It's been a long time since I've felt down on myself about my status. It took me almost two years to finally tell someone and when I did, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off me. I've used my status to fuel myself to do better and be better. I used education to help me understand HIV and what being HIV positive meant for me. Overall I have felt pretty good about it. I take my medication every day and always have (with the occasional act of forgetfulness). I have been undetectable for almost as long as I've been positive (5 years in just a couple of weeks) and my CD4 count has always been pretty good. I've changed a lot mentally over the years for the better. I have been taking better care of myself more than I ever have in my entire life.
But recently I've been feeling down and I'm not entirely sure why. I think part of it is that my health insurance renewal is coming up right now, and though I won't get into the details of it, it's gotten a little complicated, and because of that, I'm scared. I'm scared to lose my insurance. I'm scared of how much my insurance will cost and my insurance is so important because that's how I'm able to get my medication that literally keeps me alive. Without my medication, I die. I know that I'm so fortunate to live in New York City where we have Ryan White programs like ADAP which will ensure Im able to get my medication in the event that I do have some kind of issue obtaining health insurance but I guess this whole situation just brings my status and my own mortality front and center.
I can't help but feel angry. Angry that if I wasn't positive, this wouldn't even be an issue. I wouldn't even care if I have health insurance, I wouldn't have to be worrying about this. Then with this comes my own self stigma. Feeling down and ashamed that I even have this virus. Feeling like there's something wrong with me for being HIV positive. And yes, deep down I know that's not true. I know all the facts, all the science. I have worked with people who are positive. I have taught and helped clients who are positive and ensured them that they are no less for being positive and I truly believe that. Yet for some reason right now, I can't feel that for myself.
I know this will pass. Sometimes we just have moments in time where we feel stuck and down on ourselves. I feel it and I fight it. Part of me wants to do nothing but lay in bed, but the better part of me knows that will do nothing for me. I have a family to be here and strong for. I have a beautiful little girl watching me and I will not let her down. And I have myself to be strong for. I have been through too much to allow myself to be my own destruction yet again. I'm sure once I can rest my mind on this health insurance situation, that will take some of the stress off me and I can feel better.