Location: London, United Kingdom

Monday, October 30, 2006


I had a long conversation with one of my roommate's boyfriends this weekend about life's struggles and how difficult surviving and being happy can be sometimes. He'd had a particularly hard day at work, fed up with being treated like cattle and working for minimum wage and working 7 days a week just to survive. I've learned that the Brits can be pretty hard on migrant workers, and he being from Poland, with a heavy accent, he's experienced quite a bit of this third-class treatment.

During our conversation, we got into the issues of trust, friendship, love... you know, the light, fluffy stuff. Seems my friend has had a rough go of it in relationships as well, and let's just say there are some issues to be worked out there. He also has a very black and white view of certain things, which he knew would be problems in his new relationship. I offered up some of my own experiences to the chat, and explained to him that often, our happiness comes down to choice. I know it's a simplistic statement, and it's easier said than done. But I gave the example of finding out my hiv status seven years ago (Oct 25 was the anniversary... wow) and how I made a choice in that instant; that choice was to take control, always be in control of my health, my stress levels, my happiness. I knew that I could take the "downward spiral" route I've seen others take (drugs, carelessness, a "fuck-you" attitude), but that didn't register as a real option for me. I knew that if I was going to be well, I needed to take control. And today, I have a great life; terrific health, amazing family and friends, and I'm able to do a lot of the things I want to do. This is not to say that my life is *perfect*, or that things couldn't be better, but that I can honestly say I live well, and I'm very happy. Well, except when I try to open a bank account in London. That doesn't make me happy, but I digress.

Anyway, when I told him this, he was shocked, and very sad for me. He said to me that knowing what my problems are, that his pale in comparison. He said he knew that I had it way worse off than him, and that his problems were nothing, which completely missed my point. I actually said to him that I felt the complete opposite. Because at the end of the day, I went to bed happy, and that I truly do love my life; I don't live in despair, or fear; not trusting, or letting people love me. Those things, to me, were far worse than this disease I've been able to manage for myself. He said that he didn't know how that could be. I told him it was all in your perspective.


Blogger Heipel said...

Nice, Mike, nice.

10/31/2006 12:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweet post, and funny how people think your life is SO tough when they find out your status.

True, it's created some tough times, but like you I feel I've come out of them stronger, on the whole at least!

10/31/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn's Stuff said...

You are wise beyond your years! Are you still gay because we should be together. Let me get rid of you-know-who first...


10/31/2006 11:46:00 PM  
Blogger Gay in London said...

I've found over the years that people going through life changing experiences usually are happier than the commoner.

But I also find that being positive is life changing but certainly not something to be sad about. I'd even classify it as a fantastic asset, a barrier you went over, because as you said, you have to choose to be sad or to go forward in your life.

Neg people usually take years before they want to take control of their destiny. This stupid virus does only one good thing, it makes you value life for what it is and empower you to take control of it instead of being destiny's slave.

Really like reading your blog!

11/02/2006 06:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like the new template Mike!

11/02/2006 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger samedi! said...

I guess life is always a challenge and tough times do force you to grow up and mature quickly. But we do have to stop and smell the roses sometimes!

Way to go matey ;)

8/13/2007 11:37:00 AM  

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