Peer to Peer, the writings of a Consumer Advocate for both LGBT mental health and HIV/AIDS issues since 2004.
Please visit my homepage at www.bipolarbear.us valuable resources on HIV and Mental Illness
Wow, long day full of both volunteering, working, just getting home reflecting on how all day I was raising awareness with everyone I talked with.
My day started at 10:00 am training to seniors computer skills, wearing my AIDS Life Cycle hoodie, with the large ORANGE AIDS CREST so all knew, this day is a special one. The day continue as I switched hats volunteering as one of four servers at a Frank Sinatra Luncheon that started at 11:45 and ended at 2:00 PM. All my neighbors, you see I live alone, but am am seldom alone, thanks to both my job and my volunteering.
Today we served 85 lunches to seniors, all knowing of my HIV and Bipolar diagnoses, as these are my neighbors. Several have lost Nephews to AIDS, other always thankful of what I do and in that process comes the education and awareness of World AIDS Day today, but year round on HIV and Bipolar, the reason we are neighbors as I live in HUD housing. Awesome feeling to be welcomed, no stigma what so ever at 500-550 Gorge Road, nor all of Cliffside Park as they now me, and the work I do.
Wearing Red and Green in the image is special project 2015-2016, sequel to my POZ Op-Editorial on those of us, 20-25% of the 1.2 Million living with HIV-AIDS who are also diagnosed with a chronic mental illness, for me it's Bi Polar Bear Consumer Advocate Peer Specialist.
Through out my day all my POZ friends, all aging with HIV touched base by text, by calls, many sharing about new jobs, new partners, just sharing and reflecting, happy to be growing older together.
Before I end how I spent World AIDS Day 2015 I thought I'd share this song by Michael Jackson, "You are Not Alone" for any of you living with HIV-AIDS and or Bipolar or depression who celebrated in their own way, but alone. Know you are never alone.