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Author Topic: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding  (Read 12009 times)

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Offline buffaloboy

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My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« on: November 28, 2009, 07:50:51 PM »
A couple of years ago, I introduced a couple of friends to each - let's call them John and James-
and they hit it off big time.  They had to make do with a long distance relationship as one lived in the UK, and the other in Australia. Now, however, they are finally -as of this week- living together in London.

Now, John has been a great friend and we were very close. He doesn't live too far away from me, so we always tried to catch up as often as possible. If I went over for dinner, he'd often insist that I crash the night in his living room, so that we could hang out again in the morning for breakfast. He would also give me the keys to his flat whenever he went away, so that I could escape my annoying housemates and get some much needed solitude when necessary. So, it was a very close friendship, and it goes without saying that he was one of the first people that I told about my diagnosis.

But we had a row at the beginning of this year about politics, and thereafter, things changed completely. He seemed to want to actively see much less of me. When we did meet up, after an hour or so he'd be putting his jacket and make his excuses to leave. On other occasions, if we were to meet, he would invite someone else long who I wouldn't really know, so weren't able to have our usual close chats. The phonecalls all but dried up and the only emails I'd get off him would be group ones about going to some club, bar or music event.  And when he knew I was recovering from a nasty bout of pneumonia for the second time this January, he didn't ring, phone, email or text, to see how I was doing.

So basically, I just felt as if the friendship was slipping away from me and there was nothing I could do about it. I tried a couple of times to talk to him but he really didn't want to engage.  On one of the few occasions this year when we were able to meet up and be alone, he asked me how I was and I told him how depressed I'd been feeling, and felt that I was becoming isolated, because the few friends that I'd told about my HIV status had all seemed to distance themselves from me in one way or another. I deliberately didn't refer to him directly as I didn't want him to feel 'got at', but I sort of hoped that it would make him think more about our friendship. Anyway, his response was 'You need to go and find some people who are also HIV positive.'

Although I was able to maintain my composure, I just wanted to burst into tears. It felt as if it was his way of saying that he was no longer interested in hearing about that part of my life which has obviously affected me greatly. I also felt particularly hurt because although I didn't shy away from telling him stuff to do with HIV, I always tried to be conscious not to dominate our time with it in a self-absorbed way as I didn't want it to feel like a burden to the friendship. Further, I would always take the time to ask about, and listen to, things that were going off in his life.

After this, I decided that I couldn't see any point in continuing the friendship if there was no longer a feeling of mutual support, as it only caused me a considerable amount of hurt and pain - not what I need when I'm so utterly depressed anyway.

But then, a couple of days ago, my friend and John's boyfriend, James, sent me a text message saying he was now in the UK and that he and John had booked their wedding for the weekend before Christmas and want me to be a witness. Talk about doing things at short notice!

But seriously, the issue for me here is that I haven't seen or spoken to John in six months and I simply cannot face turning up to the wedding and pasting a smile on my face for 'old time's sake', as if nothing has happened; that would feel so completely awkward, uncomfortable and false. On the other hand, I  fear that if I don't accept  the invitation, I also risk losing my friend James too.

On top of all of this, I finally started HIV medication for the first time in October and found the side-effects so horrendous that I had to stop after 3 weeks, which has left me feeling incredibly shaken, and I have some difficult appointments coming up in the next couple of weeks regarding claims for government benefits  and housing relating to my HIV status, which I'm dreading in case they go badly.

So, I have a lot on my plate and this wedding and the tsunami of difficult emotions that it's bringing up is really the last thing I need right now.

HELP.



Offline TheRoof

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2009, 10:28:01 PM »
This situation is like identical to mine. I was real close friends with this one guy, we always had fun. Partying, road trips. Then told him about my Rape, My Hiv+ Status. After I told him, I would sometimes ask him more "philosophical meanings of life" and just basically talk about "Life". Kind of like in your situation. He slowly stopped communicating with me. Because he wasn't interested in MY problems so much, as he had his own issues to worry and obsess about.

It seems that you have an emotional attachment to him, which isn't healthy IMO. You have to remember that people aren't interested in our problems because they have their own issues to worry about, and when other people are trying to talk about "feelings" it makes THEM feel depressed.

There is only a close-knit group of friends, perhaps even 1 person that will be there for you till the end. The majority of people might "pretend" to symphatize with you, but you have to remember is that if you consistently talk about your "feelings", they can feel that attachment which makes THEM uncomfortable. People prefer to be around friends who excude confidence, success, and happiness. Those are the people that usually have huge groups of friends to pick from.


« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 10:29:35 PM by TheRoof »

Offline mecch

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2009, 02:34:59 AM »
You friend has proven over time that he is not such a good friend and not interested in supporting you in the least.
The invitation to be a witness at his marriage is completely bewildering.  I would experience it as a some sort of cruelty, if I were in your shoes.  But there is a slight chance that this could be the wrong interpretation. Why don't you call up this couple and ask them point blank why they want you to be their witness.  Be polite about it, in case they say something wonderful.  If they say something icky or you get a bad vibe, just decline, and take your distance from your friend, who isn't really a friend.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2009, 06:29:41 AM »
It seems that you have an emotional attachment to him, which isn't healthy IMO. You have to remember that people aren't interested in our problems because they have their own issues to worry about, and when other people are trying to talk about "feelings" it makes THEM feel depressed.

I definitely had an emotional attachment to him - as he did with me. We were really more like brothers than friends. When he split up from a boyfriend a number of years ago, I made a point of being there to help him through it and we would spend ages discussing it, as it obviously affected him deeply. There was also the time when his mother was extremely ill in hospital and I made a point of being there for him and letting him know that I was always around if he needed to talk. During this very difficult period for him, I deliberately didn't mention anything to do with HIV, as I wanted him to feel  that I wasn't placing any demands or expectations on him whatsoever.  I didn't mind at all as, to me, that's what friends are for. 

I don't believe that friendship is just about fun. Obviously that is a big part of it, but there is an awful lot more to it than 'happiness, confidence and success'; that sounds like a superficial idea of what friendship - and life - is actually about, and that was never how my friendship with John was. We had many laughs together, for sure, but we're both old enough to realise that life has bad times as well good and, up until this year, went through both together.

The invitation to be a witness at his marriage is completely bewildering.  I would experience it as a some sort of cruelty, if I were in your shoes.  But there is a slight chance that this could be the wrong interpretation. Why don't you call up this couple and ask them point blank why they want you to be their witness.  Be polite about it, in case they say something wonderful.  If they say something icky or you get a bad vibe, just decline, and take your distance from your friend, who isn't really a friend.

You are right. This invitation has been completely bewildering, especially as it was sent by text, rather than asking me in person, so I wasn't able to get any sense of the spirit in which it's intended.
However, I believe that the reason I've been asked is because this is sort of John's way of getting me back into his life and, better still for him, rubber-stamping his relationship, but without actually having to address any of the issues that caused the breakdown of the friendship in the first place.

I know that if I asked them outright why they wanted me as a witness, they would just give me some bland response like 'It would be really lovely to have you there', which just doesn't cut it for me. In all honesty, right now, I don't feel  any duty to John, but remember, that his partner James, who I introduced him to, is also a good friend too, although because he's been living on the other side of the world, we've been unable to be as close (I've not told him about being positve as I didn't want to do it over email, or the phone).

So were I to decline this invitation, I'd feel bad at the idea of not seeming to be supportive of James. Unfortunately, though, you don't get one without the other and, at this point, I don't feel able to jolly along for their 'big day' when I feel so upset about the way in which I've been treated by one half of the 'happy couple'.



Offline Ann

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2009, 10:41:51 AM »
Hi BB. My first thought was that he's trying to offer you an olive branch. I think if it were me, I'd get in touch and tell him that I was touched, but very surprised, by his invitation, given your recent estrangement. I think I'd then ask to get together sooner rather than later, to discuss things. If he baulks at this request, I think I'd just have to let the relationship - with both of them - go. A friendship that makes you uncomfortable just isn't worth the hassle. Friends are supposed to be there for you and they're supposed to be comfortable. Maybe not always comfortable, but if both parties aren't willing to work to get that comfort aspect back, then more often than not, it's time to cut your losses. 

You've got to take care of yourself and sometimes cutting uncaring people out of your life is a difficult, but essential part of that. I've had to do that in my own life and frankly, it's been worth it. When one door closes, another opens and all that.

Hugs,
Ann
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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 buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2009, 12:16:42 PM »
Hmmm....I've thought about the possibility of it being an olive branch, but I don't know. The fact is, it wasn't John that sent me the message - it was his boyfriend James who I'm still friends with. So from my perspective, it doesn't exactly look as if he's making very much effort which, in a sense, was the reason for the friendship unravelling in the first place.

There's an imbalance in their relationship in as much as John has lived here for all his life, whereas James has only lived here for about three years -on and off- so this is why I think the invitation is really more from James, and John is going along with it to keep him happy.

Christ! This is making me so stressed. I can practically feel my CD4 count plummeting. :-[

Offline leatherman

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2009, 01:38:00 PM »
You've got to take care of yourself and sometimes cutting uncaring people out of your life is a difficult, but essential part of that.
Amen to that sister  ;) Having just ditched a 20yr relationship with a woman I considered my OhioMom, I can attest that sometimes it's hard to know when to cut those losses; but it's the best solution to saving yourself a lot of grief.

I totally agree with Ann's suggestion to reach out for the olive branch though. Perhaps this has just been an adjustment in your friendships with these people. Remember, as your life has changed (by finding out your medical/health situation has changed for example), your friends lives haven't stayed static either. Perhaps they are just moving in a different direction than you are now. (often times, a job change can cause as much interruption in a friendship) That's really neither good or bad, it's just the way things in life go sometimes.

At 47 yrs old, I can't tell you how many times friends have gone their own way. The good thing is that other friends come by from a whole other way. And sometimes friends even come back around later on. (thinking of the childhood friend I have reconnected with 35 yrs later, now that I'm back in the Carolinas)

So from my perspective, it doesn't exactly look as if he's making very much effort which, in a sense, was the reason for the friendship unravelling in the first place.
i wrote most of this post earlier but just never sent it (sometimes I worry that I poke my nose into too many threads, so sometimes I write posts that never get posted) However, I struck out my agreement with Ann, not because I didn't agree; but because of what you just posted and that's why I finally posted.

I broke off my 20 yr relationship with my OhioMom (and one of her sons, and two of her daughters) because I finally realized that it was only I that was putting ANY effort into our relationships. I like to think that I'm a pretty nice guy (and my friends tell me that's true), so to be honest, I'm usually the one putting the most effort into all my relationships. Just like I don't keep track of who is buying drinks at the bar, I don't rate my friends by how much they contribute to the friendship. BUT I do pay attention when someone never buys a round of drinks, and eventually I get around to realizing when I'm the one doing all the work, while others are taking advantage of my helpfulness. Sometimes those other people don't realize the imbalance in our relationships and it's not out of any "evil" motive, it's just that they're too busy in their own lives to expend the energy that I may be willing to expend. But when you realize there's this imbalance, it's up to you to either force the situation back to the way it was (which only works when THEY want it to work out), or you cut your losses and move on.

The majority of people might "pretend" to symphatize with you, but you have to remember is that if you consistently talk about your "feelings", they can feel that attachment which makes THEM uncomfortable. People prefer to be around friends who excude confidence, success, and happiness.
that sounds like a superficial idea of what friendship
Roof gave you a pretty astute analysis though. People suffering from depression often depress the people around them causing those people to avoid them. Most people just don't have enough sympathy and empathy to want to stay around worried, sad or depressed people. The irony is that exactly when you need support the most is when you're also alienating support the most. ::)

It certainly sounds like your friends are moving off onto a different path from the one they had been traveling with you. Then again, dealing with HIV, means that your path has already begun to diverge from theirs. Perhaps it is just time for you to gracefully cut the ties that bound this friendship and let it drift off on it's own path, rather than to devote any more time and energy into a losing cause. Of course that's rather sad, just like losing my OhioMom was. But the way to compensate for this kind of situation is to be pro-active and find new friends and new support ;D and to get on with your own life ;)

hope some of that helped, and best wishes to you!
mikie
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2009, 04:26:58 PM »
Interesting post, Leatherman.  Much of it seems to focus on the theme of 'moving on', which can feel sad when it happens, especially if you're not the one that has instigated it, but I'm aware is a fact of life.
But if this is what's happening in my situation, I find it a little strange that I'm sort of being pulled back into my friends life by being invited to be the witness at their wedding. That doesn't quite add up for me after this six month period of pointedly not seeing or speaking to each other.  It's almost as if my friend is saying that he'll see me when he wants to, rather than it being out of a mutual desire to spend time together.

I just have no idea of where the friendship might be heading in the future and that makes it almost impossible to decide whether it's worth investing my time and energy in going to this imminent wedding.


Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2009, 06:19:50 PM »
I think that if the date of the wedding works as far as your schedule vis a vis what you have going on right now starting meds, etc., then by all means go and be a witness and share that joyful time with them, without having to "discuss" it first, etc. Just enjoy the special occasion and have a good time. I know you're depressed and that may be difficult to do but depending on the level of one's depression, sometimes if one makes an effort, one ends up feeling uplifted by it.

If, on the other hand, you are not able to attend because of what you have going on, then decline but do it graciously, without making a big deal out of it and without them thinking that you are upset about past events etc. Just say the truth: that the date happens to coincide with a time of big transitions for you which make it impossible for you to be able to attend as much as you'd love to. And if you are able to afford it, maybe ask them out to a celebratory drink or lunch or dinner (or something) at some point in the near future when all of you are more settled in with the new chapters in your respective lives.

I hear what you are saying about how it looks like your friend has been shutting you out in the last few months. Maybe he has had a lot going on in his own life and is not able to give you more than what he has. Certainly what you are going through is not easy but if he is not emotionally or in any other way able to help you or support you then so be it, it doesn't necessarily mean he is not a good friend. Some people just do not handle certain things well.

As time goes on, you'll all have a better idea where the friendship is headed but it seems that this period of time is filled with big transitions and the emotions that come with them to be able to really assess what's going on. Sometimes we need a little distance for better perspective and that comes with a little time.

The most important thing, as you alluded to, is that you remain as stress-free as you possibly can.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 06:38:48 PM by Inchlingblue »

Offline leatherman

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2009, 06:37:31 PM »
Much of it seems to focus on the theme of 'moving on', which can feel sad when it happens, especially if you're not the one that has instigated it, but I'm aware is a fact of life.

I just have no idea of where the friendship might be heading in the future and that makes it almost impossible to decide whether it's worth investing my time and energy in going to this imminent wedding.
The falling out with my OhioMom happened within a short two month timespan. After that one of her sons, my roommate, at the time, lied to our landlord and I found out with only 2 wks notice that I was about to become homeless. I spoke with the landlord and could have stayed but I could not have afforded it on my own. So within 3 weeks, with help from my family and friends, I gave away nearly everything I owned in Ohio after 25 yrs and 2 partners (who both died of AIDS), loaded the rest into a Uhaul with my 3 cocker spaniel and drove 550 miles to SC to live in the spare bedroom in my mom's house. Did I want to do any of that on the spur of the moment when I didn't even instigate the incidents? Heck no, but sometimes you just do what to have to do to protect yourself.

Now with the holidays, I am missing my OhioFamily. I occasionally wonder if I should call, write, email, or text. But you know it's been months and they haven't contacted me so that's my answer as to whether they want to repair or keep our relationship.

unfortunately, but obviously, since it's been 6 months since you became estranged from your friends, they have moved on. You could always go the event; but don't expect to be much more than you were to them for the last 6 months. At best, it sounds like you've just probably moved from being "friends" back down to being "acquaintances". So if you go, go to enjoy yourself, not as some way to regain what you've lost.

don't misunderstand me either. I do feel bad for how your friends have left you. Things like this are always sad. The goal for you now - for your sanity and your happiness - is probably to move on. Every moment you stress or anguish over this, is a moment of your life that they have continued to steal away and ruin. You have to not let them have that kind of control over you, your life and your emotions. (hey, it's good advice, even though I'll admit it is much easier for me to say than to do ;))
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline mecch

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2009, 08:30:21 PM »
An invite to be a witness for a wedding, coming via text messsage, from one partner only, sounds like that couple is callous.  I say, put it to them straight how you feel, but politely.

Repeat:  A text invitation to be a witness???? Come on people, some standards please!  Some self esteem.

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2009, 09:34:35 AM »
Well, you could always look at it like this - go to the wedding; who knows how many new friends and/or lovers you may meet! There's usually a silver lining in any cloud, if you just cock your head a little to the side and look for it. :) Sometimes you need to squint a little too. :D

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 buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2009, 03:54:18 PM »
''I hear what you are saying about how it looks like your friend has been shutting you out in the last few months. Maybe he has had a lot going on in his own life and is not able to give you more than what he has.''

When it comes to friends, I've always been the type of person who tries their utmost to never let people down, to be there for them and to be as dependable as possible, so that they would feel they always had me there to rely on. And this was especially true of John. But now I'm inclined to think that if he can't be there for me, even when I'm sick for heaven's sake, then why I should now make the effort for him? After all, it's not as if I don't have a lot going on at the moment and I don't really feel as if I've got anything to give emotionally, or otherwise. Right now, if I can manage to get out of bed and get myself some food, then that's a major achievement. So, nope. I don't feel like being particularly generous with my time and very limited energy at the moment.

'' A text invitation to be a witness? Come on people, some standards please!  Some self esteem.''

I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't think it's ropey to invite someone to be a witness via text.
It's almost worth declining the invitation on those grounds alone!

''Well, you could always look at it like this - go to the wedding; who knows how many new friends and/or lovers you may meet!''

I already know the people who will be invited, so there won't be any new people to meet, sadly. :'(





Offline leatherman

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2009, 04:06:44 PM »
There's usually a silver lining in any cloud, if you just cock your head a little to the side and look for it. :) Sometimes you need to squint a little too. :D
I love that Ann. I'm adding that to my file of email sig tags.

Right now, if I can manage to get out of bed and get myself some food, then that's a major achievement.
I hear you, brother. I was like that after each bout of pnuemonia. As always, I have to give cred to my dogz. If I hadn't had to get off the couch to feed them, I probably would have just laid there and died.  ::) To this day, one of my happiest days was Day 30 after having PCP - I finally had the strength to climb the stairs and sleep in my own bed once again.  ;D

It's a shame that your friends are too stupid to know what a good friend they had, and it's definitely their loss.  ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline Ann

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2009, 08:05:27 AM »

Right now, if I can manage to get out of bed and get myself some food, then that's a major achievement. So, nope. I don't feel like being particularly generous with my time and very limited energy at the moment.


Wow, BB, I didn't realise you were still feeling so poorly. ((((BB))))

All things considered, including the fact that you would not be meeting new people if you attend, I'm now leaning towards you cutting your losses and cutting these people out of your life. And yes, to invite someone to a wedding via text message is the height of tackiness. Just how tight are these people? Do you really want them in your life with the way things have gone? I don't think I would.

I hope you feel better soon.

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 allanq

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2009, 01:46:48 PM »
It's hard when a close friend suddenly distances themselves from you. This is especially true when there was no defining moment that caused the distance. If it were due to your saying or doing something hurtful or thoughtless, then at least you could offer an apology. But that is not the case. It does not seem that you have done anything wrong.

It is disturbing that John told you that you should seek out other people with HIV as friends. It suggests that your HIV status has a lot to do with his withdrawing from the friendship. It is not asking too much of a good friend that he listen and provide support to you when you are in need. You've done that for him in the past.

Inviting you to his wedding by means of a text message with no follow-up or personal contact is impersonal and just plain rude. In my opinion, such an "invitation" doesn't even merit a response.

It sounds like James may still want to be your friend, which may be why he, rather than John, sent the text to invite you to the wedding. Some couples seem to do everything together, but with other couples, each person maintains personal friends of their own. It may be possible for you to continue to be friends with James, independent of John. I have two friends that are in relationships, but I always see them without their partners.

Allan
Top (Breakfast): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress, Zoloft (2), Glyburide (2), Aspirin
Bottom right (Dinner): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress
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Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2009, 02:23:49 PM »
It's hard when a close friend suddenly distances themselves from you. This is especially true when there was no defining moment that caused the distance. If it were due to your saying or doing something hurtful or thoughtless, then at least you could offer an apology. But that is not the case. It does not seem that you have done anything wrong.

Actually this may not be true as the OP states clearly in his first post: "But we had a row at the beginning of this year about politics, and thereafter, things changed completely."

While it's hard to effectively say so because none of us were in the room during this first spat, it's possible that buffaloboy's depression is manifesting itself in angry outbursts.  This is a known symptom of depression.  His friend may have distanced himself for a while to allow buffaloboy to sort things out, and of course there may have been other instances of this that the friend has seen but buffaloboy was not aware of himself.

I hesitated initially to point this out because it's really only a possibility, but it still should be considered and obviously would be by any professional treating buffaloboy for depression.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline WildcatCC

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2009, 04:13:11 PM »
I tend to compartmentalize things so I'm looking at this from the 3 perspectives in your title - Depression, Friendships and a Gay Wedding.

Friendships
Something occurred earlier this year that strained the friendship. What I think I read is that your interactions lessoned - namely, you hung out less, you talked less on the phone, texts and emails became infrequent. You own 50% of the friendship. It seems to me from what I read (and forgive me, it's late afternoon and I don't have my coffee!), that you place the blame on him for the reduced interactions. How much did you try to reach out after the initial row? Did your pride take a front seat to the friendship? Maybe his did too? In any event, waiting for him to reach out is as much of an excuse as him waiting for you to reach out. If this is the case, this is an area you should address with him regardless of the wedding.

Depression
Please please please talk to someone about your depression. Depression is a chemical imbalance and can be fixed. Don't let the stress of the friendship exacerbate your depression and try not to blame the issues of the friendship as the cause  the depression. You can beat depression. Trust me.  ;)

The Big Gay Wedding
Screw em. Or maybe a more mature approach - have a sit down with your friend and discuss with him how the strain of the friendship (and own up to your 50%) leaves a big empty hole in your heart. You may not feel comfortable witnessing that which you do not support given the estrangement of you and your friend. Openly talk it out without blame, finger pointing or lamenting that which you can not change.

Be good to yourself. Look out for yourself and get someone to help you think more clearly about life's obstacles and how you can beat them.

Mark
Apr  08 - Diagnosed
Apr  08  cd4 8, vl 150k
Meds: Prezista/Norvir/Truvada
June 08 cd4 250, vl 1600
Aug  08 cd4 275, vl 450
Meds: Atripla
Nov  08  cd4  386, vl 255
Jan   09  cd4  415, vl 2100 (spike?)
Feb   09  cd4 460, vl 212
May   09  cd4 515, vl 1200
Aug   09  cd4 717, vl 1535 % 23
Sept  09  cd4 535  vl 1710 % 18
Oct   09  genotype shows mutation. Discussing w/ ID Doc
Nov  09   cd4 480  vl 650   % 19
Dec  09 genotype slight mutation to Epivir and Retrovir
Jan 10   cd4 508 vl 250 (21%)  low vitamin d - on supplement 2000 iu/day
Mar 15 Change to Isentress and Truvada
May 5 cd4 498 vl 1485
June 16 cd4 550 vl undect!!!! (finally dammit)

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2009, 08:46:43 PM »
''Wow, BB, I didn't realise you were still feeling so poorly. ((((BB)))) ''

Ann - just to clarify, my comment about stuggling to get out of bed is more related to depression and being demotivated rather than illness, or any lingering effects of stopping HIV treatment. Even though I was only on Atripla for less that three weeks my viral load dropped dramatically so, physically, I actually feel better than I have in some time, although given that I'm no longer on any treatment I don't want to push things.

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2009, 09:56:44 PM »
Actually this may not be true as the OP states clearly in his first post: "But we had a row at the beginning of this year about politics, and thereafter, things changed completely."

While it's hard to effectively say so because none of us were in the room during this first spat, it's possible that buffaloboy's depression is manifesting itself in angry outbursts.  This is a known symptom of depression.  His friend may have distanced himself for a while to allow buffaloboy to sort things out, and of course there may have been other instances of this that the friend has seen but buffaloboy was not aware of himself.

I hesitated initially to point this out because it's really only a possibility, but it still should be considered and obviously would be by any professional treating buffaloboy for depression
.

The row actually took place over the phone. We'd been texting each other about a public protest regarding the situation in Israel/Palestine and he took exception to something I said about why I didn't want to attend. I was actually suffering with pneumonia at the time and it was late - which I pointed out to him  - but told him was OK to talk as I think it's often better to allow people to let off their steam. To be honest, I was too weak  through illness to have any 'outburst' of my own, and he did most of the talking/shouting and eventually hung up on me. Hmmm....

As I said in my original post, we did meet up a few times after, but things never quite felt the same until it seemed to peter out completely over the summer.

''Friendships
Something occurred earlier this year that strained the friendship. What I think I read is that your interactions lessoned - namely, you hung out less, you talked less on the phone, texts and emails became infrequent. You own 50% of the friendship. It seems to me from what I read (and forgive me, it's late afternoon and I don't have my coffee!), that you place the blame on him for the reduced interactions. How much did you try to reach out after the initial row? Did your pride take a front seat to the friendship? Maybe his did too? In any event, waiting for him to reach out is as much of an excuse as him waiting for you to reach out. If this is the case, this is an area you should address with him regardless of the wedding.''


I think there is a good deal of truth in this. I'm not saying that he made no effort at all, because that simply wouldn't be true. But, like I said earlier, when he came out he would leave very quickly or bring a friend along, whereas before we'd be spending real quality time together. And rather than get back to my messages in a matter of days, it would be weeks before he'd return my calls. Perhaps I'm too sensitive but when you've been very close to someone this fairly sudden shift in behaviour feels quite hurtful, especially if they don't explain, or you don't know, the reasons behind it.

Depression
Please please please talk to someone about your depression. Depression is a chemical imbalance and can be fixed. Don't let the stress of the friendship exacerbate your depression and try not to blame the issues of the friendship as the cause  the depression. You can beat depression. Trust me


I've been seeing an HIV psychologist for 3.5 years.

It sounds like James may still want to be your friend, which may be why he, rather than John, sent the text to invite you to the wedding. Some couples seem to do everything together, but with other couples, each person maintains personal friends of their own. It may be possible for you to continue to be friends with James, independent of John. I have two friends that are in relationships, but I always see them without their partners.

I  do think that James has made more of an effort in terms of keeping in touch than John.

I think the problem here is that because I introduced them we all know each other - there's something rather triangular about this situation,  which I wonder if all parties are struggling with in some way. My sense is that in a way, in some respects, John couldn't handle both the intimacy of of his friendship with me and his new partner, so I was the obvious choice to be axed. Remember, it was him that used to plead with me to stay over (on the sofa) so that we could hang out in the morning together, and he would often say at these times that he didn't like being on his own. But now, of course, he's not on his own so his 'need' for me is diminished.

Although I've known James for a very long time too - we used to live together in a house share - he's been living out of the country for some time now, so we have a very different kind of friendship. Given that he's not been around he wouldn't be aware of exactly how close I was to John, although  he did say to me last year that he felt awkward discussing anything to do with his newfound relationship, since he was acutely aware that John and I are good friends.

Personally, I was hopeful that I'd be able to maintain my individual friendships with each of them, as they are/were both important to me but in different ways. And besides, does anyone really enjoy playing gooseberry....?!





Offline WildcatCC

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2009, 08:59:16 AM »
"I've been seeing an HIV psychologist for 3.5 years."

Time to assess his/her effectiveness.
Apr  08 - Diagnosed
Apr  08  cd4 8, vl 150k
Meds: Prezista/Norvir/Truvada
June 08 cd4 250, vl 1600
Aug  08 cd4 275, vl 450
Meds: Atripla
Nov  08  cd4  386, vl 255
Jan   09  cd4  415, vl 2100 (spike?)
Feb   09  cd4 460, vl 212
May   09  cd4 515, vl 1200
Aug   09  cd4 717, vl 1535 % 23
Sept  09  cd4 535  vl 1710 % 18
Oct   09  genotype shows mutation. Discussing w/ ID Doc
Nov  09   cd4 480  vl 650   % 19
Dec  09 genotype slight mutation to Epivir and Retrovir
Jan 10   cd4 508 vl 250 (21%)  low vitamin d - on supplement 2000 iu/day
Mar 15 Change to Isentress and Truvada
May 5 cd4 498 vl 1485
June 16 cd4 550 vl undect!!!! (finally dammit)

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2009, 02:15:32 PM »
"I've been seeing an HIV psychologist for 3.5 years."

Time to assess his/her effectiveness.

I'm happy with his effectiveness. Some types of depression need to be addressed over the longer term.

Offline Nestor

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2009, 02:23:37 PM »
Hi Buffalo,

I read your thread last night and have been thinking about it today.  Of course I cannot decide for you, or even know what the right decision would be.  For one thing, John's behavior, as you describe it, is totally inexplicable; to have gone from being as good a friend as you describe to one who is distant and shouts on the phone over politics and hangs up on you--not to mention that odd comment about how you need friends who also have HIV--strikes me as bizarre.  Without understanding it, I cannot suggest a way for you to deal with it.  Many other people here have suggested that moving on and forming new friendships is the best route at this point, and I agree, although of course, again, only you know whether this friendship can or should be saved.

But I can say that at this moment, in the condition which you describe--you are recovering from an unfortunately bad experience with your first meds and you are preparing yourself for the second attempt after Christmas, and in the meantime feeling depressed--you need to think about yourself, and you are entitled to make decisions based solely on your own well-being.  Even if John were a paragon  of friendship, someone who is unwell has a right to stay in bed.  

Secondly, I don't care how informal the modern world has become, a 'wedding' invitation that comes by text is pathetic and does not merit the thought or response that a proper invitation would.  

You describe being depressed to the point of not being able to get out of bed.  Sometimes when we are depressed to that extent it means we need some time to be alone, to sleep a lot (most of us do not get enough sleep at all) and generally to recover and heal.  Instead of always seeing depression as something we need to "do something" about, sometimes we can see it as a healthy way for the body and the mind to get the rest they need.  I certainly do not mean by this to minimize the seriousness of depression or to advise against taking steps to alleviate its symptoms, but as with many other things, working with it is sometimes more effective than fighting against it.

I'm sure you will follow your instinct, and that your instinct will be right.  But you should feel no obligation to go if that is not what you want to do.  A brief note of congratulations, and apology for being unable to attend, is all that politeness demands--and in fact, as it was only James who invited you, it is only to James that you need to make a reply.  If they are real friends they will understand when, in the future when you are feeling better, you explain the situation to them.  If they do not understand, then they were not good friends to begin with.  Every adult ought to know what it is like to go through a dark time in one's life.  To a real friend, the words "I was going through a hard time then" ought to be more than enough, and no more need be said.  

 I am truly sorry to hear how hard the past few months have been for you.  But please take things slowly, think about yourself, and get lots of rest.  You need to recover from your bad time on Atripla and prepare yourself, mentally and physically, for whatever comes next.  I'm sure that by the time Spring comes you will be in a much better frame of mind to deal with some of these other things.  Good luck!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 02:28:29 PM by Nestor »
Summer 2004--became HIV+
Dec. 2005--found out

Date          CD4    %       VL
Jan. '06    725    25      9,097
Nov. '06    671    34     52,202
Apr. '07    553    30      24,270
Sept. '07  685    27       4,849
Jan. '08    825    29       4,749
Mar. '08    751    30     16,026
Aug. '08    653    30       3,108
Oct. '08     819    28     10,046
Jan '09      547    31     13,000
May '09     645   25        6,478
Aug. '09    688   30      19,571
Nov. '09     641    27       9,598
Feb. '10     638    27       4,480
May '10      687      9    799,000 (CMV)
July '10      600     21      31,000
Nov '10      682     24     15,000
June '11     563    23     210,000 (blasto)
July  '11      530    22      39,000
Aug '11      677     22      21,000
Sept. '12    747     15      14,000

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2009, 08:12:19 PM »
That was a well considered response Nestor. And you even made me giggle with your comment about the informality of the modern world and the text message invitation; I'm laughing because it's so true. It's almost as if they don't want me to take it particularly seriously.

And you're right to pick out the comment about finding positive people to talk to. It's really undermined my confidence and made me wish that I'd never confided in him in the first place, as well as making me more fearful about disclosing to anyone in the future. Now I can't help but wonder if he felt that I was a burden to him, which rather detracts from what I understood the supportive nature of the friendship to be.

Anyway, I'm still uncertain about whether I should go to the wedding or not. I just really hate the idea of disappointing people even whilst feeling that now, more than ever, I need to put myself first. Ho hum....

Offline allanq

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2009, 09:45:34 PM »
Anyway, I'm still uncertain about whether I should go to the wedding or not. I just really hate the idea of disappointing people even whilst feeling that now, more than ever, I need to put myself first. Ho hum....

Whom would you be disappointing?

John didn't even invite you to the wedding, so I doubt you would be disappointing him. Every wedding invitation I've ever received was sent by both parties to the marriage. That's just the way it's done. You can't even be sure that John would welcome your attendance.

This wedding "invitation" is just too weird on several different levels.

If James has any sensitivity he will understand why you do not wish to attend.

Allan
Top (Breakfast): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress, Zoloft (2), Glyburide (2), Aspirin
Bottom right (Dinner): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress
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Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2009, 05:34:07 AM »
Whom would you be disappointing?

John didn't even invite you to the wedding, so I doubt you would be disappointing him. Every wedding invitation I've ever received was sent by both parties to the marriage. That's just the way it's done. You can't even be sure that John would welcome your attendance.

This wedding "invitation" is just too weird on several different levels.

If James has any sensitivity he will understand why you do not wish to attend.

Allan



The text message from James said 'We'd both love it if you were a witness. What do you think?'. I suppose they would argue that that means it came from both of them, but I'm inclined to think that if John was marrying someone who wasn't my friend, then he would not, after this period of zero contact, get in touch out of the blue and ask me to be a witness at his wedding. This is why I suspect the invitation is somewhat one-sided.

Anyway, me and James were meant to be meeting up for a coffee and chat this week but, so far, I've not heard from him, and the wedding is now only two weeks away.




Offline carousel

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2009, 05:47:18 AM »
I understand that this might be difficult for you, but I wonder if you are making this all about you and not recognising that this is their day.

After my diagnosis, five and a half years ago, I lost several friendships through my thinking that they were not being particularly supportive.

Part of me knows that at the time, I am not sure that any friend could have given me everything that I needed.

If you are unable to lay the hurt to one side and celebrate their relationship, I would not turn up. 

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2009, 09:26:41 PM »
I understand that this might be difficult for you, but I wonder if you are making this all about you and not recognising that this is their day.

After my diagnosis, five and a half years ago, I lost several friendships through my thinking that they were not being particularly supportive.

Part of me knows that at the time, I am not sure that any friend could have given me everything that I needed.

If you are unable to lay the hurt to one side and celebrate their relationship, I would not turn up. 

Of course I recognise that this is 'their' day - that's the nature of weddings.

As for friends being supportive? That's a tough one. I've only told a few people and make a conscious effort NOT to discuss HIV endlessly. When I have brought it up, it's usually been in a very casual, non-dramatic way just to let people know what's been going on, rather than a ploy for sympathy.  But, c'mon, when you're sick, or recovering from illness, is it really too much to expect the odd phone call or message to see if you're OK? I would do that with any of my friends as standard practice and surely anyone who's even vaguely switched on must know that illness for someone who's HIV positive, can have other implications - such as starting lifelong treatment, for example.

I suppose at the heart of the matter is the question about what to do if friendships change to an unrecognisable degree when people become involved in a relationship? I understand that people will have less time in these circumstances, but when you barely recognise the person once they start going out with someone then it can be both difficult and hurtful. It very much felt as if it was John's decision to distance himself from me, which I was gradually coming to terms with, but then that is the reason this invitation has come as such a confusing surprise.

Offline carousel

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2009, 04:38:56 AM »
I agree with you about how friendships can change when one or the other gets a boyfriend.  I've been on both sides of it and I certainly remember not contacting friends because I was caught up in the middle of a relationship.

A couple of years ago, I felt really hurt by the actions one close friend, who I was witness at their civil partnership.  After that day, I barely heard from him and I began to feel extremely bitter towards him and his partner.  When he did contact me, once a postcard from holiday and once by text over a space of a few months, I did not respond.

It really got on my nerves that he was not able to just pick up the phone and in my mind, I took it as an almost dismissive action on his behalf.  Who knows.

I'm still not sure of the rights and wrongs of the situation, but I do know that it is me who is carrying round the bad feeling and I no longer speak to somebody who I liked a great deal.

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2009, 01:56:42 PM »
UPDATE:

I met up with my friend James and we had a long, long talk about this. I didn't go into details about how exactly I felt about John, but I made it very clear just how awkward I feel being around him at the moment in any capacity. I said I recognised that being asked could well be a bit of an olive branch, which was good but, on the other hand, after so long of not seeing him, I would feel very disingenuous acting as if nothing had happened. I also pointed out that I had a lot on my plate at the moment, emotionally, and to a lesser extent physically, and that I was having to put myself first.

I made of point of saying that none of this meant that I was in some way disapproving of their relationship, or not a supportive friend but, rather, I simply feel unable to handle this particular situation right now.

To his credit, James seemed very understanding. I feared that he might storm out telling me how selfish I am, but he listened calmly and implied that my decision wouldn't have any impact on our friendship. He asked how myself and John could resolve our issues, but I said that I think more time needed to pass before that could be addressed, whilst acknowledging that this puts him in a difficult position, for which I was sorry.

On a purely practical note, it turns out that they must have someone they can rely on attending to be be their witness as they aren't inviting anyone other guests, and my yo-yo-ing health being what it is, doesn't exactly qualify me for the role, which I pointed out.

They are having a small party in a cafe/bar later in the evening so, depending on how I feel at the time, I may well drop in as a 'surprise', congratulatory card in hand, to wish them well.

But I have to say, now that I've got that difficult conversation out the way, being honest about my feelings but trying to be as diplomatic, and undramatic, as possible, I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

And a big thank you to everyone who participated in this  thread as well as those who sent me private messages.  All contributions were very much appreciated. ;)

Offline leatherman

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2009, 02:24:04 PM »
But I have to say, now that I've got that difficult conversation out the way, being honest about my feelings but trying to be as diplomatic, and undramatic, as possible, I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
I'm glad to hear that you got some resolution on this matter as it seemed to be weighing heavily on you and your health. It even sounds like you may not have even lost those friendships all the way either.  ;)

I may well drop in as a 'surprise', congratulatory card in hand, to wish them well.
that's a nice idea. Not only would it contribute to keep dialog open to saving your friendships; but who doesn't like a party. LOL  ;D
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2009, 05:01:26 PM »
I'm glad to hear that you got some resolution on this matter as it seemed to be weighing heavily on you and your health. It even sounds like you may not have even lost those friendships all the way either.  ;)
that's a nice idea. Not only would it contribute to keep dialog open to saving your friendships; but who doesn't like a party. LOL  ;D

Annoyingly, my health has taken a dip in the last week with a very upset stomach that leaves me unable to eat much and very drained of energy. So whether I'll actually be fit enough, or in a party mood next Friday, remains to be seen. But I think it could be important for the future direction of the friendships so I will try to make the effort if I can.


Offline leatherman

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2009, 05:31:39 PM »
I can understand that. ;) Having been literally miraculously side-effect free almost this whole year, my norvir has been making me puke lately. :( Ah, I say sarcastically, just in time for Christmas celebrations and my first trip to the beach in over 25 yrs. :o Even if I feel like crap, and the weather is only 30 degrees at Myrtle Beach, I'm going so I have a pix of me in speedos at the beach on Christmas day. ;) :D My poor COLD friends back in OH are going to be sooo jealous. :D ;D

But I think it could be important for the future direction of the friendships so I will try to make the effort if I can.
hopefully, you will feel well enough to at least put in a token appearance. ;) There's nothing wrong to going for a short time to pass along your good wishes before excusing yourself because you don't feel well. A little token of goodwill won't be much to invest to keep some friends.

best wishes, and hope you are feeling better soon ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #33 on: December 22, 2009, 05:28:07 PM »
Just to update anyone who might be interested, but I didn't end up going to either the wedding or the drinks. I decided that I might just be up to dropping in to the evening knees-up, but when I asked around, my other friends were already booked up with parties, seeing as it was the Friday before Christmas. I couldn't face going alone, as I didn't want to feel as if I would have to attach myself to someone that I didn't know very well and spend my evening making polite small talk which can drain me at the best of times.

I called James the day before the wedding and told him that, unfortunately, due to the late notice, I was unable to find a date for the party, and therefore would not be able to attend. He seemed to understand. I said that I would be thinking of them and hoped they had a lovely day. I also put a 'congratulations' card in the post wishing them both well which they should have received on the morning of the wedding.

Y'know, I thought that I'd spend the day of the wedding feeling wracked with guilt and telling myself that I'm a 'really bad friend'. But , in actual fact, I didn't. I felt somewhat relieved that I wouldn't have to deal with the social anxiety of seeing and speaking to John again for the first time in 6 months, and relief also that I wouldn't be dwelling on how the occasion had gone for days afterwards and wondering whether John would, or perhaps more importantly, wouldn't, re-ignite our old friendship.

As this thread shows, reaching the decision was not an easy exercise at all but ultimately I feel as if I made the right one, and then executed it with as much care, tact and diplomacy as possible, trying to remain conscious  and respectful of the peoples feelings, as well as my own. Time will reveal if John and James are understanding of the way I behaved, but I  genuinely feel that I conducted myself in a way that I would personlly find acceptable if I was in their position.

And lastly, it's made me more cognizant of the fact that, sometimes, you just have to put your needs before the expectations of other people. And that's ok.

Offline leatherman

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #34 on: December 22, 2009, 06:39:38 PM »
I called James the day before the wedding ...  I also put a 'congratulations' card in the post
I'm glad it's over for you, since you were having some unresolved feeling until the day came and went. Even if you do still have a few unresolved feelings, you definitely thought about their feelings and did the right and nice thing. ;)

Time will reveal if John and James are understanding of the way I behaved, but I  genuinely feel that I conducted myself in a way that I would personlly find acceptable if I was in their position.
And it they don't appreciate your friendship, then they're idiots and not worthy to be your friends.  ;D
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2009, 09:48:25 AM »
So since you're in therapy what does your therapist have to say about this situation and your reactions with it?
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2009, 05:59:06 PM »
So since you're in therapy what does your therapist have to say about this situation and your reactions with it?

I wasn't able to discuss this with my therapist before he took his (long) annual leave for Christmas, and I'm not due to see him again until the new year. But I have other pressing concerns in my life, so whether we will spend much, if any, time, discussing this saga, remains to be seen.

Offline mecch

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #37 on: December 24, 2009, 08:16:18 AM »
The part of the excuse that was based on you not having a date, so you couldn't go, rung a bit odd to me. You might mention that to you shrink.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #38 on: December 24, 2009, 09:47:24 AM »
Personally I can't imagine investing as much emotion as you've exhibited in this thread and not going over it all in depth with a therapist, one who you are already engaged with in therapy sessions.  That doesn't really make much sense, and in fact seems grossly negligent if that's your actual intention.  I hope you will reconsider this.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #39 on: December 25, 2009, 05:47:06 PM »
Personally I can't imagine investing as much emotion as you've exhibited in this thread and not going over it all in depth with a therapist, one who you are already engaged with in therapy sessions.  That doesn't really make much sense, and in fact seems grossly negligent if that's your actual intention.  I hope you will reconsider this.

I didn't say that I definitely wouldn't discuss it but, rather, I'd see how I felt about it in the new year, given that it's no longer a pressing concern. Remember, the wedding was announced at short notice so I felt bounced into making a decision very quickly, which is something I don't appreciate at the best of times. But that moment has now passed and the reality is that what happens next is very much up to them, and that's something that I'm reconciled to.

Long term therapy - by definition - isn't necessarily about immediate goals, so whether I discuss this issue in six months, a year's time, or never, will depend on the extent to which it affects me as time rolls on.  Being 'negligent' doesn't even enter into it.

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #40 on: December 25, 2009, 06:39:32 PM »
The part of the excuse that was based on you not having a date, so you couldn't go, rung a bit odd to me. You might mention that to you shrink.

I missed this post until now.

Why does it sound 'odd' that I might not want to go because I didn't have a date? I've been at pains to point out how awkward I would feel seeing John after six months of no contact so, it seems fairly obvious that it would've have made things somewhat easier if I had someone there to support me - acting almost as a sort of 'buffer' to the whole situation.


Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #41 on: December 25, 2009, 09:28:24 PM »
I didn't say that I definitely wouldn't discuss it but, rather, I'd see how I felt about it in the new year, given that it's no longer a pressing concern. Remember, the wedding was announced at short notice so I felt bounced into making a decision very quickly, which is something I don't appreciate at the best of times. But that moment has now passed and the reality is that what happens next is very much up to them, and that's something that I'm reconciled to.

Long term therapy - by definition - isn't necessarily about immediate goals, so whether I discuss this issue in six months, a year's time, or never, will depend on the extent to which it affects me as time rolls on.  Being 'negligent' doesn't even enter into it.

Fine Dr. Freud, print out the thread for him/her to read and see what response you get. 
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline GNYC09

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #42 on: December 26, 2009, 01:21:38 AM »
I didn't say that I definitely wouldn't discuss it but, rather, I'd see how I felt about it in the new year, given that it's no longer a pressing concern. Remember, the wedding was announced at short notice so I felt bounced into making a decision very quickly, which is something I don't appreciate at the best of times. But that moment has now passed and the reality is that what happens next is very much up to them, and that's something that I'm reconciled to.

Long term therapy - by definition - isn't necessarily about immediate goals, so whether I discuss this issue in six months, a year's time, or never, will depend on the extent to which it affects me as time rolls on.  Being 'negligent' doesn't even enter into it.

I have to agree with Miss Philicia. 
Maybe there is more worth exploring with your therapist than just the situation between you and John.  Issues re: feelings of abandonment, trust, having HIV- vs. HIV+ friends.  Or would you say your heavy emotions have disappeared so quickly?  I'd find that hard to believe but maybe I'm just projecting since I had several friends that I thought I was super tight with that totally abandoned me once I got sick.  It was difficult cutting them out of my life + learning that sometimes the people you think you can really count on are the first ones to disappear when you need them...

Offline mecch

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #43 on: December 27, 2009, 07:45:02 AM »
Why does it sound 'odd' that I might not want to go because I didn't have a date? I've been at pains to point out how awkward I would feel seeing John after six months of no contact so, it seems fairly obvious that it would've have made things somewhat easier if I had someone there to support me - acting almost as a sort of 'buffer' to the whole situation.
Oh I see, that makes sense of course. I had misunderstood and thought you wanted to have a love interest with you, as in a date date.
In any event I'm struggling with certain friendships and expectations and I agree with you it can be very perplexing, but I do talk to my shrink about this stuff and that helps find a constructive next step.  Hope you get what you want from these fellows, but maybe you are worth better treatment since you return a lot of thought onto two guys who seem pretty thoughtless.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #44 on: December 27, 2009, 09:25:17 AM »
Fine Dr. Freud, print out the thread for him/her to read and see what response you get. 

You're missing the point.

The 'crisis' situation of having to make a decision about attending the wedding has now passed so I'm sort of back to where I was before I received the invitation. I spent a long time discussing John in therapy earlier on in the year as it became ever more apparent that he was shifting the boundaries of our friendship. Inevitably, this raised issues around being positive including my poor health, as well as things like trust, abandonment and rejection.

After some time, I found that I no longer wished to talk about it, as I wanted to concentrate on other things. I had no idea a wedding was being planned so soon, so the invitation came as a surprise, and really caught me on the back foot. But like I say, the wedding has been and gone now. The most important thing was being able to make a decision that I could feel comfortable with, and in the end, that's what I did.

I'm sure it will come up in therapy at some point in the future, but it's definitely not my number one (two or three, for that matter) issue that I will bring up in the new year, and I don't think there's very much else to explore that we haven't already around these particular friendships.

Offline mecch

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #45 on: December 27, 2009, 10:41:45 AM »
Is your health bad?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #46 on: December 27, 2009, 11:48:18 AM »
Is your health bad?

I've had community acquired pneumonia (CAP) three times this year - once in January, and then again in September and October.

Offline mecch

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #47 on: December 27, 2009, 02:20:43 PM »
Oh dear! Are you on HAART? Preventive medicine for pneumonia?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline buffaloboy

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #48 on: December 27, 2009, 08:42:57 PM »
Oh dear! Are you on HAART? Preventive medicine for pneumonia?

I started on HAART in October, but had to stop due to the side effects.

There's no prophylactic medicine for CAP.

Offline mecch

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Re: My dilemma: depression, friendships and a gay wedding
« Reply #49 on: December 27, 2009, 10:04:58 PM »
im not an expert but it sounds to me you are getting insufficient medical attention
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

 


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