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Unashamedly Positive… ‘Conflicting Equation!!’

May 24, 2011

Isn’t it weird how two words can have so many different connotations and contradictions when used to describe people and things?

Let’s start with the word ‘Negative’- not a word that people like to be associated with, as it makes you think of a miserable, mean spirited kind of person and nobody wants to be seen as that!

We are brought up to see the power of being a ‘Positive’ sort of person, people are attracted to positive-spirited people, these are the go-getters, the people we admire, the people we attain to be!

And that’s where it stops……When you are given those results of an HIV test!!!

‘Positive’ no longer represents the person you attain to be, it is no longer an acceptable word and it now has a darker connotation placed on it. Positive can now change the way you are or the way you thought you were? It can make people shun away from you. You have become somebody that nobody wants to be like and can be looked upon with anger/pity and embarassment!

I became so confused with these words when it came to an HIV diagnosis, so I decided to create a piece of Artwork that would show mine and others confusion about this conflicting equation.

I decided that if I was to be ‘Positive’ in status and in spirit, I would stick by it. I had, and have, no control over the HIV Virus that has set up home in my body and has done, and is doing, all sorts of damage either on behalf of the HIV or the medication to keep me alive. I have no idea about the state of my other organs due to these meds. I just know that my body hurts and my energy levels dwindle over time and know that I need to rest every so often.

But saying this about having no control over the virus…I have total control over the way I decide to use my status. I could have stayed in a sort of denial and hidden away scared to be found out. I decided that I wanted to be the one that disclosed, on my terms and mine alone….It was really weird as once I had told the first person it started to get easier..but I got pretty bored of explaining myself over and over so did it on mass through the Artwork I produce…some being inspired by some of the ignorant and cruel remarks I got from medical professionals and other pieces have become like a sort of journal of my ‘New’ life as an HIV Positive Person as I think I am no longer that person before diagnosis..She died!!!

I think so much differently now from that person I was before and have so many things that I want to achieve with my life and not afraid to go get them…so I have become a ‘Go-Getter’ and that Positive-Spirited person that people admire!!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2011 10:05 am

    An inspiring message, great artwork, great perspective on how language evolves, but doctors have no business being mean to you!

    HIV has changed me too, but I’m still a person I want to embrace. Thank you for your blog today. peace, Gisele

  2. joy permalink
    May 25, 2011 10:20 am

    Hi Mandy,

    i just love the way you look at our supposedly “negative” life in a Positive way.( thats the irony!) i too use art work in the form of shoulder bags that have inspiring and positive messages inscribed on them that i carry with me every day. These have a red ribbon too that show that i am unashamedly positive! i would love to encourage others to do the same. Find anything that will encourage you in any sort of way. For my bags they remind me to always count my blessings, not to be afraid, Forgive, Comfort each other, Be supportive and most important to LOVE!
    i hope to share with you sisters some pictures soon!

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