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Monday 08 November 2010

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The Gay Blade

19th October 2010

I’m Still Standing…

Posted by: Michael Stevens

Hmm, haven’t been here for a while have I ? Life has been busy - and I’m not complaining about that, well, just a little.

But the big news I turn 49 tomorrow. It’s big news for me anyhow. In 1988 I was told by a Dr in London that I probably had 2 years to live, so I’m glad I’m still here. I’ve been so lucky compared to so many.

I was talking the other day with a family friend, a woman in her late 70s, who buried her son in the early 90s, before HAART came out, he died about the time I was told I’d die in fact. I always enjoy seeing her, she’s a lovely woman, and she always asks me how I am.

We were talking about her son’s situation compared to mine, and agreed it was nothing more than luck. I was able to just hold on long enough until the new meds came through in 1996. I was already very ill by then, and without them I would have followed him to the grave by now I’m utterly certain.

I don’t believe in destiny or fate. I don’t believe I’m alive because I’ve had the right positive thoughts about myself. I know I’m not alive due to the “alternative” medicine I tried in the early 90s.

I am alive because I was probably infected a little bit later, and my body was able to keep going till Western Medicine came up with effective medications.

I often say (jokingly) that I want drugs tested on puppies by scientists in white coats - but it’s only half a joke. I actually DO want effective medication, I’ve seen the benefits. I don’t want some crystal-waving  herbal hippy shit, or loopy pseudo-scientific rubbish like ozone-bagging. It doesn’t work.I’d be dead without Western science, so I’m a big fan.

So many wonderful men I knew weren’t as lucky as me. So many men I danced with, fucked with, fought with, laughed with, dreamed with - dead and gone, often in their 20s or early 30s.

When things get me down, and they do just like with anyone else, I remind myself that at least I’m still here, at least I’ve got this far, and I thank my lucky stars. I’ve got great family, fantastic friends, and most of all, I’ve got a future, with future plans and dreams. I am so lucky.

It won’t be a big birthday party - that’s for next year, but every birthday feels like a little victory for me, and a little memorial for those who didn’t get this far.

Tags: General

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Glenn // Oct 19, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Happy Birthday M……as they say ” every day above ground is a good one “…..and for some of us, I believe we appreciate it more than others. I certainly know that, in my case, having what was once a disease which was a death sentence makes me consider what the important things in life are….as you say, good family, good friends and enjoying the simple things. It somewhat dismays me to see so many people ( it seems especially on the forum section of this particular site ) angsting, bitching and moaning constantly about every person, event or situation that arises. Hell, live, laugh, love….but most of all, cherish every living moment!!

  • 2 Kay // Oct 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Happy Birthday Michael.

    Today I’m reminded how all of us should cherish life and those around us. Tomorrow I’ll say my farewells to Drider who I didn’t know as well as I might have and now its too late. He was only 35 so I thought there was plenty of time to meet up and chat. He had a seizure, possibly an embolism and died late last week. No-one expected it, so all his friends are a bit shocked.

    I’m glad that you’re still with us, and I am looking forward to your big celebration next year : )

  • 3 Glenn S // Oct 19, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Happy birthday you wonderful man!

  • 4 Jacquie Grant // Oct 19, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Have a good one old chook now for the arthritus reading glasses etc .
    Jacquie

  • 5 ray // Oct 20, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Happy birthday……… didnt realise you are so young!!

    And to Glenn…without bitching and moaning, aka known as questioning and challenging, none of us would be here. M has done his fair share of this important work with little thanks. So M thanks for what you have done that has made our lives a bit easier, richer and undoubtedly, longer.

  • 6 Ben M // Oct 21, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Happy birthday Michael. We’re glad you’re here too! xx

  • 7 David Robertson // Oct 22, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Belated b’day wishes heart, hope you had a good one. Wonderfully expressed sentiments. Enjoy and celebrate as much and as often as you can (sensibly where applicable of course) because both the physical and mental strength to maintain this beast is ongoing and never ending. We owe it to all those beautiful men you mentioned and lots more that have been and unfortunately still are being cut down, to strive to survive. The other thing we all hopefully carry in us from the really dark days and can share with each new generation is how important peer support for and by both younger, (and dare I say it around such a sensitive birthday number) ‘older’ more experienced positive people to help support and where needed just simply spread a bit of good cheer to those experiencing all the uncertainties, bigotries and confusions that our lives as positive people continually fluctate with.

  • 8 Frankie // Oct 31, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Happy Birthday Michael #:o) I’m glad you’re on this planet!

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