Due to the mid-term elections and my obsession with them, I have not kept up with the 30-day challenge #YouAreEnough. I am about to do days 2, 3, 4, and 5 here.
Day 2: A special encounter that almost felt like an angelic experience. An interesting thing to think about. I once got into a taxi in Gaithersburg MD after working painting a house that day and the taxi driver was an older white gentleman. I was a bit down and he seemed to notice and struck up a conversation with me. The 20-minute ride really made me think, he seemed very intuitive to my plight – I was struggling with whether I would stay in DC or move back to Maine at the time. He gave me some good advice. The next day I needed a taxi so I called the same company and requested him…they told me they had no one by that name working for them…I swear this guy was an angel in disguise.
Day 3: Share a time you felt lost and how you got found. When I left the military in September of 1984 I never realized how difficult it would be for me to reintegrate into civilian society. I had a really tough time adjusting and was very lost. I drank heavily, got my first DWI within 2 weeks of my discharge, resulting in a broken leg and a concussion plus loss of my license and dignity. By January of 1985, I was miserable. I missed the Army, the organization and always knowing what was expected of me. I missed the discipline and at 22 I still NEEDED that discipline in my life. I re-enlisted for 2 more years of active reserve duty. I was legally in the reserves, I just got them to assign me to duty that I had to report to every day for a couple of years. Once I put that uniform back on I refound myself and my purpose for that time. In 1986 I finished and the second time I didn’t look back, but I do wish today that I had stayed in and done 25 years. I would have been finished and collecting a nice pension right now. Hindsight is 20/20.
Day 4: Share a time you received life-altering news, good or bad, that impacted your life. It was August 31, 1992, I went back to the clinic where I had gone to be tested for HIV – everyone was being tested at the time, so I figured what the hell and got myself tested (also at the urging of my therapist at the time). The counselor saw me come in and quickly got me into a private space where she blurted out “I’m so sorry, you are HIV positive”. I will never forget that day, those words, or her pained look when she told me. Come to find out I was the first woman she had had to tell they were positive. Back in 92 we still didn’t have good drugs to suppress the virus and stop it from becoming AIDS. My entire life changed during that minute. I felt like I had an expiration date stamped on my forehead. Since then I have come great strides. It’s been 26 years, I am happy, healthy and my viral count is Zero – undetectable – meaning the virus is not active in my body and the drug cocktail I take every day is working well. I am lucky. I lost many friends early in the discovery of this epidemic. I still miss them and grieve for the lives that they missed because of this horrible disease. I fondly remember the days before we knew anything about HIV/AIDS and how wild and crazy they were. I live a safe, sane life now and I take care of myself and my loved ones because in the end, that’s all you really have in this life.
Day 5: Share a time when you felt unimaginable loss and how you came to realize that you were ENOUGH to handle it. The only thing I can relate to this one is the break up of my 14 yr relationship with my ex. I never thought we would split; I seriously thought we’d be together to the end. So, life without her and without all that was entailed – the farm, the horses, the animals, and the money – seemed very foreign to me. It took me a couple of years to adjust to my new circumstance of being single and having to look at rebuilding my life as such. I went through all of the emotions, from grief to anger to acceptance and then I moved on and have put together a pretty comfortable life for myself today. I dated a few other women along the way and last year I found the right woman to compliment my life.
There! I am now caught up. I will write the Day 6 blog after dinner tonight. I hope you enjoyed this quick one, as there will be more coming!
Peace! ~ MB