Sunday, April 26, 2015
I didn't get this couples name this past Friday evening, April 24, 2015. I did give them mine and also my card as into the brief ten minutes we shared in laughter out came my sharing my story as a gay man who lives with HIV, bipolar and substance abuse, that I was a suicide attempt survivor and still have suicidal idealization from time to time, hence my card and how I feel I'm doing God's work, each time I share my story and listen to others.
I'm often asked, do you talk to everyone, my reply yes but more important I listen.
In memory of their son, lost fifteen months ago.
I don't know about most cities but when it comes to intersections and the traffic light both pedestrians and motorists respect one another, most of the time. I will say it is at these intersections I do my talking and listening.
I was walking on Eight Avenue to catch my bus when I stopped abruptly causing the couple which I has just passed to stop as well. The only thing I heard, was "are you going to talk this loud all night so that everyone could here what you say," followed by laughter. The laughter peaked my curiosity so I turned and said what was so funny. The wife said you heard me, I said no all I heard was your husband and asked her what did you say, her reply, there goes a man I would love to have sex with as they continued to laugh.
My reply, thank you as I was flattered, but replied back that I love people of color, but swing the other way and love the brother which the wife went from laughing to tears as it reminded her of their gay son they lost fifteen months ago.
The husband behind holding her arm, as I said, I'm sorry for your loss and went on to give them my card, and shared that I live with mental illness, bipolar and that I'm also HIV+, that I carry minority stress and that he also did as a gay, black man, that for him, he was a minority within a minority and for me, I'm a minority within a minority, within a minority, that at times I often want to let go, that it is very hard.
As we hugged, I said let's not go to tears, that I didn't want to ruin their evening, she went on to say, I love this man, I quickly shifted gears back to laughter saying, "we seem to be enjoying each other lets grab a room and have a three way which she let out with more laughter and said this, " that only in New York can something like this happen on the street."
She said I work in a hotel here in New York City, the husband shared he worked for the Post Office, I said I work at a non-profit and also educate, do awareness around bipolar and HIV and often share my story. I left them saying email me and in the subject line write: "I want to have sex with that man" that seeing that will bring me back to tonight's share. I said if you wish we can meet up, that I don't drink and also feel free to reach out to me if you need assistance with coping with your loss, they replied thank you and we will.
I walked on, grabbed my bag in my arms and said a prayer for them, for their son and for me.
"Wikapedia Minority Stress."
"Increased Risk of Suicide in Blacks and Latino LGBT Men"
"LGBT-Inclusive National Suicide Prevention Strategy"
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
I had four back to back panic attacks the most severe I walked four blocks past my office stopped wasn't lost, but said to myself what am I doing here, and started to boil in side as I made my way back towards my office. As I got closer, block by block the boiling of emotion like a volcano started to erupt and it did. It was severe, so severe I couldn't see the medication I carry in my bag as my mind had left me, my mind had left me, rare.
Thanks to three co-workers who saw me, stopped me as I rushed to the stairs hoping not to be seen...hurrying upwards, I heard my someone asking if I was okay?
As soon as a heard a human voice and then felt theirs hands as they got me to step backwards, down three steps, did the melting speed up out came the tears, crying, I felt like I collapsed and I did into a chair I sat.
One got me water and said hydrate, the other raw almonds and said eat, the last handed me a photo of a kitten and said pet it and I said why and was told to just pet the photo and sure enough it hit...so fast like a brush fire it hit, the petting put out the flames, enough to where I could see my pills and take the one I needed for the anxiety.
Anxiety is no joke when it goes full range panic attack, that was my second severe one, the first was when I diagnosed, but this one was severe and I'm thankful for the people in my life and for myself in that in a way I knew to go where I feel safe, it was my office and within less then an hour after taking the pill, I was bright, composed and working, advised to go home and relax, but I decided to stay and be around people.
Thanks to Andrea, Marion and Lisa