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Author Topic: Just got older and checking in to say hey  (Read 1645 times)

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Offline MarcoPoz

  • Member
  • Posts: 397
Just got older and checking in to say hey
« on: June 01, 2010, 10:23:04 AM »
Hey all,
Been awhile since I've checked in here and I just want to say hi to everyone.  I just turned 45 and am staring down the barrell of a 20 year diagnosis with HIV. It seems the only place I ever really 'talk' about my personal walk with HIV is here--despite the fact that I've worked in HIV care, prevention, policy and advocacy since 1994.  I think other people's issues are more important and far more interesting than mine ;)  Sure, I give advice etc when asked, but I'm not one to 'over share' I quess.

So this year I've had a few thoughts about my impending 2 decades living with HIV:

Most of alll of my time and energy goes into fighting this disease.  I work to help improve prevention efforts, care paractices and access, policy changes and accountability/quality enhancement of our services.  I counsel, write, consult, balance budgets, quality assure, provide technical assistance, whine, bitch and pressure legislators.  I've protested, been arrested and helped at Hospice.

When I started working in HIV, I thought it was a good way to give back to those who gave me so much support early on in my diagnosis.  I felt like the odd-man-out quite often because there were so few straight men living with HIV like me around to give and receive support.  I had no idea I'd still be working at this for so long and how it would encompass so much of 'me'.

I went too far and broke.  In my desire to give back--and maybe bury myself in work, I forgot to 'live'.  I slowly built my life back by giving myself permission to live rather than exist.  I dove head first back into my passions and reclaimed what I thought HIV had taken from me.  I've reclaimed my music, art, passions and become a competitive athlete again. At the same time, I've been re-energized in my advocacy efforts and have helped take a little organization into the national debates about HIV.

Now, maybe I'm not soley defined by HIV.  Perhaps now I've come closer to becoming the man I always wanted to be.  I love more freely and in ways I'm only beginig to understand.  I do not suffer fools--or argue with them anymore.  I simply remind myself of the danger of not seeing a problem more clearly and thoughtfully.

I've learned that I cannot be a teacher as if I had some grand wisdom to pass on--but rather I can be a listener who perhaps can empathize more because of my history and my path.

I go still from anger, sadness, grief, acceptance, understanding and joy---sometimes all in one day if my meds haven't been 'calibrated' in awhile :D  But I've realized that this is how it is going to be for me--no plateau of divine acceptance and zen-like understanding of my place--but a daily experience of what it is like to LIVE with HIV--good and bad.

Maybe the best I can do is keep pushing through the 'bad' and seek out the sublime wherever it is?  If that's NOT it--please don't tell me.  I look forward to hunting the sublime.


Offline MarcoPoz

  • Member
  • Posts: 397
Re: Just got older and checking in to say hey
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2010, 10:27:19 AM »
Sheesh!  I guess I DID over-share.  Yikes, sorry.



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