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Five Years Later..... Is Life Worth Living?
      #78421 - 11/19/03 07:57 AM

So I have been living with HIV for five years now. I'm on good meds, haven't had any negative reactions, and never been sick. I am grateful for this.

But I still haven't been the same since I got the diagnosis. By same I don't mean simply knowing that my life is forever changed. What I mean is, I just don't seem to ever find any joy in anything anymore. I work to stay busy, sometimes seven days a week. After work, the only thing I want to do is stay home and watch TV or listen to music. My friends get me out to clubs and gatherings from time to time, but I never seem to have much fun.

Attempts to date have been anti-climatic to say the least. The neg guys I have met don't seem to be able to deal with my status. The poz guys that I meet tend to have ten times more baggage than I do about it. Most aren't monogamous and only want to have bareback sex and orgies... and do a lot of drugs. Me? I have no desire to do drugs or even drink. It all seems POINTLESS to me.

I just don't see how I am ever going to be happy the way I was before my ex infected me. I find that while my health is AOK (practically every bit as good as before my infection thanks to my meds and healthy living) I just don't have the energy to embrace life. I'm only 35, I am too young to be bored with life, aren't I?

How do the rest of you find your happiness? It's been five years, and I still feel like I am just going through the motions of life, waiting to get sick and die (even when all of my physical signs point to the contrary).

I have no idea how or why I found this site or posted this tonight, but I am dying inside and I just felt I had to. Thank you to anyone who took the time to read it. Feedback is welcomed.

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Re: Five Years Later..... Is Life Worth Living? new
      #78424 - 11/19/03 08:44 AM

Sweetheart - yes, it is. This is from someone who is now 18+ years HIV+/AIDS and now 44 years old.

Life in any respect is what you choose it to be, but realize that part of the feelings you are going through are not just exclusive to the HIV+ group. I call it the "mid-30's slump". I know I am not the only one who went through it, as when I was much younger (18 or so), several of my friends in the pre-HIV/AIDS days went through the same thing. It is a period of reflection and refocus, as we're not 25 anymore. I also detect some bitterness, which no matter the source, is counterproductive to the goals you seek. You can only accept the things that are, as the "would'a/should'a/could'a's" will only stand in your way. Been there, done that.

I will admit that although things are not a bed of roses after 40, I also remember my friends "coming alive (or cumming alive)" after crossing the threshold. Damn they were a lot of fun, secure, kind and good for me as to look to the future.

I also used the time when I was in your age bracket to do everything that I could to be ready for when I passed out of the period of reflection. It has come in very useful, as at this age, I can still turn heads of even 20 something guys. It also has been priceless in the quality of life I enjoy now.

I thank my older friends when I was younger, and then when I was in the doledrums, for giving me the encouragement and role models for a future of living.

Do not rule out the possibility of a genuine depression, as some of the meds do take their toll on your emotional well-being and body chemistry. Discuss this with your doctor, as he may be of help with this also. Some MD's are so focused on the physical, that they do not fully account the mental impacts.

So just keep putting one foot in front of the other, stay involved and active, appreciate your friends for the help and support they are showing. The next thing you know, you will be running with the confidence that you felt before.

Just remember, there are those of us who do care, and that in NO WAY are you alone.

Hugs to you, as I think that a hug/affection is as much as you need as anything.

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Reged: 11/19/03
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Re: Five Years Later..... Is Life Worth Living? new
      #78441 - 11/19/03 06:51 PM

I went throught the very thing you are going through about a year ago. I spent all my time sitting around watching tv , didnt want to really do anythiing or go out. Life seems to suck when your feeling that way. I was always thinking " one day im just going to get sick and die ", but you know what , everyone is eventually. Hell , i could be hit by a bus tomorrow. But here it is a year later and a prescription of celexa ( recommended by my MD due to the side effects of my meds) and i am once again enjoying life. I have a wonderful partner that is hiv- and supports me in everyway. You sound like you need to just quit worring about the future and concentrate on life now , learn to enjoy the little things around ( i sometime stop and stare at a tree just because a certain thing or pattern catches my eye) i never would have thought twice about something like that a few years ago. So talk to your MD maybe there is side effects happening or maybe its just time to enjoy life and not worry about what may or may not come.
Feeling free to drop a post to me with a email and id be happy to talk.

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Re: Five Years Later..... Is Life Worth Living? new
      #78929 - 12/03/03 09:43 PM

I hear ya! And like the other posters say, you're not alone and it's not that uncommon to feel the way you do.

For a while, I felt like I was poisonous. Infected. Negative is good. Positive is bad. How does that make sense? I'm bad 'cause I'm infected. I'm dangerous. Spoiled meat. Why live? I'm going to die anyway. What is there to live for? If I make any plans, I'll probably get sick and not be able to finish them. Then what? How can I have a relationship now? I'm positive.

Sound familiar?

I've been positive for 5 years now as well, and for a while there, it was shocking how quickly guys out at a club would turn and walk away in the middle of a great conversation as soon as I told them I was positive. There would be a backdraft from the speed of their departure. Sometimes it's kind of useful though. Some guy who you're really not interested in is hitting on you. "I'm positive". bye bye! :)

Then I just wouldn't tell anybody. Why bother. That's changed. Day by day, I'm more comfortable with it. It makes me live a healthier life in a weird twisted way.

I'm still not in a relationship or dating, but you know what? Even through the pain of life - family deaths, disappointments, financial struggles - I'm happy. I realize that you only have one life and we're really lucky to still be able to live it. He have hope. We have drugs that let us manage this illness, or medical condition. We can even take drug holidays now, or so it seems, even though that is a little stressful too. We can live our moments to their fullest here on earth, each and every day in a way that others can only dream of. We understand our mortality and our briefness on the planet. You want to do something good, bring some joy to others? - you can.

It sounds like you don't want to be doing what you're doing now and thinking the way that you do. So do something different. Think something different.

Everyone has their own way of coping and goes through stuff...thoughts.

It's okay.

You say your ex infected you. You know what? Someone infected him. Someone infected them. Someone infected them too.

There may be other issues about your ex that I don't know, but in the end, it doesn't matter. Not really. You can't blame him forever. It's counter productive to living healthy. I was mad at the guy I was dating that infected me too. But you have to let it go. Breathe it out. Accept it. Move on.

You are who you are. You are positive. Who knows? Maybe you're positively sexy!

I find happiness in the time that I'm able to spend with my friends, in the stories I'm able to read, the movies I'm able to experience, in the beauty of nature as it reveals itself in all of it's moods, in the things that I CAN do.

You can too.

Hope that is a little bit helpful.

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Re: Five Years Later..... Is Life Worth Living? new
      #96947 - 04/29/04 12:48 AM

I totally know how you feel. I too have been poz for 4 yrs now. And it's a shock to swallow and digest. I felt exactly like you and a freind suggested Paxi . it totally changed my life, started firing the ceratonens again in the brain. Things that use to weigh so heavy on me, now just roll off like water. If you want to talk further, would love to respond to other questions you might have. I'm from virginia. write too

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Re: Five Years Later..... Is Life Worth Living? new
      #101484 - 07/15/04 05:19 AM

The first step is reaching out, which you have done by posting here. I found my happiness by throwing out all the garbage that made me unhappy -- went on disability (I worked as a surgeon, and hence, could no longer work) and went back to school for my PhD. Started to meet people who did not know me before. Now except for my family, I do not speak to anyone from my past life. This may not appear terribly healthy to some, but it worked for me. Now being poz is framed as an immutable characteristic for me, like eye colour. Since it is part of me, I am able to put it aside and do all the things I need and want to do.

I dont mean to suggest that you should do this, but just to say that you are not alone in feeling this way. Drastic measures are sometimes necessary in life to shake up complacency.


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Reged: 02/17/06
Posts: 95
Loc: Gilbert (Phoenix) Arizona
Re: Five Years Later..... Is Life Worth Living? new
      #175971 - 02/20/06 12:54 AM

It sure is. Just accept that things are not the same anymore. That doesn't mean they cannot be good. And you can make it so. Go for it. You will be glad you did.



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