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Author Topic: Curse vs Blessing  (Read 4238 times)

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Offline Life

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  • Posts: 2,388
  • Member 2005
Curse vs Blessing
« on: August 07, 2006, 09:21:07 PM »
I have been reading threads for about a year now..  I hear stories of this being a curse and others who have turned it around...  For those who have found some peace of mind with "living with" I would like to understand how you figure the B word into your lives...   Maybe I can incorporate this word into my /  our lives..  Even my husband continually says to me "Eric we are blessed".  Go figure........ ::)

Offline ademas

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Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2006, 09:28:42 PM »
I don't tend to look at things in terms of "curses" or "blessings".
Most days I'm at peace with it, but I think much of that has to do with the amount of time I've been living with it.
Other days it's just a bitch--no way around it.
I guess I'm not particularly enlightened.
xox

Offline Sdgirl

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  • Posts: 247
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2006, 09:33:48 PM »
Hmmmmmmmm, yeah Blessing...........I'm thinking that is not exactly the word I would use to describe it.

I can however say that it HAS made me a better, more tolerant, don't sweat the small stuff woman.  Things that used to get under my skin, no longer bother me. 

For me, my HIV diagnosis has defined WHO I really want to be.  I have a voice, and I sure as hell am going to make sure that it is heard.  Shame on me for not being involved before............but I am now.  I look at myself as the "new face of HIV/AIDS" and I am going to make sure that my face is seen, that my voice is heard and change is evoked.  I know it's why I am here, why I am infected and why I will make a difference.

So "blessed" isn't the word I would necessarily use................but i do think that I am "set apart" (which is in the definition of blessed)

Lisa
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves.."Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?"

Offline hmb4him

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Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2006, 09:36:34 PM »
Well, I would not say its a blessing!  But I do say I have hope.  I've had HIV for 14 years and personally, I have not had too many problems.  I've not been hospitalized because of it, no OIs, not many problems at all!  

It takes lots of time to move past the shock of it all.  It took me 4 or 5 years before I quit crying before every dr appt.  (I'm a pessimist)  Once I had healthy kids, that made a huge difference.  

There is a lady at my church that has MS.  She's had it about 5 years.  She sometimes has to be in a wheel chair and is frequently in pain.   I used to spend lots of time feeling sorry for myself, but I would see her and she would be so full of joy.  I would think, wow, if she can be happy in so much pain, what am I crying about?  Then she told me I was an inspiration to her!  I couldn't believe it!  She was thinking the same thing about me that I was about her!

I don't know many people that have lived with cancer or other diseases for 14 years with no major problems.  That's how I feel blessed.  I'm not in pain.  I'm not undergoing excruciating treatments.  My life isn't perfect, but I know it could be so much worse.  

Hannah
Hannah

"I love golf.  I hit the ball as hard as I can, walk 6 feet, and hit it again!" --Greg Hahn

Offline Eldon

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Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2006, 09:50:06 PM »
Hello Eric, it is Eldon. I'd say that after (16) sixteen years living with HIV, I have learned a lot about myself and others. When I look at the other person who can't walk, who can't even lift a finger. It makes me thankful.

I have never been hospitalized, no OI's and I have been in the greatest of health ever since. (knock on wood) It has redefined who I really am and who I'm going to be; Let my voice be heard and help others as much as I can.

No, it's not a curse, it is a blessing! We are alive, well and kicking with joy to share with others.

The forums are healthy, very supportive and encouraging.

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2006, 11:50:58 PM »
Dear Forum Friends,

Curse vs. blessing?  I just don't know...

HIV+ for 10 years, AIDS for 10, almost died from an OI but I did get up and have been trying to make a difference in my life and for others.  Every once in awhile, someone in these forums, someone on the street, or a close personal friend will make a comment about something Michael is working on and how it may impact the quality of their lifes.  These comments make me feel blessed. 

I have spent the last few months working on the Funding Allocation Working Group, the past year as a Commissioner on our planning Counsil, on a least 4 to 6 of the sub-committees of the Planning Counsil.  All I get in return is the feeling I am making a difference but, I never asked for anything so, this is a good thing.  I like being part of the New Face of AIDS and am thrilled that so many of you are doing the same in your communities.  Have the best day
Michael

www.Commission-on-AIDS.org

Offline bear60

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,104
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2006, 08:12:25 AM »
Eric....
Some people have no other frame of reference to address this HIV issue other than a "religious" one.  If yopu have a strong religious background and I know you do, then these words tend to be used more often.  HIV changes peoples lives and forces us to deal with issues we had swept under the rug.  Often an addiction problem or sexual disfunction or just putting off doing something important. When someone finally is able to make peace with their family (for example) it can be seen as a "blessing".  In my world I do not use a religious vocabulary very much as I am no longer a very religious person....I prefer spiritual. So I wopuld rather talk about HIV giving me "opportunities" as opposed to "blessing".
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline jack

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  • fomerly the loser known as Jake
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2006, 09:15:28 AM »
Just can't see how HIV is a blessing but that doesn't mean you cant be blessed in spite of having hiv.
Bear put it best,hiv can force us to face some our addictions and problems head on but I like to think I would have overcome them without the help or blessing of HIV at some point.

Offline Life

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  • Member 2005
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2006, 11:11:39 AM »
I guess what I am trying to say is I feel like I have been on a teeter-totter and a 500 pound man got on the other side and launched me head over heals over him.  Now today,  I do have allot to be thankful for unrelated to hiv which includes a loving husband and a place where I can be myself and learn from all of you.   But where is the happy balance for proper fun on my teeter-totter?  I wonder if only time can answer that question?  But I don't want to just wait for it...  I want it sooner than later..  I want to launch that guy (hiv) over my head and laugh my fucking ass off this time. ;D

The insights I have read so far are vantastic..  I really want a peice of the peace you have found...

Love
« Last Edit: August 08, 2006, 11:14:03 AM by Eric »

Offline angels4kelly

  • Member
  • Posts: 305
  • IT JUST IS!!.....OKAY!
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2006, 12:59:16 PM »
Hi Eric,
I just wanted to chime in here ;D
I really loved what "BEAR60" had to say.
I definitely don't think I consider HIV a blessing. Also the massive stroke I had 10 years after my HIV diagnoses isn't something I feel blessed with.

I do however feel blessed that these health issues caused me to quit being so ambivalent about my life and begin taking a long, serious look at ALL aspects of my life.
I've had to change many of my old behaviors and "friends".
The people I've surrounded myself with now are honest, trustworthy people that I can count on for sure!!

I am in a wheelchair and will never walk again and I was bitter for some time about this.
For me though, the blessing is in KNOWING things could be much worse.

I do feel blessed that I have had to learn to face my demons and do a bit of changing (actually ALOT).

                                 Religion is for people who are afraid to go to hell.
Spirituality is for people who have been there.


Peace & love, Eric,
Kelly
POSITIVE SINCE-10/1990
CD4-610
CD4%-29.3
VL-UNDETECTABLE
VIREAD,VIRACEPT, EPZICOM

MOST RECENT...
10/9/2006
CD4's-714
CD4%-30%
VL-Undetectable
DIAGNOSES POSITIVE 10/90
SAME MEDS, VIREAD, VIRAMUNE, EPZICOM.

SHOOT FOR THE MOON! YOU MAY MISS,
BUT YOU'LL LAND IN THE STARS :)

Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.
 
Failure is not in falling down,
but the staying down

Offline MoltenStorm

  • Member
  • Posts: 477
  • Poz & Fabulous
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2006, 01:09:18 PM »
I definitely think there's a silver lining to having HIV, at least for me. Before I became HIV+, I could never enjoy the moment because I was constantly looking to the future. Thus, I would get depressed about missing the moments. Time was also an endless commodity, and the small things in life didn't mean much to me.

That all changed when I found out I was HIV+, and I'm glad it did.
"Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful nor conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, adaptation in A Walk To Remember

CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 7 Nov 2006
CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 5 Feb 2007

Offline kcmetroman

  • Member
  • Posts: 567
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2006, 01:11:47 PM »
Quote
Religion is for people who are afraid to go to hell.
Spirituality is for people who have been there.

Amen Kelly

Offline Miss Philicia

  • Member
  • Posts: 24,229
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2006, 04:06:26 PM »
I once read that the Chinese character used to express the word "crises" is a combination of the ones for "danger" and "opportunity" and that's the way I try and look at it.  The Chinese are pretty smart when it comes to such things, no?

I also try and remind myself just how BAD people in 3rd world countries in Africa have it.  Perspective helps to make me whine less, not that I ever stop completely :)
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Life

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,388
  • Member 2005
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2006, 04:13:17 PM »
Please do not get confused about the terms I use "cursed" & "blessed"  I do not associate these with anything related to religion or spirituality.  I for one have been to hell and back 10 years ago with an addiction.  I didnt realize I was going to go visit hell again so soon however... :-[

Offline angels4kelly

  • Member
  • Posts: 305
  • IT JUST IS!!.....OKAY!
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2006, 04:25:37 PM »
I didn't realize hell was in the cards for me again so soon either, Eric.
But one f*** up just followed the other to each and every hellish nightmare!

Wishing
NO MORE HELL FOR YOU!
Peace,
Kelly

                                               

                                               
POSITIVE SINCE-10/1990
CD4-610
CD4%-29.3
VL-UNDETECTABLE
VIREAD,VIRACEPT, EPZICOM

MOST RECENT...
10/9/2006
CD4's-714
CD4%-30%
VL-Undetectable
DIAGNOSES POSITIVE 10/90
SAME MEDS, VIREAD, VIRAMUNE, EPZICOM.

SHOOT FOR THE MOON! YOU MAY MISS,
BUT YOU'LL LAND IN THE STARS :)

Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.
 
Failure is not in falling down,
but the staying down

Offline Joe K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 3,797
  • 31 Years Poz
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2006, 04:55:07 PM »
I believe there are three parts (opportunity, perception and acceptance) that are everything in dealing with this disease.  Like many here, my infection made me stop and think, but it was 85 and I was kept very busy caring for and burying my friends.  When the deaths began to wane, I was able to take the time to decide what I wanted to do in life.  That's why I like Bears term of "opportunities" because I believe the trauma of becoming positive, slowed me down enough, so I could recognize many more options in my life.

Yet dealing with those options and the challenges of HIV also forced me to alter my perceptions of what I thought my life should be like, as opposed to what it really is.  If I insist on perceiving everything in relation to some unachievable goals, then I only set myself up for disappointment.  It's not always easy, but you can train yourself to have pretty realistic perceptions of your reality, because when you do, that's where the acceptance part comes.

I don't like what HIV has done to me.  At times, I don't like what I have done to me, yet I accept both as part of my reality.  Acceptance for me, refers to my ability to look at my own issues and determine those things that I have no control over and so my only real option is acceptance.  Railing against the machine is fine for specific causes, but it's no way to live your life.

So instead of concentrating on what I don't have, I relish what I do have.  I have the love of a good man, lead a full life and have few regrets.  I've taken opportunities to expand my life and in doing so, I have redefined my perceptions of how I want to live my life.  I've taken actions to attain those things that are important to me and for all the rest, I just try to accept it, warts and all.

That, my friend, is how I move on with life.  I would also submit that the only reason you returned to hell is because you allowed yourself to do that, as nobody can make you do anything.  Unfortunately, we often overlook the obvious solutions, when applied to our own issues and so hopefully you can gain a little clarity from the words of others.

BTW I loathe words like blessing and cursed because they suggest some moral judgement.  I am not cursed because I have HIV, nor am I blessed for the life I lead.  I take responsbility for becoming positive and I've worked damn hard to achieve this life.  Judgement has no place in dictating your life.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2006, 05:00:50 PM by killfoile »

Offline Christine

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  • Posts: 1,069
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2006, 05:11:44 PM »
 I wonder if only time can answer that question?  But I don't want to just wait for it...  I want it sooner than later..  I want to launch that guy (hiv) over my head and laugh my fucking ass off this time.


If you want to launch that big fat guy over your head...then just do it. Start laughing your ass off, flip him the bird, and start living the life you want. For me, hiv made me realize that life is now...not someday I will do this or that. It made me see the beauty around me. In people, nature, myself.

Hiv will always be with you, but it does not have to define you. Listen to the other posts. There are such wise and amazing people here.
Christine
Quote
Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

5/30/07 t-cells 9; vl 275,000

Offline david25luvit

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  • Member since March 2005
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2006, 07:58:22 PM »
HIV/AIDS is a NIGHTMARE....Make no mistake.  But what we do with our lives can be a BLESSING
for ourselves as well as others....  I suppose it depends upon where you are in the process.
In Memory of
Raymond David McRae III
Nov. 25, 1972- Oct. 15, 2004
I miss him terribly..........

Offline trellium

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  • stArk raving Borg
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2006, 01:38:58 AM »
It also depends on where you live

Unfortunately, there are many other countries (especially in Asia and 2nd/3rd world) that are still seriously lacking in HIV/AIDS health care.  Those people do not have access to all the latest medications and treatments that are available in the US and UK.   

I noticed that the majority here lives in 1st world countries like the US and UK where health care standards are very high and medical care/insurance easily available so they should think/live  positively and considered themselves - "blessed".

Offline sfca415

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  • love this place
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2006, 03:30:31 AM »
Hi Eric,

To me, your message is about the ways in which we're looking for and finding happiness in the face of challenges.

Like some others above, I'm working on not viewing my life in those extreme terms of "curse/blessing."  I think the title brings to mind an authoritarian or fundamentalist view, which categorizes everything into: black/white, good/evil, us/them. 

Human nature being what it is, this way of dividing the world can be very appealing, especially when we're stressed.  But life is rarely defined in such terms.  I question most things characterized this way, since often the speaker is using those terms to set up a false dichotomy to promote an agenda.

Being poz is "what is" for me.  Like anything in life, it's complex and constantly changing -- not always going in the expected direction on any given day. 

best wishes,
Rob
« Last Edit: August 10, 2006, 12:06:57 PM by sfca415 »
cd4+ 617 30% undetec - Jul06
cd4+ 221 17% 32K - Dec01
cd4+ 640 41% 5K - Feb96
current meds: Reyataz+Norvir, Viread, Epzicom, Valtrex, Wellbutrin
+ 1992, first meds 2002: Viramune (nvp), Zerit (d4t), Epivir (3tc) -- (m184v mutation & resistant to non-nukes, so no Atripla)

Offline DanielMark

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,475
Re: Curse vs Blessing
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2006, 06:50:06 AM »
Good question Eric, and a big one too.

Iíd have to say I see being Poz as both a curse and a blessing.

Itís a curse when the body breaks down to its effects. Itís a blessing when I review the ways it has made me rethink my life, and more importantly made changes.

After 18+ years, I have grown by leaps and bounds as a person. I have a deeper compassion for other peopleís struggles, but I no longer take on other peopleís baggage or always put their needs ahead of my own. I own my own choices and Iím happy with that Ė even if it is still sometimes not so easy.

It has also basically forced me to separate whatís really important from whatís not so important.

Someone once said:

That which doesnít kill us makes us stronger.

I can see how that applies to my own living experiences.

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

 


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