Two Choices: To Cope or Not to Cope
It’s a new year and the world seems to have gone crazy. I fear for our country: for minorities, the LGBT community and the 99% who are all justifiably worried that our social fabric is unraveling.
In the midst of this, I still struggle with my diagnosis, though it’s been several months since I found out that I had HIV. It’s difficult not to go back in my mind to the shock, disbelief, anger and fear that I experienced when I first found out. How could my partner have done this to me? What did I do to deserve this? How am I going to deal with my reactions to these harsh drugs that make me so sick? How – how – am I going to cope?
A long time ago, when I was going through a crippling divorce, a very wise therapist told me, “You have two choices: to cope or not to cope.”
I chose to cope back then, and I’m choosing to cope now. You see, I’ve been blessed. I found BABES. Even though I live pretty far from their meeting place, I attend meetings whenever I can. I listen to their incredible stories of how they’ve been living with HIV for 20, 25, 30 years or more. I feel their pain, and they feel mine.
When I’m unable to show up in person, these wonderful women reach out to me to check on me and ask how I’m doing. They seem to intuit when I reach a low point, and give generously of their time and caring.
Without them, I would have floundered completely. I have a long way to go; I’ve barely started my journey. But my hope is to find acceptance within myself and move on, to focus on my healing, my supportive family, and my own creativity. With the encouragement of my group, I feel hopeful that I can keep going.
Thank you, BABES.
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