A River Runs Through It
On Being Sick
October 14, 2016
Each day starts the same. I wake up in pain; I take some medication. Without it, the pain progresses to agony levels. I have no appetite; there is nothing that entices me, but I know if I don't eat something I will feel worse, so I eat. I go back to bed and meditate, often for hours, and then fall back asleep. I wake up, and sometimes I have to go to the bathroom, and I am my own cheerleader: You can do it! Come on big girl, time for pee pee! I go to the bathroom. I go back to bed. I can do the computer for short periods before it is too painful. If I do too much, I have terrible episodes of spinning and puking.
Loving Myself Too Much to Accept Stigmatized 'Love'
March 26, 2016
I met someone. I felt this instant connection. He responded in kind. Big smiles and little touches that led to kisses. Kisses that led to "fly me to the moon, feel the earth move, curl my toes" kinds of kisses for hours.
Rape in Words and Actions: A Disclosure Story
May 24, 2013
I met someone. I felt this instant connection. He responded in kind. Big smiles, little touches that lead to a kiss, and that kiss led to a fly-me-to-the-moon, feel-the-earth-move, curl-your-toes kind of kiss for hours.
March 20, 2013
In January of 2013 I went to India. I never had a desire to go to India. I was asked and I went. The primary reason was to talk to health professionals about addiction and explain the concept that addiction and alcoholism are a disease not just weakness, lack of will power or bad character.
Does HIV Still Bother Me, After 22 Years?
February 1, 2013
This morning as I was walking my dog, I was doing a mental checklist about what I need to do before I take my upcoming trip to India. I thought I should get some blood work done before I go. Then, as my mind sometimes does, it wandered. I thought Why not get another HIV test? It has been 22 years since I had one. As I continued my walk down to the ocean I started to fantasizing about what it would feel like to receive a negative result.
August 3, 2012
It is the middle of summer in the Caribbean. The cruise ships have slowed down. Everything has slowed down. I have slowed down. For the first time in my life I have taken whole days, even multiple days off to do absolutely nothing. The contest is officially over. I know I will still die in this lifetime but I have lost the urgency I felt for years (28) living with HIV and Idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (an acute bleeding disorder).
January 20, 2012
Every morning I feel so fortunate to wake up to another day. I have been calling this time of my life the "bonus rounds," and they are. I live by the sea in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, in an amazing house right on the ocean. It is not for everyone because living here is not at all like taking a vacation here. It is a little rough and tumble. For instance, the other night as I slept I felt something warm and alive plop on my head in the dark.
World AIDS Day Makes Me Sad
November 21, 2011
World AIDS Day makes me sad. For me it is a day of mourning and grief. Even though I will stand up in front of yet another group of students and talk about how this is a preventable disease, I have no delusions after 22 years that my one talk will make much of a difference in their behavior. I might plant some seeds. I might be part of a cumulative message that eventually helps some of the people make better choices. But regardless, I will continue to speak about the need to advocate for better safe sex methods and accessible information for all types of groups around the world. I will write, paint and perform in hopes of finding alternative ways to reach the hearts and minds of the human race when it comes to AIDS education.
Oops, I Did It Again
June 17, 2011
Since moving to Water Island in the Caribbean, I have kept a low profile. Most people here think of me as a painter, and I run a non-profit art alliance called sevenminusseven on St Thomas. I did do a couple of programs for the department of health but they were also low key and on other islands (St. Croix). So when another non-profit art group asked me to do a short performance at their women empowerment evening, I said yes. As soon as I did I realized that I would no longer be under the radar. These islands are like very small towns where no one can leave and the national pastime is gossip.
Jumping Empty-Handed Into the Void
January 14, 2011
Recently my life fell apart financially, emotionally and spiritually. I had hit bottom. I have been in recovery for 25 years but I found a new addiction, or really not so new -- it might have been my first addiction -- and that is control. For the first 13 years of living with HIV infection as well as acute, chronic ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenia pupura) I came to accept I was powerless. It is one thing HIV, if you are willing, will teach you in spades.
A River Runs Through It
River Huston is an award-winning poet, journalist, performer and activist. She travels through the United States speaking on issues related to sexuality, communication, overcoming challenges and change. She has been featured on Good Morning America, Showtime, Nightline, CNN and ABC Up To The Minute. River has written three books of poetry as well as The Goddess: A Guide to Feminine Wisdom and A Positive Life: Portraits of Women Living With HIV. She wrote and performed a one-woman show, Sex, Cellulite and Large Farm Equipment: One Girls Guide to Living and Dying off off Broadway and is currently working on a second show, The Dominatrix Next Door. For more information about River you can go to riverhuston.com.
Subscribe to River's Blog:
October 14, 2016 - On Being Sick: A Blog Entry by River Huston
March 26, 2016 - Loving Myself Too Much to Accept Stigmatized 'Love': A Blog Entry by River Huston
May 24, 2013 - Rape in Words and Actions: A Disclosure Story
March 20, 2013 - India: A Blog Entry by River Huston
February 1, 2013 - Does HIV Still Bother Me, After 22 Years? A Blog Entry by River Huston
Articles by River:
I Feel Good! Attaining Survival Through Illness (March/April 2008)
Goddess in a Muumuu: AIDS Changes Sexual Self-Image (December 1999)
A Positive Life: Portraits of Women Living With HIV (October 1999)
Interviews With River:
White Women and HIV (April 1999)
A Brief Disclaimer:
The opinions expressed by TheBody.com's bloggers are entirely their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of TheBody.com itself.