Over the past few years its seldom you'll hear me sit and say I have any regrets, mainly because if it wasn't for all the circumstances of which I put myself in, and was put into on behalf of someone else, I wouldn't be here today. Come to learn, and many people have this misconception, that were all in this together, for granted, if you have HIV, maybe that's your opinion, however ultimately, that comes down to the mere ideology, what do you want out of life?
With the culmination of my methamphetamine addiction ending in watching my father in tears in his lazy boy recliner and sitting in the backseat of a police car going down the 408 ( East West Expressway - in Orlando, FL) at 3 am in handcuffs. That was an experience that I refuse to ever put myself into ever again. Who knew, back in 2008 when someone said "hey do you want to try a little bit of this", I would've said "yeah sure, why not?" Looking back, I was a freaking idiot. You're probably wondering how is it that someone so young as I am (22 years old), could come to terms with the mere reality of the situation, and my addiction? It wasn't that difficult. I have been blogging now for a little over a year and many people ask me, what inspired me to put my foot down and announce to the world, "Hey! I am addicted to Meth!?" First anyone who know's me directly can contest to the simple factor of, you have to be able to wake up and face yourself in the mirror everyday, and approve of what you see, otherwise nobody else will. I've held on to that same reasoning for my self respect for years. I constantly remind people, you're human, we make mistakes, but, don't be merely mistaken by that and use it, as many do, for a crutch as to how you can get away with making bad decisions.
For a few months, I was living away from home with friends, rather a gay couple I met online, just after I was diagnosed with HIV back in January 2010. If you were around in my life at that point you'll most likely remember me being beyond skinny, my eyes were always black, and I hardly ever left where I was, not to mention being on Adam4adam, for day's at a time, sometimes even 8 days upwards. Needless to say, I'm sure I can come to terms with the fact that I wasn't in a good place what so ever in my life at that point.
It was an odd situation, my brother graduated high school in June of 2010, I was still living downtown with this couple, and had been seeing someone, of which the relationship was solely based off of smoking out of the glass pipe on the weekends, which previously for me, turned into shooting up. I remember refraining from drugs of any kind, that week prior, and I had the opportunity to get high just before Daniel's graduation, and I praise God for having angels protect over me, and lead me on the right path. I specifically remember sitting at the old TD Waterhouse Center in Orlando, before they blew it up. I was sitting in my seat with my family and when they called his name amongst thousands, to walk across the stage I was filled with tears, WOW!! My baby brother is graduating from high school!!! Insane, emotional moment, and was so happy to have been clean. Over the next couple years I bounced back and forth between sobriety, and living under the influence of a controlled substance and refused to do anything about it.
Negativity has always been something that, I've always, until recently identified or let bring me down, until I realized, and the common saying; 'nobody can make you inferior without your consent' goes to show in every situation, with another person. Who's to say that anyone, regardless of who they are, or what purpose they serve in your life, is allowed to have any control over how you choose to feel about yourself. That's always been a battle with me. Back in 2009 I was sexually abused by another man. He was 27 at the time and I was about 19 I guess. For the past couple years, I chose to block that stage out of my life, and totally forget about it. The mere shame or embarrassment that I put over myself like a child puts their head under the sheet at night when they cry themselves to sleep, is merely the same thing I was doing. I finally came to terms with the rape last Monday, for a matter of fact. It wasn't an easy thing, and with being in online talk radio, and beginning in HIV activism, I found it my role and responsibility on behalf of anyone else who was sexually abused, to come clean and go on the record on my show and talk about it. Merely for that sense of relief within myself, but also, I stayed quiet for several years because I was afraid, I didn't have anyone to look up to , merely because nobody else had spoken out about being sexually abused within the gay community. The disappointing thing is, people do talk about it, but wait and write books 30 years later. Thinking back, with all the different crazy circumstances one creates for themselves based on holding grudges or harboring mixed feelings, you're only making it harder on yourself. With that said, I have been swamped with messages regarding the incident and my radio show last Wednesday, Straight to the Point with Michael Lloyd Dirty Laundry on Blog Talk Radio at 6:30 pm, asking me, how has this affected this around you. My response has been, HOW HAS IT NOT?!!? Your friends and family may always act confused, or innocent in a situation but they know you the best and when something isn't right or not normal they know somethings going on, and merely ties directly back in to the single question you ask yourself every morning when you face yourself in the mirror; ' What do you Want Out of Life"
I recently have been so blessed to land a job, and do my personal training work, as well as, moving forward, because ultimately if you choose to not move forward and dwell on what isn't than you're never going to be able to embrace the future for what it could be.