To Err Is Human
I can't remember exactly when I was diagnosed. I can recall being in love, I can recall falling out of it. I can recall a string of bad decisions prior to being informed that my life would be altered. For two years my life was a blur and honestly didn't hold the same value. At the time, I found myself just going through the motions. For a period of time, I was riddled with guilt and shame. I felt like my worth had been diminished. I felt like the hurdles that had been placed in my life were elevated that much higher.
Support from family and friends
I give thanks for my support system. Regardless of my feeling misunderstood and unworthiness, I've been fortunate enough to be surrounded and embraced by friends and family who care and remind me that I'm loved and that I should love myself. It was through these conversations, their patience, positive reinforcement that I was enabled to grow into a version of myself that could appreciate and love better than I previously believed I could.
Overcoming HIV stigma
Since my diagnosis I've not only learned to forgive myself and to heal mentally and emotionally, I've been able to become a positive motivating force in the lives of others. I've learned to embrace who I am and what I am not. I no longer feel like I'm limited by any sort of stigma. I've been able to share with truth and through that, I've been able to inspire others to stand on their own.
Interested in sharing your own diagnosis story, treatment experience, or another aspect of living with HIV?
At what age were you diagnosed with HIV?