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Staying Single Works For Me
Jul 26, 1999

In the past, I've sought your help regarding a relationship gone bad. Although you didn't say to do this, I have left the relationship and moved to a new city. I do not date and live alone, which are two very new things to me (I used to believe the opposite was THE way). It may not be for everyone, but not having to deal with sex in that way has made me mentally stable and has affected my physical health for the better as well. I haven't had to see my HIV specialist in over eight months and haven't missed a day at work due to an illness (last stats were v/l=1000, CD4=100, but not sick, knock on wood!). Best of all, I've learned to not put myself under any undue stress because of someone else's bad attitude and can focus on my own goals in life...many of which I have successfully accomplished since being single. I just hope that others who are HIV+ and in bad relationships realize when it's time to let go, and that it isn't worth making onself sick over. It wasn't easy, and very scary considering that my self esteem was shot to crap because of a deceitful lover. Some people think I alienate myself now, but I am always meeting new people...some of which become my friends, most of which I later find I should stay away from. Kudos to other HIV/AIDS survivors willing to take it one step at a time without being stepped on by people who are supposed to love you. Thank you, Michael Shernoff, for making me think...and realize the power I have in myself to not let this disease or any other bad influences control my mental or physical well-being.

Response from Mr. Shernoff

As in all things there is no one correct way. Unfortunately too many people in our society, both gay and heterosexual, believe that unless they are in a relationship there is something wrong with them. It is instructive for people to read of your experiences in order to get support for taking steps that they otherwise might not think of as viable options. Thank you for sharing your story.

Michael Shernoff, MSw



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