One man's story of dealing with his fears of HIV
Sep 13, 1999
I used to frequent this sight; in fact I had it bookmarked. Primarily because I had this 'aids anxiety' or was 'worried well' or was a hypochondriac, I don't know what you want to call it, but that was I. In fact I wrote that 45 dollars or .45 cal thing, as well as many others. I find it odd now that my problems are melting away. Though I think I may have a solution for those suffering from the ODC [OCD?] and depression aspects of 'AIDS Anxiety' (as I affectionately call it.) Generally we are all hamsters in this vicious wheel of life... running around, getting no where angered by the mundanely and frustrated by the small changes. I was one of those people. I took a 6-week trip to Europe to cope with that. It worked. I must say now and then I think about it, but logic wins out, it no longer destroys my days, it no longer makes me a sullen depressed person who hides from women and the world. The very fact that I just 'left' wasn't at the entire cure. The cure comes from within. I am a control freak, and be that as it may, I had a hard time coping with the fact that I can manipulate all things around me, but I can't change the things in me. SO this is my step by step solution to this problem:
1) If you are in a situation that you do not like (you changed jobs, moved in with a new family member, changed schools) DO WHAT EVER YOU CAN to get out of that situation or learn to deal with it DIRECTLY! Don't stand by and feel like you are a little slave under the boots of a new master.
2) STOP LOOKING UP STUFF ON THE INTERNET! This is all you need to know about preventing HIV: wear a condom, don't perform oral sex, and don't share needles. THERE! That's it... you now know all you need to know. There are no more web pages to go to, there are no more books you need to read, and there are no more stories of HIV infected people you need to analyze.
3) Get away from it all. Take a break, be by yourself or take a friend on a hiking trip or go to the beach, look at the water or enjoy nature. See there is more to life than just the concrete jungle you're living in now. Talk to you friend about your concerns, tell him or her what it is all about (I'm sure they already know if you have made it to this page ;) )
4) TALK TO SOMEONE OBJECTIVE! I.e. a therapist or a counselor. There is no reason that you need to dish out the big bucks to see someone. I talked with a counselor twice... maybe three times before I began to realize what I was doing. You don't have the money or the time? Go to the place where you get your blood drawn; talk to an HIV specialist about it. They can send you to a counselor that works on a sliding pay scale and they can help you. Remember even if you go once a month... it is still better than not going at all.
5) Perhaps the hardest step, and one that should be regarded with caution and thought. Learn to trust people again. Don't worry about when the next time you meet someone if you are going to get 'into trouble' with them. Just let it all go, if you really need to declare yourself celibate, say you're not going to get into a sexual relationship with someone until you TRUST them.
6) Wait it out. This step is the most painful, yet the simplest. MOST people get out of this. I know MANY people who were like myself (my father surprisingly even) who were concerned about getting VD's obviously he recovered... (Seeing as he had to make me.)
If you are looking for a one-word cure, you're never going to find it. The cure lies within you; you must bring it out.
AND OF COURSE THE LAST STEP... if you really need it. Praxil, zoloft, cigarettes, whatever you need to help you get through the day USE IT! (Except alcohol that's a whole new problem waiting for you) There is nothing wrong with admitting you need help, insurance will probably cover it, and if your young... your parents will understand.
Think well- Be well J.
Response from Mr. Sowadsky
Thank you for your comments. I am sure they will help others out there!
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