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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Be thankful that you don't already have

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers.

A Thanksgiving Poem:
Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don't already have
everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.
—Author Unknown

For complete list of LGBT Affirmative Center visit my website;
Many offer Thanksgiving meals, call ahead.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

One of the POZ 100, 2013 Unsung Heroes

I'm extremely thankful and proud to have been selected 
as 1 of the POZ 100 2013 Unsung Heroes. 

2004 - present:

I'm a steady reader of POZ magazine and in the beginning I used to look at all the photo's of for the most part see happy people and wonder why I was so unhappy.  I wondered why  there wasn't  anything at the time about people who live with chronic mental illness as well as HIV/AIDS mentioned.  This led me to believe I was alone and in 2004 my second AIDS ride in New York City, rode wearing my own cycling jersey, the logo found on my website with my mission to raise both awareness for others like myself who confront compound stigma and money  for both bi polar disorder and HIV/AIDS.

With four rides completed and close to $15,000 raised I decided to participate in the largest AIDS ride held in California, AIDS Life Cycle with over three thousands cyclist each year.  Please find below my photo of me found on my blog titled P2P (Peer to Peer) You are not alone, and from that day forward so many people have stepped forward that they two live with Bi polar, anxiety, depression, substance abuse.

It wasn't until 2009 that I read this, "John Anderson, Senior Director of the Office on AIDS at the APA, and another partner in the study, says he is excited by the collaboration between the groups and sees the survey as an important first step in improving mental health and substance use services for people with HIV. - Source: POZ &, April 28, 2009.    Since then five other facts  have been found, the most recent a statement,   "It means less support for mental health and substance abuse to deal with the very issues that were part of that reason that they are living with HIV and AIDS. - Source: Where Has All the HIV Funding Gone?, then Janet Weinberg Chief Operating Officer, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, August 9, 2013

Today I continue to on my journey towards full recovery, share my writings, and share my story both in print and in person to organizations and individuals.  I encourage all of you to share yours, and invite you to at

Please read the entire article titled: "The POZ 100 Celebrating Unsung Heroes , read about all of us, our stories and how each of us both inspire and show so many that they aren't alone.

Thank you again for this recognition and certificate.

Stephen Puibello
Consumer Advocate
Peer Specialist for both
HIV+ and Mental Illness
since 2004

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Help raise $10,000 by December 31st 2013 and we will Get $20,000

Rainbow Heights Club Member

Stephen Puibello a.k.a the Bipolar Bear is asking all his HIV/AIDS Fundraising friends old and new, and also my friends and family who support me year to year when I raise money for HIV/AIDS  to help Rainbow Heights Club of which I'm a member raise $10,000 in 45 days, by 12/31/13.

If we are successful Rainbow Heights Club will receive 
another $10,000
for a Total 
thank you.

Celebrating 10 Years of Support and Advocacy Services for 
LGBTQ New Yorkers Living With Serious Mental Illness 
Dear Rainbow Heights Club Member, 
Once again, you have the opportunity to help us raise up to $20,000 to support your club! Our challenge from our benefactors is to raise $10,000 by the end of 2013.  That means that each $10 donation will bring us a total of $20 once we meet our challenge.

As a Rainbow Heights Club member, you know that the past several years have brought some big cuts to our government funding.  We've all had to learn to do more with less, while we continued to reach out to private foundations for increased support.  So we ask you now to help us to support the program throughout 2014.  Even a small donation will help a lot.

If you (or your friends or family) can afford to help, and would like to use a credit/debit card to make a donation through our secure server, please click on the link below.  If you don't have a credit/debit card but would like to help, you can make cash or check donations at the club the next time you're here.   

Thanks in advance for helping to support YOUR club.  When foundations and major donors see that our own members care enough to make donations to the club, it makes a big difference.  Your donation helps us in so many ways.

If you think that you know someone that could help us by making a donation too, please feel free to forward this email.  If you have any questions, please just let me know.

Best wishes to you all.  Take care.


Dr. Christian Huygen, Ph.D.
Executive Director

In accordance with NY State law, we inform you that you may request a free copy of Heights Hill Mental Health Service, SBPC Community Advisory Board's last annual report from; The State of New York, Office of the Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.  ID # 21-22-42

Monday, November 4, 2013

Extreme Isolation due to Chronic Illness and Limited Income


I hear a lot on isolation for long term survivors of HIV but little on those of us who live with chronic illness like AIDS and bipolar disorder or other chronic mental illness diagnoses.  Who are we, where do we live, how do we receive treatments, pay for our medications and how do we deal with extreme isolation in the GLBT community.

For those living with AIDS or mental illness diagnoses and are no longer able to work, you are on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) which affords you...Medicare insurance and other entitlement programs like food stamps and public housing.  Your medications are through AIDS Drugs Assistance Programs (ADAP).   If you have all of these you have the basics covered and you live in the $7,000 to $15,999 income bracket, which you are subject to a means test, in that, "the individual  possesses the means to do without that help." (source:  means_test)

Isolation isn't something I wish on anyone, but extreme isolation from a chronic illness diagnoses and the income limitations from the figures above minus rent, food as food stamps only go so far, and not everyone qualifies for them.  Also subtract out medication and medical co-pays and what you are left makes combating isolation extremely difficult, but it is doable.

Suggestions to help you combat extreme isolation on a shoe string budget.

My first suggestion is volunteering, volunteering not only gets you out of the house, it adds structure in that it's work and people rely on you so you need to show up on time.  If you are in recovery structure is very important so ask your self what was I doing before I diagnosed with a chronic illness or what ask yourself is there something else you may want to do and then find a place that offers a volunteer program, please check resources below to assist you.  You will meet other volunteers, make friends etc.

Housing, most housing offer a meals program, most are free and others ask for a donation of  $.50 to $1, eating here once a day helps you meet people and stretch your budget.  Tips:  Some folks don't eat everything served, so ask if you can have their carton of milk, or their salad or soup.  On Fridays ask if there are extra meals, most places do offer and there is a sign up sheet so ask if there is and get your name on it.

Housing also offers programs, like bingo, movies, arts and crafts.  Most these days offer game rooms and computers and computer classes.

Break up your day, I have a desk top computer, I'm on it daily which keeps me productive, but the negative is that I seldom go out my apartment so for me I take advantage of the public library.  Libraries also have computers, books, magazines and newspapers and comfy chairs to read, most important you aren't inside alone, you are in the company of others.   Libraries like housing offer free programs, like art classes, lectures, movies.

Get to know your neighbors who have dogs, offer to walk them and also let them know you are available to walk them on certain days or possible watch them as well, you may be able to make some income here.  I find dog walking to be one of best ways to get out and about and a good way to meet people, plus the dog loves the company of other dogs.

Get involved with AIDS/HIV walks or rides.  The rides have a registration fee, usually under $100 which covers lodging and meals, if local even transportation for three day, two night trip, you will make friends and see them at pot luck gatherings.  

Support Groups are a great way to not only find support in dealing with isolation, but other topics that you may share with others in the groups, check my website's resources, I list them state by state

Find below helpful resources, free access to Internet TV and Radio, Skype to Skype, HIV/AIDS dating sites and HIV/AIDS social media and radio show, all good ways to meet others as friends or dating.

Other suggestions you can do by yourself:

Be a friend to yourself and go for a walk in the park.
Listen to music or talk radio.
Prayer and meditation to help you relax.
Read a funny book.

Helpful  Free Links:

Free Music

Free TV and Movies , invite a neighbor or a friend to join you.

Free Games

Skype to Skype , Have friends on Skype, Skype offers a feature where you can play certain board games with friend.  I play my dear friend and first gay roommate backgammon once a month.

Free POZ I AM Radio and Social Media site ,

Free HIV Positive Date Site

Helpful Links to Services 

How Do I Apply for Social Security Disability Insurance

How Do I Apply for Public Housing

AIDS Drugs Assistance Programs

Food Stamps

Volunteers of America


The Dollar Stretcher

Find a Meet Up

Depression Bipolar Support Alliance, find a support group