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Author Topic: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up  (Read 5129 times)

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Offline positivmat

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Hey, my name is matt.  I am 42 and after 12 years in a monogamous relationship, i succumbed to a long desire to have multiple partners.  I started sleeping around with anonymous partners in june 08 and racked up quite a list of partners.  I thought that i was safe and/or thought i could trust a few guys. 

I was diagnosed 4 wks ago, i think i was infected 3 mos ago.  my acute ARS was so bad, i had pneumonia, rash, and it lasted for many weeks.  Subsequently, i was diagnosed, then my blood was tested and my viral load was 800,000 and my tcells were 325.  I started Atripla last week, doing alright, but i get real down every once in a while and i obsess about who gave me this.  There are a few possibilities, but everyone says that they were negative, which is impossible.  How do i let go of that?  Today was my first day back at the gym and i finally feel a little better physically.  I was in excellent shape and i can't stop kicking myself for the risks that i took and my stupidity.  I tell myself that it doesn't matter who gave it to me.  I notified my past partners, but i have this feeling that i want the one who gave it to me to come forward.  The negative energy and the depression over just being positive is bringing me down.  I don't really have anyone to talk to about that.  Anyway, i am struggling to get through this and was wondering if anyone is in or was in a similar situation.
Matt

Offline Fri213

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2009, 01:54:39 PM »
Yes Matt. I'm pretty much in the same situation. See http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=25951.0

I don't have my labs back yet so we'll see whether I get on meds or not. Keep your chin up. The meds work wonders from what I hear. Check out some of the links in my post and that book on Amazon might help you as well.
12/15/07   HIV -
02/13/09   HIV +
02/18/09   CD4 235 (28%) VL 21,300
03/16/09   CD4 248 (25%) VL 34,900
04/02/09   Start Atripla
05/12/09   CD4 314 (24%) VL 577
08/11/09   CD4 351 (22%) VL Undetectable
11/18/09   CD4 400 (27%) VL 60
02/24/10  CD4 335 (28%)  VL Undetectable
05/26/10  CD4 518 (37%) VL 207
08/25/10  CD4 502 (30%) VL Undetectable
11/24/10  CD4 585 (33%) VL 52
02/23/11  CD4 382 (31%) VL Undetectable

Offline kellyspoppi

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2009, 02:57:03 PM »
matt,

i'm not a psychiatrist but seeking one out can certainly help you to deal with your issues around the importance of knowing who infected you.

what should be more important though is, now that you know you are infected and where you currently stand virol load/cd4 wise, what are you going to do to give you the best chance of living a full life.

getting yourself into treatment early on was a major league first step. to carry this one step forward, educating yourself to be your best patient advocate. or if you feel you are not capable, finding a family member or friend who is, because being as informed about your illness as you can possibly be creates a feeling of self empowerment. this will help to put you back in control, not let the virus control you.

a positive mental attitude will also give you the best chance to survive. i have lived with hiv since 1986 and if there is one thing i stand by it is that having a positive outlook on living with hiv provides my meds the best chance of working on my behalf. and if it takes a therapist to get me in that frame of mind, then by all means get into therapy. and find someone who can teach you a few cleansing meditations to get rid of all the negativity you might be feeling about getting infected. hey, we all make mistakes so don't beat yourself up too much.

finally, i just happen to be in the forums today after a long absense. but you have plenty of friends with tons of experience with hiv right here in the forums. don't be afraid to use them.

23 years and i'm still undetectable with cd 4 over 800. i'm on my second regimen of drugs since 1996. i must be doing something right.

stay positive my friend.

kellyspoppi   

Offline positivmat

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009, 03:27:48 PM »
Kellispoppi,
staying positive is what i need.  i am really good at beating myself up.  I always told myself that i would not get this virus and the fact that i have it at 42, when i thought i was in the home stretch freaks me out.  I do need a good therapist and will look for one.  Some days are worse than others.  I know intellectually what to do, but my emotions run rampant - i feel rage, self-hatred, remorse and grief.  It helps to hear how others keep themselves in a positive frame of mind.  I think that i have some feelings of rage toward the virus and would like to find someone to blame for it (that always seems to be a good plan right - lol). 

For FRI213, i just started Atripla four days ago and the side effects were minimal for me.  My doctor was all for me getting early treatment.  A lot of people seem to think that this might be better for people in the long run.  If you have a low cd4 count, you should consider going on the meds as soon as possible.  I wanted to protect my partner by trying to get my load to an undetectable level as soon as possible.

Thank you both for your replies

Matt

Offline kellyspoppi

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009, 03:45:38 PM »
matt,

i understand the rage and the many other emotions we go through once we are left to deal with living with this virus on our own.

although it might not be the same situation as yours, back in 1989 i lost my fiance to complications from aids on the same day my dad was diagnosed with lou gehrigs disease, and died a year later. he was my business partner, as well, in our insurance agency.

talk about ample reasons to go out and beat yourself up......... and believe me, i did.

but a bad night driving home from the bar scene nearly cost me my life, and that woke me up to the perils of the path i was on.

support groups, a great hypnotherapist, plenty of guided meditations, and closure with my losses turned my life around.

find that therapist, and realize also that the meds today are much better for you than the ones we started on.

the future is bright my friend.

kellyspoppi 
 

Offline jayjax

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2009, 09:04:13 PM »
Hey Matt,

Glad you found the forum.  This is a great place to find information and get good advice.
Please try not to beat your self up.  You cannot change history.  Keep a positive focus and move forward and accept that you are now HIV+. The first few months are the hardest.  Time is your best friend as well as everyone here that can give you the support your need.

If you have a local HIV/AIDS support group in your community, I strongly recommend you contact  them and attend a few meetings.  This could really help the healing process.  I know it helped me.

Hang in there and keep us posted.

Jayjax.
08 Oct 08:  Diagnosed
18 Oct 08:  1st Lab Work: CD4 - 268, VL 7,000
18 Nov 08:  Started Atripla
28 Jan 09:   CD4 - 195, VL 70
05 May 09:  CD4 - 201, VL = Undetectable
16 Aug 09: CD4 - 235, VL = Undetectable
30 Nov 09 CD4 - 300, VL = Undetectable
30 Mar 10 CD4 - 305, VL = Undetectable
27 Jul 10 CD4 -  301, VL = 100
13 Aug 10 -- Switched to Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir
30 Sep 10 --  CD4 598, VL = Undetectable

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2009, 08:32:37 AM »
Matt, I support the suggestion of locating support through a local ASO. Hopefully you have that available in your area. This is not an experience to overcome or get through by yourself. The mind can just run around in a treadmill with no good result.

How you acquired HIV and from whom is less important right now than how you get on with your life. It's good to know that you're getting good care and having your numbers watched. That's one of the major tools in staying well.

You're always welcome here to ask questions and to just talk about anything that's on your mind. Without my minimizing the seriousness of HIV, I will also say that gradually you are going to see that life is going on and that it's still going to be a good one. Just different, but still good.

Welcome.
Andy Velez

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2009, 11:07:31 AM »
I know intellectually what to do, but my emotions run rampant - i feel rage, self-hatred, remorse and grief.  It helps to hear how others keep themselves in a positive frame of mind.  I think that i have some feelings of rage toward the virus and would like to find someone to blame for it (that always seems to be a good plan right - lol). 


Matt -- I felt and still feel a lot of same feelings, seroconverting in my 40's how lame! But why do you feel alone - if you have a partner?
Read the Kubler-Ross model - supposedly it applies to divorce and shocking illness, not just terminal illness. Since in all likelihood, HIV will NOT be terminal for you.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model
Get a therapist.
It will take time, a lot of time.
My therapist suggests to make a list of activities that make me feel good and do them a lot now, so as to divert my mind when it starts reeling. I think this is very wise advice. There is plenty of time for quiet reflection - just don't overindulge, and certainly not now!
Best wishes.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 11:10:24 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline positivmat

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2009, 12:10:36 AM »
Thank you everyone. Yesterday I saw a therapist who will halp me get thru this. I am having a bad day today beating myself up. My therapist says I will forgive myself when I am tired of beating myself up. I feel so defective and damaged but I guess this life change will really push me in new ways. It doesn't seem possible at this pint that I might forgive myself but it is still new. I worry a lot about my partner who has been supportive but is really hurt by my infidelity.  This was a lot of rambling. Thank you all for the support.

Offline jampdx

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2009, 04:29:56 AM »
Matt,

First of all, I'm so sorry.  It is such a devastating feeling and for me, shameful also.  I wondered how I could be so stupid to have just not worn a condom with a stranger. (for me it was a stranger, yours sounds different)  My cousin & dear friend said a very powerful statement to me which was simple, but helpful.  Mid sentence of me saying all this, she goes, "DON'T DO THAT!  JACOB... THIS COULD HAVE BEEN ANY OF US, IT JUST UNFORTUNATELY HAPPENED TO YOU.... ALL OF US HAVE MADE THAT MISTAKE!!!"

I'm recently diagnosed also, but if there is anything I can do including just listen, please write.  We probably both could use a good venting.

Sincerely,

Jacob
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-Infected 1/6/2009
Positive 2/9/2009
3/8/2009:  CD4 603  VL f\'d up by lab and having to redraw
4/7/2009 CD4 650 VL 348
6/24/2009 cd4 964 VL 850
9/26/2009 CD4 546 VL 822
7/22/13 CD4 1080 VL 2,220

Offline positivmat

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2009, 06:38:46 PM »
Yes jacob I feel just like that. I am going to have to work on forgiving myself. I would say the same thing as your cousin TO YOU or anyone else but myself. I am coming face to face with my internal judge and I am very harsh with myself. But you and I have to deal with the consequences and they constantly remind me not to let myself off the hook. I will though cause I want to enjoy life again. And I feel so grateful that I have it now with atripla and its not 25 years ago but it still fills me with shame that I will have to get over. I so desperately need to talk to the "just diagnosed" right now cause I don't want to feel alone with this shame so I appreciate your words

Offline jampdx

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2009, 07:43:59 PM »
I hear what you're saying about saying that to anyone else, but not as easy when it's yourself.  I'm feeling that same way.  I am just diagnosed, so feel free to chat me up.  I don't know how to sort it all out yet either, just doing the best I can to stay positive and move on, it's done.
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-Infected 1/6/2009
Positive 2/9/2009
3/8/2009:  CD4 603  VL f\'d up by lab and having to redraw
4/7/2009 CD4 650 VL 348
6/24/2009 cd4 964 VL 850
9/26/2009 CD4 546 VL 822
7/22/13 CD4 1080 VL 2,220

Offline positivmat

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2009, 08:25:21 PM »
Well jacob it helps that u said it because it makes me realize that I could say it to myself. And you to yourself. Be well

Offline dtwpuck

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2009, 09:18:44 PM »
Hi, Matt...

Your therapist is right.  Forgive yourself.  It probably doesn't seem so easy right now, but you will get there.

Remember, you (along with most of us here) made an adult decision to take the risk of having unprotected sex.  It was a mistake, yes, but it was not the fault of the person who gave it to you.. even if they knowlingly lied to you.  Yes, I mean that.  You are responsible for protecting yourself.    Was thje other guy wrong?  Hell yes.  But he doesn't matter anymore.

You do matter though.  And you can start by forgiving yourself for making a mistake.  It's big one.  But, it's one we all share.

Don't make the same mistake I made, beating myself up for 10 years before I figured out that my life hasn't come to a screaching halt just because I got a stupid virus.  I am not someone who believes in sugar coating this, but it will get easier.  It's going to suck for a while and you will sometimes fall backwards... but there are people who can help. 

I've said it a million times.  You can not control what happens to you.  You can control your attitude.  Take it by the horns and live your life.  Look for what good things you have and focus on them.

... and take care of yourself by forgiving yourself.
Floating through the void in the caress of two giant pink lobsters named Esmerelda and Keith.

Offline yesican

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2009, 12:35:27 AM »
Hi  positivmat;
I to havent known long. I was given the good news a week before christmas. What a christmas gift. Im also close your age 47 here and have always been so careful so when this happened I was devistated. I trusted someone and as they tell you it only takes one time and thats what happened. Im hanging in there but there are days I think i can't go on but somehow I do and the next day isn't as bad. finding this sight and my close friends have been my lifeline don't know what I would do without both. Hope things get better for you and hope to hear from you again

Offline positivmat

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2009, 04:54:49 PM »
Thanks yesican and dtwpuck for your posts.  I know that i will get through this.  I think that i have to look at as my challenge to really improve myself by getting in touch with this mistake, this sexual addiction and this new body with this virus.  I don't want to be blind to how much this hurts (and being without my old desire to numb myself with sex is helping in that regard).  The good part about being older is that i know that there is a process for getting past pain and suffering.  I feel like now i am walking around with my heart out on my sleeve, less blind to others pain, less sure of myself, less arrogant, less of my old defenses. 

Well, its a month later and I still struggle with forgiving myself.  It will be a process.  I am going forward with my job, which satisfies me.  I played tennis this morning for 2 hours and immediately after it was over, i thought "Wow, 2 hours without HIV."  It's such a mind fuck this thing, because the only thing that is really suffering is my mind's image of myself.  I am sitting in meditation with this trying to get used to the new me.  Being open to being depressed, less than what i was, not feeling sexual (which used to define me).  The sitting meditation is good at getting me in touch with this.  I have the depressed feeling of heaviness on my body from this experience. 

I was llistening to Pema Chodron's "Getting Unstuck" and she was talking about the movie, "A Beautiful Mind" where the schizophrenic genius realizes that his buddies are delusions and he has to say goodbye to them.  I realized then, that i am really attached to this guy i think gave me the virus and I just want to continue the attachment with him by blaming him.  It keeps my old delusions alive.  I am trying to say goodbye to my delusions. 

Talking to you guys about this really helps and i appreciate reading this forum.  It puts things in perspective more and more.  It still sucks, but much less when you have company (both those it still sucks for and those who have moved on).  I hate being this crybaby victim, but this virus has me down.  I will get past it, nevertheless, it has me down.  and it feels like a release to admit that.

Thanks,
Matt

Offline Ann

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2009, 09:51:44 PM »
The only guy who gave you this virus is YOU. Say goodbye to the delusions, forgive yourself, and get on with your life. The ONLY person making you a "crybaby victim" is YOU. Get over yourself and live again.

Maybe it sucks, but yeah, that's how it is. Get with it or sink. it's your choice how you deal with it.

Ann
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 09:53:26 PM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...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 positivmat

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2009, 10:08:00 PM »
I think that is exactly what I was trying to express. Everyday seems to move me toward getting over this more and more. Maybe not on your expressway schedule. But I guess at my own pace. Your posts seem particularly angry tonight. What's up with that?

Offline dtwpuck

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2009, 10:49:22 PM »
I wouldn't presume to speak for anyone... but I can tell you that some of us know deep down that worrying about 'who gave it to me' and 'why did this happen to me' is very damaging to the psyche.   Just remember that we are all human here...  and even the wisest of people have moments where we feel frustrated. 

Thanks for sharing your progress.
Floating through the void in the caress of two giant pink lobsters named Esmerelda and Keith.

Offline Ann

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2009, 05:54:25 AM »
I think that is exactly what I was trying to express. Everyday seems to move me toward getting over this more and more. Maybe not on your expressway schedule. But I guess at my own pace. Your posts seem particularly angry tonight. What's up with that?

I wouldn't presume to speak for anyone... but I can tell you that some of us know deep down that worrying about 'who gave it to me' and 'why did this happen to me' is very damaging to the psyche.   Just remember that we are all human here...  and even the wisest of people have moments where we feel frustrated. 

Thanks for sharing your progress.

Yeah, sometimes I guess I do let my anger/frustration show. Why? Because this culture of blaming the person who "infected me" is a large part of what is driving the numbers of new infections ever higher. People seem to refuse to take personal responsibility. It's never their fault, it's always the other guy who's to blame. I'd put money on the idea that most people who are out there passing on their virus don't know they have the virus - which puts the onus on each and every person to protect themselves.

At the end of the day, the majority of us need to look no further than the nearest mirror to discover who "infected me". If we didn't insist on condoms, then we've got no one else to blame. And yes, that includes me. The only people who have the luxury of blaming another person are those who have been raped, or those who had every reason to think they were in a monogamous relationship and their partner brought this virus home to them.

Accepting that we did this to ourselves is a major step in learning to live with this. We're only human, and human beings make mistakes. Such is life. Forgiving ourselves is also a big step in learning to live with this. Don't beat yourself up. At the same time, quit wasting your energy looking to blame the other guy.

"Expressway schedule"? I realised from day one that I had to take responsibility for my infection. Maybe it's a difference of being used to taking personal responsibility for what happens in life and not being used to taking personal responsibility. A sign of the times, perhaps.

A very frustrating sign.

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 positivmat

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2009, 06:40:28 AM »
Sorry to frustrate you ann as a failiure of our times. And amazed that you want to pin that on me. Not afraid of accepting responsibility here. In fact very responsible. I was just posting the associated feeligs that went with it for me.

Offline mecch

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Re: Diagnosed 4 wks ago, real lonely, scared and sort of messed up
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2009, 08:30:34 AM »
Yeah, sometimes I guess I do let my anger/frustration show. Why? Because this culture of blaming the person who "infected me" is a large part of what is driving the numbers of new infections ever higher.
That's unclear epidemiology to me, Ann. It takes two to tango, and for an HIV infection it takes 1 uninfected person and one infected person.
People seem to refuse to take personal responsibility. It's never their fault, it's always the other guy who's to blame.
In my opinion blame can be shared especially if the HIV+ lies, risks, and passes the virus. Blaming doesn't prevent infection (too late!) nor solve problems in the present or the future, however, agreed. 

But assigning responsibility to two who tango is not all bad if we can remove some of the emotional baggage.  If we don't hold HIV+ people, who know, to their responsibility to be honest and to protect their partners, then there will be more infections. Because HIV- take human risks, stupidly.
I'd put money on the idea that most people who are out there passing on their virus don't know they have the virus - which puts the onus on each and every person to protect themselves.
True.
At the end of the day, the majority of us need to look no further than the nearest mirror to discover who "infected me". If we didn't insist on condoms, then we've got no one else to blame. And yes, that includes me. The only people who have the luxury of blaming another person are those who have been raped, or those who had every reason to think they were in a monogamous relationship and their partner brought this virus home to them.
I dunno, this seems harsh. And in your logic, don't know why those in relationship should be allowed to blame the cheating partner. Wasn't it their responsibility to have safe sex in the relationship under the assumption that humans tend to betray.....

This is a time tested controversial issue in these forums and i don't see why people want to make it so cut and dry.  A new infected person has a right to pass through whatever meaning seems to explain the circumstances of his/her infection. Nobody else was there except the two people involved. How can we be so judgemental of formerly HIV- people.  It seems unkind.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

 


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