This life was never made to be easy, whether you are HIV + or HIV negative. Throughout our 80 or so years here on earth many obstacles can come our way. It is how we decide to overcome these hurdles in the journey that counts.
HIV as you know is part of my daily life. I cannot wake up one day and say "can I just get a break?" I am reminded of my HIV every single day in one way or another.
When I see a couple walking in the street holding hands or a mom with her husband pushing a baby stroller down the street with a little bundle of joy. I can’t help but wonder "will that ever be me?" I know it will happen and I am very optimistic about finding a girl that one day will be accepting but it always pops in my head, "HIV".
I am much more than a virus and have a positive attitude 90% of the time but like everyone I have my good and bad days. It gets to a point where the good outweighs the bad and that is the goal. I am reminded when I have to take medicine every day just to keep me alive while watching my friends of the same age living life carefree with hardly any trips to the doctor. I have to go to get my blood drawn every three months to check that my medicine is working correctly and I have not built up resistance. I hear my parents talk about my nephews who are the joy of my life as well, thinking to myself "when will I have that joy of having a child?"
A lot of guilt and shame comes along with this virus thinking of how I put myself in this predicament by allowing this virus to infect me. No one asks to get HIV however it is something that I take full responsibility for because I put myself in several high risk situations. I think to myself of my ex girlfriend who I disclosed to after being diagnosed and never heard back from. I wonder if she came out negative or positive? Did I get it from her or another girl after we had broken up? Why is it that millions of people every day do the same thing that I did but I am the one who was “chosen” for lack of a better word, to contract this virus?
Their are many unanswered questions that I have in my head and a day doesn’t go by that I don’t think "I am HIV Positive". It is not always easy and sometimes I have to break down and let it out, other times I hold it in. However I then think how my life was before I was positive and how careless I was living. I went from having a drug addiction that consumed my life for over five years (never IV drug use) into sex becoming my addiction. The relationship between me and my ex girlfriend became consumed with sex, regardless of how we were feeling that day, everything was solved by sex. I sometimes think things would have turned out different if sex never came into the picture, I can’t help but think, it would have.
I was into partying to numb whatever problems I had at the time, wanting to find an escape. I guess I have always tried to find something to mask the problems in my life but never faced them head on, until I was diagnosed HIV-positive.
Despite all the unanswered questions and constant reminders of my status, survival and optimism is my only option. It is how I am dealing with this virus head on day by day. I can’t take back the past or my actions however I can change my future. I don’t want anyone to end up in the same place as I am and that is why I continue to share my story.
I want people to see that this virus does not have to consume us or bring us down. Though I am constantly reminded about this virus daily, I will not let it change me in a negative way. I face issues just like everyone else does, some might be facing problems even graver than mine. I know that God has a plan for my life and there is a reason that this happened to me. I am going to use it for His glory. It is not always easy having to walk this journey but God never gives us more than we can bear.
I wake up every day with a smile on my face, ready for whatever new opportunity might await me. I posted a comment on FB earlier and it is so true, "without sadness we would not appreciate the happiness in our lives". I can truly say that even though this virus has drastically changed my life, it has been for the better. I was not a happy person before or living to accomplish anything, I was living for myself. I can look at my life two ways including “Why did this happen to me” or “What can I do to better myself and others with what has happened to me”.
Life is what you make it and I could have taken a drastic 180 from where my life is today. After being diagnosed with HIV, I could have fallen back into drug addiction or continued a destructive sex addiction that would have only ended up with more being infected. After the first few weeks of my diagnosis and seeing countless activists living so strongly with this virus, I determined, that was going to be me. I have every right to break down and be angry at myself and whatever girl infected me, but what good would that do ? It takes two to tango and I knew the risks I was taking. I choose to be happy, outgoing, optimistic, friendly, caring, loving, social, and above all I choose to love myself. I am taking care of what I have to take care of health wise and continuing to live my life.
The moment will come when I find that girl of my dreams and we have a child together, until that time comes life does continue on. My puppy is like my baby and right now my main priority is making sure he has the best life he can have.
There will come a day I hope that all of us who are positive will be free from this virus, until that day comes I choose to LIVE. I am making the most of it including taking steps to get back into school to complete my degree for an eventual career and obtaining my private pilots license to allow me the freedom to fly the sky.
HIV might be a part of me but it will never HAVE me. God is the director of my life and I am a producer that wishes to live positive, not negative. Though the winds might blow and try to tear down my foundation, I am like an oak tree that will stand strong through it all. Yes there might be a couple of days with rain but as many days as possible, I am going to let my sunlight shine :))))))
Until next time thank you for continually reading my blogs. Thank you to my continued supporter PositiveLite.com and all the work they are doing for PLWHA. Wether we are positive or affected, we are all warriors in this battle against HIV/AIDS. Join me in making the most of life, it truly is the best way to live.
This article previously appeared on Joshua’s own blog PozitiveHope here.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding HIV/AIDS and as always they will remain CONFIDENTIAL and PRIVATE. I am here to help you any way I can.
Get Educated, Get Tested (Know Your Status), and above all PROTECT yourself