“I wasn’t sure what would kill me first – HIV or if I would kill myself.”
Just a few days before my flight, the phone rang – a call that would change everything. I had completed a routine health check-up in preparation for my departure. The results came back that I had tested HIV positive. I couldn't hear anything anymore, there was a long whistle in my ear… I couldn't feel my body anymore. Time had stopped.
What just happened? I’m just 21!
I just started to live my life! Am I going to die?
In the same breath a voice came streaming into my head. A voice I had to learn to live with.
I am the worst person in the world.
I am dirty.
I don't deserve to be loved.
I traveled down the road of fear, loss, and no self-love. I was screaming, crying, running away, hiding and fighting with myself in every moment. I didn't know what to do. I was full of hate and regret. I didn’t leave Iran but chose to stay with my parents to die. I wasn’t sure what would kill me first – HIV or if I would kill myself.
Difficult days followed living life second by second. Living in a nightmare. I couldn’t accept myself; I wasn’t accepted by my country, my culture or my gay community because HIV was taboo to them all. But I was familiar with living in a nightmare. I had lived there before. There was a hidden strength, a voice that helped me to stay alive - to have a bit of hope that things would work out for me.
It was not a straight line. Life never is. So many twists, turns, bumps and holes that I had to dig my way out of. The story is long and not pretty. Loneliness and darkness filled so many days and so many nights. But I am still here and yes there was a solution.
The solution was to truly listen. Listen to the whispers that had carried me through on the days when I could not breathe. Not to my mind or body but my soul. The voice that was always there even in my darkest moments. The place where love and light reside in us all. I was so much more than the voice in my head or the roles that the world so easily judged me by. It was a strange and good feeling; it was a new type of feeling that I never experienced before. A light inside of myself that was shining again.
Day by day I started to discover this new voice that lives inside. A voice of love, acceptance, and trust. I was finally waking up from the long sleep. I was dreaming all the time, it was a dream that I could make heaven or hell, it was my choice. There was nobody to blame anymore - only me. It was time to change the program in my head and lead my life from my heart and share it with the world. 28 AWARENOW / THE UNITED EDITION