is not my greatest battle – that has already occurred.  Maybe that battle against my own mind prepared me for this fight against my own body.

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Recently I have thought about this time in my life, what is taking place now and how to handle it. I have admitted many times I am weak and allow aches, pains and sickness to dictate my mood.

I continue to try to take back my mood, which at times is kidnapped by my body.  My logical mind is allowing my physical body to capture and take control that which sets the mood for the day.  That good part of me, that wants to be in a good mood to deal with the fight at hand, that good part of me at times is weak.

I have written posts about ‘Chaos in the mind‘, ‘The Evil Person Inside‘, ‘Conversations in my head‘, and ‘suicide – it sounds peaceful, it sounds calm‘; yes, I am one messed up guy.

This messed up guy keeps fighting for reasons unknown; honestly I don’t know why I keep fighting, but I do.  Is this my greatest fight, or are there more to come?

Obviously I have no crystal ball therefore the future remains unknown. Today in my life, the now, the present – this is my greatest fight.  I once again enter the ring and choose to fight, because the battle is not over – it is just another fight.

At times of weakness I remind myself of the inner strength I have and the good mood returns.  As the fight and the battle continue, so does the mood continue to be good; for a good mood is strength to battle any fight.

This may not be my greatest battle; for now, this is my greatest fight.

I would like to be just away

In my post ‘Where is me?‘, I wrote the following  –

Where am I?

Where is me?

I am there somewhere deep inside being attached and weakened.  I am there somewhere, for I cry in despair at what I am now, what I have become.

In today’s post, I write the following –

Two weeks ago, I wrote that post while sitting in a hospital room fighting an infection.  I no longer sit in that hospital room but instead have removed myself from life and place myself in a room by myself alone not to be bothered.  I continue to be angry, I continue to be hateful, I continue just to exist, I continue to want to die.  I am weak right now and cancer is pushing me further into a depth of despair and misery and I am letting it.

I write posts though at times my motivation is lacking and I just feel like doing nothing – quitting and giving up.  Somehow I do write posts and I receive comments that I am inspirational.  Believe me, I do not feel inspirational, but instead hopeless and a failure, a loss cause.  I really do not want to be amongst the living as I am drained with energy.  My energy is absent because chemotherapy has stolen it and my body now feels lifeless.

Days after chemotherapy I spend in bed, resting and sleeping, for hours and hours never wanting to be in touch with reality.  I just want to be left alone in my solace and away from everything and everyone.  I find no comfort in life, in family, in anything as I once did.  This body, this person that is me now, is different and that other me is gone, buried and I do not know if he is still alive.

Many of my posts I end it with that picture of me.  You know which one I am referring to, that happy me – that is me no longer.  Have you realized it has been quite a while since I made a video of me, why is that?  I do not want you to see me now, for I have changed.  That picture of me is no longer, for I have changed.  The tan is gone, the smile is gone, the happier man is gone, it is me no longer.  The picture is now replaced with a man who is unhappy and angry; a man who is tired and worn down, and a man who is just existing.

Existing for what?

Honestly I do not know at this time at this moment, I do not want to be here amongst the living.  I would like to be away from all this; the cancer, the chemotherapy, the pills, the doctor visits.  I would like to be away from the fatigued man I have become; the man with no desires and no motivations.

I would like to be just away.

those around me

I sit, I wait, I watch, I ponder, I accept, I acknowledge and then I realize it does not discriminate.

I sit for hours taking in those around me.  I sit for hours viewing those near to me.

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I have written previous posts about them; here are excerpts from those posts –

What is his story?

The homeless man at the same intersection every day is living with some sort of meaning and reason to carry on. He does not appear to be unhappy and occasionally I see him eating food.

I likely will never know, but whatever his misfortunes, he reminds me that no matter the environment, the struggles and challenges, there is still a reason to live and a reason to carry on.

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Easy to Label, Easy to Judge

I don’t know about you, but it is easy for me to label and judge people.  I see a news story with an interview taking place about some controversy and I label the person and then I judge.  It is easy to do, but much more difficult to not do!

I think I label and judge because of my opinions, beliefs and views on different aspects of life.  I do not like to be labeled and I certainly do not like to be judged by others – so, I should not label and judge others, but it is so easy to do.

Other people’s stories

We all have a story; successes, misfortunes, missed opportunities, lack of love, love from the right person, a broken relationship, a job loss, a family/friend loss, a birth, an illness, the list goes on.  The stories of our lives make us who we are and what we are.  Whether a brief encounter or just people watching, I wonder what people’s stories are.

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Today their stories are important to them, but it still does not discriminate.

Today my story is important to me, but it still does not discriminate.

Among those aspects of our own stories that make us different are similarities that make us the same.

The body, no matter the color of the skin, the size or shape, or the smooth skin, lines, wrinkles, color of eyes, no matter our appearance – there are similarities that make us the same.

Down inside are the organs, the sustaining parts of us, that bring breath, and life.  The body that which is us and sustains us will someday be the death of us.  Cancer knows this and it will not discriminate against anyone.  Young, old; physically fit, feeble, it does not matter.

I sit, I wait, I watch, I ponder, I accept, I acknowledge and then I realize cancer does not discriminate.

There are black, white, young and old; a man wearing a dress shirt and tie, the stately woman and the tougher looking guy. Then there is the woman with the pink hair, the majestic woman needing a little extra help, the chatty lady next to me and the young man across from me.

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Today I sit for hours taking in those around me.  Today I sit for hours viewing those near to me.  Today I sit for hours receiving chemotherapy amongst others; those around me.