Lorraine shares if communicating with women who are also living with HIV helped her deal with her diagnosis.
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Other women help me because one, when they shared their story or their experience of living with HIV, it wasn’t just their story, it was the fact of how long they lived with it and the fact that they were actually living with it. They would sit there and they would tell me the things that they did just daily. “Oh, I get up and work out.” I am like, “You work out? Don’t you have neuropathy?” “Oh yeah, but I am going to tell you something right now. I am going to have to drop until, you know, before I stop walking. It hurts but you know, I tell myself every morning that until my legs are gone I am going to keep on walking.” And so it was things that women said, things that women did. That the fact that these were women that were actually living. I mean, because here I am at home, my blinds are closed and I am not really living. I am afraid to even come outside my house thinking that people are going to know I am HIV positive. And so, I kind of isolated myself and it was only my home, the doctor, grocery shopping, picking up the kids from school, coming back home, you know. So, I really tried to really isolate myself, and it was behind the stories of women that really made me see that there was more to life than just HIV and that HIV is a part of me but it is not me and who I am.
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