Neon Rainbow

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[00:00:00] was an immense, immense amounts of pain when I was at high school. Just huge amount I was so confused and so terrified. I mean, I couldn't walk down a corridor without everyone young gobbler and Mary and pasta and everything and, and when I found drugs, they, they took the edge off everything. And they that has made everything so much more bearable. And I had a sense of you know, I could I could handle anything in the car doors and anything in the classroom for a long time. And till I could get stoned again and when I could get stoned again then it took it all took it all the way and it made it somehow same bearable because I could get away from it all. And so I kind of I really do celebrate the kid you know, hey, Michigan is 1516 17 when I started smoking pipe and drinking alcohol because I think it saved my life because if the alternative which of course he saying Well, I mean I've heard of so much fear young gay men as we just cut ourselves and I'm glad I didn't kill myself I have a zest for life and a passion for life still today which seems to have held true everything that I really wanted to survive either quiet determination or or fight and I found that better to fight and to become an angry young man I was really angry and I could be bitchy and I could verbally trick anyone down and cut anyone there I think it's a lot of a lot of weird gay humor comes thrown at Sydney was really mine was based was based on defending myself from these kids in the hole and the Cardinals when I was walking down the Cardinals it's school cuz I never knew was I mean I always knew it would I never knew what was going to come at me but um I kind of always knew whenever I had to walk down a corridor I would always know that I was going to get hustled and also there was other apparently there was other gay kids at the school but because I was so isolated because of I was out in a sense none of the gay kids wanted to know me because they didn't want to get tagged with the same brush and and I certainly didn't want really want to know any of the perfect kids anyway cuz I hit the base I still want so so I decided to fit so really align not having the skills to be able to talk to mom and dad about stuff or anyone else and just got stoned cheesy [00:03:01] I think that alcohol [00:03:03] and drug use very much does mirror what goes on in society and does very is very responsive to environmental pressures so that before homosexual nor for the pressures on the individual encouraged alcohol and drug use the social ghettoisation encouraged alcohol and drug use right across our community [00:03:28] it's what you did [00:03:30] you meet your friends at the pub and drink there was nowhere else to go You didn't go with your friends to cafes world I mean the women at the end but to the to the other options. If you wanted to be yourself you are in a drinking situation after homosexual law reform that slowly went all the way and so therefore some of the pressures to drink and drug use with a maturing lesbian and gay population [00:03:59] last some of its power [00:04:03] you see it still with the younger ones, younger listeners gaming are still coping [00:04:08] with all the issues of coming out [00:04:11] an integration of of their identity and behavior, [00:04:13] etc. [00:04:16] And so I still [00:04:18] drinking and drug using as much as ever. [00:04:23] Well, I moved to Wellington when I was 17. And straight away was I was working in a hotel and as fourth cup third hand and Porsche basically and trying to get trying to get somewhere. And I met I met all the men who were taken by my my youth and innocence, I get out a night they liked me. And I liked the attention and and they they use they drunk. I got stoned and one guys to head up. And it was when I found spade and I never used intravenously, but I am with his speed and, and a speed ball crystal method. And it was it was really nice. But I don't I mean, I got carried out of a house with my eyes roll back. And apparently I did but I didn't remember anything about it. And I was living here and there was a door in society, it was the only gay venue of such as a Victoria Club, which was supposedly for older men. And I've been here today and the door in society and the door in society who paid $15 on the door. And it was an open bar, you could drink as much as you liked. And well, I followed suit. I drank as much as I liked and got laid. You know, it was pretty much what what we did. We just came in I mean, I didn't have any role models that said that, that there was any other way to live life. And exactly. [00:06:11] And the environment that I was living and it wasn't particularly [00:06:16] I didn't see other people doing life any other way. And I met people and try to formulate relationships based on being off my head. So I'm none of them really kind of very much, I guess. So I I just worked and lived and worked and lived here and got more promiscuous and did more type. And a friend of mine suggested that maybe you know, there wasn't a good agency in that maybe we should do that. So we tried that for a while. But the cute ones and iPhones I'd give it to them for free. [00:06:57] And the really, really awful words I couldn't does surprise surprise [00:07:04] and [00:07:06] revolted [00:07:09] and cheap in ticket me my 21st birthday was a job, you know, I said it the pack coil around [00:07:18] and Oriental. [00:07:20] And has 21 and as and the bill for dinner and the men of money I made that and that was $510 I can move a thing. In fact, I made it. I thought I've made it, you know, cuz I could get there much money in the night. But it was my 21st birthday. That was my 21st I thought that was pretty sad as well. But it's part of me thought was said you made it. And then a few months later, I got my 25th present for my parents. God, I really didn't mean that much to them, in a sense. sounds awful the setup, but I kind of didn't really feel like obviously an important. And the youngest of six kids and mom and dad always used to go and visit everyone. And they never visited me. And I mean, I used to think it was because I lived in the city and not many of my family did. But really it was because I was gay. And they didn't really want to be witness to my lifestyle. So they didn't come and visit, things like that. But this I've only learned about it since I am stopped. Stop. [00:08:32] Stop tuning out and stop getting stoned. [00:08:40] Kevin Kline. [00:08:44] What I tried to give up, I gave up everything. Cigarettes, coffee, tea, sugar, Carnival, nothing kind of a guy, bit of a perfectionist. And well, it was a month of absolute nightmare. What's this mad trying to be in control. And I don't know, the emotional stuff that comes out straight away is just horrendous. I don't know where it all was. But it just started to come. And I found myself just emotionally, Rick, trying to find anyone to help me take the pain away. They say that alcoholics and addicts don't have relationships, we take hostages. And I think that was pretty much apparent in my when I first tried cleaning up electronic anyone to help me. [00:09:39] Help me, just help me. [00:09:43] And [00:09:45] for the first six months of recovery after rehab, I just cried all the time at meetings, go to meetings, and I try and share and not just cry and cry. And also vulnerable safwan over I didn't know how to chi i don't know how to love me people would go for coffee after a meeting or, or just trying to be in social situations. I will not say try to take away all the dope talking about cnet's and the whole behavior and I didn't have anything to say anymore. I felt so useless. And so this thing. So this list another game in in some ways. And I had to remove myself pretty much from gay culture. Because as I understood at that stage, I now know that it's different. [00:10:35] But there wasn't really anything that was [00:10:39] that wasn't centered it focused around alcohol and drugs, but certainly hadn't been my experience. And most of my friends were not alcoholics and drug addicts, but they were people who are socially involved and an alcohol. So after the first three years, I couldn't really go didn't I mean, I just had to go to recovery meetings and try and learn about myself. Learn about the parts of myself that weren't full of self obsession or self righteousness or, you know, it's really strange early recovery is because it's been waste of time trying to get over yourself. But at the same time channel, we're really, really lonely being a gay man and recovery initially. [00:11:27] I did some research about a year ago, two years ago now on the experiences of lesbians and gay men who went through treatment services in New Zealand. And it was not very good. The outcome of their there wasn't very, very optimistic. Most of the services though, claiming a tolerance and they believing that they were tolerant, had still not extended to homosexual clients. The services that they had offered [00:11:56] heterosexual clients, for example. [00:11:59] Interesting actual clients would be offered the opportunity to bring their husband or wife and [00:12:04] to involve their family. [00:12:06] homosexual clients really were invited to bring their partner. heterosexual clients could bring friends and homosexual clients are often not invited to bring friends and [00:12:19] hetero sex. heterosexual clients [00:12:21] are much more comfortable and at ease in groups. When there was any kind of group therapy that went on, homosexual clients were invited into those groups, and were expected to talk about themselves to expose themselves to a group of people who are not gay. And this was very threatening for me. When it came to looking at what happened after treatment, when they went back into the community, heterosexual clients were more often than gay clients invited to an info, employee employers or this sexualities somehow was part of the aftercare program that was developed. And the monitoring that went on pharmaceutical clients. The fact that they'd be going back into gate by Melia Or into, into the kind of pets gay centered lifestyle have been in before, didn't feature as part of the aftercare planning. So there was a discrimination that went on not a deliberate one, but one out of ignorance. And so even here in the 90s, in a country, which is more tolerant the mini to its gay and lesbian folks, New Zealand, especially in the liberal humanities, we could still find that gay men would not receive any response would not receive the client the same quality of treatment opportunity as what heterosexuals. [00:13:50] I think also being clean and chosen to live clean, means that it's sometimes difficult to have relationships of people. I mean, I have to my maintenance is that I still go to meetings, I still go to recovery meetings, 10 years down the track, there's plenty of people who have seen and rehab or met through recovery, who don't do meetings anymore. And either they [00:14:25] drink or get stoned again, or they [00:14:29] they get killed, they die. And, or they choose other other ways of loving, and trying to establish a relationship with the limitations that I have placed on me because I'm an addict. And as often difficult, does the stuff like I have to, I have no choice. But to be completely honest with that? loved ones I don't, it's not a choice, resentment, or luxury. Judgment judgments are luxury luxuries I can afford. Because if I go there, if I get involved, and, and all that sort of crap, that just isolates me again. And as someone in recovery, that's very, very dangerous. And as a gay man, and recovery, it's suicidal. So there's certain things that I can, I can't do, and I have to be really mindful of. And I'm also extremely vulnerable, because then, you know, I'm a very sensitive person. And trying to develop relationships and things means that you know, you get bruised, so you have to be very careful. I have to be very careful about how I go about things. That doesn't necessarily change. But I don't know if I don't also think that that's just forget for gaming and recovery. I think that it's for gaming period. [00:16:13] If your life [00:16:15] is valued enough, by society, if you feel good enough about your sexuality, if you're able to integrate that with the other things that you want and get out of your life, then alcohol and drugs will find its right place. And that may be no use at all. And that may be just a moderate use. But if you're really going over the top, then something else in your life ain't right. [00:16:40] When I work with, with [00:16:42] gay men who have gotten to alcohol and drug dependencies, [00:16:47] and where things in their life have got really chaotic. [00:16:51] And I see them as a counselor, [00:16:55] the alcohol and drug part of this story is dealt with usually quite quite, and then they get off there. Because that's not what it's really about. It's about despair, or it's about loneliness. It's about grief. It's about fear, it's about distress. That's what it is that they want to work on and talk about. And it's and the resolution of those things that the alcohol and drug use then falls into place and for many of them they say [00:17:24] I don't need they don't want it. [00:17:26] either say I can't control it. I don't have the confidence controlling it. I'm better without it. And others are able to return to a moderate use, because the issue the reason why they had to develop a dependent relationship on it has has gone

This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors.