California Copacetic


I’m so happy and grateful to be back in LA. I’m sitting in the guest bedroom at Scotch and Todd’s (et. al.) which has French doors open to the garden. I also have another window open so the completely comfortable October cool is easing in through the screen and across the bed where I’m reclining. Scotch and I sat in the steam room after dinner and I  feel good after my workout at my old Gold’s Gym today. I have a date tonight. This afternoon, I rode along Mullholland with my hand out the window, letting it dance against the wind. Ever give yourself a lesson in aerodynamics by doing that? I’ve been doing it for about forty-five years now. I’m pretty sure I could build an airplane if I had to.

Thanks for all the emails and messages about yesterday’s blog. It’s one I’ve been meaning to write for a while. Now having explained what I don’t believe about God, it will be easier for me to use the word in my blogs. Now that you know what kind of God I don’t believe in I can say that the great things about my life tonight are because of my relationship with God (which I don’t fully understand and probably won’t while I still have skin on).

My Sport Center app just sent me a text. Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants. If it can’t be the Yankees, at least the pennant can go to one of my favorite cities on earth. San Fran is another one of those places I always feel home when I land there.

Yes, even though I don’t understand this God thing, I can say that I have turned my will and my life over to Its care and things are definitely looking up since September 1 when I was ready to check out of this life. I had temporarily forgotten some of the hard-won life lessons that a lot of painful (and some joyful) experiences have taught me. One is: energy follows thought. I was focused so much on what I didn’t have, I forgot to be grateful for what I do— and that’s a lot. I was also so caught up in my own distress that I forgot one of the things that helps me most is helping others in theirs. (I also realize that this can be an addiction of its own in a way when I use it to not work on the things in me that need to be worked on. Balance, in all things, balance.) Two groups of people I feel especially drawn to are other veterans and other alcoholic/addicts. Those often overlap. Now that I seem to have stopped reeling from the hard blows to the chin life dealt me over the last couple of years, I’m ready to get back to work as an artist, activist and also as the head of The Mehadi Foundation. I’ve got some great ideas about where I’d like the foundation to go in the future and I am absolutely positive that the high hopes I have for it can come true. I recently had someone promise a whole lot of help for the foundation and when I drew a boundary around some sexual talk, he seems to have disappeared. He’s another in a long line of gay men who’ve offered me help (financial, career, etc) only for me to then find out there were strings attached, even if it was in the energy around the conversations. I should come to expect that by now. But in fact, I never want to become a person who expects bad behavior. I’ve learned some more lessons with this one. March forward, Marine, march forward.

I can hear my brother, Scotch, reading to his triplets before bed in the other room. I remember when we prayed together that he and Todd could become dads. We actually had only one child in mind. Obviously God had other ideas. The triplets are incredible little humans who keep me entertained all day. I was willing to give them the time and space they needed to warm up to me. That’s my blanket policy with all kids. That time ended up being about thirty seconds and I’m actually surprised they’re not in here “helping” me write this blog. I’m so blessed to have such an incredible extended family of choice. It would be nice to be living here again so I could be near them all the time.

I feel almost compelled to make amends again for the cavalier way I spoke about taking my own life on September 1. That is because I have friends who are struggling with life-threatening illness, I know and love parents who lost their kids in the war I came home from, and simply because life is such a gift period. But all that being said, I can say that in another way that I am glad (if a little embarrassed) that I was so public about it because it has let me once again connect more deeply with people, many of whom have found themselves at the same place at one time or another. Thanks especially to the veterans who continue to write to me and share your pain and also your joy. You can know that I am never threatened by the hard stuff and I will not judge you. I will continue to fight shoulder to shoulder with you in this battle as I was willing to do when we were deployed. Whether I served with you in Iraq or not, if you wore the uniform of the United States military, I want to be of service to you in your overcoming for anyway that you are struggling in relation to your time in the military. I’ve learned a lot since I came back. I continue to learn. When you share your stories with me, it helps me. It also helps me become more skillful at trying to be there for other vets. We hear a lot about the “Greatest Generation” when ever talk of war history comes up. I happen to believe that this generation is pretty great too and I hope that the work of the foundation can bring the opportunities to express creatively and work in the entertainment industry to other veterans. Creativity alone has its usefulness but from my own experience I can say that after having been told one is “defending the free world” to then not be able to sustain oneself, is a very debilitating place to be. For me, a lot of that had to do with showing up for everything I was asked to do for years and not looking out for my financial interests because I cared about the causes and often these organizations were broke. I recently had the promise of substantial help dangled in front of me once again only to have that promise vanish when I stood up for myself, asked to be treated with some measure of respect, didn’t allow talk that would be considered sexual harassment on any job site in America. This was actually a great experience and as I said before, because I’ve learned even more. God is my source. God uses many avenues to bring blessings. I have to make sure that I go to clean sources devoid of toxicity. Otherwise my life becomes cluttered with unhealthy relationships. Boy, I have I found myself there more than once!

I’m praying daily, taking the next right indicated steps, “suiting up and showing up” and waiting in joyous anticipation for what Creator has in store for me for the next chapter of my life. Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure its going to be great.

Now I’ve got to get ready for my walk around the reservoir tonight. It’s been a year and a half since Adam and I split. I’ve been very careful to give myself time to heal and grow based on that experience— not only the split but the seven year relationship too. I think I’m ready to put myself out there again. I can notice the fear of getting hurt again. But I trust God to help me with that too. And if the Marine Corps taught me anything, it taught me that I can be scared shitless to do something, take a breath, march forward and do it anyway. I’ll always be grateful for that, Semper. 

Wish me luck on my date.

See y’all tomorrow.

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