9 September 2013

Just had the call from Adam Brimelow presenter for BBC Radio 4 – my interview on rising statistics for HIV amongst the ‘older population’ for the Today programme is on tomorrow morning between seven and nine. I was in the park with Lady Doodles when I took the call and a strange dog was poking its nose in my pocket rummaging around for a piece of old sausage so I couldn’t concentrate properly. I think he said we weren’t going to get as much air time as he would have liked. But even a few minutes is something I suppose and at least the BBC is highlighting the issue.

I am feeling a bit nervous now because I can’t really recall what I said although I remember getting a bit emotional at one point about my mum. This is what I think I talked about – stigma and my son being targeted by stupid ignorant yobs, a condom being left on the bonnet of my friend’s car and the fact that I didn’t want ever to go in an old folk’s home – live shudder on air! How important the creative process is to me, my latest painting (first stage prototype pictured above) a woman on a tightrope holding herself up by her own volition which you have to do living with HIV – The bridges representing from diagnosis to dealing with living with the virus – one side to the other. The two swans represent relationships – swans mate for life and that option is often denied to positive people. I talked about this blog and what it means to me, the fact that it is visited by people from all around the world and hopefully making them feel less isolated. Then I read out the start of my new book which is based on my blogs over the last few years, like an HIV diary but with hope and humour – hoping to find a publisher or an agent who will take me on but obviously wasn’t allowed to plug that on the BBC.

In case it doesn’t get broadcasted here it is – this is how I feel, how many of us feel I would imagine in the dead of night when everything seems so much worse……..

Sometimes, when I’m lying in bed at night and the world outside is deathly quiet with not a sight or sound, I think about the others. I imagine them there in the dark like me, guarding the secret. I take comfort in this, that I am not the only one. There are others like me. I am not alone. I’m not the only one living with the weight of that secret pressing down on my chest, making it hard to breathe in the dark, silent night. There is no escape, no reprieve for any of us, what is done is done and we just have to live with it. I want to call out to them; we are the same even if we are different. We have one thing in common, we share the same secret.                                                                                                                                                        


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