Another Journey Now
It was an instant high. I started using drugs because of the things I was facing. I was drinking, and somebody turned me onto crack. That's what got me started selling my body to get my money to get my drugs. I wasn’t using protection. It was 1999 when they let me know that I was HIV positive. I found out by going to a blood bank and trying to donate. That’s how the results came back. I thought that I was going to die, so, I went back and got high again. I thought once you get HIV it’s AIDS, and you die. I didn’t have no information on the healing of the situation.
I didn't have my kids, so I didn't care no more about myself, them, or nothing. They got taken after my mom called a social worker because I was using drugs. I was homeless in the streets. I didn’t care about anything.
Eventually, I just got tired of doing what I was doing. It was just a roundabout turn - a merry go round to me. I came to Broward House’s substance use program, and I enjoyed it. I graduated from Broward House, and ever since then I have been clean for twenty somethin’ years. Always Jesus blesses me. I went to the doctor, and the doctor explained how HIV works. They gave me the medications, and I took it faithfully. Once I got that first lab work, I was undetectable then. I been on medicine since 1999 and am still taking it. I take one pill a day now. I enjoyed how I was feeling, how I was looking, and I wanted to keep that. I started using protection once I stopped using drugs, and I got married in 2001.
First you have got to want it. After coming through Broward House, I started feeling better, and learned more about my HIV. Then, I found somebody who cared for me. We cared for each other. Then, my children came back into my life. This motivated me to keep on going. I take my frustrations in another journey now. I go to my Higher Power. I still have problems and everything like the next person, but I don’t wanna get high no more. I want to keep my health because without my health, I'm not gonna be here for me or my children.