Tyrone Flowers - Rider # 272
Today I stand in my truth.
I have HIV.
For 12 years. I’ve taken a pill (almost) everyday. In the beginning I didn’t have insurance. Which meant coming up with creative reasons for requesting off work, to spend hours (minimum 2 hours)at the health department. Meeting with case workers, standing in lines, providing documents, proving that I had the virus and needed the medication.
I battled with self hatred due to being positive. Looking for love, while infected was the beginning of a short but dark phase where i abused drugs and alcohol. “No diseases or stds” or seeing dozens of profiles on dating apps saying “ clean and disease free”, eventually started to make me feel less attractive. As a result, I put myself in dangerous situations. Isolation, long days and longer nights. I didn’t close my eyes for 4 days in a row. I looked for love and acceptance in really scary places. I managed to hide my eyes from family and friends.
Fast forward almost 12 years. I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. From my heart to my brain. I
take a pill every day. I’m now considered
“undetectable” (which basically means hiv can’t be detected in my blood)
In the end, being diagnosed not only changed how I function on a daily basis but, it completely changed my outlook on life.
Once the dust settled, I got my life on track. I started taking care of myself mentally and physically. I learned the value of
self-love and self-care. Eventually loving and understanding myself more than I ever have. (It’s not always biscuits and gravy. I still battle with depression and anxiety, which I manage weekly with thearpy)
If you’re recently positive, I hope you find comfort in this post. Your hiv status doesn’t define you (positive or negative) It will get better and won’t always feel like this. Getting on medication is a priority! You have to manage the virus, don’t let it manage you. I also highly recommend speaking to a thearpist. The sooner you start communicating and expressing your feelings the better. I found telling some family and close friends helped with loneliness. &l
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