He was the third 20 year old in as many weeks to sit in my office and share his story of how he tested HIV positive recently.
We talked about a lot of things during the hour, but when I asked about his family I noticed his eyes went to floor. Tell me about your father. “I’ve never known him, never even met him. He lives somewhere in Georgia.”
His eyes were misty as I asked him what that was like for him.
He shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know, I don’t anything different,” he mumbled.
We talked about a lot of things and then he just stopped and said clearly, “I’m really depressed. I’m having a hard time. I need help.” He showed me where he had cut his wrists in the past.
I introduced him to resources we have in the clinic to help with depression. We made appointments with a mental health counselor, a psychiatrist, and a weekly group for persons with substance use problems. And of course, an appointment was made with his medical team for his HIV care.
But tonight, I still think about his eyes.