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Monday, November 14, 2011

How many times do I need to say sorry?

Apparently there are people who still believe I am not worth living a life of dignity because they were hurt in my path of self destruction when I learned that my HIV diagnosis had become the unspoken discrimination abruptly ending a dream I worked so hard to build and live.

Today, I received an email from an anonymous email account.  The email is one sentence long, "I hope your HIV kills you for all the bad you have done, I could careless if your life has changed for the better."

My stomach dropped to the floor.

Are there people out there who really do not want to see me make a difference as I boldly open up my entire life (all the good and all the bad) as I share my story about how I have overcome many dark adversities and found the hope and strength to move beyond the time when I allowed my HIV to be the center of destroying everything around me; particularly destruction that was powered by uncontrollable substance abuse?

I admit, I did some pretty crappy things and would need more than all my fingers and toes to count the number of people that were really hurt by my actions because I gave up on life. I won't go into the war stories; nor do I choose to reflect on them as these memories are painful enough. I have taken the last many years of my life to rebuild my inner-hope and strength; and with that have done some amazing things while working with global organizations, government entities and much more. I have learned to forgive myself and I do just that each day by making the choice to live a life that is filled with a new-found love for who I am as a person today.

To this person who emailed me and who I guess I have hurt along my journey, "I am deeply sorry." While you may never forgive me and even go out of your way to try and beat me down, I won't let your words to allow me to take steps backwards. I am doing great things today. . .

I will make (am making) a difference in the world today.  I will reclaim my place in this world with dignity and will try my best to fight the stigma associated with living with HIV / AIDS by continuing to reclaim my dream of becoming one of the world's greatest escape artists since the Houdini era and by continuing to speak out boldly to inspire and give hope to others.

I am proud of who I am today. That is what matters most. Am I alone? Can anyone else relate? I need some love and support on this.

I am Daniel and I am living pozitively. Thank you for following my blog.


  1. Don't let it get you down. I've heard the same. "It's the choices you made that you got this."
    Ummm, Ok, I chose to love someone. Oh, Ok...I deserve HIV. Ummmm, I've been told by my mother in law that I don't deserve to have the government pay for my medications to save my life and I shouldn't be speaking out because I haven't had it that long and it really hasn't affected my life. Really? Don't let it get you down, use it as fuel to keep standing up. Not a single person has an unblemished life, not a single person in this world hasn't hurt someone's feelings. Let them hate, you need to only apologize once with truth and sincerity. You can't make them accept it and it's their own demons they have to fight through to learn to forgive and accept a person has changed. Fight the good fight, thank you for all you do for our community! Hugs and love sent your way.

  2. Yeah really, you can't let some people bring you down...the ones that "beat" you up the most are the very ones who are "hiding" from themselves anyway. Because they are in denial about their own "imperfections", or rather, their own "humanity", they can not accept the same in another human being. It's sad really and you need not let their own issues affect you. You've seen the truth in yourself and you strive to be a better person each and every day. That's all ANYONE of us can do, regardless of STD status. Our pasts are unchangable, and are only lessons...What's important, is what we learned, and how we use today to shape our future.

  3. You are not alone in your journey and if you said you are sorry and mean it then it is a true statement. Sorry is usually an over used word in the English language, but if used and truly meant and you do not do the action that you were sorry for again then it is/was used properly. We all do things in our life that we may not have been proud of and we overcome those things when we are ready. You clearly are and were ready to move forward. It takes a big person to admit that they are wrong and an even bigger one to apologize. Stay strong with what you are doing and know that you have many that support you. so the few that don't can just step off. My love and support sent your way now and always.

  4. Very few have the courage to say and do what you're doing; don't let one person bring you down. Keep doing what you're doing. I think you're amazing.

  5. well, I wonder if, knowing you had HIV, you still chose to have sex with someone in your path of destruction while selling sex for money to get the substance abuse you wanted and ended up transmitting the virus to them? Could you answer this question, Daniel?


  7. Thank you everyone for all of your support!! This has really helped me shake of the negative energy!

    Now to the last Anonymous with the question. . . I also received your email with the other questions you asked about substance abuse, etc. - and I will reply by means of video - I would like to answer this (and the others) with my voice - in hopes others will be inspired or understand. . . stay tuned, I hope to get to this today or tmw. Thank you for following!

  8. I have lived a sober life and with HIV for over 21 years, I have also had to get a thick skin and realize and accept that there are some ignorant people in this world. There are also some really twisted untreated mentally ill people living amongst us.
    I was once reminded that people asked me "so how did you get it," which was a way for me to tell them that I did something weird and unusual that they have ever done. I did nothing but spread my legs one at a time just like them. Guess what people, this disease does not discriminate.
    Since my diagnosis, I have lived, loved and lost, but I have also obtained my MSW and prospered.
    Hang in there Daniel, ignorance may some day get outdated, I hope to live and see that day.
    Sane and Sober in Texas

  9. ...Daniel,too many people continue to dwell on past deeds, feeding on self-recrimination and/or savage destruction of attempts to rise above your past by focusing your attention on caring for others and sharing your thoughts; your dreams and ideas! Some can NEVER forgive your -- even if they see that you are continually attempting to make amends -- it gets to you, but you CANNOT let it be the marker of your life!! Keep yourself in your best state of mind -- and learn to ignore the uniformed!!!

  10. Continue doing what you are doing! You are being a great witness for others...pray for that person who is still bitter

  11. Daniel....was so great to meet you at the NAPWA Summit 2012. As I shared with you, I've been in active recovery for 10 years, after 20 years of IV drug use. Some of the damage we did while in our addiction can not be undone, some people are not able to forgive, some will never forget.....but, at the end of the day, that's about "them" and not about you! Moving forward is all that we can possibly do.


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