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Author Topic: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar  (Read 3752 times)

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Offline thunter34

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  • Posts: 7,314
  • His name is Carl.
The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« on: March 19, 2007, 12:08:22 PM »
OK.  Cue the violins and stuff.  Here's my little poor me rant.  LOL.  Nah, it's not all that- but I do feel like sharing cuz I want to hear from other folks to gauge my crazy.

I have become such a hermit in the past year.  I tell ya, it's going to be a change for me to be going out places when people are in town.  I know that it really is early for me to be so reclusive, but it just kinda happened.  I was sick for such a long time during diagnosis and into the meds adjustment.  That was followed by the whole "I'm tainted meat" mental thing.  That was, of course, joined by a financial depletion.  By the end of all that, I had just fallen out of practice with "how" to go out, if that makes sense.  The last time I went out to a club, I found myself firmly up against the wall.  I used to be such a social butterfly, but the only thing butterfly about me then was the feeling I had of the fluttering in my stomach.  I'm fine when I get around people (after some initial shyness/nervousness), but once I am home?  Well, it can take a lot to get me to venture out the door for anything very social.  This is not me.  Well, not the me I had become.  It is very much the me that I was when I was a kid/teenager.  I shook out of this sort of thing in my college years, but have somehow started falling back into it.  The difference this time is that it was sparked by the HIV.  Did I mention I'm diagnosed with depression?  I know-  SHOCK !  Ya never hear that one around here, eh?

While I'm not so much into the "tainted meat" thing as I used to be, I have to say that I feel markedly less "pretty" than I used to.  The fact that my weight can fluctuate up or down quickly (currently downward, thank you) and that The Dreaded D can show up faster than the hat can drop, or that rashes come and go....bah!  I'm just body conscious now in a way that I wasn't before.  I used to work to look attractive.  Now it feels like my energy is spent trying to fight unattractive that keeps wanting to creep in.  I'm on the defense more than the offense, if that makes sense.  It's the same on the personal/financial side, too.  I'm not "upwardly mobile"...I'm fighting the sink into the quick sand.

I'm really not typing all this out to get any sort of "hang in there" thing from anyone.  I'm just wondering how many others are or have been going through this type of thing and if so, how did you shake out of it?  I want my wings back, dammit.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline ACinKC

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  • Bring it VIRUS! #2 Ranked In-crowd Member!
Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2007, 12:14:51 PM »
Fake it till you make it.

Get out.  Just have to suck it up and start doing what needs to be done.  I still fight this alot, but I find the more I get out and actually make an effort to look good the more it starts to snowball and I do it more often.  Key is, you just have to start somewhere and jump in with both feet.  Game nights at the house, movie nights, sports and that kind of thing dont have to cost alot of money to do either!  You dont have to "club it" to have fun. 

So don't just hang in there.... GET IN THE GAME!
« Last Edit: March 19, 2007, 12:16:37 PM by ACinKC »
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline Ihavehope

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  • Posts: 1,366
  • Yes, I'm a cry baby, AND WHAT?
Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2007, 12:15:11 PM »
Well Thunder

You have to remember that you only live once. Your youth and looks being HIV positive or not will not last long. Unfortunately, meds can increase the rate that your looks will fade away, especially if you are depressed and don't exercise much and you are not active. The way I go about it is, I have few years to exploit my youth and I have the  "choice" to stay at home and be sad or "try" to continue living my life. Don't let life slip you by, do what you wanna do and worry when you need to worry.

Al
Infected: April 2005
12/6/06 - Diagnosed HIV positive
12/19/06 - CD4 = 240  22% VL = 26,300
1/4/07 - CD4 = 200 16% VL = ?
2/9/07 = Started Kaletra/Truvada
3/13/07 = CD4 = 386 22% VL ?

Offline puertorico2006

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Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2007, 12:22:01 PM »
The thing i notice when i get depressed is that i dont want to do anything, i mope around for days, i dont eat (or eat too much), and then guess what you feel/look like crap. Depression is a hard thing to beat but i think if you dont allow yourself to sit around and thing so much it actually helps beat the blues. In other words go to a movie, go to the beach, go to the gym, go dancing. Going clubbing all the time in itself can get depressing so try doing other things and then youll feel better and the normal you will just start to come out (the butterfly)....

I just think if you sit around the house being depressed you just let yourself give in to that depression and its a downward spiral

(trust me i know i take my antidepressants also lol)
Infected Probably: may 2005
Diagnosed: 11/2006

11/28/2006 CD4:309 / VL: 1907 No meds yet
12/27/2006 CD4:339/  VL:1649 No meds yet
  4/28/2007 CD4:550/  VL:1800 No meds :-)

Offline thunter34

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  • His name is Carl.
Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2007, 12:24:29 PM »
Wellbutrin man here.  You?


But seriously...you guys are right.  Depression makes you wanna sit and hide.  Which makes you more depressed.  Oh, the viscious cycle.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2007, 02:13:16 PM by thunter34 »
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline puertorico2006

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Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2007, 12:31:21 PM »
wellbutrin also...i refuse to take anything that makes me fat and limp (which is what happened when i took paxil and prozac lol)

At least being bipolar has its advantages because my deep dark depressions are usually followed by "life is great i can take over the world" which is good (until a certain point because if i get to high i end up with anxiety problems lol)

but i love my wellbutrin (which i forgot to take yesterday so im going to get a diet coke and pop the pill lol).....

im forgetful  :'( (not a very good thing lol)
Infected Probably: may 2005
Diagnosed: 11/2006

11/28/2006 CD4:309 / VL: 1907 No meds yet
12/27/2006 CD4:339/  VL:1649 No meds yet
  4/28/2007 CD4:550/  VL:1800 No meds :-)

Offline puertorico2006

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  • Posts: 957
Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2007, 12:33:45 PM »
so go see a movie today with friends im sure theres plenty to do on a monday over there anyways (unlike here  :'()
Infected Probably: may 2005
Diagnosed: 11/2006

11/28/2006 CD4:309 / VL: 1907 No meds yet
12/27/2006 CD4:339/  VL:1649 No meds yet
  4/28/2007 CD4:550/  VL:1800 No meds :-)

Offline ACinKC

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  • Bring it VIRUS! #2 Ranked In-crowd Member!
Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2007, 12:34:17 PM »
Prozac baby here!  Or FLUXOTINE, since that is the generic i guess.
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline David_CA

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,246
  • Joined: March 2006
Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2007, 12:43:18 PM »
Hey there,

I would never expect YOU to suffer from depression or anxiety based on your online participation.  I also suffered a bit of depression post diagnosis last spring.  Prozac snapped me right out of it.  I felt better than I did years ago when I was pre-HIV-D (pre-HIV David).  The time I got sick and was hospitalized was a turning point for me.  I quit the Prozac 'cause I felt it was screwing with me (who knows; I was sick as hell).  As soon as I got out of the hospital and recovered a bit, I started getting busy... with ANYTHING.  I go to work at 7:30 (when I'm not late) and get home around 5:20.  By 5:45, I'm busy working on some project, generally my bus, for hours.  I know this won't help a true clinically diagnosed depression, but it helped me.  Oh, and the Adderall helps a lot.  I generally don't allow myself to sit down when I get home, or I won't likely want to get back up and get busy.  Being physically busy with these projects keeps my mind occupied too.  I give myself very little time for depression or feeling down.  If I do feel that way, I force myself to do something.  I know this all depends on what one's health allows, but there is almost always SOMETHING we can do to to occupy ourselves.

Another thing that made me feel less 'ruined' was going to the AMG in Montreal and being around a lot of other POZ® folks.  I certainly felt right at home with that group; what an odd assortment we were!  Look at the Atlanta get-together as a chance to feel at home with yourself and others.  As to your weight, from what you've told me, most of that problem seems to be in your head!  ;)  I'm as tall, but weigh a bit (ok, a good bit) more, but screw it, others still seem to think I'm anything but heavy / fat.  Between Easter, the Atlanta get-together, and hopefully an AMG, you'll find peace with yourself... and a piece with another person, too,!   ;D  Take care.

D
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline puertorico2006

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  • Posts: 957
Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2007, 12:50:00 PM »
i will tell you that the weight issue is just in a lot of peoples heads..... blame society i guess

i always complain about my weight and physique also and people tell me im crazy (probably am but who isnt these days)....you look fine :-P

i think David_NC needs to send me some of his adderal because i went downstairs for a diet coke/wellbutrin and got the diet coke but forgot the pill lol .... i dont know how i pass my classes with good grades honestly
Infected Probably: may 2005
Diagnosed: 11/2006

11/28/2006 CD4:309 / VL: 1907 No meds yet
12/27/2006 CD4:339/  VL:1649 No meds yet
  4/28/2007 CD4:550/  VL:1800 No meds :-)

Offline David_CA

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  • Posts: 3,246
  • Joined: March 2006
Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2007, 01:05:41 PM »

i think David_NC needs to send me some of his adderal because i went downstairs for a diet coke/wellbutrin and got the diet coke but forgot the pill lol .... i dont know how i pass my classes with good grades honestly

Hmmm...a trade for a accommodations in Puerto Rico for a week....   ;)
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline budndallastx

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  • Posts: 463
Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2007, 01:07:03 PM »
Tim -

I have only been on this forum for  three months and based on what you've posted I can tell you're a funny, intelligent, and great guy.  You have the knack of understanding people and have given out some great advice.  I think it's time for you to start listening to yourself and get out there and live a bit.  If people are going to judge you based on appearance or financial status then those bastards don't have the right to have you as a friend.  At the local gathering, I think you're going to be the center of attention.  You're one of those people on here I would definitely like to meet some day.  For somebody out there, you're going to be a great catch.

Big hug from me ..

Tom
Meds since: 11/20/2006
Sustiva / Truvada
12/08/2008 VL:<48 CD4 622 (38%)   
9/8/2008 VL:<48 CD4 573 (30%)
5/2008 VL:<48 CD4 464 (30%)
1/2008  VL: <50  CD4 425(28%)
9/2007   VL: <50  CD4 465 (27%)
6/2007   VL: <50   CD4 443 (26%)
3/2007  VL: <50   CD4 385 (25%)
12/2006 - VL: <50   CD4: 384 (25%)
11/2006 - VL:  22K  CD4: 208 (18%)

Offline puertorico2006

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  • Posts: 957
Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2007, 01:08:04 PM »
deal...if you dont mind staying with my mom also lol (but shes cool ;D)
Infected Probably: may 2005
Diagnosed: 11/2006

11/28/2006 CD4:309 / VL: 1907 No meds yet
12/27/2006 CD4:339/  VL:1649 No meds yet
  4/28/2007 CD4:550/  VL:1800 No meds :-)

Offline Val

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  • Posts: 938
  • Praxitèles -- Satyre au repos
Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2007, 02:14:48 PM »
Tim,
I am what some people here call  an oldbie.  I was diagnosed as having HIV, called on by the doctor to go to the clinic and get my things in order and such, 21 years ago.  I have reasons to believe I was infected two years earlier.
Anyway, when I got the bad news my world and hopes crumbled to dust.  I went into a very depressive mode for about two whole years,  which I define as the worst years of my existence, and became a new person:  an angry, bitter one that is.

I had heard about therapies for people with HIV at that time, but knowing myself only too well I knew I had the power, the strength and attitude to overcome that sedative state in which I had fallen in.  I was convinced that I had the capacity, without any kind of medicine and therapy, to break free from it all and start living again!  And I did.  I did succeed by being stubborn with myself, by going out and meeting people and by the practice of sports.

However, there is something else  that really played a major role in this recovering process I went through:  "Art",  "beauty",  "books" and the like.  Before my HIV diagnosis, I have always been passionate about classical music.  Ballet was also something that I adored to a great extent.   And painting was my favourite art.  In fact, I had already travelled throughout Europe visiting several collections, buying books and reading articles about my especially liked  "tableaux".

Sometimes I would go to a certain museum and spend hours visiting the paintings I had a predilection to.  I would read an article about the painter first, get acquainted with his life, his oeuvres and so on.  Usually, I would find out something very positive about these painters in general.  And most of the time I would also be surprised by the hardships they had encountered throughtout their lives.  

Finally, I came to realize that there was no easy way for any of these  artist to survive and beat the adversities most of them would face throughout their lives.  However, they  would still go on painting and sending their message not only to people who were living during their own times;  people that were perhaps suffering all the same just like they did.  In that their message would outlive their sorrows and afflictions and would send out that same glorious message,  for centuries to come, to other poor human beings plagued, tormented and debilitated by the same kinds of miseries.

It  also dawned on me  that these artists who were not even celebrated during their times,  could have just given up their passions, hopes and art.   They could have behaved exactly the same way I was responding to my illness:  they could have ostracised themselves  from the world and feel the same way I was commiserating with myself and with my ilness!  Very soon I realized that locking oneself up and away from the rest of the human race was not the solution whether I liked it or not.  And I slowly made up my mind that things would somehow change if only I gave myself a little chance...

Needless to say,  I could give you a list of all the artists that touched me deeply and convincingly through their works, and made a difference in my world.   But, that would be perhaps a little annoying!   Anyway, the two most important were  "Aleijadinho"  and "Frida Khalo" among at least a hundred European artists.

After this initial difficult period, I sailed through my younger years living with HIV on very calm, waveless seas.  Until two years ago when I was convinced that my time had come!  I went to see my doctor and he announced me the horrible news: my t-cells had dropped to a very low level  --- the lowest ever.  Again, the same kind of desperation, despondency and feelings of utter hopelessness settled in.  Again, the same repulsive thoughts of abandon and ill-conceived ways to deal with my destiny and illness cluttered on my head.  And believe it or not, I went into another horrible depression that lasted only some months, but took a great deal of energy from my already weakened body and soul.

Suddenly, I became aware of all the symptons that showed to the entire  world that I had HIV.  Suddenly, I felt the urge again to hide from people (and from myself) and go into another kind of healing process that would take me, who knows, some years for sure;   and a lot of stamina, patience to deal with all these feelings that somehow we have to inveigh/clamor  against.

This time, though, I decided to take the bull by the horns and really dealt with things as they should have been dealt.  I became bold, fearless and stout-hearted.  In a hurry, I started reading all the phylosophy books that I had read during my youth.  For some reasons, I wanted to be remembered by the ancients how to deal with my destiny, my life, my worries and sorrows.  In addition, I have always  thought that in no other time in human history had men been so close to the truth about it all as in the Greece of Plato, Aristotle, Empedocles, etc.

To make a long story short,  as soon as I began studying Philosophy again, I would go to bed feeling much better and restful.  My interpersonnal communication  abilities improved greatly and I did not feel ashamed of anything -- especially of myself.  I had, in other words, a certain assurance that it was okay to be who I was,  and that I had owned the right to be scared and hopeless.  However, I should in no way dwell on these feelings!

I started  to go out again and  built myself a new cocoon.  I also  decided that I was going to be happy regardless of all the sordid thoughts my mind would try to bring back to the surface of my soul.  These were, I was convinced, the perfidious and faulty thoughts that religion, people and human civilization had brought about throughout the ages of time to downplay the true meaning of being what and how you are.  To have a right in  being sick and deal with your disease as best as you can and, most importantly, without the accusing feeling that you got something because of your  turpid actions.  

Moreover, I had (and still have) a hard time emptying my head of all the turpitude and degenerated feelings society, religion and people inculcated in my head when I was a child.  It is still in there and I am resolutedly convinced that I will never get rid of it completely, but it is less palpable and less dominant as it used to be in the past.

Sorry for the long post, but I am just hoping that my own experiences will help you to liberate yourself and go out and start living regardless of ..."what people may say".

Peace to you, my friend!

Val
___
___

Edited to try...wherever!  Too many typos and errors!
 
« Last Edit: March 19, 2007, 02:25:25 PM by Val »
Arthus Bertrand
http://www.yannarthusbertrand.com/yann2/affichage.php?reference=TVDC%20YABFR084&pais=France
Ali Mahdavi
http://asyoudesireme.online.fr/index.htm
Richard de Chazal
http://www.richarddechazal.com/
Daniel Nassoy
http://www.danielnassoy.com/pages/galeries_portraits_2.html
Photography:
The word comes from the Greek words φως phos ("light"), and γραφίς graphis ("stylus", "paintbrush") or γραφή graphê, together meaning "drawing with light" or "representation by means of lines".

Offline Bucko

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  • You need a shine, missy!
    • The Spin Cycle
Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2007, 02:15:38 PM »
Tim-

I read your post and it felt so damn familiar.

Financial ruin? Check!
Isolation? Check!
Unhealthy body image? Check!
Irrational fear? Check!
Ambivalence about sex? Check!
Feelings of disconnect in a bar? Double check!
Feeling bleak about the future? Oh yeah, that's a big check!

Last August/September I noticed that I was slipping into patterns of neglect, if not precisely self-abuse. I stopped working out, stopped hooking up, lost any sense of optimism for the future and eventually fell into a black hole. I won't say that I wasn't aware of what was happening, it's just that any effort to reverse the course seemed so ultimately futile.

I stopped writing, stopped socializing and eventually even avoided Matty, whom I love more than anyone, on IM. I felt as if I'd turned on the gas and taken a bottle of Secanols, laying in bed waiting to die. Everything except work was too great a challenge, and if I'd found a way, I'd have avoided that as well.

It wasn't until December that I finally got a hint of anything approaching my groove back, and that was an echo of a snippet of a very old song. The first person to whom I reached out was, of course, Matty. As we have a simple system of full support and unconditional love, little was required by way of explanation. I eventually found my way back to writing (and publishing on the Spin Cycle) before coming back here and regaining another layer in my armor of self-esteem.

As to antidepressants, I've tried so many. I'm glad you're satisfied with Wellbutrin. I personally found it did little.

I guess these things run in great sweeping arcs and cycles. The next logical step is getting back to the gym. I made an attempt in early January, not a new year's resolution so much as hating to see hard-earned money flushed in a membership that I never use. I wish I could say that I love the burn that working out makes you feel, but I don't. I'm in it strictly for the vanity and my abs, while perfectly fine, aren't quite as ripped as they were a year ago and I dislike that tiny bump over my belt. Besides, I wanna be breathtaking for Atlanta, don't I?  ;)

I remember a series of conversations I had with Matty just about a year ago when I was taking pictures to post on Mancunt. Anything from the waist down looked splendid, but I just couldn't get a face pic that wasn't drawn and tired looking. I couldn't understand it, because the guys I was meeting all complimented me on how I looked. And I could tell by the reactions I'd get at work or out on the street that no one but I seemed to see the same haggard face I saw in the mirror, unless haggard is the new pretty.

One day I caught a glimpse of myself just going about my business with none of the critical self-examination I generally had in the mirror. I was so elated that I rushed home to tell Matty that my face was back. It didn't look thin or drawn or tired or sad at all. The hollows at the top of my cheeks and the lines drawn next to my mouth had vanished as if by magic. I didn't understand it, but felt uncharacteristically giddy.

Being the no-punches-held guy he is, Matty doubted that I'd been kissed by the face fairy. His observations were much more elusive than that. he told me that I saw in the mirror the face I chose to see. If I saw a bedraggled old fool it's because that's how I perceived myself, not as others did. I (re)learned the power one can have over one's appearance (and self-image), a very old lesson that needs an occasional booster. I was lucky to have Matty to reiterate it so truthfully and with so much love

So I sit here now, still not having showered (despite having been up for three hours), still working on a story I should have published weeks ago and giving myself all kinds of excuses to avoid the gym. But I think I'll get up, get ready and just do it. As Gloria Swanson once observed, life is 90% just showing up.

Brent
(Who has committed Swanson On Swanson nearly to memory)

Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline thunter34

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Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2007, 02:40:19 PM »
Some beautiful posts, everyone!  Thank you for taking the time and energy to contribute.  There is a lot to read and digest above.  Suffice it for now to say that, just as many say my original post resonates with them, I see myself in much of what you all have written in response.

Like Bucko said, there's no way that I can genuinely say that I haven't been aware of it happening (for a long while before this thread).  I've just let myself swirl in an emotional eddy, letting even small and simple things like swallowing meds feel like an "ugly".  It's been much more than a question of vanity.

Struggling from the bottom rather than rising to the top.

Loss of opportunities and the humbling of ambitions.

Waste size more than waist size.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline curmudgeonly

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Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2007, 02:47:18 PM »
tim,

At least you have good looks to be concerned about!  I have always been an ugly duckling.  There was a period in the early 80s when I was more together and not as self-conscious and had a decent body so what did I do?  Contract HIV! 

I have been isolating since adolescence and am content with the status quo.  My closest friends are still here and when we socialize it's at someone's house or to go out to dinner or see a movie.  I haven't been to a gay bar in at least 5 years and don't miss them at all.  All those drunks and 2nd hand smoke irritate me.

I've been celibate for 6 years and even though an occasional yearning occurs I handle it myself, so to speak.  I've thought about paying for sex but I'm too uptight and would emotionally self-flagellate for weeks if I did.  Besides which, I'm too poor and cheap.  If I have extra money it buys DVDs or something truly worthwhile.

Good luck with overcoming your undesired isolation -- you can get out of it!   I'm sure you'll be the belle of the ball at the spring gathering, and you can always have a pot-luck at your home one of the nights!  I'll bring chinese.
Life is full of pain, I'm cruisin' through my brain
And I fill my nose with snow and go Rimbaud,
Go Rimbaud, go Rimbaud,
And go Johnny go, and do the watusi, oh do the watusi

Offline Dachshund

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Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2007, 02:51:38 PM »
Timbie,

No advice here just solidarity. Hermits of Aidsmeds unite! Your story mimics mine in so many ways, it is a struggle, but a fight worth fighting.

Let's make a pact...if I can summon the courage to come to Atlanta you have got to promise to come out and play.

Love,
Hal

Offline Strayboy74

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Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2007, 03:38:44 PM »
I want my wings back, dammit.

Redbull gives you wings.

just a thought.

-joseph

Offline Ant

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Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2007, 03:41:10 PM »
Cor blimey, this thread rings true to me!

I was diagnosed when I was 23, a spring chicken, just graduated and everything going well until the shit hit the fan so to speak. Well that was about 13 years ago and was obviously difficult. Since then I had clawed my way to where I was 3 months ago, working, good career, fit, house etc when I was suddenly slapped in the face by some kind of crisis which relates to what people have posted here.

Fortunately I feel like I am at the end of that now and I have had to make some changes which might help you;

1. Get in touch with your creative side, I was working so hard at my job I forgot who I was
 
2. Get some kind of adjustment in work life balance, I was working so hard I ended up with chronic fatigue

3. Get back to socialising slowly and gradually, I rarely drink now and have found that isolating when most of my mates are piss heads, but it don't stop me doing lunch and a lightweight evening

4. Disclose my status to more people esp work colleagues, I had found that frequent questions about my health and my intricate lies had caused more stress than disclosing

5. Join this forum

6. Start to exercise again

7. Started to smile again :)

8. Rediscovered me

9. Walked up a mountain

10. Still bloody single though but hey 9 out of 10 ain't bad!

Seems to be working for me just had to have someone tell me to do it.
'Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.' Soren Kierkegaard

Offline allopathicholistic

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"Pretty"
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2007, 04:15:07 PM »
First let me say you, Tim, can never be a caterpillar

Second, I have an idea. Why not start some sort of PM tree or PM buddy system, where if you do one or two or more things that day that counter depression, aid in looking good, etc., etc. then you PM those in your buddy system. And when your buddies do not get PM's stating what you did, we will "get on your case" like ahem, ahem, cough, cough, WHY DID YOU NOT PM ME sort of thing

I don't know, but all I know is that I'm sending you positive energy! Cool signature by the way!  :D

Offline thunter34

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Re: "Pretty"
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2007, 04:24:54 PM »
I don't know, but all I know is that I'm sending you positive energy! Cool signature by the way!  :D

Thank you for the POSITIVE energy!  And HAPPY you like my signature line.  Something about it hit me in the BEST way!
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline koi1

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Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2007, 10:13:49 PM »
Sometimes what we perceive is much more real than reality. I sometimes feel very unattractive because i worry that the hiv is beginning to show. It is a very real fear which makes me feel like less. I don't know how to rid myself of it yet, but am counting on it being temporary. This disease is everything, psychological, physical...What I try not to do is stay home too much. I go see my family and that cheers me up. I don't think I am ready for the social world yet. I will ease into it slowly, like that first dip in the cold waters of spring. I see your points completely, but would urge not to become a hermit.

rob
diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline ndrew

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Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2007, 03:06:35 AM »
You are all so sweet and caring that I am smiling inside and out.  It's refreshing to see such goodness in people.  I am gonna go to sleep with a smile!  I wish you the best Tim!

 ;D
Luv and support,
Drew

Offline Buckmark

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Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2007, 06:51:25 PM »
Tim,

I'd say you are far from crazy.  But from what you describe, I am not surprised that you are diagnosed with depression.  What you describe sounds like an intense spiral -- illness, financial drain, unhealthy self-image, isolation, depression -- that can be hard to break.  I have been exceptionally fortunate to have few health repercussions due to being HIV+ (a few cases of shingles).  My experience can't quite compare to yours and the many others here in that respect, so my thoughts may not entirely hit home with you.  But I can certainly relate to the depression and isolation.  I'm a Wellbutrin man myself.

You know that I think you are a sweet and thoughtful man, as many others here do too.  However, if you're like me, having people say nice things about you sometimes makes you feel even more depressed.  It just makes me think that I really must have problems if I still feel badly when people say good things about me.  The only thing that helped me was getting frustrated and angry enough with my situation that I finally had to reach out to others.  And not always in the most pleasant or coherent ways:  face first falls, public breakdowns.  Oh my.  But there are lots of folks to reach out to.  Friends.  Therapists.  Family. These forums.  You will find people who will reach in and lend you a hand.  Ultimately, of course, you have to right your own ship -- but helping hand can be the boost you need.

Here are a few things that have helped me lately:  Simplify your life as much as possible (many of the complications in my life are imagined, not real).  Reduce stress and anxiety (e.g. exercise, eating healthier, accupuncture, massage).  Better work/life balance, to give you time for both the things you need to do, and things you want to do (I still have a long way to go on this one, personally).  Start by making even small changes in your everyday routine (a different route to work, a different day for grocery shopping, a different meal).

You are not "tainted meat".  There are lots of people who will love you for who you are.  Accept the love.

Hugs,

Henry
"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things:
     One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell.
     The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."
- Butch Hancock, Musician, The Flatlanders

Offline Lisa

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Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2007, 05:49:45 PM »
I feel ya on that sweetpea. Welcome to my world. The main difference being that I am m u c h  older than you so I can get away with being cantankerous too. You can be Felix, and I get to be Oscar. ;)`
Stick it out a little longer, just in case you have some seasonal affective shit going on for yourself. Another couple of weeks, and it will be warmer, and there will be more people out etc.... Maybe that will help shake your current self image issues.
Word from the old fat broad. ;)  :D
No Fear  No Shame  No Stigma
Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have.

Offline thunter34

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Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2007, 06:01:03 PM »
Hey, old fat broad!   ;D


Yup.  I have no doubt that the seasonal thing is a big factor.  I almost always perk up big time when spring gets in full swing....and tend to get kinda bummed just after Halloween.  I'm usually at my best around May. 

Stay tuned.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline David_CA

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Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2007, 06:13:20 PM »
.... Maybe that will help shake your current self image issues...

I know he's gonna cheer up soon.  I know it for a fact!   ;)

D
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline thunter34

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Re: The Butterfly Who Cocooned and Became A Caterpillar
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2007, 06:16:13 PM »
I know he's gonna cheer up soon.  I know it for a fact!   ;)

D


 :o
AIDS isn't for sissies.

 


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