My name is Lynn, I am 41 years old and I live in Minnesota. I have one young son who is the light of my life. I hold a Master's degree in the mental health field and work two jobs. I have been HIV positive for 2 years. Breathe. I learned of my HIV status on October 6, 2008, just a few weeks after I learned that I was finally pregnant with my beloved child. Breathe. I will never forget that day. It was a Tuesday. I was at the same desk from where I am writing this personal introduction. My doctor called me and asked if I could come to her office that day. I realized immediately it would not be a good visit. I begged her to tell me over the phone what was wrong with me which she did as long as I promised to still come to her office that day so she could support me with this devastating news. Breathe. It's been a very difficult process to move forward through this and to become a new mom. I feel as though the universe has granted me with light and dark at the same time. Life and death. Breathe. The joy and light of a child and the darkness of a chronic illness for which there is no cure. An illness that is grossly stigmatized and isolates those inflicted with it. I often wonder what is worse, the physical aspects of HIV, or the mental anguish that it brings. Breathe. I am now ready to reach out to give and receive support to and from other women who are going through this similar battle.
Why Lynn wants to be a part of A Girl Like Me: I want to share my joy and my pain so that I may feel supported and hopefully provide a light to others. I am profoundly aware of how alone I am in my current support community. I have a wonderful family, a few supportive friends who are aware of my status and a great medical provider. What I don't have are other women who are HIV positive with whom I can connect. I am writing this blog as a radical means of self care. I cannot live alone in this battle any longer.