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Author Topic: Working through the shame & guilt . . . aka, Venting  (Read 3178 times)

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Offline OrangeBear

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  • Posts: 2
Working through the shame & guilt . . . aka, Venting
« on: January 20, 2011, 04:52:43 PM »
Tested positive on 12/16/10. Luckily my partner is still negative. Wrap that up with the fact that I'm a recovering alcoholic/addict, and it leaves me feeling less than the slime left behind by a slug. On 12/16/10 I had just over 6 months sober (this time) and didn't drink over the news. This past Tuesday, after a bad fight with my partner, it all became too much and I drank. I harbor no fantasies of ever becoming a 'normal' drinker again . . . I know better. I didn't drink Tuesday night to enjoy it . . . I drank to make the feelings go away. I have not continued drinking, but instead took the necessary steps to start working on my recovery again. I know, for me, it's the only way I'll stay alive.

Oh . . . I almost forgot . . . I started Atripla last week and it's making me want to crawl the walls. Last night was the first night's sleep I got without hallucinating . . . I'm praying the side effects go away as promised.

Intellectually, I know that my addiction and HIV are simply diseases that I have to live with and follow the prescribed treatments for (if I want to live a long, healthy life). Intellectually, I believe that I'll be okay. But emotionally, I feel like a piece of shit. Even though I have many friends who are positive and have been living healthy lives for many, many years, I still can't even bring myself to tell them.

It's only been a month . . . hopefully things will get better, one day at a time.

Offline drewm

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  • Posts: 1,037
  • Mmmmmm Hmmmmmm!
Re: Working through the shame & guilt . . . aka, Venting
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2011, 05:20:43 PM »
Welcome OrangeBear! I recently discovered this forum myself and can relate somewhat to your news. Hang in there! I am seeing a psychiatrist and it's probably been just as important as seeing a regular doctor. I agree with you about the "intellectual" thoughts as opposed to feelings of your heart and mind.

Sorry for the circumstances but glad you are here.
MAY 2010
VL>500,000 CD4>8


DEC 2010
VL>30 CD4>323

Atripla. Valtrex, Trilipix, Fluoxotine

Offline kellybryana

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  • Posts: 96
Re: Working through the shame & guilt . . . aka, Venting
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2011, 11:02:20 PM »
Hi Orangebear, I relate to you a lot, although I do not pretend to know exactly what you are going through, or have been through. My personal salvation in these last couple of months of being poz (I was diagnosed on Oct. 25th, 2010)  has been to view this life as a fun learning experience. Addiction sucks, and we all have our share of them. You have your choice in how you are going to view the world now that it has been flipped upside-down. I applaud you for not drinking more upon hearing your diagnosis. Remember,  EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE  OK!

No one is normal! There is no such thing as normal, and anyone who tells you differently is lying to themselves. I am choosing to view this new life as a blessing in disguise. There are so many diseases out there. My whole family is riddled with cancer,diabetes, and depression. Most of my family (who's opinions I have taken to heart my whole life) has had several plastic surgeries, and is very superficial. Rearrange your priorities, and enjoy what this life has to offer you. There is so much out there for you! Try not to pay too much to the superficiality and vanity that is around you. in this society. There are more important and fulfilling things out there. HAVE FUN!!! You still have a future, you still have love around you. Watch "The Secret." It will change your life. It changed mine. Forever.

Don't ever lose hope.

One love,

Offline mikeyb39

  • Member
  • Posts: 921
Re: Working through the shame & guilt . . . aka, Venting
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2011, 11:34:41 PM »
welcome orange!
try not beating yourself up so much just take it one day at a time, if you fall off the wagon just pick yourself up and move on.  I found out in Nov of my positive status and started Atripla as well.  I've always had trouble sleeping and take ambien from time to time, that seems to help alot, so maybe talk to you're doc and see if something like that will help you get a good night sleep.

hope things get better.  rest is really important so definitely talk to your doc about you're sleeping issues.

11/02/2010  cd4-251, vl-591000
12/09/2010  started Atripla
02/18/2011  cd4-425, vl-800
06/10/2011  cd4-447, vl-70
10/10/2011  cd4-666, vl-80
01/05/2012  swiched med (prezista,norvir ,isentress, )
02/10/2012  cd4-733, vl-UD  Viread removed
06/10/2012  cd4-614, vl-UD
12/14/2012  cd4-764, vl-UD
09/01/2013  cd4-785, vl-UD
03/06/2014. cd4- 1078, VL-UD

Offline drewm

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  • Posts: 1,037
  • Mmmmmm Hmmmmmm!
Re: Working through the shame & guilt . . . aka, Venting
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2011, 11:53:20 PM »
rest is really important so definitely talk to your doc about you're sleeping issues.


OrangeBear & Mike - Atripla had my sleep jacked for quite awhile. I went through several different sleeping pills before we found one that worked so this is not a completely uncommon or unusual problem. I wound up taking Temazepam.

Again...all the best!
MAY 2010
VL>500,000 CD4>8


DEC 2010
VL>30 CD4>323

Atripla. Valtrex, Trilipix, Fluoxotine

Offline komnaes

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  • Posts: 1,893
Re: Working through the shame & guilt . . . aka, Venting
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2011, 02:39:01 AM »
Hi OrangeBear,

Sorry about the diagnosis but nonetheless welcome..

As you may know Atripla contains Sustiva, which has the side effect of causing vivid dreams and sleep disruption. You have just started taking it so there's not a small chance that, in time, it may good away. Or it may not, so do note that you have other treatment choices as a good night sleep goes a long way in helping us to stay healthy. There are also ways that some of us have used to lessen the side effect - timing of taking it, with or without food, or even evening exercises, etc.

I do find from personal experiences and friends' that those of us who have some lingering "issues" even before diagnosis experience more problems with bad dreams. It's not necessary a direct link as this side effect is more chemical than in the head. But since you described your first few nights as "hallucinating" and you're a drinker, it may help for you to be a bit more proactive like seek counseling.

And again, do update and discuss with your doctor if it persists, and be assured that there're other treatment options.

Best of luck, Shaun
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline OrangeBear

  • member
  • Posts: 2
Re: Working through the shame & guilt . . . aka, Venting
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2011, 07:12:12 PM »
Thanks to everyone who has responded. I am thankful to announce that my sleep seems to be normalizing, and that my attitude has improved along with it. Of course, staying sober for the past 8 days and following the suggestions of those with more experience has helped tremendously. I guess sometimes we all just need reassurance that we're not alone.

Thanks to all of you . . .

Test positive 12/16/10
12/16/10 VL=136,046 CD4=377
01/13/11 VL=100,539 CD4=374, started Atripla

Offline VenturaCo

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Working through the shame & guilt . . . aka, Venting
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2011, 07:33:33 AM »
I'm on the other side of this, so I don't know if I'm supposed to respond here.

My husband just tested positive, and I just found out last week, at the same time finding out that we weren't a monogamous couple - or at least he wasn't - and that he's a sex addict. We're dealing with the fallout from that, and dealing with the news of his diagnosis. It's been an interesting few days. I tested negative, but have to go back in three months for another test.

I can't speak for your partner, but what I need the most right now is honesty. Not graphic details - who put what where and in which position isn't what I need to know. The little bit I do know is too much, and every time I close my eyes to sleep, I'm getting vivid images. I want to know how long this has been going on, and if he's ever fucked someone we know, and if so who. That kind of honesty.

I'm trying to be supportive. I know this affects him more than me - he's the one with the diagnosis. At the same time we're figuring out if this addiction is something he can work through and get under control, and whether we're going to stay together as a couple or separate. It's a lot to deal with. If your partner is going through some of the same stuff, just find out what he needs and see if it's something you can give to him. After all the years of lies it's been tough for my husband to tell me the truth, but he's trying.

Offline Ann

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 28,138
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Working through the shame & guilt . . . aka, Venting
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2011, 08:17:02 AM »
I'm on the other side of this, so I don't know if I'm supposed to respond here.

You're not really, so please keep that in mind in future.

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