i began reading gentleman’s quarterly magazine (and leafing through longingly) in the early 1980’s. i learned what tattersall and windowpane checks were through gq. i heard about the mary quant make-up box for men through gq. i studied and developed an art to layering through gq. it had always seemed a trendmaker to me. hell- they used the first letters of their name gq long before it was the thing.
but as my life developed and my waistline expanded, the outer image became less a priority and i really hadn’t seen or thought about the magazine in at least ten years.
so imagine my surprise when i picked one up at the airport during my last trip to connecticut. i was astounded at the beauty of its diversity. multiples of fashion photographs of black me, brown men and asian men in one issue. not just the tokenism that i have become so used to. an actual myriad of races making up and representing in true urban american style.
the fashion is no longer to my taste- or most of it. the back cover looks like an homage to tim burton’s dark shadows- which is not a look that appeals to me outside a costume party. probably because i lived through the 70’s. i did appreciate the nod to midnight blue which seems to be one “color” for the year. i love the toe cap dress shoes- especially in any brown. and i liked the shoulder bag which rests across the chesst- although it’s doubtful that i will actually purchase or use one. and i smirked with glee at the “11 things I want to buy this week” article. the oxford with the 2 asymetric stripes on the collar seems especially chic.
anyway, i hadn’t seen a gq in awhie. i am certain this post is showing my age, but i don’t think it’s good to hide it anyhow i’m too seasoned to spend $400 for a chambray shirt,, no matter how “today” it is. those mortgage payments just keep coming. but gq will always hold a niche in my heart.
today i am reposting something from my 1st blog first published in 2007. this time was instrumental in shaping the direction of my interest in emotional sobriety. as i lived in recovery for my 3rd year, suppressed feelings and memories began to emerge and sometimes i was completely overwhelmed. my life and the step work were unravelling what i had been unable to do for myself. if you encounter this happening in your life or someone close to you – try not to panic. you are not failing sobriety. you are awakening. your life and your heart are inviting you to let go of baggage that is no longer necessary to carry. it requires work. it is not easy. but it is worth all the bullshit to move forward in a healthier frame of mind. Happy Holidays !!!!
i am expressing something personal today. i certainly hope will bear with me.
god does not create junk.
my sponsor has been having me write this as well as say this repeatedly since we started working together. and now i realize that he has helped me develop an amazing coping mechanism for my life. this is important because that phrase addresses the perspective i find myself returning to with regularity. in my life, i have become so accustomed to believing that i am without worth, or that someone is going to take advantage of me, that even in sobriety i find myself returning to that pattern. i am not sure if it because of the trauma i lived through growing up,( repeated sexual abuse followed by ridicule and shame from many of the male peers in my life), or because i am missing some main ingredient that is handed out when creation happens. i would imagine the former has something to do with my own brand of insanity.
dennis cooper wrote a book titled “the tenderness of the wolves” and i think that accurately applies to me at times. i am vicious to myself, almost to the point of chewing my own foot to free myself from a trap. this is because i have been trapped and i have memories of and recoil into this only too vividly on occasions when it is not necessarily appropriate or beneficial. but there’s memory of fear and so i react to it. and then i bite, and scratch, and tear at myself with these junk thoughts almost savagely at times. i think the clinical term is post-traumatic stress disorder. i call it hell.
this is one reason why i am required to reiterate often, that god does not create junk and that whatever shortcomings i may perceive myself to possess do indeed have a purpose and a meaning in the scheme of my life. and no matter how much i try to separate myself from the rest of the world because of these shortcomings or differences, i am not separate. i am included. i am needed. i am required. i belong.
those thoughts are not my first line of thought about my life, however. and first and foremost, i needed to stop self-medicating through these “junk” feelings as i had been doing most of my adult life. that is why i needed the 12 steps and a program to help me navigate my heart, mind, and soul. i don’t think i would have gotten to a higher source of power without them.
12 step may have some relief for you, too, even though your situation may not be so dramatic. (any readers who doubt it i can identify-i never thought it could or would help me. but help me it has.) i do not have to stay stuck in those thoughts i have about myself anymore. this is one of the greatest gifts i have known. and i have hope that there is a break in this cycle. and i have hope that something wonderful will happen. i am shaking loose this secret sadness.
and here is laymen’s interpretation of those steps.
1) Drugs/Alcohol will kill me.
2) There’s a power that wants me to live.
3) Do I want to live or die? (if you want to die, stop here)
4) Write about how I got to where I am.
5) tell another person all about me. (let God listen)
6) Want to change
7) Ask a power greater than me to help me change.
8) Write down who I’ve hurt.
9) Fix what I can without hurting anyone else.
10)Accept that I’m human and will screw up. fix it immediately.
11)Ask a power greater than me to show me how to live.
12)Keep doing 1 through 11 and pass it on.
i felt like a change with my posts today (obviously, i hope)
i am a huge fan of kathleen battle’s voice, so i thought i’d share a bit today. and just to be sure, inside of me is sometimes like a house of flying daggers.
There was a field in my old town
Where we always played hand in hand
The wind was gently touching the grass
We were so young, so fearless
Then I dreamt o’er and over
Of you holding me tight under the stars
I made a promise to my dear lord
I will love you forever
Time has passed
So much has changed
But the field remains in my heart
Oh, where are you?
I need to tell you I still love you
So I reach out for you
You fly around me like a butterfly
Your voice still echoes in my heart
You are my true love
There was a field in my old town
Where in spring all flowers blossomed wide
We were chasing butterflies
Hand in hand ’til close of day
Your voice still echoes in my heart