Finding Strength After Adversity
By Teniecka Drake
February 28, 2012
Life is filled with ups and downs. It is not always easy to keep a smile on your face. Sometimes I forget how vulnerable my body is. One week I will feel strong as an ox, and then the next week not so much.
At times I find myself reminiscing about the past. Trying to go back in my mind and ask myself, Could I have done anything different? Did I really let this happen? Why, was I so gullible and naIve to make such a stupid mistake! Not sure if anyone else struggles with that, but I do on occasions.
I still know that my own biggest personal battle is attacking myself. I have often tried to rationalize it and fix it in my mind and go over it; I really cannot. What I do realize now is that I was a teenager when I became HIV+. Teens, no matter the age, do not always make the best informed choices. Like it or not, the choice of my youth affects me as an adult.
It is really nice to know that I am not alone. I had a person actually make me see that it was truly not my fault. That is so hard to hear after I just considered taking on the burden of the whole problem. I used to always tell my then fiancé, now husband, that I was defective. Thinking as a defective broken human being that I was not worthy of love or anything good. That is not true at all! I could not be more whole, looking at my life now. Everything does happen for a reason; I strongly believe that. From this negative I have seen good. Sometimes it is hard and you just want to throw in the towel. Don't!! There is always a reason and a purpose for any event that happens in our lives. Of course, different views may see things totally different and that is okay.
To be an HIV+ person requires a person to be strong. Not just physically but the whole body, emotionally and spiritually. It takes some strong people to deal with such an illness as this. If you think you are not strong you really are! A lot of people look at HIV+ people and make stereotypes and stigmas and place judgment. In my life I will not let that get me down or dictate my life. Always stay strong and know that people can judge but, until they talk to you personally, they do not know anything about you or your struggles.
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Since her HIV diagnosis in 2001 -- and her marriage, and the recent births of her three children -- Teniecka really has been taking life for more fun! She's spoken nationally about living with HIV, been in Ebony Magazine, and now she's blogging to encourage other HIV-positive people in times when they might need a boost.
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May 24, 2013 - Taking Medication When It Is Not Always Convenient: A Blog Entry by Teniecka Drake
March 1, 2013 - The End of My Pregnancy Journey: A Blog Entry by Teniecka Drake
January 25, 2013 - 37 Weeks: Baby Coming in 4 Days! A Blog Entry by Teniecka Drake
December 22, 2012 - 31 Weeks Pregnant and Climbing: A Blog Entry by Teniecka Drake
October 22, 2012 - Pregnancy at 23 Weeks! A Blog Entry by Teniecka Drake
Interviews With Teniecka:
Teniecka Drake: Balancing HIV Advocacy, a Husband and Three Young Children (March 7, 2011)
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