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I need some positive thoughts

I found out my positive HIV status on April 27, 2004. I have gone through many emotions - from angry to sad to suicide. Now, two months later, I think I have come to terms with things but I still go through my bouts (up and down daily) with depression. I think the thing that depresses me most is the realization that, as hard as it has been for me to meet a decent man, my chances of finding love are slim to none now. I am always hearing, "You are so beautiful, I can't believe you are single. You're smart, funny and you are so nice" I have always been humble and try to explain to people that regardless of what a person looks like, what really matters is invisible to the human eye. I am a 26 years old woman with no children and I don't think I've ever truly been in love. I think over the years my standards (for men) have gotten high. There was a time when all it took was for a man to show any kind of interest in me and I was there. Over the past year or so I have come to learn my self-worth. I have been on my own since I was 17 years old. Once I realized all I had going for me, my standards for relationships instantly rose. I have my own car. I am in the process of purchasing an apartment. Nothing has ever been given to me. I worked heard for all of my accomplishments. I decided that I could only be compatible with a man who possesses the same drive. Since I got this news, I don't feel like I have a right to be selective anymore. Now, I realize none of my superficial accomplishments mean nothing. I feel that all the work I did on my self-esteem goes out the window. How could I dare have standards when I have this disease? If I ever find someone willing to accept me with this disease (regardless of who he is or what he stands for) I need to be grateful, right. Well, I don't think I can do that. So, I think I need to come to the realization that I may be alone for the rest of my life and forget about baring any children. I can forget all my dreams of having a family. I can forget everything. All the positive thoughts I once had, have been replaced by fear. Fear of illness that has now been promised to me. I am tired of hearing, "start living life to the fullest." What does that mean? I can't enjoy the things I use to because all I keep seeing everywhere I go is HIV/AIDS. It's everywhere. I keep hearing activists say, "Protect yourself. HIV/AIDS is a killer." Yet, when the same activists talk to me, they would say, "This is not a death sentence." It's all contradicting if you ask me. They say it's a killer to scare the negative people but, "it's not a death sentence." to convince me to keep living. What is the truth????? I have to deal with the fact that when I go to a party, I am the enemy in the parties. I am the one that everyone needs to protect themselves from. I started having sex at the age of 18. Over the course of 8 years, I practiced some risky sexual behavior. I don't even know why to this day. I never experimented with drugs or cigarettes. The extent of my alcohol usage has been minimal. I always knew the possible consequences of my promiscuity so in the back of my mind I always felt I would deserve the worst. At the same time, I never got tested because there was no doubt that I would kill myself if I found out I was positive. The instant the doctor told me I was hiv+, suicide immediately entered my mind and it still lingers. This is the hardest blow anyone could EVER experience in my opinion. I keep hearing this disease being compared to cancer. At least with cancer, there is no shame. I feel dirty. Disgusting. Everyday I keep hearing (from strangers) how beautiful I am. How pretty I am. In my mind I think, "If you only knew how ugly and dirty I really am." I am terrified and I don't know what to do. How do I deprogram my mind? I don't want to be here anymore. I don't want to deal with it. I have only been diagnosed two months ago and I feel exhausted from this already. I am not sick and I have not felt (physically) better in my life. I feel fine and already I feel like quitting. I can't imagine being able to handle all the different infections that accompany this virus. Infections that I am almost guaranteed to experience sooner or later. Not to mention the side effects that accompany the meds (which I have been stalling to take for 3 weeks now). I feel like I am sitting here waiting to be eaten alive. I feel like a time bomb but I have no idea how much time is left on my clock. I believe in Jesus. He is my Lord and Savior. I believe everything happens for a reason. It does not make this any easier to endure. I had an uncle and cousin who died from AIDS. I remember my mother taking me to see my uncle right before he died when I was younger. I will always remember the sight. He was always a bubbly, fun Libra like me. The last sight was a speck in the middle of a hospital bed. His skin was dark (he was light like me) and his hair was straight. I know that things have changed since then but I cannot help but think of the possibility that that will be me. I keep thinking of my funeral. I tell my girlfriends (I broke my news to four of them) that I want a pink coffin, I don't want any black and I want some good music at my funeral. Of course it isn't fair for me to talk that way to them but that's what I want. I need some relief. I need some positive thoughts. Every time I start to think positive, I get online and get knocked down. The internet is the best AND the worst thing that has happened to my generation. It has educated me tremendously on my new condition while at the same time it has brainwashed me into thinking I am about to be sick as a dog from the meds and then sick as a dog from the disease and then I die. Will someone please talk to me. Thanks for reading. I have SO MUCH MORE to say but I don't want to bore you all.

Sent via Email July 6, 2004 from NY, USA.

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