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Now I Have to Keep Living

By Alive2

May 31, 2012

I came out of the hospital after finding out how Sustiva could affect a person mentally, and once all the medications were corrected I started to feel better. I was so glad to be back home with my wife and children; being away was trying to me mentally. Not to mention the hospital food isn't fine dining.

During my hospital stay, I found a different doctor to see, since I wasn't comfortable where I was first directed to go. The new doctor was open to hearing ALL my concerns and thoughts, unlike the first doctor. I think the doctor had suspicion about anyone asking for pain medications, and he was very apprehensive about narcotics. I had a bad problem with my joints and I hurt all over, which he told me was partly because of the depression.

Not shying away from what I was telling him, he asked me if I truly needed the painkillers. Being I'm not one to be coy and beat around the bush, I insisted it was something I felt I needed, and when I proceeded to tell him I bought them to help ease my pain from working construction and it didn't matter if he prescribed them for me or not, I would still get them, he sent me for some nerve tests, x-rays, MRI, and any and every test known to mankind. He knew I wasn't just looking for painkillers for fun, that I indeed did have a lot of issues I hadn't tended to because of lack of medical insurance. He relented and prescribed me what I had already told him was in my blood, along with marijuana. I think it's the fact that I didn't try to con him; everywhere I had pain and was tested for was in fact the truth and I did need them.

After I started and became a bit used to the pills, I tried to return to construction and get back on track with life. That didn't last too long; my stamina just wasn't there, nor was the balance which is vital when climbing ladders and walking steel.

After realizing I can't do what I had done all my life (work every day), I fell into a deep depression. It was so bad my attitude went south. I tried to convince my wife she would be better off without me, and about a week after that I tried to end my suffering. Thank god I failed there. For me the place in my mind I was at was dark and lonely, I could find no happiness, joy, or reason to keep trying to live. I was a wreck, didn't know where I was going in life. So, to a head doc I went. Good thing, he prescribed me some antidepressants, and after about a week they were in me good enough that I started to understand I was being selfish, and inconsiderate to my wife and kids. I kept seeing this doc for about 3 months or so, and I felt good about myself and my life. That was when I knew, now I have to keep on living, if not for me, for my family.

I guess being so focused on just HIV/AIDS held my mind captive. And until I fully understood what the whole process does to a person and know how to break that way of dwelling on just that one aspect of my life, I wouldn't break the depression. But I did break it eventually.

Once I freed myself of the guilt of feeling like I was worthless and not worthy of continuing on in life, I started to feel great again. Sure, not great like no problems, but great in the sense I was in a way better frame of mind. A frame of mind where it was OK to laugh, joke around with people and just enjoy whatever happens, good or not so good. Then I knew, there was something I needed to do with the things I was learning, both from reading and from my doctor.

That's when I first came here to, and ...

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See Also
10 Things You Can Do to Enhance Your Emotional Well-Being
Depression and HIV
Feeling Good Again: Mental Healthcare Works!
More Personal Viewpoints on Coping With HIV


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The Knowledge I Didn't Want



I'm a 44-year-old married male. I have a wife and four children; all but myself are HIV negative. Learning an alarming amount about medical issues and how to deal with them. How I'm trudging along is slow, but forever onward. Sometimes still, but not yet so forever. Learning about growing with HIV, both mentally and physically.

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