By Brooke Davidoff
March 29, 2011
I am sad. I have had a shitty year but I'm strong and will not let it overpower my life. When it comes down to it, sometimes life just SUCKS. From about two weeks after I got married my poor husband and I have been on this roller coaster of emotional heartbreak called LIFE.
We found out about a week after our wedding that my parents signed divorce papers while we were on our honeymoon. I had no idea they were even having problems. Two weeks later we found out I was pregnant.
Everything was normal until January when I was diagnosed with AIDS.
The shit continued in March when we were evicted from our apartment due to the price of my medications, and us not making enough to cover my medical bills, on top of rent, car payments, cell phone bills, yadda yadda.
We moved into a 2-bedroom duplex with 2 roommates, my brother-in-law and his best friend.
A newlywed couple expecting a baby, needing roommates to pay bills is a bit embarrassing. I had not disclosed our new health issues to everyone and found it hard to explain why we were moving from a 2-bedroom apartment alone into a 2-bedroom with 2 roommates when we were having a baby.
I loved our apartment; our son would have had a nice room.
In May my dad died from injuries he received in a motorcycle crash. I was 7 months pregnant with his first grandchild when he was injured and died.
We all (my brothers, mother, my husband, and I) flew in from different states and countries to see him in the hospital. My big brother, husband and I all flew into California from Seattle. My mother was in New York at the time for my uncle's funeral (he died of cancer the week before my father died), and my little brother flew in from Taiwan where he was living and teaching English.
My father was medically sedated with 4th degree burns on 80% of his body. He had internal bleeding and a massive list of broken bones and internal injuries. I had a personal nurse while at the hospital because I was so pregnant. We had to take him off life support once we had all said goodbye, since he had no chance of recovering.
We arranged his cremation and had a service; my husband and I flew home and back to work. Back to being the pregnant AIDS girl who now was fatherless. My brothers stayed in California in dad's house packing things, taking care of his dog and his fish. Trying to figure out what to do with a fully furnished 5-bedroom 2-story 3,000-square-foot home in a state none of us lived in anymore.
He was the most important person in my life. He was always there for support, comedy or just someone to talk to. He was gone. Way too soon, way too violently.
As time went on it just added to my list of silent, heartbreaking pain. I write to make it better; I talk to my dad and think he's still hanging out watching my son and me.
Some days I'm okay. Others it's still fresh and raw.
I'm sad and don't even know about what anymore. I'm not depressed, I don't think. I don't see why I'm not depressed.
He died just before my first column on TheBody.com was published. He knew they asked me to write and I was beginning to work on it. He knew I was diagnosed with AIDS; he knew I was having a baby boy.
He doesn't know my son was named after him, keeping with the Jewish tradition. Or does he?
I lost weight after I had Myles; I have gained it back. Is it medically related? Is it depression related? I have no idea. I eat the wrong things, and spend my whole day at work on the computer 5-6 days a week, then go home and play with my son till dinner and movie, then bedtime.
I need to exercise, Yes.
I need to eat better, Yes.
We are finally roommate free again after a year. It's nice to live together as a family again, and not in a frat house.
We are living on ONE income for 3 of us now. I am going to be in an article about HIV/AIDS in Glamour magazine in June of this year. I have to keep writing and fighting for us; I don't know what else to do.
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Comment by: Daniel
Fri., Apr. 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm EDT
Your honesty, the way you just say it as it is is a breath of fresh air like nothing I have read until now here. What you write here is powerful, it is real, I can totally relate to it. Life is a big existential dick and HIV is just one more crazy thing thrown at us. The fact is: existence is just this crazy whirlpool we are all thrown into. And no God watching over making it better (while spreading viruses on the sly - I mean for f***k's sake, if one more person talks about the "spiritual potential" of HIV I swear I will just vomit on them). We're in this together. It sux. It's not enlightening, a second chance or a blessing in disguise getting something like HIV. It's just one big BUMMER that throws your life into chaos. I am totally with you. Thank you for being so honest. I was starting to think there was something wrong with me for feeling angry and sad about getting HIV instead of being happy I could now "climb mountains" and have a second chance. Meh. Some second chance.
Comment by: Billy
Fri., Apr. 8, 2011 at 4:34 am EDT
Wow. You have been through hell. I must give you applause for your strength. I pray for you.
Comment by: Tim
Thu., Apr. 7, 2011 at 11:35 pm EDT
I'm sorry anything i used to feel about depression seems squelched. I should feel lucky I only have HIV you say you have AIDS so you must have CD4 below 200 and you say you have a son(what a blessing) Life is cruel and is nothing but a harsh bitch out to get us all. I hope all improves with you. good luck and good life
Comment by: Petana P
Thu., Apr. 7, 2011 at 12:06 pm EDT
Brooke, Keep holding on. Ur doing much better. May God strengthen you and turn your sorrows and worries into happiness and prosperity. Dont Give up. Its not worth it.This Little boy is your reason to fight, to do well, to rise above all and conquer. HIV pos or not, we all have just one life to live, We cant afford to let some bullcrap disease tarnish that. Live UP as we say in JA. one love!
Comment by: Rex
Thu., Apr. 7, 2011 at 9:09 am EDT
Thank you for sharing your story. I really appreciate your frankness and honesty. Your toughness will inspire not only people living with HIV/AIDS but also many with other chronic and life-threatening illnesses to soldier on through all the shitty things life throws at them.
I look forward to seeing you in Glamour. All the best!
Comment by: Anna
Fri., Apr. 1, 2011 at 10:13 am EDT
Reading this, I was filled with sadness, but also hope, and most of all, admiration. I cried before I made it to the end, not out of sadness, but because the human spirit still manages to amaze me. When we are at our lowest, we still somehow find the strength to carry on. Maybe because we have no other choice or maybe because the alternative, giving up, is unacceptable.
Thank you for sharing your story. It is one of the things that has kept me sane through my own ordeal. I look forward to seeing your article in Glamour.
Comment by: Lucy
Thu., Mar. 31, 2011 at 11:55 am EDT
I like that you are writing! Although MANY women feel this way, they all get there because of different life changing circumstances. Ye sometimes life sucks...and it is not all okay. It's not a phase that you will just magically overcome. It sucks. The best thing I did was get a job. I could not call in sick. I had to get up and shower and be somewhere on time. I could not make lame excuses to not go. Now I am so busy with work I don"t have time to think about other stuff. You have found your job. It must feel empowering to tell your story. Have you thought about counceling other young mom's in your situation? I think you would be amazing at it!! Love, Lu
Comment by: mom of hivdaughter
Wed., Mar. 30, 2011 at 12:10 am EDT
You have had alot to deal with in the last year. You seem like a very strong person. I will definitely pray that God gives you strength to push forward and be the voice people need to hear and be educated about HIV. Hope you find happiness in the coming year with your new baby and remember you are an encouragement to others who have HIV, I know my daughter is looking forward to having a baby even though she has HIV. God Bless......
Comment by: Anthony
Tue., Mar. 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm EDT
As someone recently diagnosed,I fully understand the roller-coster of emotions u are going through.u should be glad for at least having a family you can count on. I do not know how many times I've thought about ending my life believing the powers that be are somehow against me.
I lost my job in the month I got infected and I struggle with life but I believe and I hope u do as well that there will be better days.I find lots of relief in crying,i wonder what works for u
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