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Lonely in Atlanta
Jul 24, 2002

Michael:

Thanks for this forum as it's my only contact w/ others infected w/ HIV. I tested positive January of 2001. Four days after receiving my diagonsis I immediately went on a year and half drug binge.

I've been clean now for 90 days but now I'm having feelings of resentment and anxiety. I feel alone and am now taking an antidepresent(effexor 75mg) but it's not helping my anxiety. I'm on the verge of using again!

I've made great friends in recovery and everyone seems to love me but they don't know I'm positive. I'm afraid they'll alienate me once they find out.

How do I ease the anxiety and tremendous guilt. I know I should be greatful as I'm in good health and have maintained a decent job. I'm 26 years old and want a normal life.

Help,

Lonely in Atlanta

Response from Mr. Shernoff

It is no wonder that you are lonely since you have not been honest about your HIV status in the recovery rooms. A major component of recovery is "You are only as sick as your secrets." There are special interest HIV postive AA meetings in every large city in the US. Plus AIDS Atlanta is a very large AIDS service organization that has support groups, at least some of which are only for people who are positive and in recovery.

So obviously you have not done the necessary work to research what your options are. I fear that you are sitting on a big pity pot instead of really doing the work necessary to insure your recovery. Now you say that this is causing you to be close to picking up. Isn't this something that you should really be talking about with your sponsor as well as in the rooms? It sounds like you are not really committed to your sobriety and are using this as an excuse. If you want to stay sober keep it simple and begin by being honest. The rest will be come. Otherwise you are compromising your serenity. Michael Shernoff, MSW



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