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Reged: 09/11/10
Posts: 12
Loc: California
Forgiveness IS THE ONLY WAY to freedom!
      #252073 - 09/12/10 06:02 AM

I've had to ask myself many times over the past 11 years what a success story is and I still ask myself this question ruthlessly and without reserve up until this day. I wasn't a quick learner when it came to breaking the dangerous lifestyle I was living and having to face the utter lack of self-esteem that I handed over to my predecessors whom now I have learned to finally forgive. The prices I paid for blaming others lead me through years of sleeping in bushes and eating out of trash cans... I take full responsibility because without confessing the part I played in this spiritual journey my life would have ended over 5 years ago.

Rather than begin my story from before I became HIV positive, I am going to tell my story from the time after I became HIV positive because the gray area in between that I know of looking back upon was actually the same ignorance that I carried with me throughout many other diseases that already existed in my life as well. It's important for me to define what is considered disease in my life so I will put it very bluntly... Disease is anything that prevents you from growing as an individual with unique experiences that could otherwise have become a beacon to those on similar paths.

I was diagnosed November 12th, 1997 ten days just before my birthday. I can relate to the diagnoses as being a result of either broken rubbers or broken promises... The bottom line was it was an endless hole I never tried to fill before finally realizing it was there perhaps all my life. The worst day I can remember was realizing how many friends and family tried to instill within me the fact I was loved and cared about no matter what my secrets were. I remember losing my first and last gay friend because he took me to Disneyland to try to get my mind off of the bad news of my HIV diagnoses and instead I jumped off the tour bus thinking I was Jesus Christ and he was Satan. The nervous breakdown was only beginning however...

I found myself in the hospital during the year of 1999 two times on a 5150 because I ran into oncoming traffic with no clothes on because I literally could not take care of myself anymore. My family found trash cans in my house filled with feces matter and an office full of work that needed to be done. Once released my work became my new obsession. It was a miserable life making 80K per year by the year 2004 but, there was this incessant need to fill even more progressive sexual fantasies and this bottomless abyss I could only persuade with another bottle or pipe with anything cheap to fill it with. During this year I decided it was time to let go of my business and head for the streets in search of Truth. I left behind a $5000.00 saltwater fish tank and eventually abandoned my car as well.

It amazes me how many times I could walk back and forth from Los Angeles to Orange County over those next two years. I managed to come up with a Guitar that I use to play in a park that was infested with gangs and chemically depended people just as lost as I was if not worse. My skin began breaking out with opportunistic infections and I was tested to find out my CD4 count was below 75 and still I was not ready to surrender my life to the spirit I know today I was eternally a part of. One day I played the same song twice in front of the same individual and was slammed in the face with a beer bottle and told I must be "an AIDS" patient and better get out of the park. I barely made it to a train station with enough money to just take me home... The familiar surfing shores of San Clemente where I was prepared to die peacefully.

It was about 5AM in the morning and still dark out when I was awakened by a moonlight surfer climbing over the rocks (nearly stepping on me) as he was headed for the waves. It took me hardly a second to realize I was in a familiar safe place and he offered me some weed although I really wanted to ask for a Doctor or at least a decent hostile while blood was literally running down my thighs from the infections. There was such an amount of filth inside rather than outside that I did not have faith in letting someone know who I had become. I was drying out from the bottles I drank and smoking glass pipes. I was filled with envy towards anyone that had peace of mind to enjoy life on a different level I could not understand so I did what I always did, hide my feelings. There wasn't even anymore "why me" questions left to ask because I was use to seeing far worse get taken to the morgue on Skid Row Los Angeles. I knew I had to make a choice... Where to run once more. It's funny how life was just like a series of sleeping below piers and bridges up until that point because my next decision had ultimately saved my life.

When the morning light came along I followed that sunrise up to the parking lot where a family bought me breakfast and gave me five dollars to get where I needed to go. I bought a bus pass to go to a emergency clinic in Costa Mesa where the Doctor took one look at me and set me up in a hotel for a few weeks with some anti-biotics... She didn't know a thing about HIV or AIDS but, I was soon signed up with AIDS Services Foundation in Orange County where the following two years were mostly devoted to keeping me from many other times I ran away from help. In 2007 I was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer because I drank myself into oblivion without taking my HIV medication and it was a long process fighting the demons within to follow the course of action I had to take to survive. I am proud to say I kicked Cancer and sexual addiction by the end of 2008 and have since had the privilege of exploring the person I am because I knew the person we always want to be tends to be the person we already are according to my mentor Ernest Holmes of Science of Mind's Religious Science... I needed to simply shine that beacon that was always promised someday I would know how to use.

Life was not perfect! I went through a severe suicide attempt in October of 2008 and again gave up my job working for an employer that was not right for me... It was the beginning however, to having the power within to speak up for what was right and wrong with my life. I don't regret the decisions I have made... Even the ones that cost me almost my life. I discovered a Truth about not only myself but, the world that surrounds me. Not everyone is going to notice you for the trials and tribulations you overcome for yourself. You HAVE to keep trying! You have to accept the darker side of yourself before you can treat it with the love that is also available in this world... Sometimes it comes from those darker places. It is an unfair set of cards to play with for a lot of us I know but, it is a gift to realize how immensely important it is for you to still be a part of the game. I finally picked up my Guitar again recently because the pain can still be overwhelming... Even deadly sometimes. But this invisible spirit I have even surrendered when I could not find the right words to say and this spirit shows up when I am trapped in all the old addictions I and my supporters have worked very hard the last eleven years to get me out of.

How different is my old life compared to my new life as an HIV positive man? I picked up the tools in front of me even though sometimes they are like broken glass shards of my past desires to indulge in ignorant behavior. I do what my Doctor's tell me to do as best I can and when something hurts so bad that I want to end my life, I transform those feelings into a song to sing. I spend months writing the pressure into words that may someday change the world into heaven because heaven is where your soul resides no matter what you ultimately believe. I am only part of that empty space within because I have learned through the hardest knocks that you complete the rest of that space within by building yourself a stronger foundation every time you fail. And together we learn how to face our fears because you can never be wrong with your emotions. No matter how evil you might seem you were still given the gift of expression which will rename avenues you never would have imagined. The influences I have encountered in my ever changing perceptions have been an experience I never would have known could happen by merely sacrificing a little more of my desperate needs for physical pleasures as a 39 year old man.

I have watched men die of this disease with absolute dignity! I watched a pure Cherokee Indian leave this world at over 60 years old as a happy HIV positive man. I witnessed one of the first straight Surfer males ever infected peacefully let go of this life completely content literally two months before there was finally a better treatment for AIDS patients which would have possibly saved his life. I have confidence that the answer is not in how long a person can get away with living this life but, how much a person can enjoy sharing it with others. My knowledge of spirit has been the greatest reward in my looking back upon my life with a simple forgiveness towards the ignorance that spread such ignorance. Ignorance is not a behavior... It is a lack of understanding when you cannot trust the purpose of making your own mistakes... Therefore you cover it up with yet another lie that makes you comfortable with the first lie. Another great quote I've been told by an amazing worldwide spokeswoman and great friend of mine is "Life is a growing experience". It took me well over 19 years to finally realize how right she was!

My words have come out wrong in so many attempts to explain that love is not something that leaves you empty handed because it is not something that you become confused about and continue sacrificing yourself to others for. Love is having the freedom to be who you are with enough to give even after the moment you lose yourself to another person's judgement because even when you are loathed, mistreated, and discarded in the end there will always be enough room for you to grow as an individual anyways. I have decided to take my story to the many resources within the media that I have recently been given in hopes that somewhere I may have the opportunity to help others find the candle within that no matter how bad things get, will never blow out in some waste of your lifetime search for the person that has lit that candle. And it is my sincere thanks to those entities I am sending this message to for your unbiased conclusions towards the intentions I have forever become indebted to. Stay faithful and stay strong! Stay unique and stay free.

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Reged: 06/22/10
Posts: 119
Re: Forgiveness IS THE ONLY WAY to freedom! new
      #252114 - 09/14/10 09:59 PM

Dont make your life an open book for the world to read. In case you didnt know people dont really care what youve been through or how you got to where you are today. If you expect people to read all of this you have literally lost your mind! I dont know you and from reading a portion of your post, you dont seem like anyone I would be slightly interested in knowing. You take things too far. Live your life until you die, thats my advice.

I really cant see what kind of advise you would be able to give anyone. Advice on what? How to be humiliated and hated and prejudiced because you advertise your status to the world in hopes of understanding? I think not, you will be a happier person if you dont make your life an open book for the word. People could care less what you've been through.

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New User

Reged: 09/11/10
Posts: 12
Loc: California
Re: Forgiveness IS THE ONLY WAY to freedom! new
      #252121 - 09/14/10 10:26 PM

You seem self-absorbed... Your point seems to suggest everyone holds your opinion. I already received a few thank you letters for my story. I think you are probably here from REALJOCK or somewhere else just trying to cause trouble. You really picked the wrong website because this website is FOR Hiv positive individuals and likewise it is FOR confessing our status. You are the one out of place here, not me.

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