Submitted on Mar 28, 2019 by  Angel S.

Today is February in Sarasota, Florida, low 80’s with a breeze off the gulf. I sit here at my local clinic with my December issue of A&U America’s AIDS Magazine. I’m so very happy to have come across Raymond Luczak’s "My Turn" on page 30. Perspective to me is real. I tested positive for HIV in my early twenties. I have been undetectable of the illness since 2006; except for the stigma and unkind people that leave evident scars on my mental health. That however is only a sliver of my life. I wear many hats. I am a community participant, I truly believe my voice does make a difference and not just in the world of HIV.

I am back. I was at the clinic to have a tooth pulled. I did experience some loss over the whole process. I grieved my tooth as I would grieve anything being taken from me without much warning. I do this for I am human first. Letting go is a lesson we learn many times over yet not quite catching on to the "let go" part.

I am reading "Tough times never last Tough people do" when I’m struck by a statement: "I have no problems only decisions to make". I have held on to that phrase making it my own. I dug deeper to see how this resonates with my recovery. Writing to me is my way to get through difficult times. Also to share the stories of overcoming life's joys and trails. Helping others is what I love; and sometimes I forget about me.

HIV is not who or what I am. I am a Human being who works hard in her community to help others to be the best them, they, she, he, (etc.) can be. I live life. I live fast. I love hard. I have things in my life I worry about. I then change my perspective and instead of worry, I turn those feelings into love. I begin to manifest the love I give to others right back to me so my cup floweth over. When I change my focal view I can see things differently and continue to give love to myself and others during trying times. It is good to hear HIV is not what makes this girl overcomer71.

I battled cancer, HIV and lupus. To see me through the single story of only HIV lacks all the other qualities you will get when you meet me.

Submitted by Ci Ci

Just in that little bit, I am so excited to read more! Cancer AND Lupus? Wow, soldier! 

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