Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...

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wow1969:
I"m not sure what I'm looking for here other than just putting it out there. This might be long so I'm sorry in advance.

I've been POZ for 5 1/2 years. I"m a GWM 42 yrs old. No history of drug abuse. Used to be a runner. Used to "sparkle". Was a pretty happy person.

A year ago my partner and I broke up. This is the first time I've had to deal with being single and POZ. WOW!!!! It's turning into an experience.

Please keep in mind that I"m not actively looking for another relationship. It's not on my radar. I think if it were, I would probably feel worse, which is saying alot right now.

Here goes:


* It didn't used to bother me about getting rejected for being POZ. But lately, I'm finding it depressing. I don't want to tell anyone about it. If it's not rejection then it's pity. I f*cking hate that.

* I don't feel attractive anymore. In fact, I've started letting myself go because, well ... What's the point? Why put effort into keeping inshape or dressing well? 

* I feel paralyzed about making life changes. I hate my job. I've hated it for years. But the risk of changing jobs is terrifying. I'm constantly scared I'm going to end up on the streets.

* My social life has dwindled to nothing. I don't even go out because I just feel so crappy all the time.


* Prior to having this freaking disease, I would walk into a club or party and everyone knew me. Now, I don't even go out in public unless I have too.

* I purchased a house earlier this year. I have stopped decorating and landscaping. Why? Because I'm don't see the point. What happens if I lose my job? Then I would lose all the work and effort I put into this place.


* I've lost some friends when they heard I had this. My self esteem and self confidence crashed after finding out I was POZ.

* The future seems like a distant dream now. Like, what's the point. I'm not going to be in the future. Why plan for anything? Yes, I know with meds that I can live and live and live. But the cost of the meds (if I lose my insurance) could easily bankrupt me. Heck, this virus is a killer. Maybe a manageable killer but it's still a killer. It could just win. I know the philosophical argument that says "we aren't promised tomorrow" but we have to believe there will be a tomorrow to move forward. My belief in tomorrow is gone.

* I just don't feel like the same person anymore. I feel changed.

* Isolation. Wow. I feel so alone. It's as if I have this thing that now sets me apart from everyone around me. Like an invisible Scarlet Letter. Just having this seems to created a wall around myself.    


I didn't even realize that I felt like this until recently. It just creeped up on me. Then today it hit me. This is been rolling around in the back of my head for a while now. I thought I had adjusted well to having HIV. But I don't seem to have.

I just keep asking myself "What's the point?" ...

tednlou2:
Wow,

I'm sorry to hear you're having a rough time right now.  I wish I had some incredible words of wisdom, but I don't.  There's probably nothing anyone can say that will make it better.  It's just something we all have to work through.  Just getting things off your chest, like you have, can help. 

I'm sorry about your break-up.  I'm thankful everyday that I have someone.  I can only imagine what it is like to be poz and in the dating scene, but really having no clue.  I'm sorry about the rejection and the pity others have put your way.  I can relate to some of the other things you talk about, though, but this is about you and not me.  I know we here on these forums get to know each other, but it is not the same.  Just know we are hear to listen.  I'm certainly in no place to offer much advice, but I (we) can listen.

Don't give up.  I have to hear that message, too. 

Hugs,
Ted   

friskyguy:
really sorry to hear your "funk" that you are currently experiencing. I am not a psychologist so will not pretend to know what may help you get through this.

For what its worth, and being male (we are always wanting to fix things), all I can say is what works for me...... when I do get into a "funk" is that I look at others who are less fortunate than me or who have been subjected to a shit load more of crap than I have and yet despite the odds have managed to get through it. It put's one's own "funk" into some sort of perspective. Anyway this approach works for me.

take care and if you can,  try to be around positive and inspiring 'real' people.

wolfter:
I think we all tend to go through these periods but if it persists for a long time, it might be time to seek professional help.  I wish I'd have taken this advice as my last "funk" lasted a couple of years.  I now refer to them as the wasted years.

And worrying about what might happen?  I read a quote a while back that I absolutely cherish;  "If we live life worrying about all the bad things that might happen and it actually occurs, then we've lived through it twice".

Continue to reach out here, the people here can help fill some of the voids you mentioned.

Take care and best wishes.

Wolfie

mecch:
I think its a combined mid-life crisis and depression.  Also, there's a recession, constant job insecurity, so its extremely stressful to keep your material dream alive being both single and living in an uncertain economy.  Which would contribute to the mid-life crisis and depression, of course.  I think you need to see a professional and get some treatment for depression.  I went through it and it can be beat off. 
Other than that, I have a few insights to offer on a few of your specifics, below.

If it's not rejection then it's pity. I f*cking hate that.

You hate it because 1) its unwarranted for the HIV, 2) it may BE warranted for the depression (but nobody really understands that) 3) pity is kind of off putting i many situations and 4) you used to sparkle so its just salt on the wound....  Just ignore it anyway.

I don't feel attractive anymore. In fact, I've started letting myself go because, well ... What's the point? Why put effort into keeping inshape or dressing well?

You will never again be the belle of certain balls on a regular basis. Right?  Its all about context.  Lots of gays and lots of women too go through this loss of youthful beauty.  Its pretty normal.  But snap out of it. 42 isn't 52 isn't 62.  You can be a knockout for your age. That WILL help on the dating scene and does also help your own self-esteem.

I wouldn't let sports and exercise go, at least, because its important to move and sweat - even if the effects on looks is secondary to the physical and mental health benefits.

Dressing well requires some changes as we age because really there age-appropriate clothing questions at every age.  I'm pushing 50 and just went through closets AGAIN throwing out stuff that just seemed too young for me. Plus the body changes a bit, with each decade.  Surprise surprise, that's life. 

But the classics endure. Any fellow can look distinguised at any age and it IS noticed and valued.  What kind of clothes do you need to wear to work?  Its really NOT a great idea to get sloppy about professional appearance.  People do notice, in many occupations. 

Also your dates WILL notice how you're keeping it together or not.  You can still sparkle at 42 believe me!  Sparkle takes effort.  You were rewarded with it by efforts at 25 but the efforts required at 45 are a bit different.  Don't do them, garantee you will not sparkle.

Prior to having this freaking disease, I would walk into a club or party and everyone knew me. Now, I don't even go out in public unless I have too.

First, if you don't go out much, of course people aren't going to know you.  Second, you're not in the primo age for clubbing to really be exciting and frequent, anyways. Its more like a, "yeah, I can still do this", than the amazing buzz it used to give.  Not saying you should stop going out.  We all need a little bit of Disco Sally in us, thank god!  Just put it in perspective that the bloom is normally off this rose after a certain decade.  But, by all means get out there and diversify - bars are good and live music.  When I go to a live music event nowadays, the median age JUMPS 15 years easily.  Its not "gay" but who gives a fuck its fun.

My social life has dwindled to nothing. I don't even go out because I just feel so crappy all the time.

Sign of depression, the above, and the isolation and despair detailed below.  So please get an evaluation.  You owe it to yourself!  You deserve a more enjoyable life!

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