When I first think of "The Aliveness Project"
I think of the act or process of breathing. Let's look at the word "Aliveness", Alive: having life; living, add the suffix "ness". You make the word a noun. A noun is: a person, place, or thing.
When I first came to The Aliveness Project, I was dying; mentally, physically, emotionally. I could not breathe. I was stuck with the feeling of hopelessness and the inability to move pass the point of "What, you have HIV!!!" (Actual comment from my provider of care at the time). I needed to breathe but I could not. I had actually lost the ability to breathe. I just wanted to be still, and die in peace!! With no interruption. I was scared and could not tell anyone why I was scared. I was sealed in a box with no air. I was suffocating to death, and no one knew.
Now, the noun part; at "The Aliveness Project", I found the CPR support I needed. There, someone told me to "exhale", that I was in a safe place. It was safe for me; a place that I felt more comfortable to be myself, a place that I was able to rediscover "me". A place where I was able to find; hope, joy, and a reason for living, that desire for life, that I had lost somewhere along the road of life with this illness. That I was able to dream and have a vision of happiness and a reason to be happy; I was given a chance to break out of my cocoon of self-death and to expose myself to the beauty that was within.
I was able to explore the possibility to live again. I can recall Tammy Morris, Director of The Aliveness Project (at the time she was a Client Service Case Manager), asking her how do you live with this disease? I can recall her patience and soft-spoken words of encouragement; it was something like this "I cannot tell you how to live with this disease, but I can probably show you the road of knowledge, which will lead you to the path of living.
It was truly words of wisdom that have stayed with me throughout my journey of re-discovery. I found the reason to move pass the disease, I found hope. The Aliveness Project, where HOPE begins.