Sunday, February 23, 2014

alcohol has always been my substance use of choice. granted i haven't really tried any of the harder stuff, but i never felt the need to. i've always been perfectly happy throwing a few drinks back and getting wasteyface. i would call my drinking habits through college and med school not much different than the typical binge-drinking young adult, but i did have a reputation at least for always being down for a drink.

some people might have judged my previous drinking habits as harmful but i never thought i had a problem. then one night i was out with classmates per usual and in the conversation one guy brought up his gay uncle and his problems with alcohol. then there was the casual follow up comment that 'oh yea, it's very common for gay men to have alcohol or drug problems'. and i remember thinking at the time, 'hey that's kind of a sweeping generalization'. but then there i was, a closet case with a drink in my hand planning on getting much more trashed before the night was done. and then i wondered, 'is there any truth to what he's saying?'

in the velvet rage, the author touches on gay men using substances and other activities to deal with the internalized shame of being gay, in what is otherwise known as a "process addiction". this includes things like alcohol, drugs, sex, and gambling, to name a few things, but any coping mechanism turned unhealthy could become one's "process". the process then becomes a way to manage unwanted emotion or regulate one's mood until one can't live without it or at least the pursuit of it.

i didn't realize it, but my binge drinking was just a way to push the unwanted feelings of my attraction to men aside. at the same time though, it acted as a gateway to my sexuality. when i drank, i could be free of all the crazy fucked up thoughts and worries i had about being drawn to other men that i had when i was sober. and better yet, when i was sufficiently drunk, my inhibitions were lowered enough where i could feel free to pursue what i really wanted. when i was drunk, i felt free to hit up a fuck buddy for a blowjob or stumble into a gay bar and make eyes at another horny man to take me home to fuck. alcohol was my emotional viagra, and i used it to get up and release my sexual desire for men.

of course, in my sober hours i still had my hookup addiction that i've written about before, but alcohol just made it that much easier. i could throw back drinks with my classmates and pretend that everything was fine, and then once the bars were closing and everyone had gone their own ways, i could go and feed my lust for men in my drunken stupor. what i thought was just normal 20-something year old binge drinking was really a sign of a deeper problem i had with accepting myself.

as i've become more open with my sexuality and not being ashamed of who i am, i've noticed my desire to get flat out wasted has declined. that urge to go and get completely shitfaced just isn't there anymore. yes, i've gotten older, and here in residency my circle of friends have changed, but something else inside has shifted that i don't feel the need to get wasted to get what i want. i don't need alcohol to release that part of me i was scared of for so long. i'm not using it to hide who i am or to let down the walls i used to be afraid of.

it's taken me a long time to get to this point and come to this realization. i wonder how many other gay or closeted men have had similar paths with "process addictions". i suspect a fair number. it's really sort of an insidious thing and you either don't realize it/are in denial or know what you're doing but can't help it. it sucks.

don't get me wrong, i still very much enjoy throwing back a few drinks and getting a good buzz, but the level of self-destructive behavior i was shooting for before with my drinking is (i think) now gone. i feel liberated that i no longer feel trapped by the behaviors and processes i was using to hide from myself.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

thanks to yall who showed up to the group chat the other night. (even the ones who showed up for a second then left haha) it was a different experience and it was fun talking with some of you readers. i saw a brief appearance by 'closet med' (i think) before the official chat started so i wanted to say to him if he's reading he should go back and update us! also a shout out again to my international readers especially the ones in brasil. not planning another chat anytime soon but we shall see...

anyway as you might remember, i was obsessed with the 2012 london olympics. i think i watched it every night. i've never been a big fan of the winter olympics (too many layers, not enough skin) but this year i'm into it. so i will be keeping an eye out for those hot olympic athletes to watch.

so far i have a crush on john daly. he is just so damn cute. he and steve langton (his training partner, in the last pic and far left in the 2nd pic) make a cute couple.

also had to do a double take at how good shaun white is looking now. i always remember him as this goofy kid with crazy hair, but the way he's doing his hair these days he's looking damn sharp.

if you've had your eye on any sochi athletes let me know who to look out for.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

hey guys
live chat today will be at 9.30 eastern time. i set up the chat room and i will just have it hanging around til go time. check back if the link doesn't seem to be working or if we get kicked off in the middle of the chat. looking forward to talking with some of you guys.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

hey guys
i thought i'd try something new and i'm gonna host a live chat next week. i'll have some questions that i've thought of reading the velvet rage book to get the chat going and we'll just see how it goes from there.

chat time will be THURSDAY FEBRUARY 6TH 9.30PM EASTERN TIME. i figured that would be the best time to not be too late for east coast and too early for west coast.

i'm looking for options on how to set up a free chatroom that will be easy for users to jump in. i've found a few sites that let you set up a chat room pretty easily but i dunno if i can keep the room going that long in advance. so i will plan to post the final link to the chat room on thursday at least about an hour or so before go time if not earlier. expect technical problems though haha. hope to see a few of yall there!