Over the next couple of weeks we will be sharing the story of one woman’s path to accepting her HIV status. Read along as this LTAI Peer Advocate takes us from diagnosis to how she looks toward the future.
Accepting the diagnosis:
First, you have to accept that this is real. “This is my life; this is what I’m living with.” You have to accept what you are going through and to come out of denial.
Taking control of your life:
First of all, I had to give it over to God. He showed me how to give it over to him and let him direct my path. Then, I had to be real with myself, before I could be real with anyone else. Most importantly love yourself, respect yourself; know that you’re number one in your life. Don’t put anyone else before you, besides God. Just because you have this virus does not mean you have to stop living your life. Live your life, accomplish your goals, visions and dreams. Now, I don’t let this virus get me down, because I know there is life after my diagnosis. After being diagnosed, it made me a better person. I know that I can live and that I am the only one who can stop me from living.
Your past doesn’t dictate your future and you don’t have to look like what you’re going through. Before, I was coping with my problem through alcohol, so I had to deal with the alcoholism in order to move forward with my life. I didn’t respect myself as a person, I had low self-esteem and no confidence in me. God is showing me how to love me.
*This post was adapted from a message originally published in the “Let’s talk About It Magazine.”