From NotPerfectAtAll – A blog from an early 30s woman recently diagnosed with HIV

I’ve been neglecting the blog, the gym, my hair, reading, all because of work. But on the bright side, it’ll be over and done with somehow (but how?!) less than a month from now, not work itself of course but this immensly stressful period. I know I should go see P’s family again when I am there, find the time, bring them something. It will be harder now because of the heat, less hiding possiblities.

I have thrush. That sucks and maybe is too much information but since it impacts my mood I thought I would write it here. Today I have been working on the presentation, not trying it out, just writing the damn thing (‘think “I have the opportunity to do this”, “I get to do this”; change your terminology and that will change your attitude’) jogging and meditating, did a bit of yoga, and all the time on my mind is the performance anxiety from the upcoming weeks. Why the F should I care? Surely I have walked or been pushed through the flames so many times that standing up in front of 3 different audiences (in an ascending size order) shouldn’t impact me. But it does. I think if I had to stand in front of even a 1,000 people and talk about having HIV or my life or things that I am passoinate about and wish to convince of, I wouldn’t be that nervous, but the way things are I feel as though I am just participating in a phony game, the game of science. It’s as though I am a kid again and try to make it look as if I have been doing the work when I know that I have been slacking off. In a sense, my job is robbing me of my adulthood.

I can’t write more without exposing what it is that I do completely on the net, and though my profile’s had only 131 hits so far, some of which are mine (but who’s counting) and I read somewhere that in the US alone there are as many blogs as there are AIDS orphans in Africa, I have to be cautious. I just wish something would come out of all this, this, this… ordeal. I have a lust for life, especially since I don’t know how long it’ll be (but then again, who does?). I want to do something meaningful. I am bored. But nevertheless, I want to make a good impression… Oh when will I break out of the closet, not the HIV closet exactly, but the day that I will stop thinking about wearing sleeves in public and positioning my arms hairy side up is the day that I will be free… or maybe just the day that I put pen to paper. I know I am happy now… P makes me very, extremely, outrageously happy with his cuddles and criossants and Nutella and sweet love. I don’t even mind his snoring much… I just drag myself out of bed and work and sleep during the day instead. I have a nifty new bike and I ride it around like a 10 year old boy (the one P bought me was vandalized). I am going home in April, to Venice in May. I am chubbier that I’d like and tatooed and scarred but making some kind of small reputation at work, I guess, no that is too stressful, don’t want to think about that. Being an outsider and a loner is tough, but I am used to it. I sometimes forget that I have HIV, that’s the advantage, because I am so used to piling up secrets in layers of discretion, and the most ironic thing is none of them, no amount of pain and bad sex and self destruction led to my infection. There has to be a lesson here somewhere. Just cos someone is paranoid it don’t mean they’re not being followed; just cos I was a – what exactly?- it doesn’t mean that I can’t get HIV through medical negligence. And I don’t have to pretend to be pure, cos I am not, and I don’t need to be a well-rounded, sense-making character, cos God didn’t set the scene for me that way. What I do need is to get my head out of my own butt and look at others and their real, or fictional, problems. And that is what makes me happiest. Being on the margins of involvement.


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