HIV and Support Systems
By Brian Ledford
March 20, 2014
I received a call this evening from The Marine's Wounded Worrior group that really got me to thinking. It was great to get the call in the respect that it makes me feel like I have not been forgotten and that I am still part of the Marine family that I love so much. But this call got me thinking, which is usually a bad thing. I guess this is just part of the funk I have been in for a while now.
I was asked the usual questions, like whether I was using the VA for my health care and if I was able to pay my bills and whether I was working or in school. All of that was the usual thing which did not bother me at all.
Then I was asked one question, and that question alone really got to me and I am not sure why.
He asked me "Do you have a support system, friends or family you can talk to?"
Sure I have friends and family and I love them to death, but I don't know if I would call them a "support system." Yeah I can talk to them but they never really understand.
I told him "Sure, if I wanted to talk to them." Yeah I know that sounded rude as hell, but it is not like I could really tell him the truth. And if I did tell him the truth, what matter did it make? He could not change my circumstances with just a phone call, no matter how good his intentions.
I wanted to shout "NO, I do not have anyone to talk to," but once again what good would that do?
Then I got to thinking, I really do have a support system. It may not be your normal type in the sense that I do not have someone to physically sit down with and talk to, but it is a support system all the same.
Y'all have become my support system. Strangers in the real world, yet we all come together online and are there for each other. Y'all have become part of my family and for that I must thank you.
This may just sound like rambling to some but it is my truth. Even when I am in one of my funks like I have been as of late, I know I can find support from this awesome community that I am so proud to be part of.
So once again "Thank You" to each and every one of you have has been there and helped to see me through this journey thus far.
Visit Brian's live blog at www.AMarineAndHIV.com.
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This is my story of how I found out I was HIV-positive while still on Active Duty in the United States Marine Corps and how I have tried to put the pieces of my life back together through the good times and the bad. I am currently a full time student working on a degree in Information Security Technology, which seems to be taking forever. I want to help make a difference and erase HIV related Stigma in the South, where due to lack of education people still do not know that much about HIV. If my story reaches out and helps at least one person, then I have made a difference.
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July 23, 2014 - Personal Experience With Stigma: A Blog Entry by Brian Ledford
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