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HELP i can't take any more death around me
Mar 22, 1999

i've been very lucky so far, 12 years positive. but at the same time i'm living a purgatory. I have with aids since 1983, when my lil (whom i cherishment brother died of aids in 1990 - he was married to one of my best friends,whom soon developed hiv .- he never told her before. 3 more friends died soon after.my husband was disagnosed in 1987 and never told me. keeping a death watch over my sister law and husband die i believe they didn't in any alternative or meditative affirmations to help the body to heal. in the meantime i should have a parking space at hospital with so many people i knew dying. i was also deeply depressed because i had built a foundation to build on ie religion, spiritually,belief in everyone and everthing i held to be true.I've been clinically depressed (serzone, paxil),have ptsd (xanax)and abused alot in my life i was raped 2 times,had a bad childhood. older than others.anyway i feel very quilty .i think they call it thr Lazurus syndrome i'm starting to get sick and really have no other support system other than this puter. some hiv i go to . But nointerpersonal interaction - i feel disesed, and who would wantpeople to like me , not feel sorry for me. i've started back to volunteering. legally my parents(i'm 43) feel i have someting wrong with my brain(dementia)and went behind my doctors(2) and said i should be evaluated .i;m not sick yet, but they act like thet want to put me in aclf. i live alone on ssd , maintain a household,alllthe others that in tails.i'm trying tso hard to stay well, because all this negativity is really getting me down. S0 i sit here watching tv, reading,music, send card and play with the net everyday. 4 years is a long time death i've reached the point maybe i could research dating????? i'm frightened of being of being rejected- i'm scared! and scared! plus i now have hep "C" also to worry about, please give me some direction......

Response from Mr. Shernoff

You are certianly overwhelmed by loss and dying. I am confused by the lack of clarity in some parts of your letter. For instance you use the expression "Lazarus Sundrome" to refer to yourself, and then say you are starting to get ill. (The Lazarus Syndrome, was named after Lazarus who Jesus raised from the dead, it only refers to people who as a result of taking combination HIV therapies are coming back from being on the brink of death or terribly ill.)

I have several suggestions. First I think you should call your local AIDS service organization and find out about groups for people living with AIDS. If they offer groups specifically for women with AIDS I would urge you to join one as you are definitley in need of peers with whom you can discuss the many difficult issues you are struggling with. Also, ask your local AIDS organization if they offer or can refer you to a grief or bereavment group to get help working on all the mourning you have done and are still doing.

It seems to be a huge jump to move right into dating. I would say it is more important to make friends and have social relationships with other people with whom you can do things for fun, or share a meal with. It certainly sounds like you are lonely, and need more understanding, supportive people in your life. Returning to volunteering is one excellent way to give your life some structure, get yourself out of your house and away from the television and computer, and focus on helping other people. Donating our time to help other peole in need almost always has the benefit of making us feel less bad about what we are living through.

You do sound depressed. Who is prescribing your anti-depressants? Is it your primary care doctor or a psychiatrist? It needs to be a psychiatrist. IF it is not, then ask your primary doc to refer you to one. Also are you in ongoing talk therapy? You could certainly benefit form this? Ask your local AIDS organzation to refer you to someone who offers this as a service to people living with HIV and AIDS for little or no money.

Good luck.

Michael Shernoff, MSW



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