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Getting knocked down, but not knocked out by HIV – Part 3

Posted in General on Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 by Kelly - 1 Comment

Part 3 of 4 Part Series

 “Don’t worry about the horse being blind, just load your wagon “ ~John Madden

In the first two parts of this series, we shared that we all get knocked down once in a while and the importance of knowing your opponent.

In this third part of this series, I want to talk about knowing you. Knowing all you can about HIV plays the game is great, but how are you going to react to it? How do you play the game?

You may be one of the thousands this year who were blown out of a comfortable (maybe not so exciting) life by an HIV positive diagnosis. If so, your best option and only real choice may be to learn how you can come to terms with it. You may need to change yourself to live in this changed reality.

So let’s talk about coming to terms with the change that HIV has brought in our lives:

Change is elemental in our lives right down to the changing light of each day. Life is never stagnant. You’re either growing or shrinking, flying or falling. The earth hurls around the sun at 16,000 miles an hour, every hour of the day. If you don’t accept the changing perspective, this forward motion will roll right over you.

Change doesn’t have to mean doing something wildly different than you started out to do. Being HIV positive doesn’t mean your entire life will change. Your health status has changed and the way you view the world may have changed with it. But your dreams for a full and successful life don’t have to end here.

Change has been the starting point of some of the world’s greatest accomplishments.

Ever thought about what the world would be like if things never changed? What would happen if we never faced a crisis like the plague or polio?

When it comes down to having to change to meet the new challenges of HIV, here are a couple of thought that may help you along the way.

1 – Understand Your Strengths

We are all born with unique strengths, talents and spark. There are some things you do that most people can’t or won’t do as well as you. Those are your special gifts. Identifying these strengths is the first and most important key to your creating a change in your life. Once you identify those for yourself, focus on them, develop them further and you can rely on them as you make the changes you need to face HIV.

2 – Identify What Excites You

We have all heard the age-old question, “what is your passion”? The answer doesn’t have to be big time, earth shattering, or revolutionary – most of the time it is something simple. What are the subjects, people and activities you really enjoy? What things do you find interesting and stimulating? What fills you with life and energy just thinking about it? The answers to these questions will usually lead in the direction of a rewarding life even when dealing with HIV.

3 – Take A Couple of Steps Back

To make the leap into your new life with HIV, you may need to take a step back to learn and study. Be willing to be an student for a while. Find someone who has been successful in living with HIV and seek their friendship and council. Be flexible, patient and teachable. Nothing worthwhile comes without effort and paying the price of knowledge.

4 – Be Wary of the Naysayers

Your friends, family and peers have known you as you have been. Change frightens most people. To many, it is especially frightening to watch someone else have the courage to radically change themselves and create new dreams. Why? Because it eliminates their own excuse for not doing the same in their own life.

5 – Build Your Support Team

Find friends, mentors and a peer group who share your thoughts and will be allies on your new journey. Also educate yourself with books, magazines (like POZ & Postively Aware), web sites (like and support groups that will guide and support you as you build new skills, attitudes, and awareness in your new life with HIV.

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