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Author Topic: Finally realized I'm Poz and feeling blue  (Read 3601 times)

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Offline Structure310

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  • Posts: 25
Finally realized I'm Poz and feeling blue
« on: March 11, 2009, 12:59:48 PM »
Hi everyone, I tested poz in March 5th and yesterday, March 10, I got back my viral load and t-cell count.  I was hoping that it was a false positive since I was immunized for the flu and had alopecia arreata (autoimmune disorder/localized hair loss) and so I thought it was possible my body was producing antigens and showing up on the test.  I was wrong and my viral load is 31k and t-cell count is 421.  Its hard just to type these numbers here because it makes it more real.

I was wondering, at 27, is my life over as I know it or can I lead a normal life still, besides taking the medication?  I'm so worried about the side effects (internal and external).  I am in LA and am thinking of joining a social support group, but I'm afraid of being outed.  I'm also worried about dating now, I have a much small pool to chose from.  I know I shouldn't feel this way, but perhaps with time, you just get over it.  Anyway, I'm glad I found this forum, and hope to move on with my life.  Are there people out there who don't tell their friends and family until a year has passed?

Offline positivmat

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  • Posts: 222
Re: Finally realized I'm Poz and feeling blue
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2009, 05:06:14 PM »
I hear what you are saying and understand how horribly upsetting it is to find out that you are positive.  I was diagnosed 1/30/09 and am trying to find my way with this.  i have some of the same questions that you brought up.  I hope that you find support in a local group.  I am trying to get into one here and they are not accepting new people.  Hopefully, you will be able to benefit from being from a bigger city which might have more programs available.  I would take advantage of as much support as you can find.  I have decided not to tell my immediate family period.  First of all, I think that my family would not be much support to me and that they would end up needing care from me and i don't have the desire to "support" them through my diagnosis.  When the time comes to tell them, i might.  I think that you have to figure out first what you might like to get from whoever you tell.  After you know what you want, you should analyze whether or not that person would be able to support you in the way that you want.  It might be nice to talk to as many poz people who have been through what you are going through and then once your strength and acceptance is up, go out and face other people and tell who you want, when you want.  I have found many helpful people on this forum who have helped me with their insights.  It's bad now, it has got to get better, look forward to the upcoming better life you will have.  You may not have as many people that you would be able to be with because of this disease, but that doesn't rule out meeting someone very special in the future.  Give yourself a break, realize what you have lost but don't forget that you will find something to take its place.  If you need to talk, pls contact me.  I wish you peace and hope that out of this, you find happiness.
Matt

Offline Structure310

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
Re: Finally realized I'm Poz and feeling blue
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2009, 04:21:52 PM »
Hi Matt,
Thanks for the encouragement.  You don't really know how you're going to react when you find out, but one of the most heartbreaking things in my mind became "Whoever was out there to be my true love is no longer there for me".  I think going to groups and meeting other poz people will help me, hopefully, realize that there are people out there for me still.  I found it hard to find people I felt compatible to begin with you know?  I agree about the family situation, if they can't handle the news, then whats the point of telling them?  My mother is middle-aged and diabetic, I just dont want to compromise her health either (when I came out to her she cried and told me to use protection).  I did find a local support group and will start attending.  I need to learn how to reclaim myself, I can't help but think of past memories and old photos and think "and then he gets infected at 27."  It hurts because I've been responsible and an overachiever all my life, got my masters, landed a great job, have my own place, and boom, the storyline of my life is rewritten because of one moment of weakness.  I hope I can get over the negative perception of self, and stop blaming myself for what happened.  Good luck on your journey as well Matt, and looking forward to seeing ya around here on the boards in the future. :)

Offline HollyStar

  • Member
  • Posts: 344
Re: Finally realized I'm Poz and feeling blue
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2009, 05:26:50 PM »
Hey there,

Welcome to the forums. I'm truly sorry about your diagnosis but you seem to be off to a good start. I know it's hard, believe me. I was diagnosed at 18. I knew I was positive because my boyfriend had recently tested positive with AIDS and several other things. I expected the doctor to say 'your HIV+' but it didn't make it easy to accept. I went out to my car and just screamed. I'm almost 25 now. One thing I know for sure, is that life doesn't end with an HIV diagnosis. Ya sure it's hard but it does get easier with time. Fight back by gathering all the knowledge you can, adopt a healthy diet, find a good Infectious Disease doctor and come here and learn from the experiences of others. It's great that you will be attending a support group. I hope it works out for you. And yes, the storyline of your life has been rewritten but don't let that stop you from living the very full life you can still have. Give yourself time and I hope to see you around the forums.

As far as disclosure goes, I haven't told any of my family and don't plan to. I want to but I also don't want to be the one giving the support. There are other reasons I choose not to disclose to them but that's another story. If you do choose to disclose I wish you luck. There are people on here who have a had a range of experiences with disclosure.
Diagnosed  July 28th 2003

'I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.' -Diande Ackerman

'Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?' -Frank Scully

'If your ship doesn't come, swim out to it.' - Jonathan Winters

Offline positivmat

  • Member
  • Posts: 222
Re: Finally realized I'm Poz and feeling blue
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2009, 09:39:20 PM »
Structure310. I know the feeling of wondering who will want you. I do have a partner but I am exceptionally "needy" and complicated. He is really zen and complete. I know that you are working through a terrible feeling of wondering who else might want you. But you are an overachiever and if you will really "reclaim" yourself, this is a great opportunity for that. You can totally recreate yourself from this destruction. I hate going thru this but I have overcome so many other things and I know that in the long term you could rise from these ashes as something new to yourself. I really like to meditate from time to time. A great teacher of meditation is pema chodron. She really teaches that in times like this we should really pay attention to our pain grief and other feelings to learn more about ourselves. I am hoping that I can rise to this challenge of this life changing situation. Sounds good but hard for me to do. I thought I would share that with you. I know our situations are not exactly the same though and I really hope you set up all the support you need for your unique situation.

Offline madbrain

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  • Posts: 1,208
  • No longer an active member
    • My personal site
Re: Finally realized I'm Poz and feeling blue
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2009, 09:43:17 PM »
Hi,

Hi everyone, I tested poz in March 5th and yesterday, March 10, I got back my viral load and t-cell count.  I was hoping that it was a false positive since I was immunized for the flu and had alopecia arreata (autoimmune disorder/localized hair loss) and so I thought it was possible my body was producing antigens and showing up on the test.  I was wrong and my viral load is 31k and t-cell count is 421.  Its hard just to type these numbers here because it makes it more real.

I am sorry that about your diagnosis.

Quote
I was wondering, at 27, is my life over as I know it or can I lead a normal life still, besides taking the medication?

No, your life is most definitely not over !

Quote
  I'm so worried about the side effects (internal and external). 

Everyone has different concerns about the meds. You need to read about them and become comfortable. Your doctor can help you, and he can tell you what's the best time to go on them. Not everyone goes on meds right away or at the same time.

Quote
Are there people out there who don't tell their friends and family until a year has passed?

There are plenty of people around here who don't tell. I told my family after about 3 weeks.

After 3 years living with me, including 27 months with HIV, my bf is still in the closet both about being gay or having AIDS. I don't know if he will ever tell his parents, whom he visits every day.

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,693
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Finally realized I'm Poz and feeling blue
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2009, 09:59:00 PM »
Are there people out there who don't tell their friends and family until a year has passed?
Tell the people who you can fairly surely expect to give you support and keep it confidential and not too much drama, you have enough of your own shock to handle without having to be strong for others right now. What i mean is that you need support so tell some people you can really trust, to help deal with the immediate shock and make it more normal. It is normal actually, you'll see eventually. Wait to tell your family until you are good and ready, or, of course, if those are the close ones you can really trust, tell them and tell your friends when you are good and ready.  Probably best not to go it all alone.
Sorry to hear about your seroconversion and all the best wishes.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline madbrain

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  • Posts: 1,208
  • No longer an active member
    • My personal site
Re: Finally realized I'm Poz and feeling blue
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2009, 10:07:30 PM »
Hi,

I need to learn how to reclaim myself, I can't help but think of past memories and old photos and think "and then he gets infected at 27." 

You can't think in those terms. The past is the past.
Think about the future. The fact that you get infected will have some consequences, but probably not as dramatic as they would have been a couple of decades ago.
You may have to start treatment at some point. You could be in therapy for a while to reflect on what happened. But there is no reason you should let the virus rule the rest of your life.

Quote
It hurts because I've been responsible and an overachiever all my life, got my masters, landed a great job, have my own place, and boom, the storyline of my life is rewritten because of one moment of weakness.  I hope I can get over the negative perception of self, and stop blaming myself for what happened.  Good luck on your journey as well Matt, and looking forward to seeing ya around here on the boards in the future. :)

Remember, HIV is a virus, and it does not discriminate. Nobody deserves to have it, no matter what they did. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Many extraordinary people have gotten HIV in the past through no fault of their own. You should not be ashamed. Having HIV does not lessen you.

Offline positivmat

  • Member
  • Posts: 222
Re: Finally realized I'm Poz and feeling blue
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2009, 10:23:41 PM »
I think it is important to remember that it is a virus and I try to but it has shamed me so deeply. I haven't really gotten over that since I was diagnosed less than 6 weeks ago. I tell myself that but the truth is that this virus has shaken me to my core. I am already on atripla and I know I can manage this disease with my dr's assistance. I also know that I will come out of the shame too. I hope to learn where that shame comes from inside me and try to learn from it. I get short of breath sometimes in the middle of the day and the shame just covers me. It's awful.

Offline Structure310

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
Re: Finally realized I'm Poz and feeling blue
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2009, 12:01:34 AM »
Matt,
I know what you mean about the shame.  This last week has been torture, I blew friends off when they wanted to hang out, and when I did hang out with a few, tears would well up in my eyes as I thought of the secret I was keeping.  I think you mentioned panic attacks, I got them too, whenever I would be going along my day, and then coming to the realization that I was positive, I would feel like I needed air.  I've been nauseous too, not wanting to eat.  Today is the first day I didn't feel nauseous.  I think I can get through this if the medication(s) are easy on me, I'm starting to think my life can stay relatively the same.  I think my guilt (and yours) also comes from the fact that we are ashamed of having had random sex in the past, one can't help but wonder if the disease was meant for me.  My friends would joke around about me being "frisky", and it was a matter of humour, now I have this permanent stain that makes it seem like it was inevitable for me.  Telling my friends would mean I would have to reestablish a new identity, it would be hard for them to characterize me in such a way if they knew.  I actually wasn't that promiscuous, perhaps 12 partners in the last year (actually that sounds like a lot now that I say it).  I used protection, except twice during the only two one-night stands (non-online meeting).  I feel foolish, I should have known better.  I had the message ingrained in my head throughout college, but I think I'm kinda getting tired of beating myself up now.  I just hope I stop feeling lonely and empty with time.

Madbrain,
Thanks for the encouragement, hearing it more and more makes it seems reasonable to think that eventually one learns to live with it.  I can't imagine disclosing this to even my best friends however.  In a way they look up to me, I dont want to disappoint them.  And also the sympathy would be too much, I'm pretty light-hearted in person and I would hate to ruin that chemistry.  I would hate for them to feel like they can't talk about dating and worrying about hurting my feelings because I can't date anymore (to the same degree), or not bringing up who they think is hot and who I should hit on because now I can't hit on people at the bars/clubs.  It ruins all the fun.  I'm not going to be a recluse but I'm surely not going to go out as much anymore, part of the fun was the notion of meeting people to date or just have a little fun with.  I can't be dishonest with people of my status, and I for one can't handle rejection very well either.  I definitely feel that a former self will be lost, and I have to learn to enjoy new things, more mature things, perhaps for the better.  I hope this doesn't sound like whining, its just how I feel, and I'm sure it might be whining, but it feels good to talk to others about it.

Holly,
Thanks for the encouragement.  I read about your story and am inspired at your newly found strength.  And  yes, I am starting to believe I can still live a full life despite this setback. :)

Offline myendgame

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: Finally realized I'm Poz and feeling blue
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2009, 04:02:45 PM »
Hi Structure,

I definitely understand what you're currently going through. I live in LA and was only diagnosed 4 weeks ago. Like you, I'm not out. I'm 26 years old and it's been difficult for me to fully grasp everything. The best thing I can recommend to you is to get as much information as you can. The information and people on this site has been awesome and I'm glad I found it. I also found a wonderful doctor who was really encouraging because the first thing she told me was to keep my long-term goals because I will live to see them. She's very helpful and knowledgeable and always responds to my emails/calls/etc whenever. I'm still trying to find a support group because I need to surround myself with others going through this.

I can relate to not feeling yourself around your friends. My friends all know something is wrong but I didn't tell them what it was. Over time, I realized that being with them keeps my mind off of things and helps me to feel myself again. In terms of deciding to tell your family and friends, the best advice I could give you is to take your time and not to rush it because you're still processing all of this yourself. You may want to tell someone you can trust when you're ready because this is difficult to go through alone.  I've only told one really good friend of mine because I truly know I can trust him. He has been amazing and the shoulder I've needed to cry on at times.

feel free to hit me up via a PM sometime...i'm here for ya, bro
Dec 08 Seroconversion
Feb 12 09: Diagnosis
Feb 26 09: CD4 380 / VL 39,000
Started Atripla March 30th 09
May 1 09: CD4 450 / VL 310!!!

 


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