My Letter to HIV: A Letter and Video From Mikhl

Dear HIV,

I started out wanting to begin this letter with Fuck You HIV or Dear HIV, you son of a bitch. I have been very angry with you over the years that you have been in my life. You make some things about my life inconvenient and others very difficult. I have resented you, wished you dead, denied you existed and sobbed uncontrollably over you. You show up on dates, the specter of you comes with me to the doctor and I daily have to speak with you as I take my medication.

But none of that has helped me to come to terms with you. It was part of the process I had to go through and continue to go through.

I have heard it said that forgiveness is not something we give others, it is something we give ourselves. I, here and now, forgive you for all you have done or may do. I release my anger, my hatred, my fear, my frustration, my sadness. In this moment, I release the unbreakable grip I have tried to maintain over you and the impacts you have on my life.

I recognize that you are a part of me. I invite you to be part of my experience, part of who I am, part of the many, many things that define me. Welcome to where we live together, my friend ... welcome home.

As I turn the light of forgiveness inward on both of us, I am suddenly aware of a sense of gratitude. The truth, the uncomfortable truth stands waiting to be discovered.

I am grateful today that:

You have made me aware of the precious nature of each day
You have connected me to people I might otherwise never have know
You enable me to take better care of myself
You educate me
You whisper to me of the nature of friendship and the nature of love
You allow me to come to fully understanding of who I am and what I want to become

For all of these things: the things you have given me, and the things I have yet to discover, I say thank you. As part of me, we grow stronger. As part of me, I can claim myself and know that it is good.