Both a curse and a gift, I suspect like many things in life. It will always be how we look at it. Good and Bad alike, like everything in life. How else to appreciate one without the other.
I have spent six years wondering to be honest with you. Is today the day? Will I pick up that one little bug on the supermarket cart that will end it all. Slowly and painfully but so perfect in its simplicity its nearly debilitating for some. I try never to think like that in my life. But I wonder sometimes if I lie to myself a bit. I wonder, DO WE ALL? Human Conditioning.
I've spent six years just not knowing whats next medically but trying to always remain positive. I have had my moments of doubt. Mostly always when I am alone. It was always someone lifting me up a bit along the way. Even just twenty seconds of compassion can make a difference. But I have also spent a great deal of time hiding my guilt for the past six years as well. Not just of my disease and the stigma with it. But with all the other things Ive suddenly had to learn to deal with.
But one thing still remains the most difficult part of this entire journey for me. What this does to those that love me. Hell, I wrote a book about the importance of being there for others. How connectivity is the answer to nearly everything. Yet, behind the curtain I have allowed the repeated scares and medical concerns scare me into more guilt than I can handle at times. You see for me, Having people that love me watch me deteriorate or suffer is something evidently my ego cannot tolerate. I inevitably push them away for their own good or so I say to make myself feel better probably. I do mean well in what I say here. But I probably am just escaping my own guilt about putting them through it repeatedly. So ironic that this is my biggest fault in the world. Human conditioning can be a bitch.
I have certainly pushed people away for other reasons in my life. Things just didn't feel right. But one day when I found what we all are looking for it still didn't matter. In fact the guilt I experienced got worse. She was and is so full of life. So deserving of being more than a "caregiver". We had great expectations coming here. Then pieces of me fell away with my disease. Piece by piece by piece. I wondered even myself awhile ago after the eighth surgery how much a man can actually stand before he snaps. Well, maybe I already had and didn't even see it. But each time I also wondered first what effect this would have on my soulmate. Human conditioning.
I can only assume some of it revolves around the brain cyst that I first complained about almost two years ago. Some of it is the bi product of HIV. The rest is a bi product of unresolved or processed trauma. In all honesty. From the US Army to Police work to six years of physical and mental trauma I have seen enough trauma for three lifetimes. I never realized the importance of processing these things or to be honest, how to. I assumed like many that "time heals all". I am sorry to say "time doesnt heal all". Oh it will allow us to forget a bit but it never really goes away until we deal with it, Time hides all things maybe but it doesn't heal everything. You just have to do the work. So I continue to try and resolve these things for myself.. Probably not unlike many of you.
Ive been independent nearly all of my life. Now I need others and I know it. Human conditioning.
I watched some run like crazy when I first got sick. I've wrestled with it ever since. I've told myself everyone has their right to deal with things on their own. I believe that to be absolutely true. But I also understand one thing about connectivity and a shit load about healing. Human conditioning.
You DO NOT need any skills for it. No tools. No formal education or training is required. You just have to show up. You have to stand in the arena. To put some skin into it. Prayers work, texts are nice, letters are lovely. But I have found one true way of healing in this universe that's true for any situation. WE HEAL IN THE ARMS OF THOSE WE LOVE. Period. Sure there are other methods, modalities even medications and surgeries. But where the metal meets the road it has remained a constant since the beginning of time. Love heals. Its absolutely free to give and its results are without question- extraordinary!!!. So why then knowing what we do do people still choose to run and better yet why would I try to force myself to deal with things alone?. Human conditioning.
Regardless of the book I wrote I will tell you this truth. When things were tough for me. When I couldn't move my legs, when I couldn't stop vomiting or when I was so sick I didn't think id live through the night. I WAS ALWAYS ALONE. I fought through things I have never told anyone about. ALONE. Human Conditioning.
Today when I feel something coming...I withdraw and I hate it. But the reality I try to talk myself out of never stops disproving me. The toughest times of our lives we spend alone. That's not a coincidence. Imagine the difference we can make. Imagine the difference I can make.
I will work on this issue for myself and others. It wont just take time. It will actually require me to trust and to step onto a limb. It will require work and intent. It will require counseling and support. and whether i like it or accept it yet or not. IT WILL TAKE THE LOVE OF OTHERS.
So many of us are afraid of getting hurt.
I have asked for helped. I have gotten it. But when you continue to go through these things....scary things. It takes its toll on everyone around you. I start to lie about my pain to my loved ones, my doctors and nurses. I try to chose my battles when it comes to complaining. There are a ton of things that just come with the package of AIDS. There's lots of medicines I can try. But my sensitivity to medications seemingly increases daily. Even more of an incentive to overcome my own fears about trust. Human conditioning.
Look I dont mean to NOT be positive. Most of you know me for just being positive. I appreciate that. But being real isn't negative either. I just wanna be real.
I worry about hurting those around me. I worry about the impact my chronic illness has on them. I realize its not my choice to decide for them But Human Conditioning is tough to break.
Six years ago I had no immune system. Today I have almost a third of the normal immune system. Six years it took to get here and trust me. I value every last t cell I gain.
Although "living life like your dying" may sound romantic and full of passion. It does take its toll on the human psyche. But its nearly as damaging to those around you. But I realize now one thing I can do for this. The very same thing I need. I can hold them and tell them the most important thing we all need to hear....
"YOU WILL NEVER HAVE TO DO IT ALONE AGAIN"....
Because were all broken and were all looking for the same thing...
As always I share aspects of my life to advocate for HIV testing. When caught early nearly everything I deal with can be avoided. I share my story to help others. I can tell you and you might forget. But when you FEEL me, you will get it.... but I must tell you this...some of it is selfish...For everyone I help....... heals me!!!!!
and for that I am truly grateful.
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