February 14, 2012
The '80s and '90s took their toll on me physically and mentally. Within that time, I've made wrong choices and unhealthy decisions. At 42, I had a methamphetamine dependency left over from my circuit club days. Along with bi-polar disorder it was a vicious cycle of highs and lows. I accumulated emotional clutter along the way and felt worthless and invisible.
Furthermore, I developed a slight buffalo hump that took away what little self esteem I had left. It was like being branded with the scarlet letter "A" on my back. Because of this, I became reclusive, celibate and began to horde resentment. I lived a miserable existence in deplorable, toxic and oppressive conditions for the next eight years.
I believe life is full of crossroads. Some you take and others you avoid. I've traveled many, except one in particular: the straight and narrow. It was time I did. My October 2011 article on TheBody.com, "Companion Animals Targeted by Unscrupulous Landlord; Their Owner Bites Back," will explain it all in detail and bring you up to date on my rise out of the ashes.
Today, I'm on a regimen of psych and HIV meds. After 26 years of being positive, my viral load is undetectable. My CD4 count averages between 700-800 T cells. Instead of focusing on the physical effects of HIV, I now concentrate on my inner being. I'm free of crystal meth and on a natural high instead. I seize the day and look forward to the next. I appreciate the smallest of things and take nothing for granted. I ask what I can do for others and not what they can do for me.
Every now and then the past creeps back. And when it does I take a moment and compare it to where I am today. In a way, I feel this is my spiritual guide's way of keeping me in check and on track.