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HIV Life >> Gay Men

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AZSouthBay
Newbie

Reged: 04/10/08
Posts: 8
Tested POZ on April Fools Day- Turn 30 in 3 days
      #239523 - 05/27/08 01:51 AM

Ever since finding out on April 1, 2008- I just haven't been the same. I know this is to be expected, of course. So far, I am asymptomatic- but I haven't been able to work... I am a Massage Therapist. This line of work I've decided I don't want anymore... the reasons are endless, but my main reason is HIV+. I'm listless, unmotivated to be proactive. One moment, I've forgotten that I have the gift that keeps on giving, then I remember when I'm at the Dr.or at the HIV+ services office, or with my 2 other friends that are POZ. This is when I lose it! This is causing a strain in my relationship that I now need to change my vocation. Pretty much, the only thing I've wanted to do is smoke crystal with my POZ partners in crime ( the 2 I mentioned above) and try... TRY to drown out reality. I can't keep running from myself, cuz I will never escape.... I have to restore my ability to perform a physical and healing job such as massage because my bills aren't going to pay for themselves. I'm still in good health, but if I continue living like this, my t-cells are going to start dropping like flies. Any advice???

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allura74
Newbie

Reged: 10/17/07
Posts: 8
Re: Tested POZ on April Fools Day- Turn 30 in 3 da new
      #239539 - 05/27/08 01:01 PM

If testing poz hasnt been a wakeup call i dont know what else will make you realize... would it be when your tcells drop and then you have to go on meds. Im on atipla and its not cheap. Ive ben in your situation and im not trying to be harsh but the first thing you need to do is get rid of your friends that do meth with you for they dont realize there situation. you sound like you know what you have to do in your post, now you need to suround yourself with better supportive friends. i still work, never missed a day in a salon, i even was told while i was inbetween clients. Of course i was devastated at first but then i had to think I had this for a year before i even found out and i still made it to work, through life. So just cuz i found out on a tuesday didnt mean weds my life was over and i had to drag myself down. We are lucky to find out early or to have meds available to us and i now have ben undetectable for 13 months. Be strong and hang in there. If you ever need anyone to talk to u can email me....

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AZSouthBay
Newbie

Reged: 04/10/08
Posts: 8
Re: Tested POZ on April Fools Day- Turn 30 in 3 da new
      #239550 - 05/28/08 07:21 AM

Thank you!! You don't sound harsh at all, you're right. I will probably take you up being somebody to talk to you!



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Bear60
Legend

Reged: 12/21/05
Posts: 1390
Re: Tested POZ on April Fools Day- Turn 30 in 3 da new
      #239554 - 05/28/08 12:49 PM

If you cannot "heal yourself", I would guess its difficult to be in a "healing " profession. Getting off the meth and living a healthy life in which you "like yourself for who you are" and have goals for yourself that are realistic would be a start. Healing professions are in great demand...I go to a massage therapist once a month.

--------------------
6 ft tall poz bear in Philadelphia

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MIADA
Regular

Reged: 02/28/08
Posts: 38
Loc: M I A
Re: Tested POZ on April Fools Day- Turn 30 in 3 days new
      #239574 - 05/29/08 02:33 PM

Man,
You're right.
You're not the same. You're different. As a result, you have to reinvent yourself to adjust to the new you. And doing what you did in the past by picking up the meth pipe isn't going to work for you anymore. I agree, that it'd be in your best interest to surround yourself with a differnt mix of friends. Try going to the local support group. See if there is anyone there you have common intersts with that you could befriend. That's what I did, and I made some really good friends from it.
And start taking a real good look at yourself, reevaluate your talents, strengths, and weaknesses. Redifine and Reinvent yourself. Things will get better, and you will Thrive once again.


--------------------
Namaste
~D

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JdOg71
Newbie

Reged: 05/29/08
Posts: 1
Re: Tested POZ on April Fools Day- Turn 30 in 3 days new
      #239585 - 05/29/08 10:59 PM

I was diagnoised in 1995 I stayed stoned, high, tweeked, geeked, drunk you name it for at least a year. It then hit me when I was loosing friends right and left that if I did not get a grip I would be facing the same fate. There was only azt/3tc in 95 with many new meds coming down the line, yet still scary since no one was sure about the new drugs. I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself, sobered up and decided to live instead of waiting to die. It has now been 14 years, and my life could not be better and my health is awesome. One of the biggest changes in me was when my Doc (who is fabulous, very important) basically read my ass as I was feeling sad, and sorry for myself, and she said. "You have done so well on meds, and with the future of meds, research etc. there is no reason to not believe you will live your full life span, so instead of planning to die, plan to live!" Being HIV poz is a journey with many stages, but you have to take it one day at a time, it is finding your truth, yourself, and knowing that no matter what you will be fine. Healing yourself starts within, and sadness, darkness, along with excessive drugs, and alcohol to drown this out will take you down faster that HIV ever will. I changed my mind, I changed careers, and make great money now, been happily married for 2 years, and I love my life. Is there darkness? Yes. But just say fuck it and get up and turn the light on. Life is choices, and it is easy to be lazy but harder to fight! This is your life! Own it. You can do it! Your smart enough to bear your soul in your post, and I bet wise enough to change, and move forward. Best of luck, be strong, and fuck all the dumb shit.

JdOg-

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PosInEverySense
Newbie

Reged: 05/30/08
Posts: 1
Re: Tested POZ on April Fools Day- Turn 30 in 3 days new
      #239590 - 05/30/08 05:48 AM

Any advice??

Basically you have two choices:

-Just stay on meth, feeling sorry for yourself (and you will end up as a ‘death on meth’)
-Or snap out of this self-pity and start making new choices (which takes a lot more courage as the first option!)

Harsh? Maybe…
Self-pity is allowed -once in a while, but it usually takes you nowhere. It only paralyses.
A cold comfort maybe, but –unfortunately- millions of others, including myself, have to cope with the same problems being hiv positive. All of them making (new/other) choices to be able to continue. I would be lying if I would say it’s peanuts. Because it isn’t. It can be a hard struggle from time to time. But fortunately many cope creating their new ‘positive’ life.
I could do well without hiv in my life: but I also know it’s here to stay. I chose to accept and fight it: hiv and its stigma. But, even after two decades, I’m glad I did…

Life is nothing but ‘making choices’:
Choose the life that you want to live - and make sure that you can live with any choice you make...


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taurusthecat
Master

Reged: 11/02/06
Posts: 131
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Tested POZ on April Fools Day- Turn 30 in 3 days new
      #239592 - 05/30/08 08:37 AM

Hi AZSouthBay.

I was diagnosed in 1999 at the age of 36 and I think it was about a year before I started getting back on track emotionally. It was a roller coaster --- I wanted to be alone, I wanted to be around people, I didn't know whether I was coming or going, I thought about my own death constantly and all of the things I wanted to do in my lifetime that I'd been putting off for years. In short, it was a very hard and long slog to come to terms with and I'm telling you to be gentle on yourself and not to expect to come to terms with it all and be all fine and dandy in a matter of weeks or months. People will offer you all sorts of advice on how to handle it or how to behave, how to deal with it, how to treat yourself and your health, but quite honestly it's such a personal journey that at the end of the day you will find your own balance in your own time and at some stage you will wake up and see that life does go on (and on and on and on) and nothing has really changed in your life except now you have an ongoing viral infection which you have to take seriously and this will actually end-up being a plus in your life because you will take better care of your health than you ever did before in all probability.

I found that being given a positive diagnosis affected me as if I had suffered a bereavement (which I have, so I can compare to two experiences). What I mean is that the process of coming to terms with my diagnosis was a lot like the grieving process in that it was long, protracted and took it's own course. There was nothing I could do to make it go better or quicker and the only thing that faded the painful edges off it was the passing of time. As time passes, you will start to think of it less emotionally and it won't seem so nightmarish.

In the meantime, do with your life and body whatever you feel is best for you, if you feel like blocking-out pain it's understandable, but do remember that now your system is under far greater pressure, and when you indulge in anything it will take a greater toll on your body and mind than it did before. You might find that it's just not worth the price anymore as you might not bounce back as well as you did in the past.

By the way, I was addicted to speed for more than 2 years in the 1980's and the after-effects lasted many more years, both emotionally and mentally. I would say to you that you are taking meth to prop yourself up, fill in blanks where you feel you and your life is too boring, you are not interesting enough, too shy, too unhappy and so on. Trouble is, meth and most all psycho-active drugs come into our lives at a huge price, yes they give us some relief, but the price they ask us to pay back is far greater than you realise and at some stage you find yourself saying "enough, it's just not worth it anymore". That time ALWAYS comes, it's just a matter of when. Remembering that, it might be an idea, seeing that your body is not going to be as resilient as it was before and treating it better is more of a priority than you have been used to in the past, to forgo the meth altogether, do some soul-searching on why you're taking it, seek some professional counseling if necessary and become a whole person without having to resort to the meth. You now have the added reason that your body needs you to be more gentle than ever on it, so maybe that reason might tip you over to really believing that it's time to call it quits. Sorry to sound like a party pooper, but I'm telling you what I know myself. The price you will pay from the meth, physically and mentally and emotionally, will very soon become too much for you to bear, too many negatives will start coming out of it and any positives you feel you are currently getting out of it will be massively cancelled-out. Seriously consider kicking your meth smoking friends to the curb and getting new friends with healthier values, for these friends of yours will keep you smoking the stuff no matter what you decide and this will only hamper your journey forward, and also consider seeking some sort of counseling, not for the hiv, but for the meth. As I said, hiv diagnosis is so personal, I don't personally believe there's much anyone can say or do to affect you, you deal with it the way you deal with it, it happens in it's own way and time.

If you feel like blocking-out pain, try just getting drunk or sleeping a lot, the come downs from the meth will leave you feeling more desperate and tragic than you need to feel and you'll only keep going back for more for a quick fix which doesn't last and cleans out your wallet.

The last thing I want to say, is that some people who find themselves pos more or less give up, or use it as an excuse to be as decadent as they like, they have very short-term views on things and think along the lines of "hey, it can't get much worse than this, right? I'm going to die anyway". Well this is totally wrong, you are going to have a healthy and happy life if you want to, not to mention a long one. Some people are just using their diagnosis as an excuse to continue behaving badly, they think they're sick, so who cares if they just do what they like. Let me tell you, it's not the hiv that will put them in a hospital bed, it's the recreational drugs and bad lifestyle. But they'll blame the hiv.

Don't be as stupid as these people sweetheart. You are the same person, and just having the same virus as some other people does in no way define you. You just happen to have the same bug as other people do. When you see someone out in public who has a cold and you have a cold, do you suddenly think you are the same as that person in so many ways? No. You realise that you just both happen to have a cold but you are two different people with likely not much in common. Don't let your hiv status make you feel like you must follow the bad habits of some other people who also have hiv, it's not set in stone, you can treat your body how you want to and it will respond accordingly. Kick your friends to the curb, get off the meth, get stuck into some premium scotch instead if you must, at least that won't screw with your moods as much, but whatever you do, treat yourself well and gently, give yourself time to deal with your diagnosis and realise it will take a long time probably and don't expect too much from yourself in the first 12 months.

Sorry to ramble, just thought I'd pour a few thoughts out after I read your post. Anyway, at the end of the day you will do what you think is right for you, just don't expect too much right away, it's only early days. It might be an idea if you can, to take yourself away from both your partner and your friends, and spend a week or so somewhere on your own just to collect your thoughts. Dunno, I know I needed a lot of time to myself for quite a while, gave me time to adjust.

Anyway, goodluck and hugs to you.

--------------------
I'm like fake fruit...... I don't bruise that easy.

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johnanthony
Newbie

Reged: 05/30/08
Posts: 1
Re: Tested POZ on April Fools Day- Turn 30 in 3 days new
      #239605 - 05/30/08 05:22 PM

I just want to let you know that, for me, "hitting bottom" in my drug use brought me to a door to a new and wonderful way of life. Sounds like you are there....if you chose to see the door and open it.

You are reaching out -- so that is the biggest hurdle, and you have already succeeded in jumping over it . Believe me; you did the hardest thing already by reaching out!

Now for the next step, if you don't mind a suggestion:

please get your self to a 12-step meeting: AA or NA would be most appropriate. You will find help/support/ love/understanding and freedom there. Once you put down the drugs (including alcohol if you use that, too), you will be mentally, emotionally and spiritually available to "deal" with the HIV issue.

I will keep you in prayer.

I have been diagnosed positive 12 years this August, and am in the BEST health of my life. Meds work; prayer works; affirmations work; massage works; acupunture works; support groups work; meditation works; medication works....

It all works, but the most important thing is the mental/emotional/spiritual healing. Once you are on that path, the physical healing comes on its own.

God(dess) bless and good luck.

JohnAnthony

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norvasc
Newbie

Reged: 08/12/08
Posts: 7
Re: Tested POZ on April Fools Day- Turn 30 in 3 days new
      #241324 - 08/12/08 11:00 PM

I turned thirty when I found out I was HIV pos. I am in the health profession and never thought I should change it. I am healthy. I did think of doing myself in but did not thank goodness for that. I am now 52, stopped smoking, do the odd bit of grass, and practice martial arts. It took me about four years to get out of my doom and gloom that was before all the treatments where available. You don't have to give up your job, why are you thinking that you should you can't give anybody HIV by massaging them. Your down feelings I do understand, and your right, doing crystal is not helping, and I do understand what it feels like doing crystal, I have done it twice and really loved it and that is why I don't do it.

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AZSouthBay
Newbie

Reged: 04/10/08
Posts: 8
Re: Tested POZ on April Fools Day- Turn 30 in 3 da new
      #241593 - 08/22/08 02:37 PM

I have been clean and sober for 2 months now, I see a therapist weekly and my NEG partner and I are going to get married and life could not be better for me right now. My health is in good standing, I'm only eating organic foods because what I save on meth is a WHOLE LOTTA MONEY!!! Just wanted to give you guys an update, and thanks for your support!!

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taurusthecat
Master

Reged: 11/02/06
Posts: 131
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Tested POZ on April Fools Day- Turn 30 in 3 da new
      #241596 - 08/22/08 03:38 PM

That is such good news! Well done.

--------------------
I'm like fake fruit...... I don't bruise that easy.

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