Updates from Lynn

I have been missing you women! I have been absent, but not gone. I get excited each time my email tells me one of my sisters has written a new blog. I’m sorry I haven’t been sharing my voice.

Updates: My health remains good. My mental health is a challenge. I started treatment for my eating disorder. Given the fact that I have been in and out of therapy for over 20 years, and am in the mental health profession myself, I am surprised how difficult this treatment has been. I have never worked harder in therapy. But I’m proud of myself for facing a demon. And truly everything is related. Learning to have a healthy relationship with food and with my body will contribute to my overall health-the ultimate goal. My labs continue to be great. No real concerns. This summer will mark 4 years of being HIV positive. I’m feeling like I might just make it after all. I say that a little tongue in cheek. I think we probably all went through the same initial thoughts of, “Oh my god, HIV? I’m going to die young!” I can’t say I’m totally over that feeling, but I can confidently say I believe I have a full life to live. I can’t change the fact that I have HIV, but I can work to change other things, like my physical health, my mental health, and my spiritual health.

Over the past few months there have been some HIV related events. We had an HIV educator at my place of employment to train staff. It was pretty nerve racking, knowing that I was sitting in the room with people who are talking about HIV and who have no idea of my status. Overall, it went pretty well. And I felt very supported by my boss for prioritizing this type of training. It brought me a step closer to wanting to be “out.” I am not ready yet, but I can feel myself getting more and more tired of the carrying the burden of secrecy. I am not helping others and I am hurting myself with the isolation, shame and stigma. As long as I stay silent I am doing it to myself.

I decided to disclose my status to someone who has become a good friend. I work with this person, and I waited over a year to make sure I really felt safe with her. Our friendship had gotten to a point where I couldn’t keep it a secret anymore. To really, really know me is to know that I have HIV. It is not who I am, but it definately colors my story. Her reaction was of course loving and supportive. She met me with a little denial-insisting that I would be ok and that we would grow to be old ladies together. I let her have her moment of shock and denial, I understand that I have had 3+ years to think about my status and find a way to accept it; it will take others a moment to accept it as well.

My baby will be 3 next week. Yes, I still have to call him my baby. As excited as I am to be witnessing such a beautiful little boy unfold I am still a mommy to that little baby boy who changed my life. I know I will be calling him baby into his adult years. And I believe I WILL be here to see those years.

Peace and Love and great Health to you all!

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petridished's picture

Hi Lynn, Thank you for sharing your experiences. I wanted to know if you would be willing to speak with me about your story. I'm covering the AIDS Conference in Washington for and stumbled upon the Wellness Project booth for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. My email is dfhernandezr@gmail.com.

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mumbaiyyagal's picture

Dearest Lynn,
Always remember : A healthy mind + A balanced diet = A beautiful body. Thus you need to get over with your eating disorder as eating is very VERY important for people living with HIV. We can't starve ourself, neither do we have to overeat, understanding that we are on medication and hence to make medicine work well and prevent resistance, we need to be very VERY particular about it.
It is nice to know that u had told at least a person regarding your status and I know how you feel when someone knows about it and love you all the more. I too have tread that path. I have told many people that my heart desired to be told....there were some who continue to love me and accept me the way I am, there were also some who broke off their friendship after hearing. There were also people who preferred to remain "neutral". (See my blog "First Rejection after going PUBLIC")....But I care a damn....For me it is a test....for me those who have left me made me realise that they were NOT my friend in the first place and were just using me.....In that way, when I disclose my status, I come to know who the REAL people in my life are.
Give my love to your baby boy. He will grow up to be a wonderful son and a respectable boyfriend/husband of someone. Coz u are a beautiful strong and loving mother.

much love and lotta (((hugs)))

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TLHOGI's picture

U REALLY REDUSED ME INTO TEARS,ESPECIALLY WHEN U MENTIONED UR BABY..I WISH U ALL THE BEST.I ALSO WANNA TRY ON HAVING A BABY BUT I THINK MY HORMONES ARE INBALANCED SO I CANT SEEM TO CATCH EVERY TIME I TRY I ALSO BELIEVE IT IS BCOS OF THE MEDS ANY ADVISE?

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kaloobabie's picture

you inspired me too dear.im happy to know that i have a source of encouragement in you.thank for the article

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Lynn2011's picture

one of the most uplifting things I have gone through is to learn that we can have healthy babies while being HIV+ It helps to have a supportive medical team/doctor who understands our needs and concerns and the best medication to have a good out come. I wish you all the luck in the world in becoming a parent.

Lynn

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Ang's picture

You are too precious!!! You are so inspiring. I love how you express yourself and your story. You can tell it comes from the heart. We all have struggles in life HIV + or not but it sure does make things a little different when we have our status. I encourage you to continue to work toward your goal with your eating disorder and your way of thinking. I have been positive has you know, for 21 years this year and I still struggle at times to think that I am 37 going to be 38 and been positive over half my life!!!! It doesn't seem real sometimes, especially when I almost can't remember what is was like to be negative. I have 2 "babies" myself and I too will always see them as my "babies" even though they are now 13 and 18 lol. They are truly my gift from the man upstairs!!! Keep your head up and keep updating us. We all wish nothing but greatness for you and I too look forward to all the new blogs you ladies post. Much love to you Honey!!!! Give that baby boy big love from us all!!!!

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Lynn2011's picture

Oh I will give my son all the birthday love I can. Thanks so much for your feedback. I get extrememly inspired by all you people too. Espicailly someone like you who has been postive for a long while adn is doing well. Happy Mother's day.

Lynn

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