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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Monday Reflection: I Wanted to Give Up ... But God and Twitter

By Rae Lewis-Thornton

September 12, 2011

This piece originally appeared in Rae's blog, Diva Living With AIDS.

Last Night there was a part of me that wanted to give the fuck up! Now don't get me wrong, I didn't want to die, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to live in my life. I'm being straight honest. Last night I was in such a dark place I didn't know if I would make it till tomorrow or even if I wanted a tomorrow, at least as I know it.

I understand how someone can punch out of living and push a cart for the rest of their life. It's the easiest way to stop living in your life. There are no expectations of yourself or from anyone else, you just go with the flow. Yep, I was a complete and total mess. Physically I was at such a low point I couldn't even think clearly and that created an environment for the real warfare, not for my body, but for my mind and spirit.

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You see, no matter what happens to the body, if a person's head is clear, then so is their spirit. It's the spirit that makes you want to live and participate in life. What you think undergrids your spirit, which gives life to what you do. The Bible says, "As a Man Thinketh so is he."

But last night I was so lost in the physical effects of my IV medication that I couldn't think clearly. Yesterday was day 11 on this IV medication and I can't even describe with justice how it affects me physically.

The nausea NEVER leaves and the fatigue is so intense, the simple act of getting out of bed makes you want to lay right back down. And the nausea adds a weary element to it all. It's a crazy cycle that goes like this: I need to eat to help curb the nausea, but I'm to weak to make food, yet I still crawl out of bed to fix the food and that makes me even more tired and within 30 minutes of eating I'm nauseated again. Weary ain't even the word for it!

So I laid in bed all day yesterday and muddled through. I had beads in my lap, working on bracelet designs for my new collection most of the day; Hoping that it would take my mind off how I was feeling and at the same time, try to fight back, if only in a small way.

But by 8:00 p. m., I seemed to have lost all hope. I started to cry. A darkness swept over me and I started to cry out. But I didn't know what to say to God, so I just moaned. It was time for my next IV infusion and I honestly didn't know how I could go on.

In all of my anguish, as usual, I picked up my IPad to Tweet that I was getting ready to get connected to my IV when I spotted one of my followers, 100 Praying Women and in a second I had just enough clarity, I Tweeted to them, Please Keep me in your prayers. I'm on day 11 of this IV med and I'm so sick.. This struggle is major. And before I knew it, my timeline was tending with prayer request and prayers for me. They then put out a call to World Prayr who also put out a call for prayer on my behalf. Twitter World was praying for me, all over the World.

Grandmama use to sing a song, I'm so glad they prayed... I'm so glad they prayed... I'm so glad they prayed for me.
I connected to my IV and laid down with some meditation music and a calmness came over me. None of the physical issues changed, but I was able to rest my body and wake this morning with a clear mind and now I'm back at it.

You see, all it takes is a moment of clarity. And in that moment you have to act; Its God's voice guiding you to the light. I could have allowed my pride to get in my way. I mean everyone thinks that I'm Super Woman and can do anything and withstand anything. I've been such a trooper living with HIV/AIDS these 28 years that there is this expectation that I will never stop marching.

But I get weary just like Moses and in that time I need an Aaron's to hold up my arm as the battle goes on. Last night, there were many Aaron's that held me up, when I was so tired I didn't even know how to pray.

If I had held my pain to myself, no one would have known that I was hurting, people can't help if they don't know. Yes, there was a part of me that wanted to give up, but in an instant God gave me clarity, I acted on God's voice and that has rendered me strength for another day. Thank God They Prayed For Me...

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See Also
Ten Things You Can Do to Enhance Your Emotional Well-Being
More on Getting Support From Religion / Spirituality
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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Wanaye (Kampala Uganda) Fri., Sep. 30, 2011 at 4:33 am EDT
Thanks a lot for disclosing, a problem shared is a problem halved. Sitting a lone with stressing issues can create more problems. It is better to ventilate them out.
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Comment by: Gisele Vincent-Page (Winnipeg, Canada) Fri., Sep. 23, 2011 at 10:17 am EDT
Dear Rae, You are as deserving of compassion as all sentient beings are. You roar your strength and I want you to know that i hear you and I admire you. Not as a stone monument, but as a flesh and blood human being who is in pain, it's your right to say so. There is little room for politeness when we're sick. I'm holding your hand in my heart. Bon courage! peace, love Gisele
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Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist who rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has lived with HIV for 27 years and AIDS for 19. Rae travels the country speaking and challenging stereotypes and myths about HIV/AIDS. She has a Master of Divinity degree and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Church History. Rae has been featured on Nightline, Dateline NBC, BET and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in countless magazines and newspapers, including Emerge, Glamour, O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Jet, Ebony, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. She earned the coveted Emmy Award for a first-person series on living With AIDS for Chicago's CBS News.

Rae is an active user of social media -- read "Long-Term HIV Survivor Discovers the Power of Twitter," an article on TheBody.com about Rae's social media activities.

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