I started this blog back in April of 2011 and since it’s inception it was my every intention to use this blog as a platform to learn to cope with my HIV status and to open up about a very personal time in my life: the first year of living with HIV.
I think I succeeded, to some degree, in opening up because this blog did help me become more accepting of my status and allowing my status to become a part of my life rather than a piece of myself I try to hide. Now being HIV positive is something that I’m no longer as afraid of, or ashamed of.
One of the questions I frequently get asked when someone learns of my HIV status is: “Are you going to die?” It’s a strange question, and if I came face to face with a positive person when I was negative, I may have asked the same naive question. It was the same teary question my mom asked my doctor when he first told her I had contracted HIV. My doctor’s response is the same response I give to everyone because of how simply brilliant it is: “We are all going to die, eventually.” As callous or elusive as the answer may be it is a true answer. We are all, indeed, going to die. Usually, the difference between me and the person asking this question is that I’m reminded every day when I take my meds that I am actually going to die eventually; and, with that information I consciously wake up every morning and do something that pushes me towards where I eventually want to end up in my life. If I fail, I get back up, reassess the situation, apply what I’ve learned from the failure, and then try again to get it right. If I can’t get it right, I hold on until I can. That’s what this blog has done for me. By learning to accept my situation I have in turn learned to take action and pursue the things I want, and an understanding that things do happen for some unknown reason.
On a personal level this blog was a success. On a public level, however, it was a fail. I had hoped to use this blog to show the changing landscape of living with HIV. It was my goal to exhibit that this current time period is so strange for a young person to contract HIV because they are entering a brand new territory of advance medicine that is allowing for those who have HIV to live longer and fuller lives then ever before. These young people are entering this undiscoverable frontier completely alone with no role models to speak of. Off the top of my head I can only name Jamar Rogers and Greg Louganis as two people within some form of the public eye who are openly HIV positive that young people can look up too; and, that’s great. But, what if a young person who just learned that they are HIV positive can find no connection of identifiability in these two men? I wanted to address this niche and help fill it in some small way and I believe I completely missed the mark because I couldn’t find the time or the focus to keep this blog updated. For that, I apologize.
After realizing that I am failing at living up to the expectations I had for this blog, I made the decision that–for now–I will shut down this blog. I do plan on one day revisiting what I wanted to achieve with this blog. But, at this point I have neither the time nor the energy to fully realize the potential that I think this blog has.
If you want to continue following me, I will still continue to write short blurbs of randomness on my personal tumblr (sd31392) and longer essays on a range of topics on my WordPress blog (Daniel Nine).
Finally, to any young person who is reading this and may have just found out they are HIV positive–past or present–please know that you are not alone in your struggles with this disease and that eventually, things make sense. Seek out help, seek out understanding, seek out a community of support.