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Rough Beginnings for the New Year

Friday, Dec. 31, 2010

Posted: April 2011

Autumn Preusser

Autumn Preusser

"I'm a 31-year-old transsexual woman living in rural Arkansas with my boyfriend of five years. I enjoy dancing and music, and I really like photography. I am disabled and on SSI (Supplemental Security Income). Right now I'm just learning to live with HIV."

Well, it's New Years Eve and things are pretty rough.

I've been trying to remain optimistic about things but today has just been one of those days.

It started off OK, like most days do. Then I just keep feeling like there is something I should DO. Of course, there isn't really anything I can do right now that I'm not already doing.

My stress levels lately have been at an all time high. Panic attacks are more frequent and seem more severe. When I go out I feel like people just know that I have HIV. I know they can't. It just feels that way.

I bounce around from anxious, to angry, to exhausted constantly.

I put up a good front around my family. I'm the caregiver, the support or "rock" for our family. Especially my mom, so it wouldn't do to show weakness in front of everyone.

I've been trying to do the right thing lately. I started on a vitamin regimen. Been looking into an exercise program too. It just doesn't seem like enough.

I've read where people start taking control of their lives and start putting themselves first. I have no idea how to do that.

I have a few goals I think will help me in the coming year:

  1. Take my meds on time and don't miss doses. Not HIV meds, but meds for other things; haven't started those yet.
  2. Eat a more well-balanced diet.
  3. Start a good exercise program and stick with it.
  4. Continue with therapy.

That all seems pretty do-able. I don't see why it shouldn't be at least.

My boyfriend and I have a few projects we're planning on working on this year and I'm actually looking forward to them.

We're actually putting in a new breaker box and replacing the old "fuse" box. YAY! We're gonna run quite a few new electrical outlets too.

We started building a shed this summer and I'm looking forward to seeing it finished.

I keep telling myself that if I focus on all the things that are good in my life that this one part, HIV, won't seem quite as unbearable.

I want to live a normal life, and maybe -- just maybe -- I'm beginning to realize that I can still have that, even with HIV.

I've went through A LOT in my life. It's never been easy. I've dealt with adversity since I was old enough to know what it was. I guess I just have to look at this as another hurdle, something that I CAN overcome.

I want this new year to mean something to me. I want it to truly be a new beginning.

More soon,

Send Autumn an e-mail.

View Autumn's posts on's Bulletin Boards.

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