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changing yourself: what did you do, what have you done?

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You guys are the greatest!!

Yes, Moff, I have made a promise to myself to do the exercise. It does sound scarey but do-able.

I had a rough patch today, and I met a friend for lunch...and I just blabbed it all out. I came away realizing that I am doing too much. I have to drop some commitments, especially academic ones, and focus on getting back to social groups, like playing hockey this year. I need to build this new life, piece by piece.

Thanks for helping me put the pieces together.


In a way, you are lucky. You looked in the mirror and saw you were not happy with the reflection, and want to change it. Learning to acknowledge your feelings truthfully to yourself is a big deal. Admitting you don't like what you see, and want to improve yourself- HUGE deal. Some people never get to that point in their lives. You should be very proud of yourself.

I used to take things for granted, and never enjoyed the moment. Always looking for the next thing to make me happy. And then I realized that they only person who can make me happy is me. It is my responsibility to love life, and see the beauty around me. I also learned to appreciate each day, because it could be the last. Yes- it is an Oprah moment, but on most days it works pretty well.

Sending you good thoughts of empowerment and strength. And next year- go to the Pride parade, and enjoy yourself!

Dear Andrew,

I saw myself on the TV news last week, recognized my shirt, my voice and my words but, not the face on the screen.

WE do not have to apologize for being ourselves and having feelings.  My first 6 years with HIV/AIDS was rather unsettling to say the least.  I missed a lot of events, I missed life as I once knew it.  Life beyond L.A.?

I spent another 4 years in complete isolation, moved to a small town where, I knew no one.  Had occassional chats with the clerk at the convenience market and the only people I spent any time with was at the clinic and only while I had an appointment.

Having always been an advocate, I was elected to be the Chair person on our local HIV Advisory Committee, I was invited to be on the Board of Directors of our clinic.  Tried to invoke some change through the State Department of Health, Office of AIDS (California) and got mixed (if any) results from the powers that bee and no support from the healthcare organization, the ASO or the other people living with HIV In our community.

When things are not going well, we need to re-invent ourselves.   I left that dirty little no-horse town and moved to Sonoma County because there is a physician here who was highly recommended by the medical profession in L.A.. Things got better and then there was the Ryan White CARE Act, which is necessary federal funding for needed services.  As you must be aware it expired on September 30, 2005 and the legislation in it's current form is nothing more than legislative language.  It is not likely to be resolved this year, in it's current state.

I re-invented myself from an isolated advocate to an activist.  I became a member of the Sonoma County Commission on AIDS, built a web site (from my own funds), I am an active member on at least 6 sub-committees.  I spend a lot of time with the media in our county and the surrounding counties.  There is little support for what I do but after working so long and so hard to be able to maintain a life with HIV/AIDS, I refuse to sit back and watch the legislators take everything away.  Have the best day

In my free time, I post here in the forums.


     I like that some of you guys just put it right out there.  It helps some of us realize we're not alone in our scenarios.

     I've really tried (with as much success as can reasonably be expected) to accept my situation.  I realize I can't change people or fate, but I can to an extent change my reactions and perceptions to them.

     In the 80s I did the bar thing all the time...went home with lots of guys.  That was never exactly what I was looking for though.  At the time I thought I was doing that to find a LTR but in retrospect maybe I wasn't.
     In the 90s I'd had my fill of the bar culture.  Thereafter up to 2004 I had five STRs (short-term relationships.)  Maybe some of those didn't exactly meet that definition, but to me they did.  In each case, the other person terminated them.  I never did, though in retrospect I should have ended each of them myself.  Guess I had a bad habit then of ignoring red flags prominent enough for Helen Keller to see...and wanted to hang on at any cost.  Well...I've definitely learned a lot about myself and people since those situations.

     So here I be at 55...and I have some wasting...and moreover I don't fit most of the gay stereotypes or have the typical gay interests.  I have good qualities but they are not the ones which generate much enthusiasm in the gay community I guess. 
     (Poz) guys who do seem friendly with me always drop off after a month or so.  Maybe the novelty wears off for that it?  (Of course it wears off as you get to know someone.)  Seems hard to even make friends...being pragmatic, I don't expect more than that anymore in my situation.

     I'm uncomfortable even writing this because it's embarrassing.  But others have opened up so I feel okay doing the same.  The good thing is that I have learned to love myself...which is as much a key as anything to getting by in life.



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