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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