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Survivor
Legend

Reged: 10/30/05
Posts: 3256
Loc: Get off the fence and live again!
Why is it some choose dispair over Hope?
      #197209 - 06/23/06 12:14 AM

I have been reading some disastrous posts of late. I am trying to understand why people cannot find a happy ground. "Their happy place". Given HIV/AIDS is not happy. But what choices we make, what actions we take can affect our outcome, our outlook and eventual acceptance in living with HIV. We are born - we live - we die. Currently we are in the center - -. So what is it! Why so much hatred, so much bitterness from some? Jealousy, anger and fear.. I would like to here from others both long term survivors, newly infected, slow-progressors and even the WW's are welcome to post.

Please feel free to respond to other posts, but always revert back to the Subject matter and lets see where this goes...

I know we are all wired differently, we all have different beleif systems. We are in so many different stages of this disease. Can their ever be a common ground? Do we always have to walk in someone elseís shoes to truly understand? i.e. be admitted on deaths door? Or, can we learn from our experiences and make truly the best out of what life we have left? 25,000 days of avg life expectancy. I donít want to waste another moment..

Love

Eric "RatBoy"


ps Partisipate if you wish.. Please try not to be polished. I want to here what you TRULY feel.

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eleniel
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Reged: 05/27/06
Posts: 239
Loc: Utah, USA
Re: Why is it some choose dispair over Hope? new
      #197211 - 06/23/06 01:22 AM

"Humans are cowards in the face of true happiness"
fitting quote from a favorite, silly movie..

I think people choose despair because its safe..its easier.
Its difficult, I think, for people in general to find happiness when things look dark.
Its easy to just give up and say 'well thats that..its over now'. It takes guts and effort to say 'no, this is NOT the end..'
Its easy to admit defeat..its hard to be brave enough to look up and go on. Or at least thats how things seem to me...in this situation and in life in general.

'Living' with HIV is something new, and unfamiliar...people have learned that HIV= death..that is a familiar concept to them. It takes a huge amount of courage to face the unknown..and daring to LIVE with HIV??!!! Thats unknown...what will happen? how long will I live? Can I love? And then daring to find the answers...its easier to just accept a ignominous defeat and dissappear into nothingness..
And when you are depressed (seems to be common with initial diagnosis) the 'safe' (ie familiar) route is much easier to take than the venturing out way...
I'm having a hard time putting my thoughts into words exactly..
I hope this makes sense.

When I found out..I was depressed, and then I decided that I didnt want to miss out on my dreams..so I started living those dreams..and as I began to accomplish them, I started to feel like maybe it really WASN'T the end...and I discovered that I'd become happier than I'd ever been..because I was able to appreciate what I had, when I had it..and for what it was. No yesterday, no tomorrow..just NOW!
Now I try not to waste a moment of my life. I try to feel every emotion I encounter. I try to connect to the people I love, and the people I don't know. I don't rush through things in anticipation of something that may never happen..why miss that walk in the rain in the summer? whats more important than just being alive?

But people are taught to live for tomorrow, or live in yesterday. People spend all their life remembering the past and worrying about the future. They will slave away at a job they hate, saving money for something that'll never even happen...before they realize it, the kids are in college, they are old...and they can't live those dreams they put off for so long.
People are raised to be that way...to be otherwise is new, frightening...

so yeah...hope I made sense..



--------------------
6/29/2010: vl 68,000 cd4: 205

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DanielMark
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Reged: 06/06/04
Posts: 120
Loc: Ottawa Canada
Re: Why is it some choose dispair over Hope? new
      #197217 - 06/23/06 06:04 AM

Good question, Eric. Why choose despair? The ďwhyĒ is probably too complicated for me to answer.

My first thoughts are about the sense of powerlessness that HIV/AIDS can bring. Also maybe some people are depressive by nature, and haven't found an alternative mode of operating in life.

I find it heartbreaking to read some of the posts from people who seem to be worn out from living with HIV. Reading suicide notes makes me want to nearly puke.

Perhaps some day I will be put down there too. Until then, I still believe there is reason to hope. Iím not going to help this virus kill me off with negative thinking, so long as I have breath in my body and a sound mind.

Life by nature is filled with challenges, Poz or not. Healthy attitudes and healthy relationships are not easy to achieve, for anyone, Poz or not. It takes vigilance, attention, and effort. When Iím feeling low and lacking energy, I MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO PUSH BACK AGAINST THAT ENTROPY. I also pray. I try to be grateful for what I still have in life. I also donít isolate myself from the real world for too long, even when it feels unbearable.

This is life. This is my life ó no sense pretending otherwise. I refuse to use my health status as a reason to give in and give up.

Or maybe Iím just nuts. LOL

--------------------
Follow your honest heart

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AIDS2HIV
Legend

Reged: 12/19/05
Posts: 2200
Re: Why is it some choose dispair over Hope? new
      #197224 - 06/23/06 07:49 AM

" Can their ever be a common ground? " ...isnt our disease commen ground enough?

" Do we always have to walk in someone elseís shoes to truly understand? i.e. be admitted on deaths door? " .....Yes. We can sympathise with someone and say "oh, i understand", we can make ourselves THINK we understand, but until we've actually been there done that, we dont truely understand i.e...you meet someone in a wheelchair or thats blind or deaf,etc "oh i understand, i have a nasty disease myself, Im disabled too, blah blah blah".....but until you are actually have to be in a wheelchair, a life of silence, a life of darkness, you truely DONT understand what they deal with. Its easy to imagine things, well if i was in this position, I'd do this differently,etc"...but reality is until you get put into those position, no one really knows how they will react. Some react as they forecast, some dont.


" Or, can we learn from our experiences and make truly the best out of what life we have left? " Yes, anyone can do that if they want to.

The same way bitterness, jealousy, anger,etc can take away or blind you to the other realities that will catch you off-guard, so can living in a fantasy world of happy happy joy joy. Finding our own individual balance of all this, along with the other stuff that we have as humans, is key. The answer, the balance comes from "self".....how many people are gut-level honest about self and want to change self? Not many. How many are truely comfortable with self? Not Many

You have to have a balanced acceptance of life, what you deny in the past could be forced upon you to accept in today,or the future. what you deny today, could be forced upon your life to accept in the future. what you deny in the future, could be forced upon you to accept in one of your todays. We never know, and the fear of the unknown, bothers some people, to the point of dominating thier life of today.

There is difference within each of us. why do others have to be like joe blow, why not just be themselves and be happy with that? ...well no ones perfect, and we are all different.

find your balance, and live within it....thats the best anyone can do. Keep your eyes wide open to Big picture of reality.

hope this answers some of ya questions....Good Luck & God Bless*


--------------------
Thinking about meeting someone from this site? Read my profile before you do.

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Bear60
Legend

Reged: 12/21/05
Posts: 1390
Re: Why is it some choose dispair over Hope? new
      #197225 - 06/23/06 07:56 AM

Eric.....
If I understand the question......my observation is that what we see on these boards is not really a true representation of what people with HIV are doing with their lives. My best friend who has been really really really sick, does not have the time to spend on these boards and if he did he wouldnt be here on THEBODY. I am afraid that there are some people who need, thrive on, and rejoice in hate speech, fear mongering, bickering and whining. I am only referring to the fringe elements here, but the result is that every time we want to talk about a controversial subject the sharks who are swimming around the discussion jump on us. After a few experiences like that its understandable that some people would hesitate to speak out on controversial issues. ....or take a long break, like David. I think the most satisfying thing about being here is to see people like DJ and C2L finding their way to a happier life .........with HIV.
And with that said, I dont feel despair and I dont think they do. The majority of people here know that they can take charge of their lives and improve things.

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

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Why is it some choose dispair over Hope? new
      #197277 - 06/23/06 02:07 PM

I am a young gay male and I am angry about this. I am angry at God for making me this way. I have some very powerful sexual impulses that can put me at risk for HIV. I feel that if I were straight, I wouldn't have to worry about HIV as much.

I am also angry at much of society for being so closed minded. I get really sad when I read stories about gays being rejected by their families who claim to be "Christians".

There seems to be an obsession right now in America with religion and gays. Like being gay is the only sin there is. If God punishes me for being gay then he's wrong too. God made me this way but I do think that it was a cruel joke on his part.

It just seems that large sections of straight America think that they can sit as judge and juror of gays. Who the hell do they think they are. Some of them are having extra marital affair or get divorced which used to be considered an abomination. Somehow this never gets mentioned anymore. But hey it's still OK to beat up on gays.

Sometimes I wonder when gays in America will say enough is enough and start a huge protest or an economic boycott. If gays stopped travelling for six months, then the economy would feel the pinch. Straight America would finally have to wake up to the fact that beating up on gays is not good for the pocketbook.

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AIDS2HIV
Legend

Reged: 12/19/05
Posts: 2200
Re: Why is it some choose dispair over Hope? new
      #197281 - 06/23/06 03:35 PM

gay or straight, you arent no better than anyone else.....you are blaming the wrong person for the choices YOU made. God only gave you life, you are the one that has fucked it up. You got alot to learn about life. Good Luck & God Bless*

--------------------
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Choosing2Liv
Legend

Reged: 03/21/06
Posts: 581
Loc: South
Re: Why is it some choose dispair over Hope? new
      #197286 - 06/23/06 03:55 PM

[quote] Why so much hatred, so much bitterness from some? Jealousy, anger and fear... Please try not to be polished. I want to here what you TRULY feel. [/quote]

Thanks Eric, for raising such an important and though provoking issue.

-- FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO CUT TO THE CHASE, THERE IS A 4-POINT SUMMARY NEAR THE END. :) --

As a newly infected person (although it seems like itís been a year), I arrived here in despair. I felt alone and confused. I hated the situation I was in and was jealous of those on this site whose status did not adversely effect those around them. (I thought gay guys were so lucky not to have wives, children & in-laws to deal with). I was bitter towards God for allowing this to happen and angry at the person who infected me. In addition, I feared the life I was now forced to live and also feared what my legacy would be when I eventually died Ė Gary, the kindhearted, hard-working, God-fearing, family man who destroyed the lives of himself and his family because he stupidly "crossed the line" and unknowingly played with an infected man. To say I was in DEEP despair when I arrived here would be a definite understatement.

HOWEVER, I was a fortunate enough to meet several people who eventually formed an unofficial support team for me. There are a couple of people I turn to for Knowledge & clarity about the issues of the disease. Some help me with the emotional upheavals I sometimes go through, while others help me better understand & deal with what my wife is going through. There is one person whose brutal honesty & hard-hitting messages used to piss me off, but oddly enough I found myself constantly returning to him when I felt the need to have a pity party. (Heís still sometimes an SOB, but I KNOW he cares about me...LOL.) Actually, most of the people have double-duties, in that they also give me an outlet to vent, cry, laugh and then move on. Clearly, MY LIFE WOULD BE A LIVING HELL HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR SEVERAL PEOPLE ON THIS SITE.

Now back to the question. What's ironic is that the answer to the question is actually found in the question -- HOPE is a CHOICE! Although I came here with every one of the despair emotions listed, I CHOSE not to live a miserable life (with the help of my new online friends).

As some of you may know, the last 1 1/2 months have been a living soap opera. (I thought about writing a screenplay about it, but some of the stuff is almost too unbelievable for me to believe.) LOL! I've learned about living life with constant ups & downs. My new life has taught me that choosing hope over despair is not a one time event. Frankly, at one point, I had to come here for hope and encouragement on an hourly basis. Thank God it was here! I found it in the posts of those who have traveled the path I was on AND MADE IT!

So to sum up, these are the things I've recently discovered:

1) Most, if not all, of us are in despair at one time or another.

2) We have a CHOICE to live in despair or hope.

3) If we choose a life centered on hope, there are people and writings here that will provide knowledge, strength, and encouragement -- i.e., HOPE. And

4) Choosing hope over despair is a continual process.

Thanks again Eric for giving me a forum to ramble and for offering a built-in excuse for not giving a polished answer. :) Much love & appreciation to all of you, especially those who have put up with my long-winded, rambling private messages on an almost daily basis. The checks are in the mail. LOL!

-Gary


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Choosing2Liv
Legend

Reged: 03/21/06
Posts: 581
Loc: South
HEY!!! A2HIV!!! new
      #197289 - 06/23/06 03:59 PM

You are one blunt SOB....but I love you man. :)

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DanielMark
Expert

Reged: 06/06/04
Posts: 120
Loc: Ottawa Canada
Re: Why is it some choose dispair over Hope? new
      #197296 - 06/23/06 04:31 PM

"gay or straight, you arent no better than anyone else.....you are blaming the wrong person for the choices YOU made. God only gave you life, you are the one that has fucked it up. You got alot to learn about life. Good Luck & God Bless*"

You said it - in different words than I would have - but you said it!

I also agree wholeheartedly with Gary when he talks about taking responsibility for choices made.



--------------------
Follow your honest heart

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DanielMark
Expert

Reged: 06/06/04
Posts: 120
Loc: Ottawa Canada
Re: Why is it some choose dispair over Hope? new
      #197298 - 06/23/06 04:33 PM

Making the Choice for Joy

It might sound strange to say that joy is the result of our choices. We often imagine that some people are luckier than others and that their joy or sorrow depends on the circumstances of their lives - over which they have no control.

However, we do have a choice, not so much in regard to the circumstances of our lives, but in regard to the way we live our lives. Two people can be the victims of the same accident. For the one, it becomes the source of resentment; for the other, the source of gratitude. The outer circumstances are the same, but the choice of response is completely different.

Some people become bitter as they grow older. Others grow old joyfully. That does not mean that the life of those who become bitter was harder than the life of those who become joyful. It means that different choices were made, inner choices, choices of the heart.

It is important to become aware that, at every moment of our lives, we have the opportunity to choose joy. Life has many sides to it. There are always sorrowful and joyful sides to the reality we live. And so we always have a choice to live the moment as a cause for gratitude and joy.
It is in this choice that our true freedom lies, and that freedom is, in the final analysis, the freedom to love.

It might be a good idea to spend a moment at the end of each day and decide - whatever may have happened - to remember the day as a day to be grateful for. In so doing, we increase our hearts' capacity to choose for joy. And as our hearts become more joyful, we will become, without any special effort, a source of joy for others. Because just as sorrow begets sorrow, so joy begets joy.

(Henri Nouwen)

--------------------
Follow your honest heart

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Why is it some choose dispair over Hope? new
      #197301 - 06/23/06 04:38 PM

People don't choose to be gay, it's just the way it is. Obviously you're not gay because you don't relate.

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Bear60
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Reged: 12/21/05
Posts: 1390
Re: Why is it some choose dispair over Hope? new
      #197325 - 06/23/06 05:36 PM

Honey....This is for the gay guy who is angry at being gay.::::. go look at the Am I infected forum. If I read about putting a finger which MIGHT have a cut on it in a womans vagina or fingering a clitoris one more time I am going to throw up.LOL No, really, if you are afraid of HIV its not cause your gay. Being gay is a good thing and God loves you for who you are...so be the best damn gay person ever. Write a book , sing a song, design a fab outfit...do it.

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

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eleniel
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Reged: 05/27/06
Posts: 239
Loc: Utah, USA
Just my two cents... new
      #197377 - 06/23/06 10:47 PM

I'm not entirely certain about the point you are trying to make here.
Yes, being gay and horny puts you at risk for HIV. But being straight and horny, or bisexual and horny, puts you at the SAME risk. Yes, maybe its harder for a guy to catch it from a girl than from another guy..but it happens.
There are MANY straight people here who have had to worry about HIV...and in fact, have been infected with this virus just as bixesual people have, and homosexual as well.
What puts you at risk for HIV is NOT your sexual preference, but the way you act out on those desires. Condoms work, regardless of your orientation..
Yes, many gay people have been rejected by 'christian' families..but so have people with mixed racial marriages, people who chose a different carreer path than the family wanted, and women who became pregnant outside of marriage..so what? People are pricks. It sucks, but hating society because of it isnt going to change anything. Of course, since you are so up on whats going on in the world, I'm sure you've heard about the various changes in many churches to accept gay ministers/priests, and refusals to stop doing so..not all churches, but its happening. People are slowly becomin accustomed to new ways of thinking. It takes time to change society...do your part to help or don't complain.
In regards to God playing a cruel joke, I'll quote one of my very gay (and 58 year old) friends. "God doesn't give a shit where I stick my pecker". Do you really think an omnipotent being would care about something as insignificant as whether or not you like to do guys (or be done) in the ass? I don't.
Also, I'm hoping you've heard of the various gay liberation movements that took place in the past few decades? The stonewall riot perhaps? If not, I suggest you do some research. Yes there is still a long way to go to establish equal, non-discriminatory rights for homosexuals, but it has come a LONG way. Be grateful for what you have, and do your part to make things better, or don't bitch.

Being angry is fine. I understand that you are going through a lot right now..but I dont see how this answered the question or even really related to the original topic of this post.

Just my two cents..

--------------------
6/29/2010: vl 68,000 cd4: 205

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alivehoping
Legend

Reged: 04/05/06
Posts: 655
Re: Why is it some choose dispair over Hope?
      #197387 - 06/24/06 12:38 AM

well for me at first dispair was the only emotion that i felt or knew ,when i started comming on this site and talking with some of you others then i knew i wasnt alone,opening up has help a great deal,with the help from others here with more knowledge and the willingness to offer bits of info and other points of veiw,and finally realizing it will not change nothing about who i am as a person,its just another aspect of me.eric,when you messaged me with a private conversation i began to realize what i was doing that was more harm than good and communication has started between my wife and i,although not exactly where i would like to be with each passing day and more conversation it helps,and knowing my pissy mood is partly to blame,who wants to talk to a wall?so i have learned by using ideas and info from others,not so much walking in there shoes but walking the same path till i or we deceide which direction to go in ,sometimes the beaten path is the option that works for some,not all but some.and that beaten path is the same path im sure some of us know because the stories of others makes sence and we can relate to the same situations,.and i thank everyone here who has offered me some sensible thoughts or even critisizim when deserving,but most of all i have learned because of everyone elses knowledge and experience,so in the long run the beaten path is the way i will take, i feel we are all side by side and nobody is ahead or behind the rest of us.some others just have a map of the path,to help guide the others who have no idea where they are at or going.take care

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