BBH Chronic Care
Read about the writer, Ellie David.
“I had that ‘Things couldn’t get worse’ feeling,” he says. “If I hadn’t come to Bailey-Boushay [in November], I probably would not have made it to Christmas. I had no options.”
Getting on HIV medication was his top priority. After several tries he also found an antidepressant that “really helps a lot.” He’s also returned to his normal weight by regaining 30 pounds.
“Surprisingly enough, I’m still in pretty good health,” he says. “I’m not sick, I have no fever. Sometimes I have some blood pressure issues.”
Even more surprising, he says, is that he’s found a community that values him.
Robbi’s been estranged from his family since high school. “I came out to them when I was 16. That’s the first time I got depressed,” he says.
For two years his parents tried to “pray the gay away.” First they sent him to daily sessions with an “ex-gay” counselor, and later to shock therapy. “I kept saying, ‘I don’t want to change. I’ve accepted who I am.’”
Legally independent at 18, he left home. Even after all these years, he says, “I have to hope that one day they’ll miss me and call.”
Robbi says Bailey-Boushay is his family now. “Coming here made me feel not alone, that I’m not the only person going through this,” he says. “And I realized I’m not doing this by myself.”
He’s unsure what’s coming next. A home? Or a job? He’s looking for both. “And I’m coming in almost daily because I feel like I need that open arm, that caring, that social interaction.” And he’s hopeful about the future. “I want to see my fifties and sixties — hell, even my seventies and eighties.”