So, I've decided to take my doctor's orders seriously. When it comes to HIV, it is really important that one keeps their stress levels down and, unfortunately, it has been harder for me than not. I've decided to not let anything or anyone stress me out and if that means cutting people out of my life completely or putting them in another category, so be it. I also emphasize to always look after your own health. I've decided to go to bed earlier, drink less and really try to quit smoking.
I had a situation where I accidentally made a mistake and was persecuted for it. The one person who I thought would believe me didn't and I got upset, but this time it wasn't a normal upset. Some of the things that he said to me started making me have physical reactions. First, I started to breathe irregularly, sweat and my chest started to hurt; I didn't know it at the time but I was having an anxiety attack. I was with friends when this happened but I was clever enough to sequester myself in a room in the house because I didn't want anyone to see me at this time. After that moment I decided NO MORE STRESS.
So, my son and I had a SPA/SHOPPING DAY and that was a great way to de-stress.
Even more recently there was a situation that happened at home with our son and I stayed calm and didn't fly off the handle.
My husband and I have a rule for the house that NOBODY is allowed to be in the house without permission or us being present. We both had Maryland Defense Force Drill last night when I get a phone call. It was another foster parent named Paula. Paula asked me if I had seen her foster daughter, Jade. (We noticed that whenever Jade and Londyn hang out together she badly influences him to stay out late when he is supposed to be home, hangs out at our house without her parents' permission, etc.) I said to Paula, "No, why?"
"Jade said she was going over your house after school and I haven't seen her. My husband even went to your house and knocked on the door and nobody answered."
Keep in mind, school is out at 2 p.m. and it was about 7 p.m. when I got the call. I immediately called my foster son Londyn. Londyn didn't pick up after me calling twice, so I tried one more time. His butt picked up the phone before he did. His phone was in his back pocket and he didn't know it had picked up the call. I could hear Jade and Londyn in the background talking. I put it on speaker for my husband listen to make sure I was not going paranoid. I then called back a fourth time and Londyn finally picked up the phone. "Hi Dad, how are you?" He sounded out of breath. I asked, "You sound like you're outside what going on?" He said, "I was just walking Jade home." I said, "From where?" "The house," he replied. I said, "Okay, you know you're not supposed to have anybody over when we are not there and without permission, you could've either called us or texted us to ask if Jade could come over, right?" He said, "Well, yeah." "Okay," I said, "I'm happy that you are alright and that you didn't lie about her being there, BUT you will be disciplined."
When we got home the house was a mess. He is home today from school. GUESS WHAT? TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE, ROOM AND BATHROOM ESPECIALLY. Also the broken light will be coming out of his allowance, AND NO X-BOX for a week. He is not allowed to hang out with Jade.
So I've decided to make a little list. It's like a bucket list, if you will:
Become more active in HOPE D.C.
Climb a mountain
Take more trips out of state alone
Horseback riding alone
Indoor wall climbing
Act in an indie film/series or movie short
Camping for a weekend alone
Go on more spiritual retreats (non-Christian based)
Monthly spa treatment
Be more serious about yoga
This is a short list and I will add to this after scratching some of them off as I go. I have to learn new ways and tools to calm myself down. I am a bit of a thrill seeker -- an adrenaline junkie -- and I now have to exercise that more than ever. It tends to relax me more often than not. It's what I call a good type of stress.
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)
Justin B. Terry-Smith may be one of the most public African Americans living with HIV: He has his own blog and Web site, and he's even on YouTube. And who can blame him? Only 30, he already has an incredible story to tell. Justin admits he used to live "a very dangerous life," but since his diagnosis three years ago, the former heavy drinker and drug user has turned his life around.
Photo credit: Don Harris
The Body is a service of Remedy Health Media, LLC, 750 3rd Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10017. The Body and its logos are trademarks of Remedy Health Media, LLC, and its subsidiaries, which owns the copyright of The Body's homepage, topic pages, page designs and HTML code. General Disclaimer: The Body is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through The Body should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.