I went to a "drop in" group session tonight at GMHC. I was not really looking forward to it, but I knew I had to do it.
"Worth a try," I thought.
TA's date was cancelled and he was in the area, so we met up beforehand. I felt like I was being walked to my first day of school with the encouragement coming from him and the nerves coming from me.
When I walked in, there was just one person there. She happened to be te facilitator. Behind me, another guy walked in. She asked, "what are you here for?". In what I'm learning is my quiet and scared voice, I stummered, "group.. drop in... HIV session?".
She said okay and asked us both to sit. I texted TA right away that there was only one other person in there. WTF?! He responded by telling me I didn't have to stay if I wasn't comfortable, but he was sure more would come. He was technically right.
After we introduced ourselves and did a little talking, another guy walked in. I guess that counted for more people, making TA right.
Just two people wasn't really working, but there really was no way for me to get up and go. I mean, there were 4 chairs in a circle making it tough to just go unnoticed, as planned.
We talked about a lot of things. I felt good trying to help the others. One guy had been diagnosed 9 years ago and the other guy just a few days ago. Interestingly enough, we still had a lot we were able to share.
In the end, I'm glad I went. But a lot of me felt guilty. Compared o these guys, I've got it easy. My friends have been amazing and very supportive. I have a good doctor. I have a good job. I have a lot going for me. These guys had a lot more to deal with.
I always used to say, "things could be worse". After my diagnosis, I didn't think that was the case. After tonight, I realize it is.
I have a lot of opportunity. Afterall, I'm coping well when compared to others. I feel like I need to find a way to give to others. To find a way to help out. I know I need to accept this all a little mire first, but I would like to find a way to volunteer in some way once I'm in a better space.
Until then, I'll plan on returning to the group session again next week.