Tag Archives: writing

#FOWC – Symptom

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“Though our decision (to stop our drinking with this program of recovery – my words) was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions. Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory. This was Step Four.”

I say all the time that I can do Steps 1, 2 and 3 every day all day, however Step Four has always been the hardest for me and now I am about to embark on it again because, I know that since 2016 when I turned 50 and removed 2 1/2 years of sobriety and began the vicious cycle of chronic relapses and forays into recovery, that I have a lot to inventory and take accountability for. It will be hard and I am sure I will sad, angry and even hurt by what has to put down on paper, but I also know that when it is done – I will be further along in my journey to sustained recovery.

Big Book Personal Stories Part III – Freedom from Bondage p. 544

I relate so much to the first two paragraphs of this personal story from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous linked above. I guarantee you that if in my teens or early twenties I had been diagnosed as bipolar with tendencies to have bouts of depression, I don’t know that I would have been as prone to have the issues with alcoholism and addiction to cocaine that I have struggled with so much intermittently in my 30’s, 40’s and now early in my 50’s. Then again, Maybe I would have. As I always say, I am forever a work in progress!!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!




Happy International Women’s Day 2019


Today is International Women’s Day and I want to make sure that all the women in my life know how extremely important they are to me and how blessed I am to have them in my life.

I want to thank those women in the blogosphere who contribute daily to my reading enjoyment and often times my learning about different topics. It is because of you that I am reminded daily that learning is power.

I also need to tell the women that follow this blog and those who visit, read and comment on any of my posts – that I THANK YOU and I am proud and blessed that you take time out of your day to visit my blog.

The hashtags for today are #IWD2019 and #BalanceFor Power!!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!!!

A milestone I thought I would not reach!!!

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I love being able to write and share my journey through recovery and all that it has entailed over the past few years. I love being able to share the adventures or misadventures of being a pack parent of multiple dogs with my husband of 18 years. It excites me to know that just like when I share in face to face meeting or an online meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, I never know whose life I may be touching by sharing my EXPERIENCE, STRENGTH and HOPE regarding my struggles with alcoholism and addiction. It is also extremely cathartic to share my struggles with being bipolar and dealing constantly with depression. TRUST, THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!!!!

Today I am extremely humbled by a milestone that I never would have dreamed happening when I started my original blog “What’s Rattling My Cage?” on August 7, 2014. My last post on that site was on March 30, 2017, then having lost access to it I began  my new blog “My Rattled Cage” on August 27, 2017.

The MILESTONE I am speaking of is that as of today February 26, 2018 My Rattled Cage has gained 100 FOLLOWERS!! For this I am extremely grateful and I as I said humbled. I am blessed to have the ability to share my thoughts, my life and of course our four -legged babies with the world with this awesome platform. I wish to thank someone very close to me who actually has three blogs Just something I was thinking about . . ., Windchimes and Dreamcatchers, and Cracking the F*c! Up for reminding me that I am a writer and that it would be very beneficial for me to start a blog. I never would have imagined how enjoyable, freeing and cleansing having a blog would be.

To all of my followers, THANK YOU so much for taking the time to stop by and then choosing to follow My Rattled Cage after stopping by!!!!

I hope that I continue to write and hopefully help others in their journey through life and recovery!!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!!

#JusJoJan 2019 – Jan. 22nd – Curiosity


As children our curiosity is boundless, because we want to touch, smell, even taste everything. Think about toddlers, they are curious about keys, anything shiny and even people. As they grow, they become curious about their toys and how they work, or even other things they like – playing outside, learning to ride their tricycle and then their bikes. Children become curious about different foods – that is how we become finicky eaters or adventurous eaters. Children become curious about other children, and as they become teenagers, they become even more curious about others.

As teenagers they become curious as to what is so cool about smoking cigarettes, what is so cool about attending parties where alcohol should not be at but is. Some teenagers become curious as to what happens if they smoke marijuana with their friends, they may even experience with other drugs or activities that are not their norm.

As adulthood sets in the curiosity may wane or change specifically towards what type of education they want to achieve, what their dream job may be all the while having that fear of the unknown deep in the recesses of their mind. The curiosity at this point in their early adulthood, if it has not already happened, is what is their faith and how does their faith play into their lives. They may be curious as to whether the person they are involved with are their one and only or they may be curious as to who else may be out there waiting for them.

As they get older and hopefully more mature, they may get to the stage where I am. I am at the stage where I am curious to know – why am I here, what is God’s purpose for me? I am curious and truly want to understand my depression and being bipolar. I am also curious and want to truly know exactly why the mental obsession regarding alcohol or other addictive substances can be so strong on some days and yet not even be present on others. I do have a fear of the unknown right now because I am unemployed, and I am working to find a job. I have had such a tough road over the last few years, some of it my own doing and some of it not my own doing. I also have a fear of the unknown because of all the turmoil going on in our country right now – mind you there is nothing I can do about this turmoil other than pray, but still the fear is there.

The great thing is that at the age of 52, I am still very curious about many things. I specifically am curious as to know what would happen if I chose to join a political campaign if there were an opening or is it possible for me to even enter politics myself considering my background. I am curious as to where my writing is going to take me, I know that deep inside I do have one heck of a novel that is itching to be written. I do know this, I am looking forward to whatever is coming down the road for me and mine, because the one thing am curious about is the fact that my God does not make mistakes and He has me here for a reason!!

That’s what’s in “My Rattled Cage”, thanks for stopping by!!!


#JusJoJan 2019 Daily Prompt – Jan. 22nd

Daily Post & Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge: Inchoate

pod-2018-md          The Daily Post: Inchoate 


           Blogging from A to Z April 2018 Challenge

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the adjective inchoate as being only partly in existence or operation or imperfectly formed or formulated.

This word is very interesting to me and fits into two aspects of my life. As a recovering alcoholic and cocaine addict diagnosed with bipolar affectation disorder with depression that often is deep and long, I feel as though I am inchoate. You see when I am deep in my disease of alcoholism and addiction, often brought on by my mental illness issues, I feel as though my existence is nonexistent. Does this make sense?

As a gay man who knew at the age of six that he was different and has had many struggles over the years, I have also felt as though I was imperfectly formed mentally and otherwise. However, when I became strong in my faith in my Higher Power whom I choose to call God, I realized that I am not imperfectly formed. I am just how God intended for me to be. I am a 51-year-old gay man that has been married to his husband for over 17 years, with seven dogs and I have been thriving not just surviving with HIV/AIDS for over 21 years. All of this along with my demons of alcoholism and addiction and the mental illness are just facets of my life for which I ask God to continue to help me remain clean and sober just for today, while asking for his grace to be over me at all times.

The second aspect is my writing. I love to write and have many things that I can write about. The issue is that because I do not write every day or as much as I would like my writing may sometimes be inchoate. Yet writing is an art form that improves with time and content. I am a personal writer, I have some pretty strong political opinions that for some reason have held back on, and I am not afraid to share who am with any because my story may actually help someone else struggling in the same areas.

This is what is in “My Rattled Cage” today, thanks for stopping by!!


Late – #JusJotJan – January 2nd, 2018 – Boisterous


This is a late post part of #JusJotJan – 1/2/2018.

If you look up boisterous in the Webster’s Dictionary you will see a picture of me Gregory Leon Frieden!! I am the true picture of what it means to be continuously boisterous!!! May you all have a BOISTEROUS, HEALTHY and PROSPEROUS 2018!!!!


Gregoryand Rowdy


Late #JusJotJan – January 1st, 2018 -DRAMA


This is a late post and part of #JusJotJan 1/1/2018.

Drama, drama, drama! It would not be my annual Christmas trip to Shore Acres, Texas to see my two older sisters, their husbands, my three nieces and their husbands and my four beautiful great nieces and my great nephew, without my oldest sister causing a whole lot of drama. Every year we try to plan my trip where I get to spend as much time with everyone, this trip was extremely short 3 1/2 days and three nights so planning did not go quite as planned. For one I arrived into Downtown Houston at 3:30pm instead of the 11:15am arrival I was supposed to have.

I start early on Thursday 12/21 through a family group text to determine our food plans for Christmas day to no avail. Then some other family group texts happened that were of no help. The straw that broke the camels’ back was when my other sister made a suggestion and was asking everyone’s opinion about the entire family doing our big family Christmas moving forward on 12/23 because now with my nieces and their husbands having their things they do on Christmas Eve and the blended families due to divorces etc. – it is very hard to plan anything for Christmas Day because of some of the children being at the other parents house and not always having a clear picture of parental exchanges.

My oldest took it as though the decision had already been made and she was ugly to me and she made my other sister cry because she accused of distancing herself from, which was ridiculous. In the end We all got together on Christmas Day and everyone acted like everything was great. We had a great day. The next day before I left to return to San Antonio, I called my oldest sister and could tell something was wrong – she had a tone. She proceeded to tell me that her Christmas had been f@#@#@# ruined. I did not touch it because lately if we breathe wrong she takes offense.

Finally on Saturday of last week both sisters had a five hour lunch and hashed it all out and as I already said all the DRAMA was because the oldest was not reading or reading things into the family group texts that was no there. Boy am I glad that DRAMA is OVER!!!

That is the drama the has Rattled My Cage!!