Herpes ran havoc on my entire body, from my vagina to my nervous system and I had to be stronger than anything herpes could do to my body. In those moments of despair you wonder how long will it take for things to change for the better;If you will be able to handle just one more day of the misery.
Each new day became a day filled with possibilities and I latched onto it like gorilla glue and held on for dear life. I had to remember my history with God. The one that brought me through physical, sexual and emotional abuse as a child and sustained me 28 years with HIV and 19 years with AIDS.
Now, as I move into the new year I'm excited with whats before me! Not one day, but 365 days, 12 months, 52 weeks, 8,760 hours and 525,600 minutes filled with possibilities.
I'm excited about 2012! I will be 50 years old this year. That's a milestone I thought that I would never see. AIDS hasn't taken me out of here and I'm not going to squander one gift or moment of my life. I'm moving full speed ahead and using AIDS and all my pain and misery in life as fuel to do something greater than myself.
This year had me by the balls and that part of my work was an epic fail. You will always be able to find me on Twitter @raelt telling it like it is! Facebook will always have updates and I plan to continue to be a voice for people living with HIV/AIDS.
I know what it's like to live in shame and secret I did it for seven years, so I will continue to do my part every chance I get. Just like the emotional baggage of this disease will kill you, so will the secret. So I will continue to be a voice. I hope that my voice will be a beacon of light until you can find your voice.
My gift is to help people get past their pain and live a healthy balanced life. For the last 19 years I've done just that through my speaking and press interviews, tv, radio and print; And in recent times my blog. Now I am expanding that work by giving people a opportunity to have my expertise, one on one through life coaching.
The areas of Life Coaching I'm offering are in 1) Confidence, which translates into self-esteem, self-worth and self-love; At one's core self-worth guides everything you do for yourself and to others. I will work with clients to achieve the self-love that will radiate to all areas of one's life creating a happier you.
3) And lastly, every area of Relationships from dating to divorce. It does not matter what type of relationship, whether mother and daughter, friends, dating or marriage they should have balance and value.
My practice is not exclusive to people living with HIV, but I certainly hope that many will take advantage of my expertise. I've lived well and balance in the 29 years I've been infected with HIV.
It is such a blessing to wake each morning but to wake with a chronic illness is a major gift. I remember the days when my t-cell was 8 and I was staring death in the face. I appreciate life on life terms and I'm living in it with everything I have.
As I go into 2012, I'm more committed and determined to touch lives and do all the goodness that I possibly can. I challenge you to live your best life in 2012; And if at this moment you can find nothing of your own to celebrate and live for, celebrate my 50 years of life with me and bask in my joy! And I will celebrate your life, another 525,600 minutes in God's earthly plan!
Note: This was originally written for thebody.com 2012 Series.