Monday, October 17, 2011

On Second Chances.

After what feels like I very, very long day, I came to my weekly volunteering here as the Hotline. A place where I was looking forward to very much so today. [Quick plug, if you may have any questions about AIDS/HIV, Sexual Transmitted Diseases/Infections, or just general sexual health questions, please feel free to call AIDS Hotline at 800.235.2331 Mon-Thur 9-8p or Fri 9-5].

Explained in a past entry, there are a number of calls that can come through in a single shift. Some call for information or a quick referral, while others call for more serious inquiries in which we assess the situation together and then proceed to any available options at hand. Today, however, was a little bit different from the norm I have ever experienced.

Today, a man found out he was diagnosed with HIV. Today. HIV positive. And I am the first person he has spoken to about this and simply wanted to talk. Now, I have spoken to a number of people with HIV before but the difference then was that they already knew (and relatively, accepted) their diagnosis. This man, on the other hand, just found out about an hour ago. Let's just say, I did more listening than talking with this call.

Minus the details, a man who sounded like an intelligent person, a person that I would be friends with in my own life, a good head on his shoulders, and with every intention to do well and do good things, for one reason or another had a moment of slipped judgment and is now dealing with those consequences - this overwhelming, life-changing diagnosis - because of a succession of wrong decisions.

He just kept on mentioning on how he wish he could just get that 'second chance' where he could've done things differently and ... "how can it be, that the decision [he] made in that moment can potentially affect the rest of [his] life". He told me that before that point, he led a rather straight path. He had a stable upper management job at a business firm, had a stable relationship with a woman and was happy. But then a series of anomalies happened in his life that when things changed so drastically, he found himself imbalanced and resorted into behaviors that inevitable harmed him.

Though many of us may not or will not share the same grave outcome from a 'bad decision', I know that we can all relate to the sentiment of when we have done something wrong, the desire for that second chance to redeem ourselves. To be able to fully express the way we've envision ourselves to be.

We've all made mistakes. I've made many as well as many recently (-_-) and it seems as if it is always after the damage has been done, or when we are caught, or sort of consequence presents itself in response to our poor decisions, that we come face to face with our shortcomings. Why is it always in retrospect that we can reach these epiphanies? 

And because it does take time and certain circumstances to see this revelation, are we/should we/deserve to be granted a second chance? I would like to think so. We are not perfect human beings and because of this, if it wasn't for forgiveness or the second chance, or third chance, or fourth chance, we would go nowhere. For example, I wouldn't be where I am now with school, had someone not given me this second chance to pursue my dream. I'd like to think that in the field of medicine, I could provide for people that second chance to live a life more functional, more healthy, and more content by providing them an opportunity to reach the image of how they envision their lives to be.

Life shouldn't be so unforgiving, especially for people that are so imperfect.

I pray for that man tonight, and I hope that he can receive some form of his "second chance".  

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