"My pain helped me to work harder. It wasn’t comfortable during that time, but my pain gave me the courage to step out."
I still remember the day I was told that I got HIV. At that time, I was overcome with grief after losing a parent. I fell in love with a person who wasn’t trustworthy and experienced discrimination due to being a woman. So many things happened all at once.
I was very weak physically and mentally, but I kept the hope alive. I didn’t know what I wanted, but I was sure that it wasn't going to be just this.
Some people thought that I was living that life because they were by my side. They failed to see that I worked very hard—I showed them that I could do anything. My pain helped me to work harder. It wasn’t comfortable during that time, but my pain gave me the courage to step out.
When I got support during my painful time, I felt like God sent those people to me. Kind people existed. Those who helped me during that time are in my heart. I will never forget what they did for me.
Support from the community means a lot to me. They are my role models. They are the ones who showed up and continued to show me how we could work together to help each other on this journey.
This journey has encouraged me and gave me purpose in life. I then started to help my peers who had been through the similar issues as me—we helped each other and gave shoulders to cry on. Living life like that gave me satisfaction, which has been helping me keep my physical and mental health stable.
And so, the journey continues. Share the love and care for those who need it.