Mental Health/Depression/Suicide

Survivors are the true victims of suicide. For survivors, there is no such thing as closure.

Trigger Warning: What you are about to read will be disturbing to some, but that is precisely the reason we need to think about it?

By the time I was six years old, I had attended two funerals, one for my father and a second one for Grandpa Koester. Although I was too young to have labels for my emotions, the feeling-memories were imprinted.

When I was three years old, my father was dragged to death by a team of runaway horses. …


Relationships/Creative Nonfiction/LGBTQ

Is an affair a deal-breaker if you can’t find what you want at home?

Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.

— Adele

I drove my best friend, Bruce, home after my husband, Doug, and I had eaten dinner with him. When he opened the door to get out of my Camry, I shivered as premature winter-cold rushed in. But the brisk temperature outside stung less than my frigid relationship with Doug.

As Bruce stepped out of the car, I said to him, “I don’t know what’s up. Something’s really wrong between Doug and me right now.”

For a moment, Bruce sat there half in and half out of the car…


Not every man who has sex with men is gay.

An interviewer once said, “Any man who has had a penis is his mouth is gay.”

I tried (unsuccessfully)to explain…


Sadly, there are no such "gay churches" in Des Moines now. When I first came out, I could visit any one of five gay bars, all with a certain theme and a crowd of regulars. They also had out-of-town visitors and closeted men just beginning to explore their "faith."

Recently, the Brass Garden closed. It was mostly a dance bar. It is in one of the oldest buildings in the East Village and is now going through a $6M renovation as gentrification has pushed these bars out of formerly low rent neighborhoods.

The other bar, called "the Saddle," has had…


Paul,

As I mentioned in the essay: It wasn't always so.

Maybe things are good because of maturity. Maybe we're too stubborn to give up on it. My bet is that dwindling testosterone means we're not led around by our penises anymore.


Marriage/Relationships/Family

My husband gave me a Valentine that said, “You’re my favorite person to do everything & nothing with.”

You’re my favorite person to do nothing with

As I read the rest of the Valentine it said, “Together on the couch, out in the world, or just texting during the day — our you-and-me time is my favorite time.” This message tugged at my heart as he’d intended.

I realized the true test of a relationship is to do nothing with someone.

Can you feel comfort, intimacy, and love even during those laid-back times?

I’m 78-years-old, and I continue to practice psychiatry. And I write. But only when I want to. Life demands less of me than it once did. …


Gary,

Your thoughtful question deserves a response.

Aging definitely makes a difference. As we age, our values change. We are less driven by the tyranny of ambition. We've climbed the ladder as far as we can.

This creates a great sense of freedom to refocus on other things.

I've often written that we can measure time or experience time. When we're young, we measure it: What's on my to-do list? What time is my next meeting? With whom should I network (even if I don't like them) to advance my career.

With age, we can ask, "Whom and what do…

Loren A Olson MD

Gay father; Psychiatrist; Award-winning author FINALLY OUT. Chapter excerpt here: http://bit.ly/2EyhXTY Top writer on Medium. Not medical advice.

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