Host Isaac Archuleta and his guest talk about alcoholism, sobriety, and the difficulties those impose in being a part of the queer community. They also explore the rejection his guest has faced in their fight to live an honest, authentic life.
Some of the episodes in our line up are what we call, RelationTips Q&A’s, a safe space for everyday folks to come on the show and talk with a therapist about a problem or topic they are struggling with.
These episodes are intended to highlight queer stories with the hope that others can relate and gain insight into their own journeys.
Guests on these episodes bring vulnerability into the space that allows for a deep, emotional exploration of areas that hit deeply for many queer folks.
For information about how to become a guest, visit us at iAmClinic.org.
Shame will shutdown the spontaneity of our personalities.
As I reflect on my time with today’s guest, I can’t shake the image of a precious little boy who found joy in playing with dolls. One who wanted to be loved for the innocent one he was, hoping others would cherish it as much as he did.
I know all too well what it feels like to be in his position. I can’t tell you the amount of times I have been called a Maricon, which means faggot in Spanish, or teased by loved ones for being different, feminine, or creative.
When family members mock or derogate our genuine expressions, it feels like they’re also revoking our sense of being unconditionally loved. What a painful experience to live through.
The pain of losing such a precious facet of one’s life, like undeniable love, can leave us hunting for an emotional home. Feeling unworthy, many of us will approach relationships with apprehension.
I’ve realized in my own relationship with pain that it is so deep and so sneaky. It becomes a narrative and a posture with which I have approached relationships. “Am I really worth it?,” isn’t a thought we think consciously but a feeling we carry everywhere we go.
With such harbored pain tucked into the fabric of our identities, we will require medication, and alcohol works really well for many of us. It helps us let loose. It’s there when we celebrate and there to welcome us to the dance floor. We might have no conscious idea we are using a substance or a pattern to mask over a wound, but we are.
The medications we choose to relieve our pain will often start to work against us. We use the medication to soothe our shame, but often they lead us to more shame, more regret, and more embarrassment. So we need more medication to soothe the larger dose of shame and we find ourselves in a never-ending cycle. Maybe even an addiction.
Hurt people, hurt people. As the guest put it, vice versa, versa vice.
When we step into courage and maintain sobriety, from any of our medications, our pain will still be waiting to be soothed and healed once and for all. Sobriety may be the first time many of us address the pain that lurks in the hidden and buried corners of our hearts.
What strikes me about our guest is his tenacity for authenticity. His moral compass that’s always pointing back towards undeniable acceptance. In sobriety, we reconcile our identities. We do this not only by making amends with others but by wrestling with the pain that sung its tune until we forge a sense of confidence, seeing our own worth and lovability. Maybe for the first time.
I hope that all of us strike upon the internal gold that our guest articulated so beautifully. May we all walk in the confidence to love ourselves so deeply that others are liberated to experience self-love within themselves!
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