I don’t believe in coincidences. I am almost certain that everything that happens to us is part of a grand plan. I say this because it is no coincidence that I stumbled on a blog that made me dust myself off. I cant speak enough about this woman. I felt in her a kindred spirit when she worried about coming to Nigeria, it was the same feeling of depression I sank into and have been in for the past year and a half. The feeling of leaving a perfectly ordered- or at least comprehensibly disordered- life for uncertainty, lack and independence. Unlike me, however, she has/ had the strength to pull herself up and force herself to see through not her eyes, but her soul. And in doing so she rediscovered herself. And in reading her stories of rediscovery I found my purpose as well. I credit her with being the living vessel through whom I was roused again. Her name is Asha, and you can read her blog here.
The point I am making is one that I also saw on another blog very recently.(That , also, is not a coincidence.) Wherever you are, at any point in time, is where you are meant to be (thank you Mamuje). However you got there is absolutely irrelevant; what’s important is finding what you are there for. For the past few months I asked why me? I felt I had been dealt way too many cruel blows by life. I felt my life was just given to me so I could make up some weird statistic.But now, I see it differently.
A lot of people have said I am strong, I used to laugh and disagree with them. Strong, I said, is what you have when you have hit rock bottom. But now, with all modesty, I agree with them. I am strong only by divine design. I am not meant to crumble under this weight: ‘God is just… He will never allow you to be tempted more than you can resist’. This weight is not for me to weep and wail; it is for me to share. People Living With HIV is an amorphous term. Joiedevivre living with HIV,and struggling to take care of her daughter, is not. All the sponsored public service ads, all the noise about HIV/AIDS never struck much of a chord with me. And much as we like to think that it is,this illness is not really being taken care of health-wise in this country- and who knows, maybe even in this continent.
I strongly believe that I am called to give people living with this thing, this embarrassing and emotionally crippling illness, a different tone of voice. Especially young ladies like me. By God’s grace, you will experience in greater detail what it means to live with this illness in this country, both from the perspective of healthcare, social life and economy, so that you and/or your loved ones will never have to experience the illness.
My name is Joie and I am HIV positive… amongst other things