Monday, April 27, 2009

How is Mark S. King healthy?

Being healthy means not allowing destructive instincts to rule my life anymore.

For years I got high with the party crowd, believing that getting validation at a smokey bar and a strangers bed brought me happiness. Nothing was ever enough, and I eventually abandoned "dance floor drugs" for crystal meth from a pipe and then into my arm. All the while, I thought exhaustion meant I was having fun, that friends were the ones with more favors, and men were measured by what they kept in their pants.

Today I work to be honest. It's an unbelievable thrill not to worry about hiding any more. I sleep normal hours, take my HIV medications without fail, and value my friends enough to actually show up when we plan time together. I've regained my sense of humor -- it's amazing how much laughter there is when misery falls away!

It's been a long road, and I've even had to re-learn sex without the aid (and hindrance) of drugs. For months, I had no sex at all because it brought back too many memories of using. Today, my sexual behavior is based on caring for my partner and not denigrating him or myself.

Helping others has been a huge part of the equation, because it gets me out of my head and feels so damn good. I've written a book about the early days of AIDS in Los Angeles, written a musical about recovery, and contribute a video blog to a large HIV web site. Just being a productive human being with something to contribute is a gift beyond measure.

For you, my friends, please be well.

-- Mark S. King

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