So now that I have made it through my fist year with HIV I have both negative and positive things about the experience. I know for a fact that I evolved into a much stronger person. Right from my initial diagnosis I was already accepting the fact that my life would be changed forever. To be honest I was being apathetic for so long that I could no longer ignore nor turn my back to the truth.
I have learned so much since being diagnosed. The greatest thing that I have learned is who my true friends are. I refer to them as my roots because no matter what they are there supporting me. When I first found out I was HIV positive I began telling people who I though were my friend. Well they ended up spreading my business and it even reached social media. I was horrified when I noticed one of my facebook friends posting a picture of them getting blood work done and then seeing results stating that they were HIV Negative and saying that there were people who were diseased and positive among him and that they were not welcome. That is when I felt as if I could not trust anyone, so I deactivated my facebook account and left twitter. I was so scared to go back and face the fact that people were talking about me; however, my roots over time helped me to gain my confidence and become a stronger person. So throughout this year I developed the mentality of saying goodbye to people who were not #teampatrick. In my mind if you are someone who I can’t trust then I keep you at arms length (a distance).
Another thing I learned was how fragile life is. Throughout my life I never broke a bone or rarely was sick. I was pretty much brought down to my knees by the lunch infection that kept me from talking a simple sentence. I could not even walk a few feet without being out of breath. This experience has showed me that my health is more valuable than any materialistic thing. Now I am super focused on what I put into my body and I try to stay super healthy inside and out (especially inside since my body as been thrown out of its usual functions to this virus). I have to be particular careful about what I put into my body because the medications filter through my liver and kidneys (so I have to keep them in tiptop shape). I have to lay off of the fatty foods because my fat levels can easily increase now. It is especially hard for me to work out due to the fact that I was truly never a fan of it (unless it was doing a sport or something). So on top of the company that I keep I have to be careful of the food my health both inside and out.
This process has been what I call a metamorphosis. Prior to being diagnosed I really did not want to be involved with my family much, nor did I have time for friends. That has all changed because now I see or speak to my family daily and I stop anything I am doing to be there with my true friends. The process continues to take place. I am not perfect but I trying to keep my life going. At this point that is all I can do.