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HIV Life >> Living With HIV

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Leonardo
Guru

Reged: 08/07/07
Posts: 233
Loc: New Jersey
Support Groups
      #236536 - 02/12/08 07:25 PM

Hi,

I'm sure some of you have experience attending support group meetings. Have you found them to be good experiences? I recently learned of a support group that meets weekly near my hometown. I spoke to the facilitator on the telephone this morning, and I am considering going to next week's meeting.

I feel like I am constantly trying to communicate with other HIV+ people online because I really don't know many poz people who live in this area. Anyway, I just wondered what your experience has been and if you could tell me what a typical meeting is like.

Thanks,
Leo


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whocanfigure
Guru

Reged: 09/01/07
Posts: 231
Re: Support Groups new
      #236543 - 02/13/08 01:11 AM

Leo..when I was first diagnosed last year I went to a hetero support group. There were 3 others there. They all had drug abuse histories. The woman there smoked so much her clothes reeked of cigarette smoke. By the end of the meeting I felt like the energy was being sucked out of me because I have a leader-type quality about me and am full of life and energy. Though everyone was very nice, and it did me some good to meet some other positive people....that particular group didn't meet any need I could think of. I guess this is a long way of saying...give it a try and see if it works for you.
Bernie

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picaropsv
Regular

Reged: 01/05/08
Posts: 49
Loc: Spain
Re: Support Groups new
      #236546 - 02/13/08 02:34 AM

Hey Leo and Bernie!

Leo, I'm with Bernie, give it a try if you can. I have no support group available where I live, have even been told that pozes in my community have had to "leave town" when they were "found out". I've thought about looking in a nearby city where I would be unknown (I'm pretty known because of my work in my town). I do know that about a hundred years ago, when living in a small, midwestern university town in the US, going to a "gay/lesbian" support group helped a lot with coming to terms with myself, not quite the same as coming to terms with being poz but there I met my first partner! If you do finally go, let us know what the experience was like, I'm sure we'll still be here for you if it were a drag or even if it were an enriching experience!

--------------------
peace,
picaro.

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dotman32
Regular

Reged: 12/16/07
Posts: 39
Loc: Boston, MA
Re: Support Groups new
      #236550 - 02/13/08 07:09 AM

Hey Leo,
I agree with both Bernie and Picaro. At least give it a try and see if it is a fit for you. As a social worker myself I'm a bit biased, and a big proponent of support groups. If this one isn't a fit for you, I'm sure there are others out there you could try which may be a bettter fit. That said, groups aren't for everyone, trust your instinct. I think it's great you're giving it a try.
I myself am going to a support group tonight specifically for mental health and medical providers. Seems there's a group for everyone. I'm really excited at the prospect of this group. Hopefully I'll have something good to report.
Good luck.
Stephen

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oldwoman
Guardian

Reged: 05/12/07
Posts: 435
Loc: Phila,Pa
Re: Support Groups new
      #236569 - 02/13/08 02:12 PM

Leo,give it a try,I've found that going to a group is much different from on line,I go to one through my Dr's office and really look forward to it,strange for me since I'm not usually the type to join groups.Not that I have any contact with any of the members outside of group but that's just the way I am.I had been going to another one that I liked a lot,tons of info on new treatment options and drugs along with the support but it was so far away I quit going,I still miss it though,maybe someday I'll go back.
Terry

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impoz
All Star

Reged: 10/12/07
Posts: 89
Loc: Vegas Baby
Re: Support Groups new
      #236597 - 02/14/08 02:54 PM

I wish I could find a support group for myself but I can't,I don't want to get into specifics cuz my experience might cause a bit of hostility so I try not to get into my hiv story in too much detail so I keep alot bottled up.

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Leonardo
Guru

Reged: 08/07/07
Posts: 233
Loc: New Jersey
Re: Support Groups new
      #236600 - 02/14/08 05:40 PM

Impoz,

Sorry that you feel you will be criticized if you discuss the specifics of your situation in an open forum. If you would like to talk, please feel free to contact me privately.

Leo


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impoz
All Star

Reged: 10/12/07
Posts: 89
Loc: Vegas Baby
Re: Support Groups new
      #236630 - 02/15/08 06:19 PM

Thanks Leo,

It's just that I don't want to be preachy and I don't want people to feel I'm judging them I'm not.I respect everyone No matter if they are gay or straight or bisexual.I just can't find a group that I feel comfortable talking too.LOL

I just feel my needs in terms of support are quite different. I've never been comfortable talking about my life to anyone not even my family,or even my wife ( and we've been together for over 20 yrs)I know I need some therapy but once again I'm so uncomfortable talking about myself.I guess I feel like a freak or a fluke.

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ScotCharles
Legend

Reged: 05/06/05
Posts: 924
Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Support Groups new
      #236756 - 02/19/08 06:52 PM

I have been in several support groups over the years of my infection. I stopped going to support groups in 1993 after I outlived everyone in my original group and just couldn't take any more grieving.

I gathered my courage and joined another support group for guys over 45 here in Los Angeles about two years ago and enjoy it. We are all sick with the infirmities of age and HIV, but we've live through hell and come into that sweet land by the river.

I love my group, and don't find it too hard when we lose a member, now and then.

ScotCharles

--------------------
Life is a river.
Carpe diem.

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