I’ve been diagnosed with HIV since before it was called HIV. I’ve had many health issues- several carcinomas, rectal cancer, I’ve been through chemo several times.
So considering all the torture my body’s been through, I’m happy with my body. I’m happy that my body has sustained so much.
I participated in recreational drugs for most of my life. With increasing health issues, and when I had a breakup after fourteen years, things spiralled out of control and I was using meth. The recovery community in New York City is pretty incredible. It’s the first time in my life I’m not running from lots of things. One of them being body issues, how we look to others and how others perceive us. I think there’s a lot of fear of what goes into perception.
I found a photo of myself today, where I guess I was at my peak, it was right before I became really ill. I was in good physical shape, but I didn’t necessarily know that in my thoughts. I certainly had insecurities. Now that I’m older, I’m aware of how, for example, the HIV medication is affecting my fat content, so you know, I have a little bit of a pouch. It’s never going to go away. I can keep it from getting huge if I work out very hard, but it’s a struggle. Do I have issues with it? Absolutely. But I have to live with it and accept it.