I have never really talked with anyone about my feelings.
HIV has opened me up to so many people, places, prejudices, and misconceptions while completely shutting me off from the rest of the world. HIV had me convinced that no one would love or care about me. I would always be stuck in poverty, lack, doubt and hatred. I was a victim of self-induced stigma.
Mentally I know I need help. The only problem is I am a Christian. Christians don't go to therapy. They just pray, go to their Pastor for counsel and/or go to the altar for prayer. Hmmmmmm. When do I talk about the guilt of becoming positive because I was a fornicator and adulteress? When do I talk about the weight gain because I am eating myself to death because I am HIV positive? When do I talk about the guilt and anguish I feel because I couldn't get a young man to open up about his status? He was so paralyzed by his HIV+ diagnosis that his only choice, in his mind, was to take his life. When do I talk about all this stuff in my head that doesn't have a place to go? Do I trust that through prayer it will be OK? Do I hide my depression and suppress everything? NOPE.
I have decided that I am important. My mind needs to learn new coping mechanisms. I realize it is OK for me to be ok with not being ok. I will no longer feel guilty at 38 for what I did in my 20's. Talk therapy, here I come. Vulnerability, it's nice to meet you. Prayer, you are still my number 1 go to guy. Guilt, shame, and depression, your time has come to a conclusion. I may see you again but you can't have dominion over my mind.
Honestly and in all seriousness, seeking help for mental stability is nothing to be ashamed of. There are so many that suffer silently and alone. Please just check in on people. Be patient with others. If someone reaches out to you, keep in contact with them. We need each other to navigate through this wilderness called life.