Quantcast

Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr Instagram
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 24, 2014, 09:03:53 PM

Login with username, password and session length


Members
Stats
  • Total Posts: 643479
  • Total Topics: 48961
  • Online Today: 196
  • Online Ever: 585
  • (January 07, 2014, 02:31:47 PM)
Users Online

Welcome


Welcome to the POZ/AIDSmeds Community Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people with HIV/AIDS, their friends/family/caregivers, and others concerned about HIV/AIDS.  Click on the links below to browse our various forums; scroll down for a glance at the most recent posts; or join in the conversation yourself by registering on the left side of this page.

Privacy Warning:  Please realize that these forums are open to all, and are fully searchable via Google and other search engines. If you are HIV positive and disclose this in our forums, then it is almost the same thing as telling the whole world (or at least the World Wide Web). If this concerns you, then do not use a username or avatar that are self-identifying in any way. We do not allow the deletion of anything you post in these forums, so think before you post.

  • The information shared in these forums, by moderators and members, is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between an individual and his/her own physician.

  • All members of these forums are, by default, not considered to be licensed medical providers. If otherwise, users must clearly define themselves as such.

  • Forums members must behave at all times with respect and honesty. Posting guidelines, including time-out and banning policies, have been established by the moderators of these forums. Click here for “Am I Infected?” posting guidelines. Click here for posting guidelines pertaining to all other POZ/AIDSmeds community forums.

  • We ask all forums members to provide references for health/medical/scientific information they provide, when it is not a personal experience being discussed. Please provide hyperlinks with full URLs or full citations of published works not available via the Internet. Additionally, all forums members must post information which are true and correct to their knowledge.

  • Product advertisement—including links; banners; editorial content; and clinical trial, study or survey participation—is strictly prohibited by forums members unless permission has been secured from POZ.

To change forums navigation language settings, click here (members only), Register now

Para cambiar sus preferencias de los foros en español, haz clic aquí (sólo miembros), Regístrate ahora

Finished Reading This? You can collapse this or any other box on this page by clicking the symbol in each box.

Author Topic: Does anyone else drink too much!  (Read 6911 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Veritee

  • Member
  • Posts: 180
    • Post Natal Illness Support
Does anyone else drink too much!
« on: April 08, 2008, 06:46:37 PM »
I am sure you have all heard this before - I run another forum on another stigmatised issue and I certainly have heard what I am going to say now --- and many times before ........but now its my turn!!!

But does anyone else with HIV drink too much? or smoke when they know it will kill them or take other stuff when they know that with HIV it is not the best they can do for themselves????????

Well .......I do ....and it bothers me that I do

My husband has been told that to smoke will kill him - he has PCP and emphysema plus HIV yet still smokes. This is his addiction - his problem ............but at least he is doing well on the HIV medication

I smoke a little now and then - but this is really not my problem.


BUT - Many years ago - I did the 'other' stuff
Was in fact a 'patient' in a 'unit' in my mid 20s - a long time ago now -  i.e about 1975/6 for what they called here in the UK 'multi drug use'

Which means I would then take anything if it got me off!!!!!!!!!!!!- but especially what was then called in the UK  - speed .....................


But then - about 1973 - I decided to go it totally straight  - it was VERY hard but I did it for many many years....at least 25 or more years

 - I met the world totally straight - bloody difficult!!!!!!!!


No drugs at all and certainly no alcohol as alcohol was not a feature in my life - in fact never bothered with it at all as  alcohol did not really interest me !!

But then .....a few years ago ..... for some reason .... I started drinking.
The reason was probably total boredom - and that alcohol was cheap and legal


My husband/partner was away at sea for months at a time - I was on my own with young children and living on a smallholding ( small farm and having to care for many animals )  - I was really bloody bored and totally stressed !)

But now I find myself - still with an alcohol problem  and now with HIV  - yet my partner - who gave me HIV - and is now home from sea , and forever as he will never be well enough to go back to work at  sea.......

But he does not drink anymore - really not at all
But I do ........lots .................

He is on the HIV  medication and is doing very well
But I am told that my drinking has to be 'solved' before I can start anti HIV meds - even though my CD4s are under 250

What can I do !!
Alcohol is the only thing keeping me going emotionally right now  - but I know it may be killing me and I need to stop before I will get the HIV meds!!!!

Yet I still drink - every day and far too much!!!
I know I am asking too much as I have to solve my drinking myself - but can anyone help just  a little bit?

Veritee
 
I have a blog here, please do not judge me on what I say here- I need to offload and this is where I do it: http://hiv-and-us.blogspot.com/

Offline Queen Tokelove

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,033
  • Smokey the Smurf
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2008, 09:34:20 PM »
V----

I guess the first thing to say is that you know you have a problem with drinking. Are you drinking top shelf stuff or wine, I guess it doesn't really matter but am just wondering what you are consuming. And of course you know that the drinking is doing a number on your liver and am assuming docs want you to quit because of the hiv meds can affect the liver too, I think, don't hold me to that but I think I have heard it before around the forums.

I will not call you an alcoholic but a compulsive drinker, sounds a little better. I had dabbled in other drugs back in the day, the heaviest being crack but have long since quit but now smokes weed daily. Not saying you should pick up a joint if you don't smoke but just sharing a bit of myself and my vice. I refuse to give up smoking weed and I am sure though it helps me with eating it is probably damaging in some other way I am sure. But my cd4 has never been below 200 either and I am taking meds, I don't think weed damages the liver either.

If you find quitting not an option, how about cutting back on your consumption of alcohol or drink something a little lighter? Some may feel I may be giving you bad advice but I can relate to what you are saying even though it is alcohol(which I drink occassionally) and I smoke weed. The choice is ultimately yours and it would seem doing both may not be an option. Just saying and I will keep you in my prayers.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,975
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2008, 10:18:23 PM »
Veritee, I can relate to everything about drugs and booze you said.  The first time I was in treatment (for drugs/booze) was in 1989.  I've been in treatment a couple more times since then.  I've been clean now (yes, totally 100% clean) for 2 1/2 years. 

My advice to you would be to check yourself in somewhere for detox (as you know, withdrawal from alcohol can be especially nasty and dangerous) and go faithfully to NA/AA meetings.  Alcohol is a drug, and I think you know that.  Of course, you have to answer the question as to whether you have a real problem with it.  You seem to admit that in your post.   You know what to do; you've done it before and you can do it again.  I'm here cheering you on, girl.  Take care and please let us know how you're doing with it all.
   Luv,
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Queen Tokelove

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,033
  • Smokey the Smurf
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2008, 11:59:52 PM »
After reading Betty's advice, I have to agree with her. I guess I gave bad advice and kind of looks like I am enabling you. I apologize for that, I guess I was trying to find some middle ground for you when there possibly is none. I hope you get the help you need should you decide to go that route. Maybe Betty can be your sponsor? Just a thought...
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Dragonette

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,190
  • Spring symptoms
    • NotPerfectAtAll
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2008, 02:40:04 AM »
Veritee,

Betty's right, there's no other way really. I have the addictive streak and was also using everything I could get in the laten 80s-early 90s except coke/heroin. But it's now under control or channeled relatively harmlessly to things like food, books, sport and the internet (not completely harmless). In this I am with Queen too, after you quit and get your support system going, you can try other things, I don't mean weed though. I mean things to soothe & fill the void, get "addicted" to something that's not killing you.

You remind me of someone poz that I know, more than one person actually. The people I met with the real problem were the charming ones, who help everyone out, who are witty and outgoing, and strong, even responsible about driving and such, but they are great to everyone except themselves...  I hope you will be able like some lucky people (even the founder of this site as I have seen on youtuve) to take charge of your life again. You should have resources available in the UK, I imagine. It's a question of self love at the end of the day, whether to reach for them or not. I am really sorry about your husband. That must feel terrible. All the best to you, good luck
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 02:42:26 AM by Dragonette »
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,975
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2008, 07:41:09 AM »
Veritee, please remember, that if you're truly an addict (or alcoholic, whatever term you want to use) you can never get an addiction 'under control.'  I don't think that's what Drag was talking about, but I don't like to give people who are having problems with substances an out.  Let us know how you're doing, alright?
   Luv,
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Dragonette

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,190
  • Spring symptoms
    • NotPerfectAtAll
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2008, 08:59:13 AM »
yes that's not what I meant. I know what you mean Betty. Addiction controls the addict and never the other way around even though it's tempting to think so.
 
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline Veritee

  • Member
  • Posts: 180
    • Post Natal Illness Support
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2008, 07:12:55 PM »
Just wanted to say that I really appreciate the time you have all taken to answer.

I do not feel I can answer/respond properly tonight as I have had what for me was a very difficult couple of days -

Had a 'BIG'  argument with my 18 year old daughter last night which really upset me, especially as I was feeling pretty ill with guts ache ( stomach cramps)  and diarrhea/sickness and then was worrying that had an appointment with the HIV clinic today to discuss my starting medication for HIV - which I went to and found very upsetting and tiring

 (for me it is very early days - I must have had HIV for some years but only knew I had since January 08 so this is all very new to me right now! my CD4 are around 200 to 250 but because my viral load is low and I am currently on the whole healthy I have some time to decide what I take and when I take it)

Anyway

I thank you all for taking the time to respond and really appreciate that you did .

As to whether I am now an alcoholic??

I have no shame at all in calling myself this if this is indeed what I am........................... and seeking appropriate treatment - I  am not in any denial - I just need to sort out where I go next and what is best for me right now? -  an 'alcoholic' label especially if it is not exactly so  - may not be the best thing to add to my situation when I have only just been diagnosed with HIV!!!!!!!!!! But I will take that label if it apples and will seek whatever help I can get and what is appropriate

but at the same time I am not entirely sure - not sure if I am an alcoholic or using alcohol to self medicate myself though this very painful period .

Until 8 years ago I did not drink at all!!!
Since then I discovered wine - but had I not found I had HIV in Jan I do not think I would have seen the fact I drink red wine as the difficulty/worry I see it as now! :(


but you are right entirely about why I am worried about it specifically right now


That I am worried about my drinking at all is because it is my aim and desire/need to live as well as a possibly can with HIV - and as long as I can and to use the time I have to continue campaigning for the issues I have for so long and this new one ( for me ) of women and HIV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So to do so I need to take HIV meds .......................And I need my liver to cope with taking them ..................and age is not on my side and I have had health problems not related to HIV

This is why my drinking worries me right now - it probably would not have at the level I drink if I had not been diagnosed to be HIV -

But as I have - it does worry me - yet I feel I have to stop and I will find a way

As to weed- really do wish that this was my thing

Never has been as it always made me vomit!! smoked it first in 1966 and it made me vomit hugely then and still does in 2008!!!!

but I feel that right now if I could smoke a little weed a bit to get me over this very stressful time...........???

It would be a lot less of a problem than my having a few/too many glasses of wine to self medicate -  in terms of my HIV and liver at least ( in answer to your questions, I drink mostly red wine, may be a bottle on some nights, sometimes less, sometimes none at all and sometimes on social occasions more - occasionally I drink gin - but red wine the odd gin, not anything else , ever _ I have no idea what 'top shelf' alcohol is - but all I drink is red wine and gin now and then )

But a big Thank you all for bothering to answer- I really do appreciate it
I guess at the end of the day I know that it is up to me to do something about it

For those of you that suggested detox, - Yes I understand so well :) that I am so very, very, very  lucky that i live in the UK where good treatment is available for both my HIV and anything else - I so understand that may do not have the privilege of this that i do living in the UK

but it is on their terms and only available if they think you need it - NOT always - if you are the patent feels you do i.e treatment is available and good treatment - but not always on the terms of patents as individuals or their desires for treatment

I already since diagnosed with HIV looked into this route, but I am told that I do not qualify for an NHS ( UK national Health System)  detox as I do not have this level of difficulty!

As fact as far as the NHS is concerned I am not addicted nor am I am alcoholic - a detox costs money and in the UK at least you only get it if it is thought you really have a need for it - and I only even considered I  may have due to my newly discovered HIV status - and the NHS does not see me as qualifying for such help with it

 I can pay for it myself privately and it would cost around 6000 - I simply do not have this money- so it looks like I have to solve this alone and believe me I will)
Thanks to all

Veritee
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 08:39:03 PM by Veritee »
I have a blog here, please do not judge me on what I say here- I need to offload and this is where I do it: http://hiv-and-us.blogspot.com/

Offline Veritee

  • Member
  • Posts: 180
    • Post Natal Illness Support
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2008, 08:15:42 PM »
PS

Dear Queen Tokelove and all who responded

You are not 'enabling' me or any addiction I may have with your words

I am a grown up - at 55 I am very grown up

I am able to not feel anyone is 'enabling' anything I do , anything i do is my own responsibility and has been for many years now

I only came here for support - I totally do not expect any solutions and know that any solutions are up to me - and believe me NO ONE  - at my age and who I am now -  will enable/influence me to do or feel or think,  anything I do not want to - good or bad!!

It was great to have such a a non -judgmental response from you - and everyone
I wrote what i did at a moment of real disstress on may levels - thank
you
I know that I myself an the only person who can solve this - or any or my current difficulties or any I will encounter along the path/journey of HIV

I will solve my stuff myself and I am not in denial at all - I just needed to tell someone about how I was feeling re my drinking and everything else i am going through

This forum is invaluable because women with can tell it as it truly is !!

And share on a day to day basis what they are going through. There are not many places out there we can do this

I know that this is not going to solve mine or anyones difficulties or concerns - but it is so great this forum is here,

I personally do not expect any solution's - all I ask is to be heard and not judged - I do not expect answers!!!

None of us are experts I guess - just women with HIV - as such we are all in the same situation as each other

As to the weed or other drugs we may use - god never justify or apologise about what you do to get through -we all have to get though our own way -

Apparently weed can help people with HIV ( while alcohol does not ) -so  wish it did not make me vomit!!or I would try it! Probably a lot better than red wine when you have HIV !!! but we are all human, we get though any way we can!!!

Love to you all

Veritee

PS you are right that I do have a problem because I feel I have a problem with alcohol
and it is how i feel about this that counts I guess?
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 08:32:14 PM by Veritee »
I have a blog here, please do not judge me on what I say here- I need to offload and this is where I do it: http://hiv-and-us.blogspot.com/

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,975
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2008, 09:05:53 PM »
Veritee, no one is judging you.  In the end, it's up to you.  We're only here to support you, whatever you do.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Dragonette

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,190
  • Spring symptoms
    • NotPerfectAtAll
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2008, 08:07:47 AM »
hi Veritee,

for some reason I thought you were diagnosed way longer than 3 months... understandably you're still very much in a turmoil. I for instance dont smoke ciggies now at all but in the first 3 months was certainly chainsmoking. I would've probably drank too except I was put on meds right away and as for weed though I live where it's legal and available (Netherlands) I don't do it cos it makes me paranoid. I suppose I would've drank but I know that alcohol would have helped me in the short run but depressed the crap out of me in the long run so I beleive that not drinking has helped me come to terms better with my diagnosis.

Having said that, you mentioned that your drinking problems started years ago and not as a result of HIV dx. B/c of that probably being diagnosed has made things worse and on top of that not being able to take meds. I do know some people who combine HIV meds and heavy drinking but they're not doing well at all. I understand the Catch 22 of having a problem and needing help yet not having it defined as severe enough for treatment. Shame that the NHS won't rely on more subjective evaluations; after all its the patient who suffers, and besides treatment early on is better for everyone.

I can just hope that you find the path to a place where you can feel peaceful and healthy and where you can start taking care of yourself b/c the virus won't wait. On top of that I guess alcohol hurts the immune system so collaborates with the virus in that sense. But like you said we are not experts and that is well true, everything I say comes from experience and emotion...

One more thing - at least to me the person is not the problem, though some problems may overshadow the person i am sure even with your problem you can still do a lot to help others from your experience and wisdom, it's just that in this particular area you have a problem, maybe this is obvious but alcholism or drink issues have accompanied some great leaders, sceintists, artists etc. It's just that it's taking from you not giving to you. And even if you continue to function at the highest level, you don't need the drink sucking on your life force, health and vitality on top of "our" virus.

(((Veritee)))
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,975
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2008, 08:39:26 AM »
I was in a treatment center when I was diagnosed, so I didn't have anything chemically to 'help' me when I was diagnosed (save cigarettes). 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Veritee

  • Member
  • Posts: 180
    • Post Natal Illness Support
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2008, 10:53:46 AM »
Well yes - thanks I was only diagnosed in late January. It is still so new and such a devastating shock

So thank you to all who manage to read my ramblings - sorry to inflict this offloading on you all - but I have no where else - There is little or no support in the rural area I live in - I am working with a local HIV charity to create some but as yet I have not EVER met face to face another woman with HIV!!!!! the charity is run and used by men only at this point.

But there  are many other women with HIV  where I live - but they are in hiding mostly scared to tell anyone !!! I am working with the local HIV charity to try to change this


So right now you are all my lifeline - it is just reassuring to know that you are out there and exist

I may sound like I must have known about my HIV longer, maybe because I do know a little bit about HIV before I had it myself .


As I was a specialist youth worker for over 25 years and one of my specializations ( ironically )  was sexual health and relationships  - and within this I did much work with young people on STDs and latterly HIV

But myself I never thought for one minute I would ever get HIV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am sure many think this ? My husband certainly did but out of ignorance.

I was not ignorant at all - I just thought HIV was an impossibility as I am not a drug user - take few if any HI V or STD risks -  and have not had sex with anyone else but one man - my husband - since about 1985, and then quite rarely and often for many years using safer sex for contraption reasons !!!!

And I thought my husband was totally faithful too - he said he was - so thought that for me HIV was just not a possibility!!!

This is part of my shock over the situation

Not only am I having to cope with HIV - BUT also in the space of 2 1/2 months a husband that nearly died of an AIDS related illness and may well still die in the next couple of years - I have been told this - as he has been very ill wit a CD4 of 9 and it is not yet over 150 even though he is on HIV meds - and the shock of finding out through this that he was not faithfull like I thought and he had always assured me he was ............................................................

and to find out he took the risk at least 6 years ago but it could be longer - so we have probably had HIV for 6 to 10 years but did not know it

and further that he was so bloddy ignorant!! i thought he was more 'savy' than this!!! - But he was stupid - he really did not believe that he was at any risk of HIV!!! If I had EVER had anything sexually to do with anyone other than him , the first thing I would have done was get tested for all STDs and HIV - the second would have been to tell him that I had had sex with someone else!!!!

He did neither !!!!
because he just put it out of his mind - it was a mistake and one to be regretted, but the possibility of STDs or HIV did not cross his mind at all!!!!!!! So he did not think he was taking any risk to come home to me and have unprotected sex with me,  his wife

So he did not tell me

So to have him nearly die of HIV and then to find at 55 I have HIV
Has been such a complete shock!!!

Not at all  the future for myself and for us both I planned and hoped for  - I feel my life has crumbled - I WILL get over this and survive but right now I am struggling with so many demons and I need somewhere where I can air them without any judgment!!!

So I am worried about so many things - but right now my my drinking is a big concern because I was only diagnosed in January and my drinking escalated and I am still in complete shock - just can not seem to get over the diagnosis  or find a way to live with it!!...except to escape into drink many nights

When I first was diagnosed with HIV my husband  was in hospital having been close to death - and I really felt at the time he would die I was told he might and to prepare for this -  so I wanted not to have to deal with my own HIV until either he died or he pulled through - thankfully he has pulled through and has now been on HIV meds for about 6 weeks and so far doing very well...........

So as my CD4 counts are low - it is time  for me to go on meds too!!!!

But just so worried about the level of my current drinking and HIV meds - very scared really!!!

While I started drinking any alcohol at all about 8 years ago at about 48 years old - this was after a lifetime of absence from alcohol up to then ( before this I was teetotal due to suffering abuse partly due to someones drinking when I was a child and because my dad was an alcoholic, so I hated alcohol and swore I would NEVER use it not ever!!! )

But about 8 years ago I started to drink a little -  I was not particularly worried about my drinking for a long time and not really worried until now - but due to my history I would always be unhappy that I was a drinker at all and really do not know why I ever started - as I said boredom when looking after kids etc with no company as my husband was away at sea - but I was not really worried about the levels I drank it

While I did not like the fact I  now was a drinker and was angry that I did now drink, and from time to time it would worry me   - but it then  it did not seem to me to be the  huge problem it is now .

But what has happened to me is that when I heard about HIV I just started to drown it out with drink  I guess and since the diagnosis in January drink all the time ......every damn day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I am scared, very scared ..................as  I know its the last thing iIshould be doing and that very soon I have to start on HIV meds and to drink at the level I have been since the diagnosis is not what I should be doing

I feel in a corner

I feel just can't cope with my HIV diagnosis ( or feel I can't) without the self medication of alcohol - but I need to stop for my health and survival - and I intend to survive as long as I possibly can , but have tried and - as yet - can not seem to stop on my own

As soon as I realised what was happening - I did request help, last month i.e a detox or support to stop at home - but as i said i was told I was not bad enough to justify the expense it would cost the NHS - we have an epidemic of drink related difficulties in the UK right now and many, many young people binge drinking and needing detox etc - so i come way down the list of priorities to spend NHS money on to get me off alcohol.

Anyway

Sorry about my ramblings - this HIV has been the bigest shock of my life - and just so horrible unexpected given my lifestyle for the last 25 years at least

Thanks for listening
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 11:14:55 AM by Veritee »
I have a blog here, please do not judge me on what I say here- I need to offload and this is where I do it: http://hiv-and-us.blogspot.com/

Offline Veritee

  • Member
  • Posts: 180
    • Post Natal Illness Support
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2008, 10:55:37 AM »
Sorry Betty

Our posts crossed - what were you in the treatment center for?
I have a blog here, please do not judge me on what I say here- I need to offload and this is where I do it: http://hiv-and-us.blogspot.com/

Offline Veritee

  • Member
  • Posts: 180
    • Post Natal Illness Support
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2008, 11:27:35 AM »
I guess the answer to my question
'Does anyone else drink too much!'

seems to be - from the answers here - 

NO
 

That no one here drinks too much or takes any other subseance to self medicate  - and that I am totally alone here  in this problem??

That all women living with HIV in this forum  - even if they acquired it from drug use - have been able to control overcome their addictions? In order to live healthily with HIV?

On the one hand this is great to hear

As it means I also may be able to get there - I may be able to conquer this latest difficulty ie alcohol  and live healthily for a long time with HIV

But it also means that I am currently feeling just so alone...............

I feel that if all here are able to do the 'sensible thing' and not drink to much , not smoke too much, not smoke weed, not take any recreational drugs to alleviate the fear and trauma of being HIV


Then I am very alone - even here
as right now I just can't do this
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 11:29:20 AM by Veritee »
I have a blog here, please do not judge me on what I say here- I need to offload and this is where I do it: http://hiv-and-us.blogspot.com/

Offline Dragonette

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,190
  • Spring symptoms
    • NotPerfectAtAll
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2008, 11:46:53 AM »
oh, Veritee,

will try to address 1 thing at a time b4 making too much of a mess

1) you're right, I guess most women here, at least the regular posters, dont drink much at this moment in time
2) you're not alone I know lots of women infected by a husband they trusted, some in the forums and some outside, they are not necessarily the regular posters but this is very common
3) I suggest that you speak to some women's org in the UK even if not close so you can have some phone conversations at least with someone who can support you. again there're LOTS & LOTS of women like you
4) I'm no addiction expert but it seems that this escalation in drinking is a reaction to the latest pain. whether or not it is alcoholism I can't say, only a specialist, but maybe it doesnt matter what it is if its hurting you.
5) are there AA meetings in your area? sometimes changing just one thing, getting that ounce of support makes a difference, it doesnt matter if you're a "real alcoholic" or not, you're in pain and drinking and it isnt helping you with the pain, quite the contrary.
6) I'm really sorry you have to go thru this crap. But I don't beleive it will last forever. You're in a harsh situation. Scroll down a bit in the forums and you will see your "toughest moment" thread. some women on here have really been thru the fire... some are still dealing with things that are so hard. You can do it. But with all respect to the forums, I dont think they should be your only line of support. There should be at least 1 women's org in the UK that you can get more direct support from. I found one which can ring you back for free so you can talk to another poz woman. Have a look here
http://www.positivelywomen.org.uk/

Please don't get this like I don't want to deal with you: there is limited support one can give online and my own experience is also limited, I don't have experience with the whole situation with your husband for instance, or with having kids, or many other things. I feel that you need more than just online sympathy right now that's why I'm suggesting you look for support in real life.

Hope you feel better soon,
 

PS you're very alone but we are all together in being alone, the women here are so diverse. I'm the only one whose a forigner for instance where I live, every woman here has a completely different story
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 11:50:15 AM by Dragonette »
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline Veritee

  • Member
  • Posts: 180
    • Post Natal Illness Support
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2008, 02:04:13 PM »
Thank you so much

I will not go on after this post as I have rambled to much already

But I will try all of your suggestions  - Already been to AA meetings locally
And I have already read the "toughest moment" thread - have not written on there as I realise that what I am going though is nothing compared to many so did not want to impose on that thread, but started this thread because I needed a place to offload for myself.

Thank you for writing to me on here


Just wanted to say that i do not expect you - or anyone - to provide answers and I do really understand the limitations of forums like this for issues very well - because I started one and still run it . http://veritee.proboards7.com and know how much you need face to face support and support from friends and family too

You are of course right when you say:
Quote
I suggest that you speak to some women's org in the UK even if not close so you can have some phone conversations at least with someone who can support you. again there're LOTS & LOTS of women like you

So knowing this the first thing I did almost the minute I was diagnosed was look for an organisation to support women in the UK with HIV!!!!!!

Would you believe that there is one - but only one!!!!!!! in the whole of the UK  - In fact the one you found http://www.positivelywomen.org.uk/ as this is the only one there is!!!

I find it absolutely astonishing that in the whole of the UK there is only one org that specifically offers support to women with HIV and that the other HIV orgs are just so male orientated - believe me they are - if you phone or make any contact the only response you get from any is from a gay male - which is great that they offer this support and what they offer is very valuable -  and I have no objection to gay men or any men - but right now I want to talk to other women and at least some in the same position as me........i.e women infected by their long term partner or husband


I know there has got to be thosands of women in the UK  with HIV, and many who got this through a long term relationship even in my rural area - the trouble is - you just cannot find them!!!!

As to http://www.positivelywomen.org.uk/ they have been great and offered me some valuable support.

Their phone line is open mostly office hours and I can rarely phone then but I did get some regular telephone support from them in the first few weeks.

But being the only HIV support group for women in the UK what they can offer any woman outside of London is very limited. I was given what they could offer which was 5 telephone support sessions, which were very useful but I have now used them up.

They have been absolutely great but what I need is ongoing  contact with women with HIV and hopefully women close enough for me to meet up with face to face at some point.


http://www.positivelywomen.org.UK/ are a wonderful organisation but they are the only one for women in the UK and they are based in London,

London  is 5 1/2 hours from me either by train or car - I could not go to London for face to face support on any more than a once or twice a year basis - for a start I can not afford the petrol or the train fair or anywhere to stay when I got there, so while i plan to go and visit them it will not be for another few months, but i will when I can - but it is not what i need. i need ongoing and regular contact with other HIV women and i am doing my best to make it happen

Please do not think I am totally needy or expecting any solutions

I am just discussing my situation and my feelings

And I am being proactive in trying to make contact with women with HIV near to me . I have started an initiative with the only HIV support charity in Cornwall i.e KPS http://www.kernowps.co.uk/index1.htm
and we are working together to try to start a woman's network in Cornwall for women with HIV

I have also started an internet  forum for women in my area of the UK - the address is on my signature.
The situation re peer support, or any support, for women with HIV in the UK,  it seems is dire.......

and especially so in rural areas like where I live

but I hope to change this in Cornwall where I live at least!!!

Thanks Veritee
 
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 02:07:02 PM by Veritee »
I have a blog here, please do not judge me on what I say here- I need to offload and this is where I do it: http://hiv-and-us.blogspot.com/

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,975
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2008, 02:09:41 PM »
Veritee, the first time I was in treatment (1989) I was in treatment for alcoholism.  I had done IV heroin previously, but pretty much kicked it like in the end of 1983.  The second time I was in treatment (middle 90's) was for opiates.  The last time, which was an outpatient program, it was for prescription drug dependence (diazepam, dextroamphetamine, Morphine, Vicodin, sedatives).  

It doesn't matter if I drink anymore or not in trying to help you.  Whether you're abusing alcohol or dependent on it, I'm here.  And I know no other women in my town that are HIV+ either.  This forum is the only place I chat with other HIV+ women.  Like where you live, the women here are in hiding.  The ASO (Aids Service Organization) here has an HIV support group on Thursday nights; I went a couple times, but I was the only woman there.  

I was infected by my 1st husband.  I found out I was HIV+ Feb. 12, 1989, while in treatment.  Then, while I was in group therapy 3 days later, a counselor came in and took me into his office and told me my husband was dead.  It was an extremely hard time for me, trust.  AIDS is not what was listed as the 'cause of death' on my husband's death certificate, however.  'Acute alcohol intoxication' was.  And he was only 29.  When they did the autopsy, they found PCP in his lungs.  He had been in Florida in like, oh I think '86, and was doing a lot of IV drug use, which was about the time HIV broke out in Florida.  I went through many, many hard days during the rest of my time in treatment.  They let me go to his viewing/graveside service, but then I got my ass right back to the treatment center.  Actually, my sister took me to the service, otherwise I probably would not have went back to the center.  I was in total shock and disbelief.  

I met a man in NA (narcotics anonymous) and married him in 1991.  Of course he knew about my having HIV, but accepted me anyway.  Then, he ended up relapsing (IV drugs) and wiped out my bank account (when I was sleeping, he took my ATM card, found my pin number and went from ATM to ATM and took out every single cent) I had, in one swoop.  He ended up in jail.  I don't know why I just posted this story; it really has no relevance to what you were discussing.  

Anyway Veritee, I'm here for ya.  Whatever you decide.  I know what it's like to feel totally alone.  But you're not.  We're here and we do care; I mean that.  Please stick with us.  
   Luv,
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Veritee

  • Member
  • Posts: 180
    • Post Natal Illness Support
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2008, 03:04:40 PM »
Thank you so much for posting your story to me

I want to know about others here - I really do and I just do not know how you survived what you have gone through.


I have some limited experience of being in sort of a treatment center as you describe as I was as a young woman in a 'therapeutic community'

In the 1970s for 'Multi drug' use and personality disorder - but that for me was over 30 years ago and I  turned my life around, never took another drug ..

And so did not think that 30 years later I would be siting here typing this HIV positive and using alcohol!!!!!!


I know that you are all there for me - as I am for you - I guess I am trying to fill you all in as you do not know me and I do not know you and we all live in such different countries and in such different situations

But what you went through is so much more than I ever have and my heart goes out to you.
To be infected my your first husband and so young and then for your second to do what he did is awful.
I know my situation is mild in comparison.

My husband did infect me but he has always been a hardworking and good man and has worked hard for us and a very stressful job and in not very good circumstances for over 30 years - he has worked for the same shipping company for 26 years!!! never missed a day of work until he got so ill with PCP and  is totally reliable as a person and loves me dearly.

All he did was have sex when he had been away from me for several months working and he got lonely - he is not generally a man who would do this - he would never even think of it if he was home with me -  but he is human, was lonely and stressed so he had sex and got HIV. So unlucky really for him - and for me

- and probably only once or twice he says so and I do believe him I know him well. He will support me in every way he can until he dies - I know I am very lucky

and can not imagine what yourself and many of the women here have gone through or how they have coped and then how they have coped with having HIV on top of everything else .

I think you are all absolutely wonderful and so strong and I am so glad to have found you all
I have a blog here, please do not judge me on what I say here- I need to offload and this is where I do it: http://hiv-and-us.blogspot.com/

Offline Dragonette

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,190
  • Spring symptoms
    • NotPerfectAtAll
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2008, 05:12:07 PM »
hey Veritee,

I was like you were in the 70s except in the early 90s... that's why being diagnosed when i was living clean was such a blow for me as well... but i didnt have the husband angle, luckily. in your case he is also ill and i understand how it can blow your mind.

don't think you're needy or anything of the sort, just someone navigating a rough time.

pls feel free to to write (ramble  :)) anywhere.

we have a lady here on the forums - moderator Jan, or AnnieBC - who started a support group in the very rural part of new zealand for instance (not that I'm saying you need to do it or that its easy). Another is on a small island which is not exactly ASO central...

am in the rural netherlands, as a foriegner, no support here for women, only a gay men's group and african group, and the only group for women i know is not a professional resource, and the women are mostly asylum seekers from africa so i dont find people like me to relate. now its ok but in the beginning i sure couldve used some support.

I do talk to a social worker at the hospital once in a while. do you have that option? or a therapist? anyone you trust really.

HIV is big and scary and my first months are a blur for me. I am not "over" HIV by any means either. But I guess like everything its a step by step process with days of panic thrown in with the better days.

anyway am now myself rambling (though i reckon in this forum we have a license to ramble)

hope you're getting some peaceful sleep now,

PS Cornwall is gorgeous and come summer will be even more

 
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 05:45:26 PM by Dragonette »
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline Ann

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2008, 06:22:23 PM »
Hi Veritee,

No, you're not alone. However, the difference between you and me right now is that I don't see my alcohol consumption as a problem.

Although some might disagree with me.

For example, a fortnight ago last Sunday night/Monday morning, I fell over on my way home from the pub, cracked my head on the curb and ended up spending the night (what was left of it) in a police cell. When the desk sergeant asked me in the morning if I thought I had a problem with alcohol, I said, "no, I drink, I get drunk, I fall over... no problem!"

Never-mind the fact that I was out cold for 20-30 minutes and refused to get into the ambulance my friend called for me. I just wanted to go home. My friend ended up covered in my blood (I split my head open just above my right temple) and to his credit, he never freaked out even though he knows my hiv status. He knows you can't get it through intact skin. (thank goodness!) No, he's not a boyfriend, he's just a mate; a bit of a father figure really. We just happened to be in the same pub and going home at the same time, so we walked together.

In my defence, where I fell over was only yards away from my home and it was very dark. My friend and I both think I tripped on something lying on the ground. Eh, shit happens. I suppose it could have been worse - I'd gone out at around 2pm and this happened at 1am.

I set out to get pissed and I achieved my aim. I was upset about the way my relationship with the (in)famous Foxtrot Charlie has been going lately. Don't ask. ::)

I guess I don't feel my alcohol consumption is a problem right now is because I know I can stop whenever I want. The only substance I can't manage to stop is tobacco. I quit heroin *snap* like that. No bother. When I was diagnosed with hep C in 1999, I quit drinking, even though I was a fairly heavy drinker, no problem. Granted, I did go on a week-long bender first, but on the appointed day, I stopped. I even kept going into the pub to see my mates and felt no compulsion to drink alcohol.

I didn't have a drink again for around five or six years - a few years after I'd successfully cleared hep C through treatment. And yes, that means I never touched a drop even after I was diagnosed with hiv in 2001. When I did start drinking again, it was only at special occasions and I really couldn't tolerate it. I'd start feeling hung-over after my second drink... it just wasn't worth it so I rarely bothered.

And then last November I discovered my partner had been cheating on me with his ex-wife. I immediately dumped him and went into a bit of a tail-spin. Between that and being on Champix (aka Chantix), I started having anxiety issues and panic attacks. My GP gave me some diazepam and it did Jack Shit for me. I still have most of the script left. After talking to a friend about how I was feeling, she suggested having a glass of wine in the evenings. Due to my past record with alcohol, I was skeptical, but I eventually tried it out of desperation. Not only did it work, but I found I could now tolerate it.

And, well, now I'm back to my old piss-head ways. Enjoying every minute of it too. What's the point of living with hiv if you can't enjoy your life?

Veritee, if you've mainly started drinking because of your diagnosis, don't be too hard on yourself. Yes, stop if you feel it's out of control, but don't beat yourself up over it. I read in other threads that you ARE going to be going on treatment - and the main thing there is to remember to take your meds, even when you've had a drink. A good way to do that is to have some sort of alarm, whether it be on your computer or a watch or mobile.

It's really early days for you... and you will get through this. Stop beating yourself up over your reaction to being diagnosed. You're going to be ok, really you are.

Ann
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 06:31:29 PM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Lis

  • Member
  • Posts: 595
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2008, 10:06:53 PM »
for what it's worth... I drink like a fish and smoke a pack and a half a day.. I've done so for the last 20 plus years... I will turn 42 in 2 weeks, and life still works...   thats all , granted, I use booze and not pot, or mirinal.. and I have PN like a mofo and hate neurotin, even though I still have to take it ...  dont feel bad.. do what works for you

best wishes..

lis
poz 1986....

Offline Veritee

  • Member
  • Posts: 180
    • Post Natal Illness Support
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2008, 08:51:06 AM »
Thanks everyone for their support

And I have to admit it is a relief to know that I am not the only one who drinks....


Funny enough Ann i am in the opposite position re smoking and drink.

As i seem to be able to smoke for a while  anytime I feel I need it to relive stress and then give it up :(

 For instance I had not smoked at all for over 8 years when in Jan 2006 I started again because I was going through a stressful time with my daughter ........
It did help to distract me and acted as a stress reliever and then when things were better again between me and my daughter I gave smoking up again until this January when I was diagnosed with HIV.Then I smoked for the first month or so.


and I have now given up smoking again - with no  difficulty - because my husband has had PCP and emphysema and when I smoke it gives him temptation to, and he has been told by his consultant that to smoke right now will kill him ..
so I felt I had better give up again for his sake.

So I do not have any difficulty with giving up nicotine or even the other things I have taken in my life i.e speed and other drugs - once I decided to give them up anway back in 1975 I did andf have never been tempted since I know I never will be....

but alcohol is now different - I feel that it is controlling me and not the other way around

But totally understand what it is for you Ann - it has been this way for me and I do so hope it will be again

As I might feel a bit happier if all my drinking was down socially - as you describe Ann - even if i got completely off my head and ended up at the police station etc,  I would be Ok with this - I have in the past and my sister has been known to do this quite a lot - but my drinking is on my own at home

- when I go out, even with friend I don't usually drink much if anything , partly because I drive and living where I do in a rural village with no public transport you just can not get anywhere without driving and I don't drink and drive as my driving licence is just so important to me ..........
But even if I jsut walk to the local pub, or Barry , my husband drives and I can drink, i do not really bother if I am out with friends and enjoying myself .........no my drinking is to blot out what is happening to me i.e HIV and the fact I am now disabled due to an accident, which I have always found difficult  - so I guess  its not healthy for me to continue


If I did not feel it was a problem and was happy with it, it would not be a problem - and indeed I have at least 3 friends who drink far more than I do and they are happy, enjoy their wine etc and do not worry about it
 
it would not be a problem for me either if I was enjoying my drinking - but I am not, so i am going to try to cut down drastically and then try to cut it out.

I do not think I can just go cold turkey with it because I drink too much for that and worry that I will get withdrawal symptoms if I just stop

So starting today I am giving it a good go  - I am taking one day at a time so I may fail - but as I can not get any help to give up via the NHS I am determined making a good effort to at least cut it righ down until I start the meds - as i really do not want to be trying to take meds for the first time and drinking heavily every day as well

So I am trying from today
not had a drink yet but then it is 1.30pm here in the UK so it is early as yet.
The evenings are the worst time for me

wish me luck!

Veritee
« Last Edit: April 11, 2008, 09:50:06 AM by Veritee »
I have a blog here, please do not judge me on what I say here- I need to offload and this is where I do it: http://hiv-and-us.blogspot.com/

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,975
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2008, 09:02:06 AM »
Veritee, good luck with what you're going to try to accomplish. And if you stumble, you can always try again.  Nothing's written in stone.  Remember we're here to lean on.
   Luv,
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Veritee

  • Member
  • Posts: 180
    • Post Natal Illness Support
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2008, 06:05:18 AM »
Thank you all and Betty lots of luck and love with the smoking.

Things did not go too badly yesterday - at least I felt more in control. And felt that I was at least trying to change things


I only drank about 1/2 a bottle of wine which is about 1/2 I usually do - But it might even have been even less because I usually have a few gins too but only had 2  yesterday - so it went OK.

It is not helping that I have only recently given up smoking - as while I find giving up smoking a lot easier than not drinking, not having a smoke to distract me from drinking I find difficult ....
as what else do you do when you want a drink?

I love coffee and a cup of this would help any craving for alcohol  and many who have given up drinking I have found substituted it with coffee - but while I love it it gives me terrible indigestion if I have more than two cups and 2 cups a day will ensure I will not sleep for the next 24 hours, as I am very sensitive to caffeine, and caffeine free is useless as it just gives me indigestion with no lessening of the desire to have a drink :(

So I am trying to find something to distract me when I feel like a drink - any suggestions welcome

Veritee XXX
I have a blog here, please do not judge me on what I say here- I need to offload and this is where I do it: http://hiv-and-us.blogspot.com/

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,975
Re: Does anyone else drink too much!
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2008, 06:56:07 AM »
Veritee, I'm probably not a good one to try to think of something like a substitute for something.  Do you like to read?  Reading helps me somewhat.  However, I bought a pack of cigarettes last night.  See, none of us are perfect.  I think the main reason I don't drink anymore is because I'm diabetic and, as people know, drinking and diabetes don't mix.  My brother (who is also diabetic) can go out and drink like 2 diet cokes & rum, over like a period of 4 hours.  Me, I don't see a point to drinking unless one's going to get plowed.  But, that's me. 

Anyway, I'm rambling.  Don't come down hard on yourself.  We all have our vices.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

 


Terms of Membership for these forums
 

© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved.   terms of use and your privacy
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.