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Getting knocked down, not knocked out by HIV.

Posted in Community, Quality of Life on Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 by Kelly - 7 Comments


“I never thought of losing, but now that it’ s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.” ~Muhammad Ali

We all get knocked down once in a while. Its part of what makes life interesting and it keeps us on our toes.

No one on this planet is going to dispute that getting told you are HIV positive is going to knock you down. Does it have to knock you out?

The life cycle of HIV is a series of challenges not too far removed from a boxing match. (I am a big fight fan so bear with me on this one.)  Maybe you don’t want to think of your life as being in the ring, but help me to answer a few questions…

Why do some of us take that first big punch and go down in the ring never to get up?

Why do others take the killer jab and get up to shake it off? Its not like we don’t know another punch is coming.

We all experience failure, setbacks, disappointments and obstacles. There is no denying that a punch hurts and that is okay. We are human. Bad tests, side effects and stigma hurt us. It’s part of the deal of being positive and being in the ring.

The difference is how long you let it keep you down.

Here is something I learned and recommend for you. What used to knock me out for 2 weeks I eventually brought down to 2 days. Then I got it down to 2 hours and then 20 minutes. Now when I am knocked down, I give myself about 2 minutes to lie in the ring and then I shake out the cobwebs and get back to the fight.

That referee is going to be counting me to a knockout no matter what I do. The difference now is that I know what a knockout really is. I have seen first hand what can happen if HIV disease progression is not controlled. If I am not in the fight, the people I love can be hurt.

I look to replace the hit with something positive. I never allow myself to end the round or the day with a defeat. I will keep in the fight until I can gain some kind of victory – some kind hit back at what I am facing. It may be small, but it is my victory.

And yeah, I do my strut around the ring with arms held high…

Here are a few things you can do to deal with the knockdowns:

Focus Your Vision. Where you focus your energy determines where you will go. If you focus on the setback and the challenges it brought you, you can’t move forward. However, when you focus your vision on what you want your life with HIV to be, you’re using the setback for what it really is: a transition.

Make a Decision. Both success and failure are decisions. So once your vision for your life with HIV is in place, you need to decide you’re going to win despite the setback. The truth is people who successfully overcome obstacles choose to be successful. They understand that decision and choice are important parts of their plan to live with HIV. No matter what setback they encounter, they decide to overcome it and prevail.

Take Action. A decision without action is simply an illusion, and an action without a vision is just confusion. Your vision plus decisive action can change your world.

Keep the Desire. Desire is the degree of energy you’re willing to exert in order to reach your goal.  In other words,  how badly do you want your life with HIV to be positive and what are you willing to do in order to achieve it?

In my next few blog posts, we are going to talk about facing off against your opponent HIV. I look forward to hearing about your matches and how you face off against HIV.

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