Last updated: May 2022
How much does family matter to you? It means the world to many people, but when that so-called family hurts you, betrays you, or makes you feel less than about who you are, it is sometimes best to keep them at a distance. It has been said that the ones closest to you are the ones who do you wrong.
Family does not have to be the people you share blood relations with at all. Family is love (unconditional love), respect, making each one feel valued, it is a sense of belonging and caring for each other. A bond that should not be broken. But this does not seem to happen for everyone now does it?
What does family mean?
We hear people say that you can not choose your biological family and so there can be a closeness that people share with others who are not related by blood and these friends can be the family you never had. The ones that support all that you do and do not judge based on who you identify as, those who could care less about you living with HIV, those who treat you with greatness and don’t choose when to treat you bad or treat you good.
They are the ones you can call anytime of the night when you need a shoulder to lean on and understand what you are going through. They celebrate all your accomplishments regardless of how small and do not drag you down with negativity.
As we age, we start to learn how important it is to have good friends in our lives, and we cherish every moment of that. Even if it is just one close friend. I know that at 52 of age I begin to appreciate the love of friends that can relate to me on all levels of my life. From my first finding out about my HIV diagnosis until now.
It is the greatest feeling to connect with those who know what you have been through because it creates an emotional bond that is closer than a sister-brother connection since your siblings do not know or understand your mental struggle at all when it comes to living with HIV.
I can tell you that I appreciate the HIV community everyone I have met have changed my life for the better. Find that emotional family that will be there to support you and have your back all the time. There is no need for anyone to feel alone when there are people out there you can connect with along with so many private HIV groups on so social media to help you.
Be your own change in what family can be. Because sometimes it is not the family who is related to us at all. I had lonely feelings for 17 years I didn’t know anyone who lived with HIV. Today I am happy where I am at with the community in my life and I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world.
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