My Purpose Is Stronger Than Me
It was at that moment, I thought “Is this how I’m going to go?”
Being Hebrew and Cherokee Indian, I’ve always been a spiritual person. After my diagnosis, I began to question my faith. I was in active addiction at the time, selling myself for drugs and having multiple partners without protection.
One day, I noticed that I had a sore throat, and my lymph nodes were swollen. Eventually, I decided to get tested and was officially diagnosed in 2005. I felt numb and I felt terrified. However, I continued my faith in God and knew that I was going to be ok.
Initially, I kept my diagnosis to myself until I went into a substance abuse treatment program. Once, I began treatment I revealed my status to my mother and didn’t tell anyone else. I didn’t tell anyone else because I feared people would treat me differently once they knew.
Before my diagnosis, I was always into my faith and spirit, but my life didn't reflect that. I had a lot of struggles coming from a verbally and physically abusive family. At that time, I was a good salesman and had a “good” job, but I wasn’t one hundred percent happy. I wasn’t because I was using drugs. I also didn't feel okay with myself. I had a lot of psychological things that I had to deal with at that time as well. While I was figuring it out, I was dealing with homelessness, and job jumping from city to city to escape.
After I was diagnosed, I was put on treatment in and outside of my drug use. My doctor would start me on a new regimen each time. Now at 52 years old, I keep up with my medication by taking it every day at the same time. I have been undetectable for the past year and three months.
Since my diagnosis, I have chosen self-pleasure and abstinence to stay safe. I meditate regularly throughout the week for my emotional and mental health. What motivated me to change my behavior was that I didn’t want to hurt anybody. I also wanted a better life for myself and the people around me.
At the end of the day, my purpose is stronger than me. It's bigger than me. I know that no matter what's happening in the world and God forbid, anything should happen to me, I can close my eyes and find eternal joy regardless of any situation or circumstance.