Trending in 2016 : Breathing Education, still trending in 2017.

AHEAD OF HIS TIME : DAVID PARKER ( mygaytherapist.me ) has over 25 years experience as a Breathworker, Relationship Coach & Trainer, leading Residentials, Seminars and Workshops in the UK, Australia, South America, Morocco, Canada, Sweden, Italy, Austria, Estonia, Spain and Goa in India. 

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Trending Agencies have often been called ‘the backbone of marketing’. You may have wondered how when you shop for Home Furnishing, for example, there is a common thread built into current styles, colour, patterns and textures. In wearable fashion, the same thing occurs, this season has one colour mix everywhere, replaced by another 6 months later, how does that happen? This is the role of Trend & Fashion Forecasting.

Leading Agencies like New York based SPARKS & HONEY predict lifestyle trends, while companies in the fashion retail sector use fashion forecasters like WGSN, who predict over 2 years ahead what we will be wearing.

This unites designers, factories, and analysts together to plan ahead cost effectively, thus creating global trends, they hope we will buy or buy into. But it can be risky, local weather, and climate change, can deeply upset fashion trends, and who can predict what clothes we will need in 2 years time while seasonal, crazy weather patterns, can deeply effect a corporate balance sheet.

imagesLIFESTYLE TRENDS, however are easier to predict, based on factual past evidence of what is rising, falling and coming into play. The speed of high technology has created a faster turnaround of ‘what’s in and what’s out’, creating equal havoc for the leisure industry, as for retail fashion.

I recall, that in 1980 I was told by budding computer experts that ‘computers solve one problem while creating another’. How prophetic. 

The pace of information overload, constant mobile phone use, 24/7 contactability, and increasing low wage economies today, has created a more stressful society, with decreasing boundaries and relationship turmoil. No wonder we have barely time to BREATHE. No wonder we need to learn how to do it efficiently and I teach you how, in 121 or Groupwork. #BREATHE

So it comes as little surprise that leading forecaster SPARKS & HONEY has cited BREATHING EDUCATION as one of the essential trends of 2016.

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© SPARKS & HONEY 2015 
 Image: Kite_rin / SHUTTERSTOCK

I have been advocating the practice of Conscious Connected Breathwork for over 25 years – now science has caught up – from New Age to Internet Age.

SPARKS & HONEY say’s :

imagesMost humans take 20,000 to 30,000 breaths daily BUT MOST DON”T KNOW HOW TO DO IT PROPERLY. Now modern science is saying that breathing ( like drinking water and getting a good nights sleep ) can help lower blood pressure, boost immunity, reduce stress and fight obesity.

BREATHING RETREATS and workshops featuring belly breathing, conscious breathing, and yogic breathing are on the rise. We will see more attention to breathing as a psychotherapeutic tool in 2016.

CULTURAL CHALLENGE : Try to find and attend a breathing class where you live. 

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(We run 3 BREATHING Groups a month in London. Contact us.)  So now you know!

Click the BREATHWORK link : https://mygaytherapist.me/breathwork/

Sex Addiction. . . More, more, more . . .

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An addict will always get their fix, whatever obstacles are placed before them, and if your fix is sex then the internet is a dealers den. It’s not just immigration hoo-ha that is filling UK newspapers, but Prime Minister Cameron’s demand to block online porn, in ‘order to protect children’, bastard love-child of the so called ‘snoopers charter’.

We’ve heard this message before when homos were banged up in prison, before they were de-criminalised in 1967, in order to ‘protect children’ and that never worked as we weren’t peodophiles, but paid the price for ignorance. Nor will this, but that’s a different story, this blog is about sex addiction costing you more than money, and blocking porn isn’t the answer.

sex-addictionSince 60’s liberation, gay men have notoriously been labeled ‘promiscuous’, in much the same way that society called women that enjoyed sex ‘whores’. Neither viewpoints hold water, nor does a current study by the University of California, published last week, on the respected Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology site, pronouncing that “Sexual desire, not hypersexuality, is related to neurophysiological responses elicited by sexual images ( not sex addiction )”. 

This small study of 53 people ( including 13 females ) with no indication of sexuality preferences, has been panned from all quarters as meaningless, even though it hit headlines : in short, it concludes that sex addiction is a fallacy and people are just plain horny. Partners of sex addicts would certainly disagree, with this conclusion.

However, the rise of the internet, has increased opportunity for sexual exploration and therefore sexual compulsive behaviour can become unchecked. My view is that the internet has offered space for sexual and emotional discovery, that encourages the notion that sexuality is not so black or white, that developing grey areas of ‘men who have sex with men’ and bi-curious, have enlightened those who in the past were simply suppressed or confused.

However, sex addiction IS real. You know at least one sexual compulsive who needs more, more more, and it may be you. So where do you begin to arrest this condition? Let’s start here :

Cruise-Control-Weiss-Robert-9781555838218Robert Weiss in his book CRUISE CONTROL / Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men, writes on the topic of seeking a cure :

” Many people who read books like this one enter 12 Step programs, seek therapy, and check into treatment centers are seeking ” the answer”. They want to solve all their problems and answer all their questions – as if their addiction were an equation in a maths quiz.

Some will drop out or give up when they find out that they aren’t going to be cured once they figure it out. The problem is that they don’t actually want or know how to solve the problem; somehow they think that having that “Ah-ha” moment of understanding will be enough.

No amount of information is going to stop a sex addict from repeating patterns of problem behavior. You can only meaningfully change your behavior by taking deliberate, ongoing, active, and committed steps toward change. While this and previous chapters have described and discussed understanding sexual addiction, upcoming chapters will focus on creating change. As we move forward, we’ll learn how to make this happen one day at a time. But first, let’s consider how party drugs and other addictive substances become intertwined with sex addiction”.

Change occurs through action not just understanding, and recovery stems from acting out the unfamiliar. Maybe you are in an open relationship where goal posts keep changing or one wants more than discussed when it comes to boundaries. Yet the perception of sex addicts fisting themselves in a selfie or sauna sex salivation is also a fallacy, as as many kinds of sex addicts abound as the range of fetishes on a porn site. Often sexual compulsives are serial relationship finders believing that regular relationship sex will keep them away from pursuing addictive habits, but it rarely works.

mirror-man-150x150Most sex addicts hunt alone anonymously, while many are also romance addicts addicted to the chase, sexting, flirting, grooming, arranging and avoiding feelings of ‘being alone’ and seeking approval. Real approval comes from looking in your own mirror, not outside of it.

In recovery, healthily ‘being alone’ is essential in determining feelings of withdrawal, patterning and self valuation. Many support groups for sex addiction exist, check the net, or purchasing the book above, will at least acknowledge that sexual activity is getting out of hand and can be resolved.

Maybe some chems need to be dropped or reducing alcohol if you use frequently. We know that some things go together like apple pie and custard, but sex addiction also has it’s own companions : and you know what they are and where they lead.

Put a lid on it.

A-kettle-boiling-006Do you resort to the silent treatment when you are upset with someone or go hell for leather in a latin way? Is your stance to seethe like a boiling kettle or perhaps one volcanic eruption and it’s over?

Either way anger pushes buttons like grindr on speed dial. Don’t you just love people who express ‘passive aggressive’ under their tongue while ‘mopping & muttering’ cleaning the floor? This is likely to indicate “YOU should have done it”. Inter-personal relationships huh, no wonder they call them a “laboratory of learning”.

Passive aggressive types who can’t express in words what they want, really pushes buttons in those who do the volcanic eruption and it’s over. Trying to decode ‘shoulder shrugging’, ‘don’t know’, ‘not sure,’ ‘I’ll have what you’re having laziness’ can blow the whistle off any kettle in reaction, and there you have it – reacting – rather than responding, never works. Living with others who cause you to blow your top, making you feel irritated, ignored or victimised is difficult, but it’s even more difficult to accept that those feelings are not “given’ to you, you simply choose to employ them, because often you couldn’t get your own way.

Learning to accept the behaviour of others, rather than wish they acted out differently, is the key to emotional balance, and maybe anger is a luxury you can’t afford anymore. It always leaves you short changed. 12 Step Programme material talks about being ‘powerless over people, places and things’ which means we can only change our response to others, not change them. When you accept this at heart, it’s easier not to take things personally, if anger is around you. This reminds me of The 4 Toltec Agreements with Self, but the two that stand out for the solution to other peoples anger toward you, are these :

Don’t take Anything PERSONALLY. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. When you become immune to the actions and thoughts of others, you won’t be a victim of needless suffering.

Don’t Make ASSUMPTIONS. Find the courage to quietly ask questions and express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings and thrust anger.

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Similarly another well read practiced tome, ‘A Course In Miracles (ACIM )’, states that “We are never upset for the reason we think”. This helped me a lot when in emotional turmoil about someone’s behaviour toward me. It stops me in my tracks to recall that what is happening in this moment, be it an angry client, or a late bus when I need it, is that getting angry is unlikely to make the bus arrive and that ACCEPTANCE is the answer to emotional wellness. This also means that when a client or friend is angry ‘they are never upset for the reason they think’ – it’s more about the unhealed back story. Whatever is unhealed in the past, like abandonment, abuse or guilt will resonate like a boiling kettle at some point. You just happened to be standing there. This does not mean that we avoid taking responsibility for our own actions, thoughts and behaviours – we are not exempt- but it does offer the facility to view the bigger picture of a quarrel or internalised angst.

Recovery from codependency also means creating boundaries in order to perceive a situation correctly. Checking out your role in someone’s anger toward you, means yes you might have responsibility here, so if you are wrong own it. If you feel ‘wronged’ question it, then recognise whether, this is ‘their stuff’ or ‘your stuff’. Getting defensive is not a solution but a fuller understanding of the bigger picture, including ‘you are never upset for the reason you think’, and not inviting debate, can end the game. Let feelings pass, see the facts and reconcile later.

larry-kramer-e1304350020598There are occasions where anger has relevance. I remember a time in the AIDS years when Larry Kramer rattled gay cages when he said ” gay men weren’t angry ENOUGH” over AIDS and created ACT UP in 1987, a direct action protest organisation over apathy to the solutions of friends dying, with the slogan SILENCE=DEATH. 78 years young, he is still is a fiery, angry, wonderful, beast of passion. So yes there are times when anger has a purpose! Some say we are not vocal enough about rising HIV rates when we live in a world of information about the virus, and the current rise of social media and armchair activism, though often criticised, has at least lent fervour to our spirit of injustice on world events.

Perhaps we need more Larry Kramers’s to remind us of our silence, where it’s wise to express anger and if WE don’t do it – who will?

http://blogcritics.org/book-review-the-four-agreements-by/

http://acim.org in many languages.

This blog of mine was first published in HIM-MAG on October 1st 2013 : http://www.him-magazine.com/2013/10/01/put-a-lid-on-it/

Spit it Out!

Learning to Express Yourself is a Key to Success.

Many people can’t ask for what they want because they don’t know how to express it. I was one of them. Now look at the word ‘express-ing’, it means fast, speedy and direct. As a kid I had a stammer from god knows when till a teenager and dreaded queues in shops and ticket offices. By the time I was asked what I wanted nothing came out but splutter, shame, public humiliation and deep embarrassment, everything except fast, speedy and direct.

davidparker_keepcalm_sept13On top of this I had a nervous squint. I contracted meningitis on the spine when I was 6 months old and over the next 12 years was a frequent visitor to brain damage tests with a final conclusion that I will ‘grow out of it’. Well I did when I discovered alcohol & drugs. This masterful brew gave me confidence, a clear speedy voice, though often sharp and bitchy. In future therapy sessions, I was told it was an act of survival, an old pattern, thinking I could not be heard. Oh and I was ‘a red’, a ginger, an outsider and gay, way before fetish sites put red as a hot topic of sexual attraction. All in all, a teenage nightmare. No wonder I embraced getting ‘out of it’.

We had no knowledge about addictions, codependency or ‘finding yourself’ in self help books in the 70’s, it was all about sexual liberation, learning to express yourself through your body, so I soon got the hang of that. Less talking, less stammering, less nervousness, more action.

This inadvertently led to many years of sexual addiction until a virus took hold of my priorities, being forced to learn how to express myself ‘to serve myself first’, not heed to the demands of others. This aspect of codependency is rife in the gay community and often leads to unsafe sex as people-pleasing leading the way to a man’s zipper, but the desire to be connected, to belong, to seek approval as an act of expression, can leave you short-changed when it comes to emotional satisfaction. Clearing up the mess of others as fixer, or being entangled in a relationship with someone who cannot express themselves via depression, past abuses, alcohol dependency does not bode well in the healthy relationship stakes.

fear-is-in-your-head1Assisting or understanding a partner with these issues, while detaching, in order not to get sucked in, is extremely difficult, but essential in order to manage your own sanity. Learning to say NO more often and ridding yourself of the belief that ‘when you get YOUR needs met, others lose’ is the key to emotional recovery. This may appear selfish in print, and to some unloving, but in reality the biggest aspect of relationship breakdown is ‘ not getting needs met’, because often those needs have failed to be expressed because of ‘harming’ the other person. Not wanting to rock the boat by telling the truth faster creates suppressed anger, game playing, dishonesty and fear. The opposite to love.

When I started a recovery process from active addiction over 30 years ago, I shockingly discovered I was shy. Quite the opposite from the persona I had created. Then I had to learn to communicate verbally & sexually without chemical support, and the stammer came back along with the nervous squint and it felt like I was back at square one, which I was. Back to being the emotional wreck of a teenager with the luggage of 17 years of using.

With self help groups and counselling I managed to explore the reasons, and the lessons of coping with and managing demons like ‘Not being good enough”, “feeling damaged” “not a real man” etc and turn these negative lies into positive statements of truth. In 1984 I began spending every night, for the next 3 years, going to sleep with Louise Hay affirmative tapes on a loop in order to find the real me buried beneath the shames. Then with yogic rebirthing breath work started to express my subconscious emotional fields, until I healed my body and released chronic active hep B from my body in 1996 without medication. That’s a whole story in itself.

davidparker_expressyourself_sept13Eventually the stammer and squint left me, confidence was acquired and I learn’t to ‘tell the truth faster’. For the past 10 years I have travelled the globe every 2 months leading seminars on personal development, holding a room of 30 -50 people for 3 days without a manual or script, just focussing on ‘the NOW’, and allowing things to occur organically. So perseverance paid off. The only way I could express myself in my using days was by being workaholic, by constantly thinking I needed to be in control, while my life was totally out of control. Today I am still clean, sober and Hep B free, long may it continue, a day at a time.

safe_image.phpThis was my monthly piece in HIM-MAGAZINE : http://www.him-magazine.com/2013/09/01/spit-it-out/

Moving in, moving on, moving out.

small-studio-apartments-cool-interior-design-ideasI keep getting asked what the secret to a great relationship is, and instead of the usual platitudes, I say £2000. ‘What?’ and a mystifying brow is the usual response. Let me explain.

You will hold your own estimate in local currency, but for those outside the UK, £2000 ($2980) is becoming the figure for one person of one months rent, deposit and moving in costs to another apartment or flat share in London. It doesn’t sound romantic I know, but nor does being trapped in a relationship that no longer works and you can’t move out.

In the early stages of a relationship spending more time in one partners place than the other is not unusual. Maybe a larger flatshare that one partner has is better than a sprawling student house for those romantic sleepovers and breakfast in bed. Sometimes the distance to get to work is an issue for one, hardly ever staying over at the others. In any major city bags are stuffed with plans ahead : the gym bag, the toilet bag and the relationship bag that’s never big enough to cart from pillar to post, 3 times a week. In the end the routine gets weary and things become ‘left over’ in one bedroom more than the other, thus beginning the game of moving in and stage 2 of coupling : romantic tyranny.

men_kissingRomance has a place, but as I’ve often said, it’s not at the beginning of dating, it’s about 18 months in, when partners start being less attentive. What looks and feels like romance when you first meet is an illusion, not reality. Moving in together too quickly (to often save rental expense) is not such an epidemic as it once was, due to rental contracts putting the brake on things, but people still do it. Retaining your own space in a relationship really IS the secret key to a healthy relationship. It can also be about holding different friends that the partner rarely meets, or opposite social activities, anything really that brings air into the relationship rather than breeding one based on conditional love, or entrapment due to financial disparity, control & power games.

I know many successful relationships who prefer to live apart, to keep that air circulating, to maintain romantic notions not illusions. A romantic illusion is often based on fear of loneliness, while a romantic notion is based on the healing reality of aloneness to freshen up any relationship. It takes time to develop trust, respect and inner security, so learn to give time time. That chemical component we call love can be confused with chemically induced expectations that substances deliver but quickly fade.

During current austerity, many relationships living together are forced to endure staying put in something that no longer works because of no EXIT door to escape. What was once a romantic cosy, small love nest in the early days of romantic rush is now a cauldron of discontent & entrapment as they can’t afford to move out. This is happening a lot to relationships who got on the mortgaged housing ladder with a studio or one bedroom flat stuck in negative equity, while lovers who sign a yearly contract for rental have at least a short while to wait before termination. At least in a rental you can always fill the room to maintain the contract, but if you have not harboured that £2000 or equivalent, as the EXIT bond then trouble awaits.

Though it sounds unromantic, the most successful relationships are based on money matters, honesty, practicality, support and mutual respect, not red roses. Being in the red, having regular debt, moving in together to save rent money is not always the best option for emotional balance. Having money behind you is the most caring, romantic thing to gift yourself, and I know that people think that love conquers everything, and that money destroys relationships, but relationships are often destroyed because of lack of money not an abundance of it, and trust me there is nothing romantic about paying your partners debts.

121204065401-gay-piggy-bank-monsterHigher esteem comes with financial responsibility, honest communication and maintaining a life outside of a relationship, while romance is vital in continuing tenderness, affection and sexual intimacy within it. Breeding air into a living space and knowing you can afford to leave at any time actually improves a relationship because no one holds the trump card.  A relationship like any startup business, needs money behind it in order to prosper, and prepare for contingencies. Money can’t buy you love, but when love EXITS, at least the door is open to leave. So if you need any advice as to what makes a great, sustaining, pressure-free relationship I suggest you get a piggy bank and start saving up.

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This blog first appeared on July 10th 2013 in my weekly RELATIONSHIP GUYD on guyspy.com.

http://www.guyspy.com/moving-in-moving-on-moving-out/

‘Fun & Flirty!’

Attitude, the UK gay magazine sold in the nation’s newsagents and supermarkets, recently celebrated their summer issue last year with a poll of the sexiest men by it’s readers, which caused a bit of feather fluffing in the mainstream media. The cause of it was Britain’s 19 year old Olympic poster boy Tom Daley beating ding-dong-daddy David Beckham and the blue-blooded ginger haired Prince Harry to the crown. Anyone that has had the fortune of being one of Daley’s 2.6 million fans on Facebook will know that just 30 seconds after putting up a dripping wet Tom in skimpy speedos, the Facebook “Likes” rack up faster than a junkie finding a vein.

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Twitter and FB during the 2012 London Olympics, were alive whenever he came out of the water after a dive, debatably mincing, but certainly posing and pouting under the shower knowing EXACTLY what he was doing. The epitome of ‘fun & flirty’.

For some reason his Facebook fan base consists only of pubescent teenage girls and wet mouthed gay men who leave lascivious messages on his wall. Tom totally ignores them and puts up another Instagram of him holding a kitten. This was some sort of ‘code’ to indicate his ‘sensitivity’ but I have to say these constant kitten pics are destroying my sexual fantasies of a man with a perfect taut tanned body, dark hairy legs and a happy trail. The kitten won him over, the bitch, and it knows it. Anyways he’s OUT now and wonderfully so. Unlike much older celebrity gayers who wait till their career dives down, Daley threw caution to the wind in early golden career.

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But the real surge of fantasy is the sexual menagerie of Daley with Beckham & Prince Harry together. Who will top? Now that would be FUN to watch! So is it a twink, an inked daddy or an aristocrat that sends you sexting?

Way before social media, smartphone technology and dating sites like grindr, flirting was an acquired art face to face, full of bravado or embarrassment, whereas online dirty flirty sexting allows you to go the extra inch without fearing rejection, but for some the problem arises when they actually turn up and the projection of rejection rises to full hilt.

Since the advent of online dating, people have got out of the habit of flirting face to face, understanding body chemistry and seeing the whole package, so to speak. Now we are used to seeing David Beckham’s package in his pants and Toms tiny speedos but if some doppelgängers walked down the street, would you feel good enough to bat above your average and flirt, or would you feel not good enough?

Low esteem, chem use, not fitting in and maybe living without employment, are the core seeds of the gay malady that ‘dare not speak it’s name: social phobia. Looking at all those circuit party boys, buffed or bearlike, the perception is that everyone is having a fabulous time except you. This is not so.

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Many are cruising around with sub-conscious thoughts like “I am unworthy, ugly, stupid, not good enough, big enough, smart enough, whatever.” Chemical and alcohol use can help to hide these subconscious wanderings, but when the balloons get popped you’re pooped, back into a shell. But flirting with chems as a companion is fun and allows you to take emotional risks, bypassing those nasty negative mantras in your head, but in the end, you have to face the music (or the date) emotionally naked, and that’s the real fear.

Because the world is now performance and target led, it’s easy to forget that shyness, whether connected to social phobia or not, is seen as charming, sexy and a big selling point, to those cruising you. Not everyone needs or wants a confident date, but what they do seek is an authentic one, and this is where flirting online can create impossible illusions, a bit like Daley, Beckham and Harry in a circle jerk. It’s just not going to happen. So don’t big up the flirting too much, unless you can deliver. Just be yourself and you will find that authenticity is the hottest drug to neck.

Recovery, in the broadest sense, means doing everything that is unfamiliar to you, in order to achieve emotional balance, so if you are hogging the flirting limelight online, log out and go walkabout on the streets, in clubs, bars or social groups. This will get you into the habit of interacting with authenticity again and your natural instincts that being online can hide. The kind of things that can excite at first glance in real life, like hair trapped under a wristwatch, a raspy voice, dry humour, smooth arms or an unexpected tattoo gaping from a sleeve. Everything online profiles don’t pick up. Older gay men will remember anonymous street cruising, turn back glances, flirting with the fruit stall boy, or a smile on a bus from afar. These things can make a heart beat and although they may not create instant results, at least you have turned up and delivered. Not many can say that online.

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This post of mine was first published in the August issue of HIM Magazine 2013 – for the Man who invests in Himself http://www.him-magazine.com/2013/08/01/sexting-sexy-men/

Cory Monteith post ‘Glee’

Cory-Monteith-Died-Glee-620x350There is always a back story. The sudden death of ‘Glee’ actor Cory Monteith, brings home the disease of addiction to the breakfast table. While you munch on muesli, someone is overdosing in an ambulance or comatose on meth, or in rehab truly believing they really have consumed their last drug. They haven’t. It’s a bit like a road accident, it always happens to someone else, until it happens to you. Not only do we think we are exempt from such precarious scenarios, but we expect rich, famous, talented people to be exempt too, after all money and fame solve everything don’t they?

Addiction has been referred to as ‘the disease that tells you, you haven’t got it’, and even being aware you have it, is no insurance. Born in 1982, the year Betty Ford opened her celebrity clinic, 31 years old Cory has now peacefully passed away from the accolades, the internal struggles and the sheer pain of not being able to stop using. In March this year he voluntarily entered rehab for substance addiction yet again, to delve through his back story, not a new exercise for Cory as his first rehab stint was age 19.

Leaving school at 16, the teenager with obvious drink and drug problems escalating at speed, coupled with kleptomania, compulsively stealing from family and friends until a family intervention occurred, to face his malaise. Stealing and getting away with it, has the same high as the compulsive gambler at the tables or city lawyers hoovering lines in a toilet at work, in order to cope with work pressures. Thinking no one knows or that you have got away with it is a buzz, but addiction is not choosy who it holds hostage, any age or social strata, as many will testify. Cory famously said in an interview, ” I was done fighting myself – I finally said, “I’m gonna start looking at my life and figure out why I’m doing this”.

MediaAssetsHands in the air, how many times have you heard someone say that? How many times have you sighed in frustration, like those close to Cory, the patient girlfriend, the family, the co-workers, the friends? WHEN will he get it? . . . perhaps, when will YOU get it? Maybe he did get it, maybe he had abstained for a period and relapsed his illness. We don’t know the back story.

Drugs and alcohol are not addictive, despite what governments tell us, multi millions consume daily without the need for attention, but those with an addictive personality need an alarm clock. WAKE UP! No point in explaining who they are, the risk-takers, boundary breakers, the chaos living clones who crash and burn, the secret silent users, and those who continue to act out compulsively with sex, workaholicism or food.

This is the illness of addiction, when self harm defies reason. They just can’t help themselves and push away anyone that judges. When I was bang at it I was oblivious to the harm I was causing. There was always an unspoken ‘incident’, another drama, or a repetitive pattern of low esteem with fix and rescue me escapades in motion. It becomes tedious to witness harm that people around addicts face daily, feeling helpless.

defusable-alarm-clockMany gay men remain heavy users of recreational drugs, including alcohol, but thankfully most never reach chronic addiction, they WAKE UP! and redress behaviours en route to avoid crisis. I didn’t. I worked the drug of denial until 1982, the year Cory was born, surrendering my addictions in that year, after my eighth relapse, on the cusp of death.

Then I got it : I could never safely use drugs & alcohol again, though I humbly acknowledge that it’s not been an easy road, but it was essential to begin the process of living a gay life without drink and drugs, or die a junkie. I’ve been miraculously clean for the whole of Cory’s lifetime, and seen hundreds of addicts die, it comes with the territory. I have not done it alone, and nor should you, but still remain vigilant, blessed and hopeful that recovery continues, for staying clean is not a given. Many addicts relapse after a clean period and overdose as the body can’t handle the new intake. My friend Tim, 26 years old, came out of treatment, got 4 months clean and did heroin. He was found by his brother slumped over the breakfast table dead after one hit. He took the gamble and lost, maybe Cory did the same?

My heartfelt thoughts go out to Cory’s partner, family, friends and inner circle while they absorb the shock. To value life, our friends, our GLEE and our inner strengths to carry this through, it’s wise to check your back story. Take stock often. Make changes. Seek help.

This blog of mine first appeared on GuySpy.com on July 15th 2013, 2 days after Cory’s death : http://www.guyspy.com/cory-monteith-post-glee/