Depressed about HIV status
I have been a big fan of yours, and I have been wanting to write to you for a very long time. I'm 23 years of age, and I have a bright future ahead of me, but one thing is stopping me from reaching my goals: I am HIV-positive. I was born with it and since my teens, it started to bother me because you know you have to think about your future and what you want to achieve in life.
Well, pastor, I want to become a lawyer, but it's very challenging to get there. I wanted to take the easy road by becoming a soldier, but you know that they don't accept people that are living with HIV, and that has shattered my dream.
A friend of mine, who is a soldier, is pushing me to join the army so that I can further my dream. So I took the test, and I passed it, and I have been on the waiting list to do a medical.
While waiting for a call to do the medical, I have fallen into deep depression, wondering whether I am going to get through. But even if that be the case, I know that I won't get through, and I thought so hard about it that I ended up in hospital, diagnosed with depression.
Living with HIV is hard because I really wanted to join the army, which was my second career choice. I'm afraid that people may discriminate me, so I don't disclose it to anyone.
Getting involved with someone is really hard because one has to tell one's partner that one is positive, and that's really hard for me. I have already told three persons that I'm living with the virus.
Sometimes I want to take my own life just because of it. Sometimes I wonder if I will even have children or have a family. I really think deeply about it and keep saying if I don't get married, I may just go to the doctor and pay a lot of money to get pregnant just to have a child.
I'm afraid I might tell the wrong person that I'm positive and they might discriminate against me, which I don't want to happen.
HIV is also the reason why I fall into depression, thinking about how I should kill myself. I really need help. I have been to see a therapist for the past few weeks, but that doesn't help at all. I don't want to continue to live.
I deeply regret hearing that you are HIV-positive. I suspect that you are on medication, and I would urge you not to stop taking your medication. I know that you are deeply frustrated, and from time to time, I know that you will fall into depression. However, I hope you know by now that you can have a very rewarding life like anybody and live happily and make a good contribution to society.
You say you have given up the thought of becoming a lawyer because it is very challenging. I want to assure you that anything you pursue would be challenging. And that would be true of any career. So my suggestion is that if that is what you love, and it is indeed your first choice, you should do everything to reach that goal. You may need to take out a student loan, and with the help of God, you may be able to get the loan and pursue your studies.
Concerning joining the military, I will not discourage you, but I believe that that type of work would be more challenging than becoming an attorney. I am sure that the person who is encouraging you to join the army means well. Anything that you are planning to do, or would like to do, you should discuss with your doctor.
You said you get depressed and you undergo therapy. You should not stop seeing the therapist. The therapist will help you to function day by day. And there are going to be good days and bad days in your life as you should understand by now. Please bear in mind that there are thousands of people who are HIV-positive and are able to function. Some of them you see on television and some are in public life. My prayers are that you will not give up. When you are discouraged, pray. The Lord will help you day by day.
Concerning the matter of becoming a mother or getting a husband, if it is the Lord's will for that to happen, He will direct your path. So continue to walk with God. Just read your Bible and pray every day. And write me again.