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About iamnamed

I am a sojourner. I bumble and stumble on this journey. I have found it very cathartic to write down thoughts of my journey and I am thrilled your path has crossed mine, even if it is just briefly. I write for me, but enjoy company on this journey of Happy Destiny. Thanks for trudging on with me.

a whole new set of beer goggles

Hindsight is 20/20.  Load of crap. Who came up with that? Even if you weren’t drinking heavily for 20 years, the past is always tainted by perception. IT always looks better or worse than it actually was. History belongs to the victor. And usually, if it was worth remembering, you are the victor. Then add in the fog of which all time is seen when you have put on your beer goggles and it is likely to be very different than reality. If that 2 am hook up looked like a super model, your past might look like nirvana.

I have been chased by fear for last two weeks. About two weeks ago, it was decided that I should go into private practice again. Ive done this twice before. It is in a different discipline. It is 20 years later. It is as a hospitalists. I thought it was all of those factors that was plaguing me. I thought it was simply enjoying knowing where the paycheck was coming from. It wasn’t. The fog of the future is much denser without the beer goggles on. Beer goggles have the same effect on the future as red lenses do on water. Everything seems clearer. The goggles eliminate the what ifs. It tells you that the world wants you to succeed. When you look back, it tells you everything turned out great because you are made of steel and as handsome as Remington Steele. The past is rosie, the future clear and lavender.

This is the first time I will be starting my own venture sober. Ive been sober almost 13 years, so going through things isn’t that new for me, but this is. I didn’t recognize it. I ran from the fear, thinking that the fog was better than the idea of watching the fog. My hindsight said that I was doomed. It had worked out because I was younger, more confident, hadn’t had a checkered past. Fear whispered in my ear, taunting me. It reminded me of failure. It reminded me of darkness. It reminded me of years. It whispered maliciously.

I whispered back. I saw the beer goggles covered with dust. I saw them for the fantasy they were. I saw them for the lies they told. I also saw them for the truth. They reminded me I could do things. They reminded me that I persevere. They reminded me that I have strength. They reminded me I have weaknesses. They reminded me to be real and take things as they are. They reminded me of the idea to keep trying and be prepared. I whispered that this is a gift. It is like getting new boxer briefs for Christmas, but it is a gift. It is uncomfortable and a change. It will fit, but differently than it was before. It’ll take getting used to. It is a gift of seeing that I can do it sober. It wasn’t the beer goggles that showed up to work every day (well, not every day). IT wasn’t the beer goggles that did the work. It was me.

It a whole new set of goggles. Fog or not, Trudge one more step. (Walk with Purpose.)

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2019 in journey, life

 

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Hey, wait, I might be sicilian

I was having a conversation about online dating with a friend recently. A preliminary note to those of you who have not had to take the step into the horror of online dating, it is not nifty. I no longer fear clowns, heights, spiders, or children with freaky adult masks because I have dated online. OK, that’s not true about clowns. The dating horror that is online dating is more of a psychological thriller than a gore movie. From what I can tell, the goal is to find a way to lie well enough to attract someone who is lying in the same way you do. It is awkward when you have lied about your height and she about her weight. You cant really be mad at the lie. Fortunately, there is the universal out clause, “you seem different than your pictures.: If you do have to venture into this forest of terror, borrow a car, walk, or park two blocks away on the first date, Also use a false name. I prefer Buck, Ted, or Armando. I tried Huey, Dewey, and Louie but it didn’t work out. I think she told me to “duck off.”

I was trying to describe to my friend what online dating is like. I decided it is like the Princess Bride. In our youth, we started out with relationships that were kinda sappy. We said things like, “As You wish,” instead of “Duck off.” We thought this was love when it was really just dependence and manipulation. IT felt good and it felt like love. At the time, it was. Over time, we vanish and are replaced with the stark reality that the other person is gone. The paths of life have separated. We long for the time next to the water pot. We crave the simple phrases of, “As you wish.” Eventually, some friend decides you would be better off with someone else. They force this Prince of a guy on you. He has a nice transportation, he is rich, and many women find him alluring. He is great except he has a weird friend and is a psychopath.

From what I can tell, we guys fall into the categories represented by the cast of the movie. We all want to be the Dred Pirate Roberts. However, remember there is no Dred Pirate Roberts, its just a borrowed name to induce respect. However, we still want to be him. IT would be easier to use someone else’s name and reputation than to have to admit we once said, “As you wish” to a woman who saw us as pond scum. As I am told the vast majority of online dating is like dating that Prince. Except for manly adventures and an entourage of weirdly fingered friends, it is dead animals and shirtless bathroom pics. I am amazed how many women say they love to camp, fish, hunt, and fart during football games. As far as I can tell, it is the woman’s dead animal call. If you wonder to yourself if you could be this kind of person, you are likely not.

The other kind is the big brute. The big brute has the tender heart and has a great personality. IT is true, he does not have the fancy transportation. He is not super smart. He likes the simple pleasures. However, he is fiercely loyal. he is a great friend and will defend you. He never gives up. He might not be much of a show pony, but a good solid choice. I am not that guy. There are many times I wish I could be that guy, but I am not that guy.

Another is the man bent on proving his manhood. Heart crushed as a child, he has tilted at windmills for his entire life. He seeks only revenge. He will not die without getting revenge. Miraculously, getting revenge actually gives him a new life. Although very gallant, very loyal and headstrong, and gifted at swordplay, he is much more interested in proving he is a man rather than being one. I’m not gallant. .

Finally, there is the Sicilian. This is not the best looking guy in the bunch. He is balding and can only be called in shape because round is a shape. He thinks highly of himself and enjoys the fantasy of lofty thoughts. H loves a puzzle. He thinks about overriding concepts. When on target, he could be a great ally. If on a tangent, he is to be dismayed. Notice that of the three would be kidnappers, he is the only one to die. The search for real relationship, real victory is worth dying for. He would rather sacrifice than settle. he knows his limitations as far as dead animals, shirtless pics, and false bravado goes. Sure, he is a bit different than the average Wesley, but he is unique. I think I am a Sicilian.

In the end, frequently, the fairy tale wins. The dream wins. The allure of avoiding reality and floating to a white horse transplants the idea that relationship is the time in the fire swamp.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2019 in divorce, journey, life

 

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Blockhead

I think my Dad just called me a blockhead. Certainly, it is not a criminal act. At least that is what I gather from social media and through the giggles of my lawyer friends. I doubt he will feel any remorse, serve any time, or make any restitution. However, he called me a blockhead! It all started when we were having a nice text together. He has gotten a little hard of hearing and “these new fangled phones” don’t get loud enough. So, we text. He is having some medical stuff done and I am getting ready to go solo practice and we chat. IT is not uncommon for us to text back and forth for about ten minutes and he will say he is done texting and the conversation stops. This time we had gotten about two minutes into the conversation and I was talking about how out of place I feel in many different situations. This is not new for me, nor particularly interesting. I’ve always felt that way. I have a great family of mostly extroverts. I had lived as an extrovert for many years before discovering that people wear me out. I needed time to be alone to get energized. I am a true introvert. I am the only divorced sibling. I live in Idaho. I don’t drink. I have had difficulties legally. And the list goes on. Currently, I am the only medical doctor in a hospital full of psychiatrists. By the way, if you ever really want a reality check, get several psychiatrists in a room. It is surreal. Oh and it does really only take one to change a lightbulb. I am the only addictionologist in Idaho practicing inpatient rehab. I am single.

Anyway, I was talking about how I am both scared and relieved to be going solo again. There are pros and cons for sure. My Dad then said you cant stick a square block into a round hole! There is was, he was calling me a blockhead. I decided to practice from the book, The Four Agreements, and have the courage to ask the question:

ME: Am I the block or the hole?:

Dad: You decide.

See? Can you feel the cruelty? IT was a sad moment until I realized it is genetic.

I thought about how he has been widowed for almost 20 years. He doesn’t drink or smoke. He cant hear. He keeps getting older as I stay the same age I’ve always been. Blockheadedness is either genetic or contagious. It pervades all aspects of my life. In work, I am generally an oddity. Frankly, I prefer it that way. I do things in a unique way. It is fun to get to be my real self when at work. I dont really fit in with social groups. I dont drink or party. Most people my age are married or want to go drinking. ITs not bad, and I enjoy hanging out (in case anyone who reads this thinks I am a recluse), but I am different. Dating is the worst. I am an introvert, remember? Most women have gotten out of marriages because they were bored in some way or hurt. They want fireworks, travel, ski diving, etc. I want relationship. I left because I didnt exist as a real person when I was married. I want to be a real boy, Pinnoccio. I go on occasional dates. We have a good time. But it isnt enough. Maybe I lost my mojo. Maybe some obese scottish guard went back and stole my mojo!  Thats it! Its not that I an genetically a block head, it was induced by removing the mojo. It caused the corners of my scalp to extrude. Maybe, the rounded head is really formed by mojo holding in the corners, like tension ropes. My Dad was not picking on me, he was warning me about my mojo.

Nah, its genetic.

 

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2019 in journey, life

 

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the G is for Gangsta

I have a thought. I know that doesn’t sound as eloquent as Martin Luther King,,” I have a dream,” but I had to be honest about it. It is just a thought. I wasn’t asleep when I had it, so its not really a dream. It is fantasy like and might be considered a dream with the definition of it being a hope, a wish. But really, its just a thought. I have been thinking about boundaries and being able to state needs and wants directly. I work in addiction. I talk about boundaries and “staying on your side of the street” often. I have practiced the phrases. I have given talks to large groups of people. I have joked about it, cried about it, discussed it, and generally preached it ad nauseum. And yet, it is a fantasy, a dream, a curious thought.

I have a puppy at my house, Dexter G Smalls. “You are killing me Smalls,” is a phrase that I say often. Dexter is not known for his boundaries. He is the canine version of a close talker. He licks. He jumps, He hugs your arm with his paws until you rub his belly. His attention span is somewhat akin to the long abundant life of a fruit fly. However, as far as his side of the street is concerned, he states his needs and wants. The buckin bronco imitation style dance means I am hungry. The covering look and following you around the house means I am sorry that I got so excited I peed on the couch again. The arm hug means, “umm pet me dufus.” But boundaries by social norms are really not in his wheelhouse.

My thought is I wonder what it would be like if I was more like Dexter G. Smalls. Not the licking part. I mean, not specifically like Dexter, but more generally. I did try and dance when the waiter brought my food to the table yesterday. IT was largely misunderstood. I did make a few dollar bills. The people I was with really never got the hint to scratch my belly as I hugged their arms, but I think the certainly paid attention to me. Im reminded of a previous post where I talked about my youngest daughters giraffe like tongue. She is one of those people that can touch the tip of her nose with her tongue. I mentioned it because during communion she would tongue out every last drop of the grape juice. I mentioned how cool I found it that she was “slurping grace.” It seems like I should be able to embrace life and slurp it up like grape juice with a giraffe tongue. Imbibing every minute of the miracles life has to offer. Asking for connection and touch from those nearest to me. Celebrating the basic needs,: food, water, shelter. I think it would be wonderful to be able to play at life. To laugh and dance at the background music.

The boundaries I am learning over and over to set are both outside and inside. Outside, I am learning that nothing outside of me has anything to do with who I am. That is a bizarre thought process for me. Nothing outside of me defines me. Not my job, not my loves, not actions, not my impressions, nothing. I grew up with that external locus and so that is a very foreign thought process. ITs a work in process. Inside, I am learning that I am not my thoughts or emotions. My brain and heart (yes I know the heart doesn’t really house emotions, I am a doctor) are reflex organs. They are responding to the outside stimuli that are also not me. I am that Dexter within. I am my daughter slurping Grace. I am so much more and simply me. My needs and wants have value and can be expressed. I probably wont dance at that restaurant again, but I will on the inside.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2019 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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Fear the Buzz

I really love the Fall weather. No matter where I have lived it has been my favorite season. I’m not sure why it is: the chill in the air in the morning, the leaves changing color, the balloon fiesta in Albuquerque, it just is. I dislike October. Not al of October, just anything to do with Halloween. It really makes no sense to me why I dislike Halloween. I just do. In high school, I was in drama. I even lettered, twice. The character thing never bothered me. But there is something about being in a group of people pretending to be something they are not that gets to me. Its like being in a locker room. Everyone scared to death they aren’t as manly as they should be. As a kid, I did see IT and it terrified me so bad, I haven’t watched much in the way of horror since then. I saw Jaws and was afraid to swim in a pool after dark for a few weeks. Perhaps I am “on the spectrum” (by definition a spectrum includes everyone, so we are all on the spectrum. This is a really poor way to describe this problem, but I digress). I need to see faces and try and understand the real person I talk to. I just know I don’t like to be distant or afraid.

All that to say, I am afraid and feel distant. Its different than Nixon masks and being faked out. I am afraid of taking an inevitable next step. I have been in addiction medicine for the last few years. I am much better at it than I thought I would be. The first week they gave me the nickname of, “Dr. Buzzkill.” I talk to people and cajole them to honesty with themselves and maybe with me. I insist on working on introspection. I insist on motivation from the inside. I can be a real ass, I know. However, in my heart, I believe in recovery and that recovery is for those that want it. I get teased a lot that I am too harsh sometimes. One of my close friends reminds me that precontemplation is a stage. I remind him that if someone doesn’t want what recover has to offer, if I force it by keeping them there, I might ruin the next opportunity they have to change their mind.

Again, I digress. I’ve been suggested strongly, that it is time to start my own business again and not be an employee. ITs been a long time coming. The time I spend with people and the work I do isn’t necessarily as billable. There have been changes that will further limit what the hospital could bill for my services. I was given the option of eventually being unemployed or currently being unemployed with some preservation of what I do. I will open Buzzkill, LLC in October.

OK that was the longest preamble I have ever written. I am afraid and isolated. That is the whole point to this post. Let us continue. I am isolated. Its not good enough isolation that anyone would make a movie out of it. I don’t own a volleyball to talk to. My puppy is to hyper to really listen. He doesn’t seem to care anyway. I grew up being isolated. We had this pencil machine at my elementary school. It had the names and colors of every football team on pencils. So boys would save their ten cents, scrounge couches and washing machines to buy pencils, with the hopes of having them all. They’d proudly display their knob turning acumen joined together with a rubber band. They traded and discussed which teams were better and which pencils the most difficult to hunt down. My pencil was yellow and chewed. I still don’t care about sports. I never felt quite right around groups. I truly didn’t fit in. I thought I fit in AA when I started. I did in that first group. And then several people told me that I shouldn’t be at a group, but should go to the medical group. IT took me a minute to realize they were focused on their pencils.

I am afraid. I have spent a lifetime without identity. CS Lewis describes Men without chests. I was that boy. No heart, no life force, no soul. I didn’t have self esteem, I had reflective esteem. I only knew who I was by what you told me. I needed to perform to convince you I was worth it, so you could tell me I was. Id like to say the pencil debacle taught me it was ok to be myself. I lied, I had ten team pencils. I told everyone we couldn’t afford even the dime so I could get more. The chiefs were my favorite because the colors were the coolest. I hid. Drama was an obvious choice for me. I could try on different personalities. The costumes came off, and the support was for the empty costume not for me. The fear worsened as I grew. It was harder and harder to convince people to cheer me on. So, I drank. A lot. I traded me for the illusion of a chest, a heart, a life, a soul. It wasn’t mine, it wasn’t real, but it had great colors. Unfortunately, the fear got worse. What if people didn’t believe I couldn’t afford the dime? What if they saw through the façade? IT rode me around like a dark passenger. The same alcohol I had sold out to, whispered in my ear about how diminutive I was. It taunted me. It screamed in my face like the gym coaches of old. It scared me like only rage in a mask can do. I vanished as the rage screamed and my ex grew weary of having to connect with me. The fear won. I thought it was the alcohol, but even after that was gone, the fear loomed and whispered on. It defeated me at the age of 44. I ceased to exist. I couldn’t fake it anymore.

Fear leaves a dead body. As I rose from the chestless, heartless existence I once thought of as life, I began to see me. I met me and I was ok. I understood me. I generally liked me. When I would stray from being me and reach for a mask, I could see why I feared the unreal. I could be honest. I enjoyed, but didn’t need the support that was my backbone before. I walked. I returned to medicine, doing addiction. I didn’t have to perform in a certain way. I just had to be who I am . I didn’t have any idea how to do this job, nor did anyone else. I was making it up as I went, And it went well. I didn’t notice until right now that I had started to slide into the idea of becoming Buzzkill to please everyone. I am very straight forward and I care about people in addiction who are suffering. But, I had begun to transform to what people said about me. The reason for my fear is that I will only have me to trust on what is my identity. I fear because I am unsure. I have let myself become Dr. Buzzkill as a costume. I wear it proudly, all the time knowing that people don’t really know me. In many circumstances, have no desire to know the real me. But I am named. Not from others, not even from me, but from God, the higher power, cosmos, Universe, whatever. I had forgotten that me is not defined by what I do. If this practice works, fantastic. I do this job well. If it doesn’t, ok I don’t have this color pencil in my pile, move on. I will still be me.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2019 in faith, journey, life

 

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neuter

Im thinking that might be a cringe worthy word. You can almost not say it without grimacing. I had my dog neutered this week. I have this inflatable cone thing on him and he is still stoned. I took him to a discount place and it was a little like a fast food restaurant. The cattle call to bring them in was interesting. The dogs all trying to bark with dominance. The throaty barks turning to a whine as they are lead to the genitalia guillotine. They have the dogs come in one by one, and each one does the same thing. You are expected to return exactly on time. They give discharge instructions en masse. So, 30 of us standing around trying not to look guilty. We all know we have eliminated any chance of procreation in our pets. We have paid a masked person to yank off parts that each of us hold dear. Eye contact is help to a minimum. Each pet is brought out one by one. I am second to last.  I was 2 minutes late and almost had to wear the cone of shame. Each pet came out. Each owner looked apologetic at their pet. The tech showed the owner the surgical site and a tattoo indicating the procedure. In her mind, I am sure, she screamed, “look at what you paid for! See this tattoo, it is the permanent mark of your shame.”

We are given the instructions. In the distance, there is high pitched barking and puppy horror as they realize they have no balls. I commented on the high pitched barking, no one got it. That or they didn’t realize how funny that is. Dexter G. Smalls (that’s my dog’s name) trotted out, ears folded back. He peed on the floor and flashed his tattoo like it was a naked mud flap woman. He trotted to the truck, jumped in and sat in his seat.  I got in, started the car and started to drive home. As soon as we pulled out of the parking lot, he glanced back to make sure no one could see him, I assume, and whined the whole way home.

Ive spent the day pondering my life. Ive looked at the successes, like two wonderful children. Ive looked at my failures, like staying in a loveless marriage way to long. I spent time thinking about the last few years since the divorce. It has been some of the greatest ups and downs of my life. I was neutered by my ex. She made sure the kids despised me. She hid money, tried to starve me out. She pushed away my family from her and my kids. It was a brutal time for me. I had made serious mistakes. I had blown it, but no one deserves that. The friends and family we had, shied their eyes from me. They stopped talking to me. They said some of the most horrendous things. It was a game for her. She tried to sell my deceased mother’s wedding dress for one dollar. She then exposed my underside. “See this tattoo” I looked back and made sure no one could see and cried. I did it again today. I cried about the missing time. I cried about losing myself and not feeling like I was enough to get out rather than screw up the marriage. I cried because I couldn’t figure out how to defend myself. I dried thinking of friends that couldn’t stay. I cried. I also cried in celebration. I celebrated that I had kept moving forward. I cried because I stayed sober. I cried because I persevered. I cried because I never stooped to the mean and petty actions I thought about. I cried because I maintained my integrity. I cried because I never lied about my culpability.

Both Dexter and I will be ok. We just have to know that those testicles that we thought were so important don’t define us.

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2019 in divorce, life, Uncategorized

 

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Captain Funkadelic

Funky. Yep, funky. I feel funky in various meanings of the word. I have felt them all as of late. I think I might be Captain Funkadelic. Its a bitter sweet nickname, but I am learning to embrace it. I am looking to purchase the Technicolor Dreamcoat that Cosmo Kramer wore in Seinfeld. I cannot decide if I will do a fedora or a top hat.

Funky can mean morose. I had a week or so that I was certainly down and out. I was truly in a funk. I really don’t know why. There were many things going on. I felt ignored by those of whom I have affection. I have felt that often in the last few years. I have been belittled and tormented. I have been pushed away or hidden from. I have had a broken heart. I have mended and healed. However, from time to time I feel the pain afresh. There wasn’t anything overt, just messages dropped or phraseology. It was subtle. It was pervasive. it draped me in a Funk. 

Funky can mean an odd smell. Not a stink or a stench, but an odd odor. Perhaps, moldy, but certainly funky. I had stopped growing. I had stagnated. I had staled out. As I became a still pond of goo, the funk began. It didn’t stink, and it wasn’t bad enough to call it a stench. It was just a funky existence.

My favorite thought of funky is the best. It is Captain Funkadelic. It is the 70s elevated shoes, a cane, and a technicolor Dreamcoat. It is that internal jig that happens when there is a funky beat from a great song in your heart. It is that moment in time that the song, Renegade speeds up. It is that jive talking, fast thinking. It is the emotional honesty. It is the heart felt joy. It is delight in life, regardless of circumstances. Yep, I have been there. Intermittently with the smell and the morose, there are those times when deep inside my ass is shaking and my heart is thumping.

Trudge on, Funk Brother.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2017 in journey

 

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