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Monday Reflection: Coping ...

By Rae Lewis-Thornton

October 4, 2010

Monday Reflection: Coping ...
I always want my Monday Reflections to have some meaning and to add value to the lives of my readers. But today I seem empty. Void. Have you ever felt void? Like there's nothing there. Like everything inside of you took a vacation. That's exactly how I feel, empty. But I know that's not true. I know that there's a lot inside of me because some days I feel like I'm gonna explode. But yet today I just can't seem to call up any emotion or be creative.

Could I be so sad that I'm numb? Could I have so much going on that to think about any of it would require more then I can handle? Is this my reality, that to cope I do nothing at all? I think about nothing, I do nothing. I can't even seem to talk to God beyond each morning when I say thank you for another day. Yes, I'm admitting that even prayer is hard to do these days. And when I do pray I simply say, "Lord, you know." Cause He does know. Yes, I'm void of deep and profound these days. I'm just trying to keep me all together and my head above water. So I cope as best as I can. Some days I draw upon everything and others, like today, I do nothing.

In all of it, this I know for sure: I got way too much going on. Way too much. I need a break and a breakthrough. What I also know for sure is that God has not forsaken me. As sure as I have AIDS, I'm sure that God has got my back. But when you keep getting hit, you wonder why it seems that God is so silent. And for me, what appears to be silence from God, shuts me down. I know I should be in His face day and night, night and day. But what would I say? He knows it all.

AIDS has to play itself out, that is my reality. I have AIDS and with it comes a heavy load. The physical and emotional roller coaster of this disease is no joke. I know that God's got this, but I live in the reality of it all. I have AIDS and it's one hell of a disease. This Bitch is mean! I live and, yes, it lives. We are bound together whether I want it or not. The consequences of my unprotected sex has me fighting for my life for the rest of my life. I made a choice about my life and body and nothing will ever change that. So in the right now of my silence I will find comfort. Comfort in my history with God and His promise to me. That all things work together for good to them that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.

I know that God is working even in my silence. I also know that God won't let me break no matter how far down I bend. He won't let me fall, no matter how low I go. So I cope as best as I can and leave the rest up to God. I take it one day a time. Like the Gospel song goes: I don't know about tomorrow ... But I know who holds my hand ...

This article originally appeared on Rae's Web site, Diva Living With AIDS.

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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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