December 29, 2022
Dear Gentlemen Bicol,
“Don’t let the sun go down without saying
Thank you to someone, without admitting
To yourself that absolutely no one gets this
Far alone.” – Stephen King
Before this year ends, I would like to say first a big “THANK YOU” to the organization led by Sir Chad and Sir Jed and to all its members for your undying dedication, love, care, and support to us.
It’s already been two years since I became part of this organization that promotes not only HIV Awareness but also Sexual and Reproductive Health for all the Bicolanos. When I was diagnosed with the disease last June 2020 at Makati Medical Center in Makati City, I felt a range of indescribable emotions. I don’t know how I will react because I felt like I was crushed between heaven and earth at that moment (the feeling of shock, numbness, denial, anger, sadness, and frustration – all in one).
I am lucky though, because I received a support system from my family, especially my mom. It was actually my mom who reached out to GM Bicol (through Sir Chad) to seek help because non in my family have the background with my condition.
My physical, emotional and psychological condition during that time was very unpleasant. Believe me, I’m thinking of suicidal thoughts (every night) or just stopping taking my meds. For me, dying seems the only relief or my only chance to escape.
But when I became part of this group and met the people behind GM Bicol and learn about the advocacies, everything changed. I have learned to slowly redeem myself by getting up, I stop complaining, whining, and pitying myself. In short, I restarted my life and turned my pity situation into a success story. So, for all those who are like me and still suffering, I want to tell you that you will be okay. If this disease changed your life, “let it be, because nobody said that life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it” - we will soon be okay if we trust God to lead us.
Special mention to Ger and Peds, thank you so much to both of you for the jokes, advice, late-night stories, and fun memories we shared (I promised myself I will keep my thank you letter short, but it turned out to be otherwise, hehe). Well, I believe in the saying from the late Queen Elizabeth II that “it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change” – and this is exactly what you (Ger and Peds) showed me.
Again, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to GM Bicol Family!