My name is Angel, yes I have HIV, and this is my second time blogging on here. It’s been awhile…because I was going through something. My best thinking led me to believe that isolating from everyone as much as I could was what was best for me and what was best for everyone else. I was going through a dark valley...depressed. I was angry at myself for not being able to keep it together as I thought I should. I wrote two books. I struggled maintaining the solutions that I both talked about and wrote about. I am a believer in God. I know how to inspire everyone else BUT myself. I didn't want to disappoint anyone. My failures were obsessively rehearsed every night like an unwanted negative lullaby song that was stuck in my head. It was both repetitive and ridiculous. I couldn't make the mark and I couldn't meet the mark I created.
What was my excuse for not reaching out??? It was justified with not wanting to drain anyone else of their happiness and energy just because I was going through something. I did not want the reputation of being needy. And…hey…I am independent...I can do this. I don't need anyone and I shouldn't need anyone... Right?? I can just go to work, come home, sulk, ignore everyone reaching out to me without them knowing why...just disappear. And I believe in a Higher Power...I have God...and He is all I need, right?? Wrong. Isolating made me feel worse. It hindered God by tying the hands of all His people from being able to help me heal from the hurt. It also tied my hands from being able to help others heal from their hurts. I became self-absorbed in my own storm and forgot the part that the sun eventually does miraculously come up. The sun...I even questioned its existence because I became accustomed to and adjusted to being in the storm. Funny thing is that the existence of the storm was created by my own anger that was growing by the day and transforming itself into self-hatred. Then, the negativity that I believed about myself was not just my perception but I was convinced it was everyone else's perception too. I was sabotaging opportunities and relationships with amazing excuses. It was bleeding out into every area of my life. Something had to change because HIV was not killing me. I was killing me...and it was working. I was dying, but I wasn't dying.
Then, I WOKE UP!!!!! I got tired of feeling that way. I learned that it’s ok to make mistakes. Everyone does. It’s ok to have a bad moment but it was my choice to let it turn into a bad day. I learned that forgiving yourself is not a one-time concept but a constant, nonstop concept that has to be practiced continuously. I learned that a lot of people who have been in roles where they choose to inspire probably feel the same way at times. I have a friend named “Maria Mejia” (wink, wink), who inspired me with her transparent and similar story to where I learned that I am not alone. I see people in leadership positions differently. I don't mentally critique their lives like I may have previously. I know it takes guts to choose to take part in making a difference with your own personal flaws vs sitting with a crowd observing those who try to do something to help society. I learned that I had nothing to prove. I don't need anyone to like me. Chasing your acceptance is toxic for me in every way. I learned that my negative perception was mine and only mine, not anyone else's. I could change that and needed to. I learned that my failures were only opportunities to not only grow but also, to be more compassionate. I learned that I allowed the storm to rage longer than it was supposed to. I learned how to love life again, even the parts that get on my nerves. I learned that my Higher Power wants connection with me but didn't make me an island. I am meant to inspire others and others are meant to inspire me. I am stopping not only my healing and growth but others too when I choose to isolate. I learned that taking medications for a mental issue had nothing to do with my potential nor how smart I am. I learned that life is really about having a "Drive" to live it!!! I learned that I can refuse the guilt trips. JUST SAY NO!!! I started exercising. I set my alarm on my phone to take the HIV medications at the exact time each day. I look at a news app. I make sure I answer all my texts, emails and messages. I learned how to not talk myself out of doing what I need to do that day for me. I learned how to base my happiness on me and not the actions of others. I started making a habit of doing at least one thing a day to make someone else’s day better, this is a part of their healing which helps in my own healing. I go to my recovery meetings at least once a week. I made a daily checkoff list with productive things to do each day to help me stay focused, to help me see what I got done vs what did not get done. I don't mentally beat myself up if I don't get everything checked off. If I get some of it done, I participated in life. It also is a reminder that I have more excuses to be grateful than I do to isolate.
So, I know this is long, but I want to let people know that they are not alone with those feelings that everyone else experiences and that you don't have to stay in the storm longer than it was supposed to last. Reach Out...give others the opportunity to inspire!!! I deserve it!!! You deserve it!!! Happy Living my friends.......