As most people who know me know, I'm HIV positive and recently I decided that taking meds wasn't really my thing. For many reasons (feeling the meds made me fat, my medical care felt... disjointed, the fear of taking a really harsh drug for the rest of my life would give me cancer, yada yada yada) I stopped taking my meds back in February of last year.
For the first 8 months or so, I felt - GREAT. I lost weight, I didn't have this some impending 11:00 pm alarm that would signal (remind) me to take my pill (I'm positive). I was "normal" again. But, a few months ago, I started losing a lot of weight. Without any help to the portions of fast food and junk I fed myself. Then, I started to get winded just going up stairs.
When my Mother & family came, they noted how "skinny" I looked and my Mom knew something was wrong. In her 20s, she faced a friend who was HIV positive and saw the wasting. She knew I wasn't taking my meds, even when I lied and said I was.
We went to the local zoo and I was pushing my grandmother, who had a rough year herself, up and down hills in a wheelchair. I tried to act tough and "normal" even though I was half able to breathe. I don't want to bother my Mom and family with troubles from things that came from my own irresponsibility. From that stigma of what I have.
A few days after they left was the 4th of July and it was then that I finally gave in and went to the emergency room, where I spent 12 hours overnight with pneumonia.
And with that, the kindness of friends, the insistence of family, I got back into medical care and back on my medication.
The results have been tremendous and frightening. How important and reliant I am on this pink 123 pill. My numbers were bad but, in a week or so, I'm sure I'll find out that I've recovered/recovering nicely and within a few months or so, I'll be back to the same old regular guy before I decided medication wasn't my style.
In the past few months, I've also been working a lot and making a good chunk of change (more so than usual) and I've taken the opportunity to both make a little cushion for myself and upgrade my surroundings. I won a settlement that'll help buy a new laptop, possibly help with the down payment of a new car, & I'm upgrading my hand me down, thrown together living room into something a little more modern and "adult."
In the process, especially while painting the entire room on my own, I've felt pretty... alone.
I say this with a sort of "bullshit" sentiment. I've got friends who will drop, who HAVE dropped everything to help me in a time of need. I've got family who show concern and anger when I'm not taking care of myself. And now, I've got a medical "team" who actually seem to treat me as a human patient, rather than someone who takes pills and has numbers attached. To feel lonely seems dishonest a feeling.
But, there's something about what's going on nowadays that just feels... lonely.
I've thought about trying to date but it just feels so... exhausting. The idea of dealing with how to be with an HIV guy and what that means - and how to be safe - and are we safe enough - is there spontaneity in our sex life - can there be? I've sort of gone down the road before and been more embarrassed and rejected than success.
And the few "bites" weren't people I felt chemistry with. And even trying to see if it's just me being an ass turns out badly. The guys that I'm attracted too, don't want some damaged kid.
In my web series, 2 28, I spoke about this idea of a bridge. And how I was using my old partner to cross that bridge. That I was holding onto him and losing him would sort of be like losing all together. I came out of that experience, that relationship, realizing that I can cross my own bridge. That I didn't need to rely on him - that I can rely on myself.
There's an image of a red flag. In the beginning of this experience, it stands in a snow field. flailing and ripping in the wind. And at the end, it still stands, destruction around it. Huge trees fallen. All disasters can be liveable.
It's only recently that I've realized that I've been this way all my life. That I've never really trusted anyone to be 100% "my" partner. Someone I can just... let take care of me. In the hospital, when I'm at my most vunerable, I felt the constant need to apologize that they had to take care of me or that I couldn't drink water on my own... that they had to hold a glass to my face.
Like I've said, I've had friends who will be there when I need them most or even for small things. I've got family who cares about my well being but at the end of the day, everyone seems to enjoy their life and my existence doesn't feel that... important. That, without me, they'd be pretty bummed but I'm not... needed.
I host a Sunday TV night - everyone gets together and we watch Breaking Bad, or Mad Men, or True Blood. We cook in a sort of pot luck style and really enjoy each other's company. And I've sort of come to... resent it in a way. Not because I don't want them to come over or see them - but it sort of makes me feel really fucking lonely. Them with their partners and dogs and things to look forward to. When all I really look forward to is them coming over.
I've been in one relationship in my life. One serious relationship, that's lasted more than two weeks, I should say. And it ended so horribly. I found myself so reliant on them because I NEEDED to be reliant on someone else. I wanted someone to carry me because I'm so fucking tired of carrying myself. And getting the news that I'm fucking HIV POSITIVE was too much...
I hated that I couldn't pull one friend over to help me paint my living room.
In this self-centered bullshit way, I hated that everyone's life is more important than my fucking living room. As it should be. As reality is.
I'm rambling. Maybe, I want to date. Maybe, I'm looking for some partnership. But I don't trust myself with someone else. I'm so desperate to fall on someone and let them carry me that I'm afraid to let that side of me out. It's held up, locked away, and I've forced myself to carry myself. It's easier that way because for 32 years I've found that I can always rely on myself. I'm a fucking tough mother fucker.
I think, actually know my attraction to masculine, muscular, athletic men is that they seem to be able to hold onto me. To carry me. I need strength.
I've got brilliant, amazing friends. A wonderful, dysfunctional & honest family who cares and wants me as their son. Something I know isn't in everyone's life. I've got a decent job and make enough money to buy all the video game consoles and crap I could want.
In short, I shouldn't complain about any of these things. There's a whole shit ton of fuck that I could be dealing with - I could be homeless, friendless, rejected by family, addicted to drugs, incarcerated... I'm just a regular dude who made bad decisions and has to deal with the consequences. Shut the fuck up.
But, feelings are feelings and they fucking suck.