dave harrington

holiday musing and darkside -live in paris

Posted on Updated on

Charles Dickens

i simply want to wish any and all of my readers a festive holiday season. i continue to receive the benefits of making change in my life through my moods and my experience. my self-respect grows, and my ability to care for others increases with the practice i put into it. 

color me other people

Posted on Updated on

as the seasons change, there has been a change in my fashion perspective too. lately there have been so many color choices in men’s clothing and i seem to have been bitten by the pantone bug. it started with a pair of shoes- blue suede oxfords by kenneth cole. of course most of my wardrobe over the last few years has been in the brown, gray, black genre so a pair of navy blue shoes needed a good match to make sense. 

 next i found myself walking out of nieman marcus last call with 2 pair of trousers by james jeans- one cinnamon one green. this next purchase followed a green, blue, and white striped shirt from nordstrom with a similarly striped tank to layer beneath. i then found a pair of tan oxfords with red soles and gray oxfords with yellow soles. suddenly i zipped to macy’s to get a butter and white colored buffalo plaid shirt, an orange zip cardigan from saks off 5th, an orange and a blue sweater- both by izod, a couple of gray overshirts, lime green tank, a hot pink tee, an orange tee, and a vivid yellow tee.

this may represent a manic-fueled shopping period, and it may represent another coming out. i don’t really know. i do know that i love clothes, i hate shopping, but have gotten pretty damn good at it. now the second layer of coming out is finding the right places and ways to infuse this new aspect of my wardrobe and my lifestyle. i have become a homebody over the last few years which provides very little reason to don color.

as i have rearranged my closet to make room for the new additions and have put together a healthy bag of donations to the dayshelter for homeless hiv positive folks, i realize that although i have added hangers full of color, when i put it on and think about leaving the house, it somehow feels like the clothes belong to other people.

maybe somewhere down deep besides being who i am, i am other people too.

fragments of time

Posted on Updated on

We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars
She’s up all night ’til the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

the peer recovery support enclave we have begun at my workplace got its first bit of funding today. another clinic on campus that has been running in the black for the last couple of years got a small windfall from a grant we are both on and donated it to our peer program.

this is kind of exciting. it means that we have moved a step further in the direction of authenticity. there can be a bit of reimbursement for the volunteers, some incentives can be offered, and some modifications might be able to be made to the space carved out for the peer resource center.

when i heard this bit of news today, my heart lifted. a sense of progress and validation swirled around me like a scented candle when lit. sensory stimulation has not been a frequent visitor these last few years. working for a large organization has required me to stifle much of my creative urges and learn to develop patience and reserve.

i had lunch with a friend this week at tony’s market. had a grilled salmon with mixed greens and vinaigrette. lunch was great, but even better was the chance to talk with him about his life and mine. his youngest son just started kindergarten and has been in trouble since day 3- it made my heart smile- big time.

i got to share with him the unravelling of another truth for me. last summer, my good friend and sponsor was diagnosed with stage iv liver cancer and passed on before the autumn. i hadn’t understood what happened to me emotionally until these months later when my life shifted again and i was able to get some perspective. i now understand that i shut down pretty completely just like a storefront in the jewelry district at 5pm. the metal gate rolled down and locked out any chance of getting out or getting in. i became uber frustrated with an organization i was doing volunteer work with. i over-worked for awhile, over volunteered and then over reacted to bad policies and bad behavior and then resigned.i did this quietly and emotionless, but with my borderline-ish drama none-the-less. i became disenchanted with the team i had been situated with at my workplace and i transferred to another team. i didn’t make an announcement nor did i communicate my decision to any of  that team. i spent about a grand on 3 holiday parties i helped throw which sent my finances into a turtle’s crawl. all of these actions are a direct response to my own emotional distress.

the frustrating part of all this is the lack of insight i had while these scenarios were playing out. the only awareness to which i was connected was the fact that these actions seemed to temporarily make me feel better. i nursed my sadness by withdrawing and turning inward all the while overspending to fill an emptiness i was trying to stave off- just like the little dutch boy with his finger in the hole of a dyke.

luckily, my whole life turned with new leadership at my day gig. suddenly i was asked to participate and be creative in lieu of the dummying down i had been doing for a couple of years. this incentive has jump started my emotional life and as the dead skin of my depression has shaken loose, i have caught of glimpse of where i have just been and it is both elementary and convoluted.

these glimpses of how i really am in the world are truly a bi-product of my daily decisions to not use. to grow up. to walk free. and once in awhile- like this week- i am able to be in touch with this freedom-and i just can’t get enough. i guess the more we change- the more we do stay the same.