Wednesday, June 22, 2005

"The journey of a 1000 miles begins with one step."

I wrote this October 06, 2004 before I wrote Revelations and Revisions.
It represented a shift in where I was directing my life.

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Since having found this HIV/AIDS support site, I've been honest with myself. Far more honest than I have ever been. It was such a revelation, that I had to stop and think about it for a few minutes. Reading and resourcing through this site has opened a new venue of support and a wide range of emotions that I haven't dealt with before. I've only known 2 or 3 people with HIV in my life, and even then it was something that was not discussed, as though we were highschool students discovering our "taboo" sexuality. I've realised with some difficulty that this whole process is not unlike my early coming out years. The fear and trepidation of sharing something so "secretive" with another. The fear of abandonment and loss. It's all the hypotheticals.

"Will they pull away?"
"Will they treat me differently?"
"Will they hate me?"

I suppose it is the idea of loneliness that I fear most, maybe even abandonment. My thoughts wrap around it like a python, trying to squeeze the truth and life out of it. I rack my brains and contemplate how far our society has come since the early 80's and how our society seems to have embraced the Gay Culture. The question is, "Are they ready for HIV?" As much as it is now in the mainstream, it still carries with it a stigma, not only with the Heterosexual community, but with the Gay and Lesbian.

It is a process, and it will take its' time to go through the paces. I will have to do the same. I am not sad, nor am I unhappy. I have no self doubts, but I know that the time will come when I will need to make choices to lift my soul higher. Being in the closet about my HIV is a momentous roadblock. I know that it is the one thing that is holding me back. I have done so much soul searching and it has led me to one belief - that Honesty brings forth peace, and peace brings forth happiness. Honesty to yourself and to others. A great Chinese philosopher once said, "The journey of a 1000 miles begins with one step". I think I have taken that inaugural step.

Courage, Strength, Hope and determination to you all who share the journey.



14 comments:

St. Dickeybird said...

You've had a lot to think about lately. I'm glad you seem to be dealing well with everything.
As for how others will treat you knowing you're Poz, I'd think it would be with the same standards as coming out: "if they don't want you, they're not worth you."

mainja said...

well, judging by the reaction you got it hasn't changed a single thing for any of us. except maybe making us admire you more for being able to take that first step and 'come out' to us.

epicurist said...

dickey - That is true isn't it? But what if it is your family? It's a lot harder to just ignore them (as much as I would like!) but it's harder to tell them.

mainja - Thank you. And all of you were instrumental in helping me feel normal. (muah!)

St. Dickeybird said...

I took that risk, coming out to my family. I had my bag packed and friends with cars waiting for a call to pick me up. I expected to be disowned for being gay (bi came later), and thankfully was wrong. A hard decision, but with that philosophy I knew I was doing the right thing.
:)

spoonycongee said...

dickey - what you wrote reminded me of when i moved out of my parents' house, my mom (chinese, very protective, very attached) was so hurt and said, "if you leave now, don't you ever come back!"... it just made me more angry and determined to leave...my friend did show up with her car and took me away.. although it's "coming out" vs. "moving out" ...quite similar..but thankfully, i now have a decent relationship with my parents.

Snooze said...

I'm glad that so far facing your status has been a freeing experience for you. It is up to you who you do decide to tell, and who not to tell.

epicurist said...

Dickey - When I came out at 15, I was too young to venture forward and be financially secure. Community support and GBLT groups were few to non-existent, and for a young gay asian boy it was even harder. Back then there weren't too many ethnic gays, so racism amongst the community was also rampant. I am glad you had the support of friends though. I am sure it helped keep you sane.

Spoony - Interesting comparison, as i went through something similar with my family, although they are far more liberal nowadays.

Snooze - thanks. Coming out is a very personal thing and that is why I am so against people who out others.

Sister said...

"HUG!"

I think anyone with a chronic illness fears how others will react. While not as many "issues" attached to it, my husband's asthma has seen him the butt of cruel treatment when he was a child. They didn't have the medicines they have now, so often he was alone, in a corner, desperately trying to breathe and scared he'd die. There was no ventalin, no pretnesone, no nothing. No one else understood and other kids teased him merciliessly because he couldn't play. That and he was small for his age.

I find it's sometimes the same for me with my bipolar disorder. You get a lot of "what, so are you just crazy?" from those who don't know, and yet so many people I'm discovering have simillar illnesses and are open to share thoughts, fears and experiences. It's good to know you're not alone and even better to know that if your friends are truly your friends, they won't abandon you for being sick.

mikevil said...

It is interesting to consider all of the ways that we constantly have to come out over the course of a lifetime - Homo/Bisexuality, Bipolar disorder, addict, etc etc etc. I don't think it ever stops and I'm not sure it ever gets any easier. What has helped me is an ever increasing (and sometimes overinflated) sense of self, financial success, and a network of friends and family that honestly truly and quite confusingly love me no matter what.

I am happy that the single step of a rocky road has been taken. You're right, it is a difficult thing to talk about and the sense of isolation must be numbing at times. I was so very very ignorant of what HIV+ people go through until a good friend was diagnosed. It opened my eyes to just how thoughtless I had been in the past. You may encounter some of that. You are strong enough to take it.

You've got us on your side so everyone else can just feck off : )

epicurist said...

sister - We can all find commonality in one another, and I hope that the Good father (your hubby) and you both had and have the support that is so necessary to help us get through tough times.
Hugs back!

mikevil - You're absolutely correct. Coming out is a cathartic process of life, a coming into oneself. I am happy to have taken this amazing path to freedom and see it as an opportunity to grow further.
Thanks for the words and the support :)

Tay Hota said...

hope you're still doing well... you memories of that day are trully moving... my thoughts are with you... do you know how you picked it up? I wonder, and hate to ask, but I wonder what it has been like for you to talk to/ confront/ think about the person from whom you picked up the infection... forgiveness, it seems, is one of the most difficult moves for us as humans... how are you doing with that?

epicurist said...

Hi Tay - Welcome and thanks for the comment and your concern. Don't worry, I am not offended by the question. Let it be said that I have learned to live and to forgive. It's hard sometimes when you know the world around you has changed in an instant. Every moment in life has to be cherished and savoured. This is not to say I won't have a bad day, but I also realise having hiv these days is not a death sentence. I have to ground myself, and I look at what is happening in Louisiana now, or what happened during the Tsunami, or all those disenfranchised, poor people in the world, and I have it so good compared to them. That is what keeps me going.

Thanks. :)

Jess said...

Life throws all kinds of bad things at us over our years. How we react to them and how those around us react will be the measures of our true nature. The better people in your life will be there for you. *hug*

epicurist said...

Jess - Life certainly does have its moments, but I'm here for the ride. All the good and bad just are part of the scenery. Thanks! :)