I am reposting a blogpost from 2009 in commemoration of World AIDS Day 2018. It represents a time when I was much more active with HIV activism. I have transitioned to recovery advocacy over the years mostly for my own sanity’s sake. I am surely blessed with the cahunas to start programs and ideas without too much fear of failing. It has been a shining star in my recovery. On a side note- the more things change, the more they remain the same.
Self-realization means that we have been consciously connected with our source of being. Once we have made this connection, then nothing can go wrong…Swami Paramananda
definite irony here. during my tweaking days, i spent most of my time in front of my computer hoping to connect with some party or something. i would clack away for hours waiting for the right connection to come along. this strategy worked for a short while and then became a ball and chain that held me back from experiencing life, really. i would sit for hours lost in my own hallucinations, never speaking to anyone but my screen and having meaningless exchanges of pretended intentions in chatrooms all over.
undoubtedly, my life is remarkably altered today. i didn’t get to sleep last night until after midnight, which is highly unusual for me. i worked a birthday party for a gentleman who turned 95. the guests were made up of his two children, their spouses and respective children and spouses. it’s an amazing thing to me, thinking of becoming 95. i can’t imagine doing it, but i don’t want to think about the alternatives. i suppose that is denial.
my friend andrea, who prepared last night’s dinner, made something i had never had before. smashed baby potatoes with arugula, cherry tomatoes, and parmesan. wow, these were fantastic. i mean very fantastic. i am going to a pot luck in two weeks and i think i will try to take those. they held up to being eaten at room temperature. also presented on last nights menu were tenderloin with mushroom demi-glace and lobster tails with maitre d’hotel butter. baked tomato and steamed asparagus rounded out the entree.
i am planning to have dinner with alex and ruben tonight. i haven’t seen them in several months at least- actually maybe since last summer. i have been so damn busy. we are to go to a newer restaurant which is part of mizuna called bones. i believe bones is a japanese noodle house, but will know more after tonight.
i finished the narrative for the 1023 form. i thought i would share some of this today. all of this energy is a complete result of my recovery and subsequent service work. if i didn’t have the grace of retooling my own perception of my world, i certainly wouldn’t have the where-with-all to be in the fortunate position i am today, and i know i wouldn’t be of much use to anyone. but getting connected to a higher power has rocked my world. here is just a sliver of what recovery has given me:
Treatment Education Network (dba TEN) was organized to provide peer based education and support to persons living with HIV. The goal of our current and planned activities is the sharing of knowledge and experience about living successfully with HIV. Education and support will be delivered through (but not limited to)
– Time-limited peer-led support groups modeled after a program titled “The Net” (curriculum attached). This will be conducted for 2 hours a week and address about 35 persons a year.
– A semi- annual, 3 day mountain health and spiritual retreat known as “HIV Retreat” (information attached). This requires 6 days and nights per year and included 100 persons a year.
– Ongoing monthly education forums known as Educational Forums (sample flyers attached), These require 2 hours monthly and include 50-75 persons each month.
– A quarterly newsletter entitled SINews (copies attached). This periodical has a current circulation of 1000 quarterly. Additionally this publication is housed on a website and receives approximately 350 hits per quarter. The Colorado Public Health Office at Denver Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment distribute SINews to newly diagnosed patients.
– A daily news blog known as “On The TEN” (www.ontheten.blogspot.com}. This is a new venture and will feature HIV and health related information on a regular basis.
– A peer directed and managed mentoring program for newly diagnosed persons modeled after “HIV One On One”.(brochure attached) This program is new to Colorado and training has begun for this evidence-based program by a HRSA funded New York PWA (persons with AIDS) organization. This program requires several hours per month for 6 months on both the mentors and mentees part. This will create interaction and efficacy for 70 persons the first year of implementation.
Our work is already familiar to many in the HIV “community” in Denver and our intention is to create a stronger “community” identity and perhaps expand to all of Colorado. All these activities are currently funded independently.
today’s sound choice is a 90’s classic- connected by stereo mc’s…