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Day of redemption

Today is my day of redemption. Allow me to tell my story...

 

Where to even begin. Well, HIV/AIDS was never really a concern of mine. I was a highly promiscuous woman who sought love from the wrong places in order to feel valued.

 

I had met him in a night club one night. Fall of 2004 He caught my attention by his tall, dark, and full of confidence personality. We started to date shortly after that in which I slept with him (unprotected) multiple times. I found myself wondering why didn't he ever think to put on a condom. I had been on the pill but he never so much as asked me if I was. In my mind, it didn't matter because as long as I was taking the pill regularly I could do no wrong. Throughout the "relationship" which lasted about four months, he started to act funny. Never returned my phone calls and just seemed to disappear off the earth. I was madly in love with this person and wanted to be with him no matter what. After having my heart broken by him not returning my phone calls I decided that he was no longer worth it and we would just go our separate ways. When I look back on the situation I realize, I hardly even knew him but I was young, dumb, and trusted way too much.

 

Fast forward to just four months ago January 2006. It seemed like I started to develop every single symptom of HIV. Frequent colds, dry cough, oral thrush, and hpv (cervical dysplasia) all of which pointed to indicators of HIV infection. I panicked. I constantly had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. A voice kept repeating that I had HIV and my life was over. Even though I had not spoken to this man in over a year, I remembered I had his business card. I called his cell phone number almost everyday trying to get some answers only to find out the number had been disconnected. I also called his job number and was told that he no longer worked there. And the last straw, was when I went to his apartment and was told that he no longer lived there. I thought that these were all signs and that he had knowingly infected me and decided to skip town without ever telling me. I had automatically slipped into depression.

 

I lived day in and out on the internet looking up symptoms and reading other people's stories and concerns of HIV infection. That is how I came upon this site which I believe was a blessing in disguise. I read a story titled "My life flashed before my eyes" and drew faith and inspiration from many stories posted on this site. But that was short lived. I then returned back to that depressive like state where I envisioned my life and how it would drastically change if I was diagnosed with HIV. My family, my friends, my life were so special to me and I didn't even realize how much until I was faced with the possibility of living my life in sickness. I was constantly distracted at the thought of thought having HIV. I was sad and isolated myself from everyone. The mental stress had such a huge impact that I made myself physically sick. I experienced extreme fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, colds you name it. On the outside I convinced myself that I even looked sick. Dark circles around my eyes, pale skin, hadn't smiled in months. This further convinced me that I was sick and it was inevitable that I have HIV. My family and friends noticed the difference in me but did not have a clue what I was going through. I was too ashamed to tell them of my concerns, especially my mother whom I am so close with. All I could envision was her crying after I told her that I had HIV. All the emotions and stress is enough to break your spirits. Going through all these emotions allowed me to turn to God. Even though there was no one I could talk to about what I was going through, I knew that I could always turn to him. I prayed every moment of every day asking for his help. I needed him now more than I ever did in my life. I asked him for strength, guidance, courage, and to spare my life from this horrible disease. And I can honestly say that even though I felt alone in all this, I knew that God was with me the entire time.

 

I finally got the courage to get tested for HIV. Everyday that went by waiting for those results, I cried and I prayed. I became one with God in which I read the bible, attended church and prayed prayed prayed. I took the test on a Thursday and after many phone calls to the Dr.'s office regarding the results, I was finally told today, Monday 4/3 2006 that I was "fine". I instantly broke down, thanking God for bringing me through all of this. Only by his mercy I was saved. He heard every single one of my prayers to Him. He felt my worries and stress and He was always there for me, even at my lowest points.

I say all of this to say that only God knows why I went through this ordeal but I believe in my heart that it was God trying to tell me something. He saw that I was drifting further and further away from Him, He saw that I placed a lot of value on trivial insignificant things (i.e. clubbin, men, drinking, drugs) and I lost site of what really mattered in life. This experience has humbled me as a person and brought me back down to reality. I suffered in silence for months not knowing what would happen to me but by the grace of God I am able to sit hear and tell my story. Throughout my experience I realized that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is a serious serious disease and cannot be taken lightly. I know that during our moments of weakness we may not exercise proper caution but if we can all learn to but God first in everything that we do we will never go wrong. I cannot stress enough the impact that God has in and around our lives and we must always remember that. Please please please, I am begging all of you out there to please practice safe sex. It is not worth the regret you feel when the life you come to know is suddenly snatched out from under you.

 

To all of those living with this disease, I sincerely pray for you because I know that God is with you all. And for those who are concerned whether they are infected, I urge you to go and get tested as soon as possible. And put all of your faith and trust in God, trust me, He will always be there with you.

 

PS Before I go, I would like to leave this prayer with all of you which I believe got me through this experience. I will not take credit for it, I actually found it while reading through the many inspirational stories on this website. I believe it has helped me and it will surely help you.

 

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interest and desires. Oh St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your devine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So, that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers.

 

Oh, St. Joseph I never weary contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, the Patron of departing souls - pray for me.

 

I was fighting a bad cold which included runny nose, dry cough, and a sore throat. This cold lasted for about two weeks which wouldn't have been so bad but it seemed like I was catching a cold every other day. One morning I woke up on my daily routine but while looking in the mirror I noticed a white bump in the back of my throat. It kinda shocked me because I had never had this before. So immediately I jumped onto the internet typed in my symptoms and what do I find - Thrush. An early infection of hiv. Thats all it took for me to self-diagnose myself with having HIV. I ran some place where I could be alone and just absolutely broked down crying. Since then, for about four months long I went from.......

Editor: story sent was cut here.



Sent via Email April 4, 2006 from Long Island, New York, USA.

 
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