Positive: A Memoir – Paige Rawl with Ali Benjamin

“Maybe being broken helps you become a better person.”

*This memoir does touch on self-harm & suicide. Please be advised before you give it a read.*

Paige Rawl has been HIV positive since birth but she has never really let that define her. She was in beauty pageants & even played for her schools soccer team. But after Paige released her HIV status to a close friend the bullying began in full force. She was given the nickname “PAIDS” & even her soccer coach joked that she would be a big asset because the other team wouldn’t want to touch her. Paige was already self-harming to easy the pain but one night when she just couldn’t take it anymore she decided to swallow 15 sleeping pills.  The night should have been the end of her life but instead it was just the beginning.

This book, alongside so many others, has been on my to-be read list for quite sometime. So one day as I was looking through my Goodreads I decided it was time to give this one a read so I ordered it in through my local library. Growing up I had always heard about HIV but I never really knew what it was & how it affected the body. I enjoyed that when Paige was telling her story she also gave some insight into what HIV really is. Throughout this memoir I felt my heart hurting for Paige on numerous occasions. It was sad to hear that she was bullied so hard for something out of her control that lead to her attempting to take her own life. It also broke my heart that she reached out to so many adults in her life & yet no one was willing to help her. But although her story was one of sadness it was also about overcoming & being stronger than the things that were trying to hurt her. There are so many resources out there for people who are affected by HIV which is so incredible.

If anyone is struggling with bullying, self harm & even thoughts of suicide I encourage you to reach out. Find someone you trust & confide in them because it can & will get better. I want anyone who is reading this to know that they always have an ally in me. I will always be there to support you & help you through this. You are never alone.

Book 15/40

5/5 Stars

Finished May 14th/2017

Kristen & Kelsey’s 40 Book Challenge

Check out my beautiful friend Kristen’s Blog and her Instagram to see how she is doing!


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