The New Year

New beginnings, new amazing things, black eyed peas and rice.  Traditions that ground us in who we are or what we mean in life. Someone once said to me “you have to stand for something or else you will fall for everything”  I thought that was very wise considering it came from a doormat that did fall for everything and was very bitter about it. So I stand for social justice, what does that mean? It is a process.  Everyday I learn something new about this new part of my journey. POZ magazine is an interesting read as is the website.  Everyone Monday there is a small picture in the paper of the large town forty miles away with a picture of a couple, one of whom has HIV/AIDS a that reads “the face of HIV” or something akin to that.  This week I learned that HIV is a virus that never sleeps. Not once.  The attack of the cells is a major offensive all the way.. Go big or go home. That kind of assault is costly on the cellular level. There is much to make up, the energy cost just to start with.  So every morning I take a prenatal vitamin, a complex B vitamin, CoQ10, and a raw food green thing that is good for so many things.  At night I take an HIV combination drug with at least 400 calories of food, three pills for insomnia, blood pressure and muscle pain. Drink half my body weight daily in water, avoid everything that makes me want to vomit, which is a growing list – only thing that is growing, and I do not eat on the days I go to work, because I cannot risk the explosive poo or the vomiting.  I check myself for skin rashes, I wash my hands all the time, I have kids so I wash their hand too.  Two weeks ago they all started coming down with Flu type A, yeah. It was like after the other would fall. Fever, cough, body aches not feeling well at all.. It was not good.  Seven people in the house, two day between dominoes falling that is fourteen days total for sickness and another four tagged onto the end for recovery.  I was terrified. What if I got the Type A flu? How was that going to work?  Keeping ones body at a working relationship with HIV is one thing, add on an other visitor and that is more work for a over worked system.  The phrase “I think you will recover” was never one that had been used on be before but guess what? It is now.. Any little thing is a major event.. I am happy to be alive.  Happy that progress has been made with treatment options.  But I am not happy with the apparent continued isolation of all sorts for people with HIV/AIDS.  It is not cool.  Not necessary.     Definitely not helpful for anyone.  I once upon a time watched this PBS special on Mormons and it spoke about a family where one of the children came out to their mother as being gay.  If you know anything about Mormon background this is not cool.  The child asked the mother to inform the father.  Okay, so the parents were going somewhere far away and about an hour into the journey the mother informed the father.  The father proceeded to look for an exit and was frantic. When the mother asked her life long partner what he was doing – the father responded that he was not going to let another second go by where his child would think that he was unloved.  That this parent was looking for a payphone to call their child to tell them so in no uncertain terms that their love was always for them.  NO MATTER WHAT.  That was the most beautiful thing I had seen on TV in the longest time. I wondered who was going to say that to me?  Who was going to say my name?  Who was going to claim me as their own? As their beloved?  The fear and isolation is an amazingly awful thing. Even in today’s moments.  It is deeply troubling me, not just for my own self but, if I feel like this, how many others must be dealing with these type of issues as well? .  I am not sure, but I know I want to find out.  I want everyone to be a part of life, to be treated as they would want to be treated. And for me that means kind and lovingly.  I am not perfect but I am far from broken.  This journey maybe complicated but, I know I am not traveling it alone.  I invite all people on this same journey to reach on out and begin the embrace….


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