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Author Topic: A few questions regarding someone close to me.  (Read 3024 times)

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Offline drewie85

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
A few questions regarding someone close to me.
« on: August 13, 2009, 04:29:41 AM »
I recently found out that a very close friend of mine was diagnosed with HIV (him and I went and got tested together, I came out NEGATIVE on 8/11/2009) - I got my results a day ahead of him. He got his yesterday (8/12/2009) and tested POSITIVE.

It's now 3:22am and I just now got off the phone with him, calming him down. I was on the phone with him for 6 hours. He is very heartbroken right now, and I had to stop myself from crying many times over the course of our conversation, because he is just very sad right now.

What can I do to help him? I already told him that I am here no matter what, and that I will never leave him and to call me if he needs me for anything at all. But I still feel like that's not enough. I want to do more to help him. I already informed him of this forum, but of course he has no interest (at the moment) to do anything.

Another question is -- I gave him an over the counter sleeping medication (Tylenol PM) to help him sleep, because he said he couldn't sleep. Now, is this ok to give him? He has an appointment tomorrow to see a doctor, and he wants me to go with him, and I told him I would. So tomorrow (later today), what should I do? I'm just as lost as he is. But I don't want to come off like I'm worried because it would make him feel worse. Please please help me.

Offline Joe K

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  • Posts: 3,667
  • 31 Years Poz
Re: A few questions regarding someone close to me.
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2009, 02:33:35 PM »
Hello Drew,

I am so sorry to hear about your friend testing poz, but you are doing all you can right now and what he really needs is time.  He's been given life altering news and that takes time to sink in.  Right now he is feeling so many emotions that he is confused and he needs some time to begin to sort everything out.  You have been a great friend by offering your support and right now, that is about all you can do.  While he needs the support of friends, he also needs to find his own way and that is why unconditional support is so vital.  Please don't suggest that he does this or that, rather just listen.  Begin to educate yourself regarding HIV and this site has excellent lessons on the many facets of the disease.

You also need to take care of yourself, because someone you care deeply about, has just received some very bad news.  You will both undergo changes and that is perfectly normal.  It takes time to heal, so let him know that you are there and invite him out to do things, but be understanding if he just needs some time to collect his thoughts.  I imagine you are both very confused right now and all of that is perfectly normal.  You both need time to adjust and being there for each other is the best way to make that happen.

Offline jcelvis

  • Member
  • Posts: 77
Re: A few questions regarding someone close to me.
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2009, 11:19:26 PM »
You need to think about it as a grieving process, like someone close to him just died. Having lost my father suddenly when I was younger, and also finding out I was positive, I can tell you my experience for both instances were very similar.

Right now he's reorganizing his values and trying to determine the effects this event will have on his life. One thing you need to do is let him grieve. In the end he will be very lucky that he has someone to come to when he's ready.
Change the way you view the world, and the world around you changes.

Offline md

  • Member
  • Posts: 196
Re: A few questions regarding someone close to me.
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2009, 05:36:16 PM »
You need to think about it as a grieving process, like someone close to him just died. Having lost my father suddenly when I was younger, and also finding out I was positive, I can tell you my experience for both instances were very similar.

Right now he's reorganizing his values and trying to determine the effects this event will have on his life. One thing you need to do is let him grieve. In the end he will be very lucky that he has someone to come to when he's ready.

While I think that you are definitely correct when it comes to "reorganizing his values and trying to determine the effects this event will have on his life" I think that you also have to be a little bit careful about assuming that everyone will react the same way that you did. In particular I think that the idea of "grieving" is one that may apply to some people much more than others. It is however something that people should be aware of as one possible part of the process.

Offline jcelvis

  • Member
  • Posts: 77
Re: A few questions regarding someone close to me.
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2009, 09:59:28 PM »
When I speak of the grieving process i am more talking about the stages of grief:

1. Shock & Denial
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression, Reflection, Loneliness
5. Acceptance & Hope

This process has been well documented in studies regarding death, cancer patients, and people affected with HIV.
Change the way you view the world, and the world around you changes.

Offline positivmat

  • Member
  • Posts: 222
Re: A few questions regarding someone close to me.
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2009, 11:09:16 PM »
I definitely grieved. And even saw a grief therapist but being on this site makes me realize how different everyone is in the way they cope with this. Some seem to have no big issues while some take longer. The ones who seem to quickly accept it don't really seem to have "grief" like the way I think they would over a lost partner, parent, sibling or friend. Just my observation.

Most importantly, let your friend express his feelings without editing them. The people who seemed to have the most compassion to me as I grieved were less likely to correct my "wrong" views or try to change my viewpoint. They just acknowledged what I said and shared back from their own experience.  My friends here were so important because unlike other diagnoses, there was not a public outpouring of sympathy.

It means a lot that you are even trying to prepare yourself to console someone.

And take care of yourself as well. Your friend will need someone who is at ease with themselves to help put them at ease as well.

Offline md

  • Member
  • Posts: 196
Re: A few questions regarding someone close to me.
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2009, 02:19:07 AM »
When I speak of the grieving process i am more talking about the stages of grief:

1. Shock & Denial
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression, Reflection, Loneliness
5. Acceptance & Hope

This process has been well documented in studies regarding death, cancer patients, and people affected with HIV.

Yes, I thought that was what you probably meant.

The studies that you mention are valuable because they can help us to understand the range of emotions that someone is likely to go through when certain major life changing events take place.

They do not, however, tell us how any one individual is going to react and nor are they, or should they be, a prescribed set of stages that you must go through like some kind of 12 step program. People do react differently - some people get stuck in one of those stages and never get past it - for others that stage barely exists at all - and, of course it isn't a simple linear progression from start to finish - there can be multiple conflicting emotions at the same time and people often cycle back and forth through the "stages".

So, yes, there is a lot of value in understanding the "stages of grief" but in my opinion there is also a danger of assuming that they are the one and only path that everyone needs to follow.

 


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