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Author Topic: Social Anxiety, stress, depression and HIV. How do yall do it?  (Read 427 times)

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Offline Shayne504

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  • Posts: 30
Social Anxiety, stress, depression and HIV. How do yall do it?
« on: January 04, 2015, 07:25:17 PM »
Warning this is going to be a long one, so grab something to drink and put your feet up. Hopefully if its too much 1 of the moderators will give me a heads up.

I started antidepressants one week before my dad dropped dead (literally). That was 1995, since then I've been on and off just about everything that's out there. Zoloft was the worst, kept dreaming dad was back, everybody else thought he had been away for work but I knew he was a Zombie. Took me 2weeks of that every night before I went to my Dr to switch.

I live in New Orleans and work for 1 one of the big box stores. Katrina hit in 2005, that's when I started on Xanax for stress. I eventually had to step down from a supervisory position or I would have started drinking again. By that time I had already been clean and sober more than 10 years.

All that time I had been on and off different Antidepressants. In 2012 I got hit with skin cancer on my scalp and had surgery for it. A couple weeks later I woke up with the left side of my face paralyzed. Freaked out, drove myself to the ER, fearing a stroke. Thank god it was "only" Bell's Palsy. I took 3 month's off of both jobs for the radiation treatment and waiting for the BP to clear up.

I stopped going out and socializing due to those issues, but eventually got over it and said Fuck it. People will just have to deal with it. My last appointment with my oncologist he pointed out a small spot on the back of my head, smaller than a pencil eraser and suggested I see my dermatologist. Now everyone else around here lives next to the Mississippi river, I live next to the River Denial......
Fast forward 6 months and I'm sitting in a chair at work and the spot is the size of a nickel and my coworkers keep asking me if I know it's there? I go back to the same surgeon for more surgery. Five and a half hours later, 150+ stitches and 37 staples later, he had taken out a section of my scalp 1-3/4" in diameter all the way down to my scalp.

Next visit he sits he down and off hand just mentions that he doesn't usually see Cancer that aggressive unless someone has a compromised immune system.

Fast forward to April 2014, haven't dated or been with anyone sexually since February 2009, and decide I want to start dating again, this would be a good time to get tested. Just knowing I'll come back negative. Wrong.

Get my baseline bloodwork back and it ain't pretty. Cd-4 is 80, VL-104K.
Finally December 2014, CD-4 378 VL<30.

All of that to say here is the gist of my problem. I struggle to leave my house. I go to work (most days), my manager put me in for FMLA for the stress, at which time I told him about my HIV status. We've known each other for 10+ years. He also deals with depression, anxiety and oh yeah I also take Meds for ADD, which he has as well. The only time I leave my house is to go to work, and sometimes on my day off I will go out alone for breakfast.
I need to get back with my therapist. But how do y'all deal with life on life's terms? How do you get back out there and socialize? I did go to 1 meeting of a group of + guys where I get my services thru, that time there were only 3 other guys and it was basically telling our stories since I was the new guy. Two of them were a couple and the 3rd guy also had a partner. Some of my friends know and they try to get me out but I live about an hour away. So it's too easy to isolate. I'm on all the usual "social" sites, Scruff, Growlr, Grindr et al. I don't list my status on my profiles because New Orleans is a very small town and my family doesn't know my status.  Other family members are dealing with their own issues, Cancer, child born with birth defects, death of my brother, other brother breaking up.

I know this is long and I apologize for that and if you've read this far, Damn you have a good attention span!

Offline intaglio

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  • Posts: 201
  • Doesn't have to pay for vowels
Re: Social Anxiety, stress, depression and HIV. How do yall do it?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2015, 10:33:08 AM »
Social Anxiety, stress, depression and HIV. How do yall do it?
But how do y'all deal with life on life's terms? How do you get back out there and socialize?

Drugs and damn good ones too!!!! :P :P

Days I can't face the world, I work on stuff at home. Days I can face the world, I go out and face the world.

Days I have to go out and face the world, but don't want to, I put one foot in front of the other and handle it a little bit at a time. I break the task down into little parcels and parts so I don't have to face the full task all at once.

"I gotta go grocery shopping. I don't want to."

Well, you're going to have to do it or you're going to be eating saltines with saltines for filling.

"Okay, dammit. I had that last night and it sucked. I don't want to go out, though. I gotta put on clothes, drive to the store, deal with the unwashed masses, and buy something I want to eat. Don't wanna. You can't make me!!"

Break it down. Go put on clothes.

"Fine. I have clothes on. Happy?"

Yes. Good boy. Now go look in the cabinets. What's missing?

"Food. Cans. Bags of Doritos."

What do you want to find in the cabinet when you open it?

"Chocolate, peanut butter, soup -and someone to do my friggin' shopping for me."

Write down everything but the last bit.

"Gawd, you're so insufferable. I bet you want me to look in the fridge and the freezer too."

That would be nice. Write down what's missing from them, too.

"There's a light bulb missing from the freezer. I don't remember eating it, though."

Put it on the list, too. Now, when you have the list, look for the keys to the car.

"Nag, nag, nag. Okay I have the list. I have the keys. Now I bet you want me to head to the garage and park my ass in the car."

That would be a good idea unless you think walking to the store would be fun.

**Grumble, grumble, grumble** "Damn, there's that bright shiny thing in the sky again. Makes me wanna puke."

That's the sun. See what happens when you coop yourself up inside for so long. You think you're a vampire.

"Oh, dry up already. Okay, I'm at the store. Gotta park. DAMMIT, OLD LADY!! MOVE YOUR FRIGGIN' BUICK. TURN SIGNALS! EVER HEARD OF 'EM?"

Now, now, be nice. You're going to be old and senile some day too. Besides she's somebody's grandmother. How would you like some pale-skinned crazy guy yelling at your grandmother?

"Okay, I'll be nice. I'll let everyone live today. How's that?"

Good boy. Go get a shopping cart. Try not to run over granny when you do. Be sure to pick one with a wobbly wheel. You like those the best.

"Ha, ha. Very funny. Not. Why can't they make a cart that has all four wheels that work?"

Quit thinking about the wheel. Start thinking about the groceries. Dairy aisle.

"Okay. Focus. Cheese... Yogurt... Eggs..."

Check the eggs.

"Lay off. Oh, one's broken. Dammit. I'm going home."

No you're not. Quit acting like that egg was broken just so it could screw up your life.

"It feels like it. Oh, gawd. Some woman has let her crotch-fruit run amok. Let me hit just one of them with the cart. I promise I'll make it look like an accident."

No. Behave. Bad parenting is it's own punishment. Now go. Keep shopping. Focus on the list. 

"Okay. Fruit... veggies... oh, look. Brussel sprouts. I hate brussel sprouts."

Ignore the brussel sprouts. Focus. Food. You want to buy food. You like buying food. Buying food is fun.

"Stick a sock in it. The sooner I'm out of here, the happier I'll be."

So, keep moving. Next item.

"Okay. I wanna go home. I wanna be done already."

Look, you quit now, you just gotta go do this again tomorrow. You keep going, you'll have food and you'll be able to stay at home tomorrow.

"Doesn't stop me from wanting to leave now, though."

Focus. You're over half done. Next aisle. Good boy. Keep moving.

"Why do they have to put bread over there, peanut butter down this aisle and the jelly halfway across the store?'

They did it so you'd have to take five extra steps. Store planners are evil and out to get you. They specifically have you in mind when they plan where everything goes. They live to cause you pain and suffering.  ::)

Sheesh. Get over yourself. You're being a whiney little brat.

"All right, I am being whiney. But I hate being out and about when I don't feel like it."

Just keep telling yourself you'll feel better later -and you'll have your grocery shopping done. And you do get to go back home where you can rest.

"Oh, gawd, the checkout. I hate self-checkouts. They yell at me. I hate having to talk to the clerk in the regular checkout. She always wants to know if I found everything I was looking for. I don't know what to say."

The clerk is just doing her job. She doesn't care if you didn't find everything you were looking for. You can lie to her. She won't take it personally.

Now, put the stuff on the conveyer belt. Look at the clerk. Say, 'thanks I did find everything I was looking for.' Hand her the money. Say 'thanks' when she tells you to have a nice day.

"Thanks. I did find everything I was looking for."  ::) "Thanks."

Now, go put the groceries in the car... Now plop your ass in the driver's seat... Take a deep breath...Start the car...Go home.

"The light...It burns!!!"

Very funny. Park the car in the garage, haul the groceries in, put them away. Done. And you survived.
Reality is frequently inaccurate.

Offline Theyer

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,624
  • Current ambition. Walk the Dog .
Re: Social Anxiety, stress, depression and HIV. How do yall do it?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2015, 06:11:36 PM »
It's exhausting dealing with loss/grief/anxiety bout health and medical procedures it,s no wonder many off us find ourselves hibernating at home.

I relish some off it but can slip into being adverse to any human contact at any time then it's a matter off head down deep breath easy does it and go. The process beautifully written about by  intaglio .

For too long I added the fact that I could not socialise to the list off things I am crap at ,thus doubling up the perceived failure areas.

The fact that you are articulating the problem will help, You will find a better balance , it may not stay constant but it's one  million times better than throwing up after the first step outside.

Keep on keeping on , Best Wishes
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline weasel

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  • Posts: 1,745
Re: Social Anxiety, stress, depression and HIV. How do yall do it?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2015, 06:19:22 PM »
Budwieser or Happy Pills  :) :) :) :) :)      I am VERY shy .   Anxiety is awful to deal with !  So I do what works .

                            My two cents on this topic , Weasel

   P.s. : I love life ; but at times it is overwhelming , sometimes when I go back and read my older posts I think that I am  insane   :o
" Live and let Live "

Offline buginme2

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  • Posts: 3,365
Re: Social Anxiety, stress, depression and HIV. How do yall do it?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2015, 06:28:39 PM »
Re: Social Anxiety, stress, depression and HIV. How do yall do it?

Sexy husband, good friends, great family, and lots of weed.
Don't be fancy, just get dancey

Offline denb45

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  • Posts: 5,053
  • "1987 Classic Old School POZ+"
Re: Social Anxiety, stress, depression and HIV. How do yall do it?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2015, 07:25:12 PM »
Lots of psychotropic drugs a good shrink to talk to (not just a drug dealer Dr.) but also lots & lots of psychotherapy , it's helped me a lot and has saved my life many times over after being committed in the VA Psyc hospital twice last yr.

DEN  8)
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline emeraldize

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  • Posts: 3,372
Re: Social Anxiety, stress, depression and HIV. How do yall do it?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2015, 07:50:50 PM »
Intaglio's got some great advice cuz ADD really muddies it all up in my opinion and experience. Break it down. Pick 3 tasks you wanna or gotta hit on a day. Use counseling when you need it. Use drugs when you need them. Use friends when you need them. Read about ADD and/or attend an ADD support group. Do you take vitamin D? Ever tried acupuncture? Got any extra cash for that stuff? You are so lucky to have the boss you have. And, you found this place – hooray! Lots of good ideas here.

Offline zach

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  • Posts: 2,095
Re: Social Anxiety, stress, depression and HIV. How do yall do it?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2015, 08:02:00 PM »
yall got weed?  ::)
An honest tune with a lingering lead has taken me this far

Online mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Social Anxiety, stress, depression and HIV. How do yall do it?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2015, 08:34:50 PM »
Shayne - an HIV diagnosis and living with HIV does add another hurdle to getting back in the swing of things. However it does seem that your withdrawl dates many years back, and IMO you must examine some of the factors that led you to remove yourself.  Maybe with the help of a therapist?
Talk therapy and drugs helped me climb out of depression and withdrawl.  Now that I am 50 and not depressed, and also really not a hot tamale on the dating market and sex market, I do notice I dont even bother nearly as much as I use to, and im getting more ok with that. Also I figured out when I was out of my depression, that some friendships were gone for good and I was ok with that too.  Learning to be alone can be healthy. It all depends on your true character and needs.  I do think most of us do better with some friends and family. And most of us do better with some sex and touch.  And most of us do better having a loved one. But we can all do well enough if we are ok with what we have and what we don't have.
You're obviously suffering from the isolation so I would guess some therapy is in order.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx


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