Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

I keep crying

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koksi:
Something is changing.  For the last three days I have been feeling overwhelmed with grief.  No "news" has prompted this wave of sadness, no new numbers, no new symptoms of anything.  And yet, I feel that my relationship to this disease is changing.

I have spent most of the last year in numbness, in cynical depression, in self-hate.  Above all, I believe I have been experiencing regret.   I °know° that I have been blaming myself for this, for getting infected.  I know that I have disappointed myself.  I have seen myself as stained, polluted, slashed, damaged, disabled, injured -- perhaps, all of that rightfully so.  This is how I have been thinking.  It has been compounded by fatigue, overall tiredness, weakness in my limbs and in my bones.  I think I have been sublimating regret and self-blame.  I keep intellectualizing the experience, trying to relativize and reject a morality that would blame victims for their suffering.  I have no HIV+ friends where I live, and so I feel extremely isolated with this condition.  I have been stuck in a dialectic of defensiveness and self-blame.  I may still be there.

But I almost feel as though something is being released, and it comes with tears.  I have been crying all afternoon.  Why?  I am not terribly sick at the moment, although I would lie if I didn't say straight up that I am afraid of getting sick, afraid of feeling fatigued forever. 

I have to lose this regret.  This oppressive regret.

And I keep thinking about the people who died.  The suffering and the sadness.  I was an AIDS activist in the early 90s... but death seemed far off nonetheless.  No one close to me died.  I try to imagine -- and can't -- what it was like:  to have your friends dying all around you, to be dying yourself.  To be diagnosed when there were no treatments like there are now.  Just trying to imagine this brings tears to my eyes.

It is possible that I grieve for the loss of my own life as I once imagined it.  But that sounds cliche and hackneyed, and so I resist it.
Maybe this crying is a 'stage.'  At least one HIV "mentor" suggested to me last year that I need to grieve.  It sounded like psychobabble at the time.  I know that something has to change.  Certainly, I can't keep keeping this a secret.  Secrecy only reinscribes the shame that is so damaging.  It only recreates the regret.  I made a mistake.  I slipped up.  But I have had a wonderful life and I have always lived with intensity and passion.  Yet, I am scared, really scared, of what family and colleagues would say once they knew that I have this.  I am especially afraid of professional consequences. 

It should be obvious from the above that I continue to find the emotional aspects of this infection to be the most troubling and the most damaging, so far.  I suspect in fact that because HIV is medically treatable in ways that it didn't used to be, our experience of it will be more structured by social factors than by strictly 'medical' ones (though this distinction is ultimately untenable).

Lisa:
Maybe feeling these emotions are just what you need to move on with your walk with this little beast.
It is not uncommon for people to go through a sort of grieving process. Each person experiences it in a different way, and in a different shuffle from another. The stages described for the passing of life are the same ones we experience for our old lives pre HIV.
Let it out. Talk about it here. Just remember to not dwell in that place, or become stagnant in your process.
I may not be especially happy to be hosting this little party hound, but I have made my peace with it, and have found a relatively comfortable way to co-exist.
I really took me a long time to get to where I am now, but some of the other older folks around here can testify to the fact that I was quite a little case when I first came on the scene here.
If you ever want to talk, I'm here.

emeraldize:
I so agree with Lisa. If you push off grieving, it will come back around to get its due time. It's a perfectly wonderful cleansing process to cry. Rids the body of toxins and rinses you just as you experience the grounds and woods after rainfall. Sometimes I think I'm past any more sadness and I'll turn a corner and bump into yet another aspect of my life that was affected.

Today for example, started with a funeral mass. At the end, one of the children got up to explain that their mom was an organ donor and I believe she stated that more than 100 people would benefit from the various tissue and bone gifts. She asked that if we'd not yet checked organ donor on our licenses, to please consider doing so.

I remember that was a painful moment for me...changing my license from organ donor to a blank space. It was painful for me to never be able to donate blood nor participate in apheresis ever again. But, there's more than one way to skin a cat. I turned to looking for research studies in which to participate and while that has filled the gap a bit, today was a glaring reminder of my old pre-HIV life.

It comes in waves. The triggers can sometimes blindside me. But, I know it's temporary and I'll get through it.

I hope you keep posting. There are so many seasoned and thoughtful people in this forum who can be so helpful to you. I am four years post diagnosis--August 20 is my anniversary date---an infant on the timeline, but, the smart seniors who are here (or lurking, ahem!) can offer you so much inspiration.

Em

PositivelyYours:
Hello Koksi,

I am sorry you have not been feeling well, but know that your emotions are normal. Please do me a favor take a couple more days to get all of your feelings out. Then start your healing process by moving forward.  We can't change anything about our diagnosis, so we must find a way to incorporate it into our daily lives.  You never know what the future hold because they are coming up with new meds all the time.  Because you are infected now - It may not be the case 10 years from now.  Never give up on the hopes and dreams of some scientist finding a resolution for this virus.  Yeah, it is nasty, ugly, digusting and all of the above, but it still does not erase the fact that it lives within us all.  Don't spend wasted energy focusing on how you allowed yourself to become infected. You did nothing wrong! I don't know you personally, but I am giving you a BIG HUG AND A KISS to make you feel better.   I love you man! Take care and YOU WILL BE JUST FINE!! If you would like to email me personally please feel free to do so at uncutblkbear@aol.com


--- Quote from: koksi on August 10, 2007, 08:00:20 PM ---Something is changing.  For the last three days I have been feeling overwhelmed with grief.  No "news" has prompted this wave of sadness, no new numbers, no new symptoms of anything.  And yet, I feel that my relationship to this disease is changing.

I have spent most of the last year in numbness, in cynical depression, in self-hate.  Above all, I believe I have been experiencing regret.   I °know° that I have been blaming myself for this, for getting infected.  I know that I have disappointed myself.  I have seen myself as stained, polluted, slashed, damaged, disabled, injured -- perhaps, all of that rightfully so.  This is how I have been thinking.  It has been compounded by fatigue, overall tiredness, weakness in my limbs and in my bones.  I think I have been sublimating regret and self-blame.  I keep intellectualizing the experience, trying to relativize and reject a morality that would blame victims for their suffering.  I have no HIV+ friends where I live, and so I feel extremely isolated with this condition.  I have been stuck in a dialectic of defensiveness and self-blame.  I may still be there.

But I almost feel as though something is being released, and it comes with tears.  I have been crying all afternoon.  Why?  I am not terribly sick at the moment, although I would lie if I didn't say straight up that I am afraid of getting sick, afraid of feeling fatigued forever. 

I have to lose this regret.  This oppressive regret.

And I keep thinking about the people who died.  The suffering and the sadness.  I was an AIDS activist in the early 90s... but death seemed far off nonetheless.  No one close to me died.  I try to imagine -- and can't -- what it was like:  to have your friends dying all around you, to be dying yourself.  To be diagnosed when there were no treatments like there are now.  Just trying to imagine this brings tears to my eyes.

It is possible that I grieve for the loss of my own life as I once imagined it.  But that sounds cliche and hackneyed, and so I resist it.
Maybe this crying is a 'stage.'  At least one HIV "mentor" suggested to me last year that I need to grieve.  It sounded like psychobabble at the time.  I know that something has to change.  Certainly, I can't keep keeping this a secret.  Secrecy only reinscribes the shame that is so damaging.  It only recreates the regret.  I made a mistake.  I slipped up.  But I have had a wonderful life and I have always lived with intensity and passion.  Yet, I am scared, really scared, of what family and colleagues would say once they knew that I have this.  I am especially afraid of professional consequences. 

It should be obvious from the above that I continue to find the emotional aspects of this infection to be the most troubling and the most damaging, so far.  I suspect in fact that because HIV is medically treatable in ways that it didn't used to be, our experience of it will be more structured by social factors than by strictly 'medical' ones (though this distinction is ultimately untenable).



--- End quote ---

SASA39:

--- Quote from: koksi on August 10, 2007, 08:00:20 PM ---For the last three days I have been feeling overwhelmed with grief.  No "news" has prompted this wave of sadness, no new numbers, no new symptoms of anything.  And yet, I feel that my relationship to this disease is changing.
Above all, I believe I have been experiencing regret.   I °know° that I have been blaming myself for this, for getting infected.  I know that I have disappointed myself.  I have seen myself as stained, polluted, slashed, damaged, disabled, injured -- perhaps, all of that rightfully so.  This is how I have been thinking.  It has been compounded by fatigue, overall tiredness, weakness in my limbs and in my bones.  I think I have been sublimating regret and self-blame.  I keep intellectualizing the experience, trying to relativize and reject a morality that would blame victims for their suffering.  I have no HIV+ friends where I live, and so I feel extremely isolated with this condition.  I have been stuck in a dialectic of defensiveness and self-blame.  I may still be there.
I have to lose this regret.  This oppressive regret.
But I have had a wonderful life and I have always lived with intensity and passion.  Yet, I am scared, really scared, of what family and colleagues would say once they knew that I have this.  I am especially afraid of professional consequences. 
It should be obvious from the above that I continue to find the emotional aspects of this infection to be the most troubling and the most damaging, so far.  I suspect in fact that because HIV is medically treatable in ways that it didn't used to be, our experience of it will be more structured by social factors than by strictly 'medical' ones (though this distinction is ultimately untenable).

--- End quote ---

You took a word from my mouth.............
And whats worse I feel a deep regret because I have a feeling that I have betrayed my children........
But SOMEHOW , I do not how I manage to get through a day...........and after a 10 months there are some smiling moments in my life again..........

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