I am talking directly to you advocates, bloggers, and activists.
Have you honestly let yourself know you are number one in all this. If you have, how are you doing? Is the fatigue of your compassionate heart catching up on you? Maybe not because you just joined the long queue of upcoming advocates. May you not, because you may be experiencing heart-wrenching feelings and blame it on the nature of what we advocate for. Well that's very correct the nature of what we advocate for can leave us shredded and ruined way more that the virus itself.
Your purpose and goals depend on how long you are going to survive. Yes, the survival of advocates, peer supporters, activists requires taking care of oneself.
Let me let you in on my discovery. PLHIV who advocate are likely to have more stress. They are likely to suffer what's known as Compassion fatigue. Loving what we do and passion about it does not cause stress. Being part of what you are fighting for makes a whole lot of difference because we forget to stop. We are advocates in our sleep, when eating, studying, even looking at ourself in the mirror we are confronted with what's ahead.
Why are we advocates that do not sleep?? Because we are part of the problem and part of a very important solution. Many times we seek answers that we may never get. Sometimes we seek solutions that may be impossible. But because of what we have become, we don't stop until we again fall.
Remember to take time out. Think of things you can do for a day or two without being an advocate, peer supporter or activist. In other words you can in time be able to take time out with practice. When you are able to take time out you will know because there are moments you will only think of HIV as a problem you deal with. And you as a person associated with it. Just like everyone else who is associated with the wellbeing of PLHIV.
I have been working on the art of care-taking of oneself. So far I am proud to say as I have been the guinea pig of my own wellbeing it has worked. I sleep and live my life just like anyone else. Have passion for the community I serve and making sure the wellbeing of HIV advocates, bloggers, peer supporters and activists is equally important to the cause.