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A Poem by Chad

April 2011

A year after I stopped using meth in 2005, I tested positive for HIV. I relapsed that same week and went into a severe depression for months. But something started to change in me during the months of extreme pain. After facing the demons in my mind and from my past, I decided to finally live. I had to do something. I had to do something I never did my whole life. I had to face my fears. I had never felt love or complete. Everything I was searching for in drugs and multiple partners never seemed to fulfill me. So when I felt I was dying in my emotional state of this diagnosis, I decided at age 32 to go to college. It was difficult, but I got myself together and am graduating soon! This poem is inspired by the events that took place during that time.

Don't

Don't tell me I can't
because I will.
Don't tell me my limits
because I have none.

Don't tell me I'm less
because I'm so much more than that.
Don't tell me I can't achieve an education
because I can.

Don't tell me I'm unable
because I am firm where I stand.
Don't you understand?
Clearly not.

I'm not a number.
I'm a strong courageous man.

I had nothing; nothing was mine to keep.
The only thing I owned, sealed with my name.
I had nothing and it belonged to me.

A shadow in the crowd with deposits of dreams,
hidden weaknesses while feeding demons.
I laid across my bed for months nursing this disease.
See when you fall this hard, harder you continue to fall,
much harder than before, you remain burnt and scarred.

A wrong decision yesterday, capped in pills today.
I know what it feels like to die,
thus the reason I have chosen to live fearlessly anyway.

So don't tell me I can't
because I will.
Don't tell me my limits
because I have none.

Don't' tell me I'm less
because I'm much more than that.
Don't tell me I can't get an education
because I just did.

Don't tell me I'm unable
because I am firm where I stand.
Don't you understand?
Clearly not.

When you've died emotionally and spiritually,
you learn to live again.
You learn to live again,
so don't tell me.




  
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This article was provided by 2011 Poetry Month at TheBody.com.
 
See Also
2013 Poetry Month at TheBody.com: HIV/AIDS-Related Poems From Our Readers
A Message From Your Poetry Editor
2012 Poetry Month at TheBody.com
2011 Poetry Month at TheBody.com
2010 Poetry Month at TheBody.com

 

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