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Monday Reflection: Just Take a Deep Breath ...

By Rae Lewis-Thornton

March 26, 2012

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

Can we talk? I mean some real talk! I got a lot of freakin stuff to complain about! A lot to be mad about and a lot to fuckin give up on! That's real talk living with HIV/AIDS. Just walk ONE day in my shoes and see for yourself.

Living with this disease is a nightmare wrapped into a pretty package, setting you up. You see, the longer you live, the harder the living. It's a gift and a curse all wrapped into one. A gift because life is always worth living, but the cost sometimes is a tad overwhelming.

I know, I know, yes I'm still here! I'm alive and doing my best each and every day. But do not be confused, ain't nothing cute about living with this freakin disease. Now, I know, I know, we want people who become infected to have hope. And I try to give it to them and some for myself, but I'm not going to lie and let my lie set anyone up for failure, thinking this is a cake walk, cause it ain't.

Yep, we should have hope for longevity and a life full with possibilities; And yes that's possible with proper treatment and care. And as I said, life is worth the living For Real.. For Real...

But as sure as my name is Rae Clara, some days I just want to list my shit and get it off my chest. Let it all hang out! Well, I sort of do that in a roundabout way in my blogs and when I speak, but truly, I've never just listed all the madness that I face living with AIDS. Yep, I could list it and the list would be long as hell, but then listing it won't change not a darn thing! Not one thing on my list will alter. It is what it is!

So instead of giving into the madness and writing this long ass list about how much I hate living with AIDS and why, I'll just take a deep breath, have a wonderful cup of tea and Keep It Moving!

Why? Because no matter what I'm facing, I have to continue to believe that life is worth living. When God wakes me up in the morning I know that I am still a part of God's earthly plan, so why not embrace what's before me no matter how jacked up it is sometimes.

Now this is where my faith comes in. I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future. I don't know how many good days I will have versus bad days, but my faith tells me to believe that thing I cannot see, will be.

In the end if I see value in living, then I will make the best out of the life I'm facing. You see, I had the chance to change the course of my history 29 years ago. I made decisions based on everything I thought I knew about life, but in the end, it proved to be wrong.

All to do now, is take a freakin deep breath and keep on living!

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See Also
10 Things You Can Do to Enhance Your Emotional Well-Being
Depression and HIV
Feeling Good Again: Mental Healthcare Works!
More Personal Viewpoints on Coping With HIV

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Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks

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 about Rae's social media activities.

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