a man with HIV screams and reaches for the sky

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Living with HIV affects everyone in various ways: we can’t say that someone should not feel the way they feel. Their thoughts and emotions in their heads are real and it’s hard to understand what HIV has done to all of us who are living with HIV. To tell someone they should not feel a certain way is not how I think it should be. Who’s to say that a person's emotions are wrong?

The emotional impact of an HIV diagnosis

There are people living with or born with HIV that struggle with many unexplainable emotions mentally. The reason I say unexplainable is that it’s part of me as well.

I remember my emotional state of mind when first finding out I was living with HIV. To muster up the words to express that today still doesn’t come out the way I felt it, thinking about that day. But tonight, as I write, there are feelings I am working through to do that.

Going through a range of emotions

The crushing sound I heard in my head, like a glass bottle thrown against the wall in anger, never to be repaired since the pieces were too broken up to fix. I was motionless: think of sitting on a cloud in the air just floating about as if you were lost, not knowing which way to go. Cold all over as you knew death will come soon, but feeling the heat that was so red watching your life pass you by at rapid speed.

How does anyone make sense of it?

Cradling every single thought like a child so hurt from falling off its bike that lets out a distressing cry that can be heard from miles away. How can one gather and make sense of what they just heard? It’s not possible to be sane after such horrifying news. Disconnecting from the life you saw prior; it all fades, never to be thought of or brought back again.

We are all dealing with personal struggles

You see, all of us living with HIV have hurt, anger, have cried, have felt like there is no hope, scared. The stigma. Losing a parent, a family member, a loved one from complications or suicide. Some of us struggle with guilt, adherents. Some with internal stigma, substance abuse, alcoholism, and depression.

There aren’t too many close enough to sincerely truly understand what it’s like or even ask, for that matter. Being lost in time from the first words of "You tested positive," can put life literally at a halt, standing in your way to proceed to your full potential in life.

You are not alone in your emotions and thoughts

We are ONE together living with a virus that, at times, still keeps some of us bitter and outraged. You may feel alone, but you are not at all alone. Someone living with HIV who has been through what you are going through is here.

The HIV community is here to provide support

We see you, hear you and reach out with open arms to you. It’s okay to feel like you’re the only one but I’m letting you know you are not. If you need to cry, cry. But remember when you are ready, don’t hesitate. We are all here.

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