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Author Topic: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...  (Read 3040 times)

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Offline wow1969

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  • Posts: 208
Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« on: August 15, 2012, 09:10:45 PM »
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?" ...


Offline tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,758
Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 02:32:00 AM »
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   

Offline friskyguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 105
Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 03:01:36 AM »
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.
Sero converted Sept '10 / Confirmed + Dec '10
Jan '11, VL 9,500 / CD4 482 (32%)
Feb '11, VL 5,800 / CD4 680 (37%)
start Atripla
Mch '11, VL UD / CD4 700 (42%)
Jun  '11, VL UD / CD4 750 (43%)
swap to Kivexa and Efav. due to osteopenia diag. (DEXA) / kidney issues ( decline in eGFR to 77 )
start supplements - Vit D3 / Omega 3 / multivitamin / mini aspirin
Dec '11,  VL UD <20 /  CD4 670 (49%)  / CD4:CD8 = 1.4
all labs now within normal ranges
Mch '12,  VL UD / CD4 600 (51%)
Sep '12,  VL UD / CD4 810 (51%)
Mch '13   VL UD / CD4 965 (56%)
Sep '13   VL UD / CD4 (not taken)
Dec '13   VL UD / CD4 901 (35%) / CD4:CD8 = 1.1  /  eGFR > 100

Offline wolfter

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,344
Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 04:49:40 AM »
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
productivity breeds content

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,215
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 08:33:59 AM »
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!

« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 08:36:47 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline osric

  • Member
  • Posts: 50
Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 09:08:54 AM »
Thanks for venting. If you look at my posts on here, I do the same thing. I find it a relief just to write down what I'm feeling so it's not just stuck in my head.

You're not alone in having these kinds of feelings. I've been pretty terrified at times. Honestly, I'm pretty terrified most of the time. Realize that depression is something *real*, it's not "in your head", you may not be able to "snap out of it",  and you may not be able to overcome it without some help. Don't go it alone. Enlist a doctor and therapist and it may help you through the dark feelings.

I've lost a bunch of "friends" after telling them my status - but I've realized, too, that it's their own insecurity and fear that caused that, not anything I've done. If they can't support me, good riddance. I've been going to support groups and started to meet new people who are better friends than people I'd known for years.

Keep posting. You're able to identify the things that are causing you grief and depression, so that's a great start.

Offline wow1969

  • Member
  • Posts: 208
Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 11:09:34 PM »
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. 

Thank you. As I said, I wasn't sure what I was looking for. I just posted because I treat this and another online support group as a type of diary to put my thoughts and feeling into. Helps me see things a bit more objectively instead of keeping it all inside rumbling around in some shapeless form.

Please don't be sorry about the break-up. While it may have hurt at the time ( a year ago) my ex was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder two years into our relationship. To say the least the last two years where stressful. To say the most they were abusive and I stayed because I thought no one would want me after I tested poz. Today, I truly don't want or need a relationship. I'm actually happy alone. I like the calm. I like being in control of my life. I mean, if things fail now, at least they are my failures. They aren't the result of a lying, cheating, abusive, crazy person. If I'm single for the rest of my life, that works for me. I'm not in any hurry to be with anyone again. I only provided that information for biographical info.

Thanks for venting. If you look at my posts on here, I do the same thing. I find it a relief just to write down what I'm feeling so it's not just stuck in my head.

You're not alone in having these kinds of feelings. I've been pretty terrified at times. Honestly, I'm pretty terrified most of the time. Realize that depression is something *real*, it's not "in your head", you may not be able to "snap out of it",  and you may not be able to overcome it without some help. Don't go it alone. Enlist a doctor and therapist and it may help you through the dark feelings.

I think that is the reason more than anything else. I just needed to get it out so I could look at it objectively. I've realized after re-reading my post and the replies that there are multiple issues here. I'll write that in a bit.

But I have a therapist and doctor.
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

AWESOME QUOTE!!!!! I actually passed it on to a friend tonight :-) ...

Yes, this is a funk right now. The events may have been bubbling around in the back of my head for a while but I didn't become aware of it until yesterday. So this "funk" has probably only lasted for a week at most.


Offline wow1969

  • Member
  • Posts: 208
Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2012, 11:47:32 PM »
MECCH, thank you. Whether you realized it or not your reply made me aware of something. I had lumped many events together which are not directly linked. They are just happening at the same time.

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.

Yes, the recession is actually causing much of this. It's kept me, combined with my HIV status, trapped in a job I truly despise. My position is deadend. Not because of my skills or education (many skills and 3 degrees) but because my company can not fill my position easily so they will never promote me. I could stay in this job for 25 more years. The problem is that isn't a future. Part of not seeing a future is this. If I stay in this job, my future is basically just like now. So, finding a new position or new work is definitely now my top priority.

CONCLUSION: This is only partially HIV related.

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.

Actually, I had to really think about this. I've never had problems attracting men. I still do. I get asked out a couple of times a week though I don't go. Yesterday, I was basically dropped after someone found out about my status which doesn't happen often. So I don't think it's the rejection that is the issue.

It's the pity. This person actually did the rejection mixed with pity. They felt sorry for me because I have this stupid virus. That is what really got to me. The pity. It actually made me angry. Don't feel sorry for me. I have alot going for me. If someone has issues with my being poz, damn it, just say so. I'm a big boy. I can handle it. Hell, when I was neg, I didn't date poz guys either. I understand it. It's scary. And it's ok if someone doesn't want to be with me because I'm poz. But just have the balls and say so.

Don't feel sorry for me. GEEZ ...

CONCLUSION: This is only partially HIV related.

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.

I think in part you hit it when you said "midlife crisis" ... I hate to admit it, but this maybe part of what is going on.

My wardrobe is basic black. Black t-shirt with jean. Black shirts with slacks. Everything, socks and underwear included, is black. I just haven't been buying new clothes and updating.

You are right about being a knockout at my age. I just need to work harder at it now than I did. I'm shocked when I look in the mirror and I don't see a 25 year old anymore.

As for dates? I only included that information are contextual information. Right now, I'm not interested in dating. I've been working on myself and my life. When and if I'm ready to date again we will see what happens. Truthfully, I just have better things to do right now than conquer another man.

I have to admit that I used my looks and charm to get away with what amounts to murder LOL. Now that I'm beginning to age I have to work harder ... Lord, I hate even admitting this. It sounds terrible. But it's the truth.

And yes, the body does change. I HATE that!!!!!!

CONCLUSION: This is only partially influenced by HIV.


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.

I didn't mean that I want to go out now and club. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED that time of my life. It lasted for almost 20 years. But I don't want to go back to that life again. Because it was a true life. It was what I did. Now I have other things that are more important.

What I meant was this. I miss being Mr. Popularity. However, that also takes up alot of time which right now I just don't have to give. I can barely keep up with everything now. Trying to build a mammoth social life would be a huge undertaking that I don't have the time to do. It doesn't stop me from missing it though.

CONCLUSION: This has nothing to do with HIV.

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!


This is true but not true. I don't go out in part because I do feel crappy. But I need to get some perspective. Which, after reading what I wrote and seeing the comments I'm now working on.

Am I depressed? I might be. I'm not sure. If this "funk" hasn't lifted in a month I"m heading to the psychiatrist. But it could also be that I just need to sort some stuff out in my head also so I'm going to try that first.

I have chosen to be fairly isolated lately because I've been working on me.

After my partner and I broke up, I went into therapy for a year to clear out my head and sort through the damage. As I've said, he was mentally ill and abusive. It took a HUGE toll on my life.

In the wake of that event, I've become much more cautious around people. I'm more careful about who I let in my life. I an guarded. I've been working on me because I needed to do so to heal myself. I had to discover who I am today. Much of what I'm writing about happened before that relationship. It's like I"m mourning the person I was and am struggling to deal with who I am now. In some ways I am a stranger to myself.

I found out I was poz while with my ex. I'm realizing that some of my feelings for my ex and the relationship have become mixed up with being poz.

 8) Has HIV contributed to some major changes in my life? Yes
 8) Has it created all of the situations I've listed? No. It has contributed to some but was not the sole cause of them all. Other factors are contributing to this as well. Learning who I am now. This recession has contributed. My age is a contributing factor (geez, just writing that hurts LOL). Having a job I just despise definitely is not helping.

I think I just need to work on making today a happy day and let tomorrow take care of itself. Easier written than done. But it's truly what I need to do.

I still wish I didn't have this disease though  ;D

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,215
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2012, 01:31:32 AM »
Being in an isolated funk is not often the same thing as alone time for "working on myself".  You talk about working on yourself and all these important projects but what you described in the post was an aimless feeling and a lot of time avoiding everything.  But also some good introspection, I'm sure.  Anyway, I don't think you should wait a month to get evaluated for depression. 

Also, count your blessings.  You don't NEED to have a new job to be happy.  Its quite nice to know that your job is stable and permanent.   

You don't NEED to do any landscaping and decorating, if the projects are too big, just do a little manly "no look" look, and work it. If your wardrobe is basic simple black, then a basic simple home and garden seems your style and takes a hell of a lot less time, effort, and money. 

It is good to see that you yourself see that you don't need to be Mr. Popularity anymore. 

Remember that it takes some of us several years to get over certain relationships. 

Also its seems quite good that you are lobbing off "being HIV+" as being part of some of these issues because as you see, "not necessarily".

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

Offline wow1969

  • Member
  • Posts: 208
Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2012, 07:28:41 AM »
Being in an isolated funk is not often the same thing as alone time for "working on myself".  You talk about working on yourself and all these important projects but what you described in the post was an aimless feeling and a lot of time avoiding everything.  But also some good introspection, I'm sure.  Anyway, I don't think you should wait a month to get evaluated for depression. 

Also, count your blessings.  You don't NEED to have a new job to be happy.  Its quite nice to know that your job is stable and permanent.   

You don't NEED to do any landscaping and decorating, if the projects are too big, just do a little manly "no look" look, and work it. If your wardrobe is basic simple black, then a basic simple home and garden seems your style and takes a hell of a lot less time, effort, and money. 

It is good to see that you yourself see that you don't need to be Mr. Popularity anymore. 

Remember that it takes some of us several years to get over certain relationships. 

Also its seems quite good that you are lobbing off "being HIV+" as being part of some of these issues because as you see, "not necessarily".

I have severe ADHD. My dr put me on a scale of 1 to 10 and I came out at an 8. So when things get kinda overwhelming, it takes me a while to 1) register what is going on, and 2) figure out what is going on.

Historically, once I am able to figure out what is happening, I then can put together a plan and make the appropriate changes.

The isolation truly is of my own choice even though it doesn't feel that way at times. I am having issues reconciling the old me with the current me. But, as much as I am in denial, I'm either in midlife or just about to be so. Either way, it's a huge shift in dynamics, both on a social and personal level.

The being alone was originally part of working on myself. Then I started to remember who I was and ... I started comparing current self to my past self. Which truly isn't fair to me but I really liked who I was five years ago. Today, I have to learn to like who I am now.

As I said, I'm waiting a month but I'm gonna bet that this passes in a few days. I actually woke up at 5 a.m. this morning. Did laundry, paid bills, washed dishes, put the trash out made my bed, checked my mail, ordered new checks, organized my day and responded to this posting :-) ... Took me about an hour and 1/2 to do.

The job situation. No, the permenant stable isn't enough. It would take too long to explain here but my therapist, friends and family are all saying the exact same thing ... Go find something else. Simply put, the job and the company are very toxic and chaotic and stressful. So stressful that it triggered Bells Palsey earlier this year which put me on short term disability for 3 months. So, yes, new work is the top priority.

It's not that the projects are too big, it's that with the ADHD they get overwhelming. I called some friends last night, explained to them what is going on. They are organizing a "Work Weekend" to come over and help me out. I am really bad about asking for help, but sometimes you just have to. It will get done.

Everyone has been telling me to look at how much I have accomplished in my life, especially in the last year since the break up. I have brushed it off. To me, I've accomplished minor things. I should have done more. Always had overly high expectations for myself.

This morning (started last night) I realized something. I'm worried about losing what I've worked for. Why? Because the people in my life are correct. I have accomplished alot. I don't want to see a life of hard work disappear. As much as I want to down play it, I'm pretty proud of the life I've build. I value my life. I'm scared I'll lose it all so I've been not putting into it so that it's not as valuable to me just incase I lose everything.

It's time to put into my life and live it as if it's mine forever. My life isn't temporary. It's mine. I realized this last night when it hit me. I felt safer in a rental as opposed to my house. Can't lose your rental because it's truly not yours. Can lose my house because it's truly mine.

I've tried to talk to my family about this and they keep saying it was buyers remorse. I knew it wasn't but didn't understand what it was. It's more like, Life Achievement Paralysis. I've finally built some very stable concrete things in my life and I'm now scared I'll lose it. I think it's a form of self sabotage. I just need to make myself be proud of what I've done and enjoy it. Instead of beating myself down for accomplishing something.

Thank you for the responses. They are helping me put things in order and get perspective. It's so much more than I was expecting when I posted on here.

Offline Ann

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Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2012, 07:36:00 AM »
Hi Wow. I'm just going to throw some things out there.

I used to wear mostly black too, when I was younger. (I'm a bit older than you - will be 50 in November.) Something I discovered a while ago is that what I wear can influence how I feel not only about myself, but how I feel in general and how others perceive my mood as well.

When I was younger, black was chic, an existential fashion statement to put it one way. Then when I was in my early 40s, someone mentioned that my wearing all black made me seem older than I was - almost like I was wearing mourning dress. I was told it made me appear dour and unapproachable.

I started adding colours. A bright shirt coupled with a black jacket and black dress pants or jeans to start with (I don't do skirts, but I did have one or two "little black number" cocktail dresses). I soon noticed that not only did wearing brighter colours lift my mood, but it also had an effect on how others reacted to me. This encouraged me to start experimenting more with colours and these days I don't wear much black at all. In fact, I tend to wear a lot of pink these days, something I never thought I would, being the butch bitch that I am. I'm told it's a colour that suits me.

I'm glad to hear you got away from an abusive relationship. I've been there myself and I know what a terrible toll it can take on your self-esteem and confidence. With the self-exploration you're doing, that can and will get better.

You sound like you have a lot going for you, despite the hurdles put in your way by things like the economy. One key to being happy in life is to like - to love - yourself. We tend to shy away from thinking about loving ourselves, because we are subliminally (if not outright) told this is the same thing as selfishness. It's not. It's all about being happy in your own company, respecting yourself and being the best person you can be.

Liking/loving yourself is the first step to having healthy relationships. How can anyone else like, love or respect you if you don't like, love or respect yourself? Don't let an abusive ex-partner colour how you see yourself. Remember that his actions and opinions were the result of his illness and not a true reflection of who you are.

You hate your job. I get that. Start putting feelers out there, start applying for other positions with other companies. Have a frank talk with your boss/supervisor and express your dissatisfaction with your work. I'm not saying that you should threaten to quit (or even let them know you're looking elsewhere), I'm only suggesting that you make it clear to them, in a calm, rational manner, that you are stressed and unhappy. You may be surprised by the reaction you get.

In the meantime while you're stuck in this dead-end job, start making your out of office hours more enjoyable. Take up a hobby. Get yourself a decent digital camera and start taking photos every chance you get. You may surprise yourself, and there are plenty of online photography communities you can share your work with (and you can share here too!). You may even find a photography club in your home community. Join a gym. Start going for walks. Get yourself a dog to accompany you on your walks.

Think outside the box and make your out of office hours enjoyable. Don't let your work define you - let the things you enjoy define you.

Like I said, I'm just throwing out some thoughts that came to mind while reading your posts. And I'll leave you with one last item that has become one of my mottos:

The best revenge is to be happy!

I hope you find something useful in what I've written. Hang in there and keep going onward and upward as you seem to be already doing. You'll get there. :)
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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

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Offline wow1969

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Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 07:55:20 AM »
Hi Wow. I'm just going to throw some things out there.

I used to wear mostly black too, when I was younger. (I'm a bit older than you - will be 50 in November.) Something I discovered a while ago is that what I wear can influence how I feel not only about myself, but how I feel in general and how others perceive my mood as well.

When I was younger, black was chic, an existential fashion statement to put it one way. Then when I was in my early 40s, someone mentioned that my wearing all black made me seem older than I was - almost like I was wearing mourning dress. I was told it made me appear dour and unapproachable.

I started adding colours. A bright shirt coupled with a black jacket and black dress pants or jeans to start with (I don't do skirts, but I did have one or two "little black number" cocktail dresses). I soon noticed that not only did wearing brighter colours lift my mood, but it also had an effect on how others reacted to me. This encouraged me to start experimenting more with colours and these days I don't wear much black at all. In fact, I tend to wear a lot of pink these days, something I never thought I would, being the butch bitch that I am. I'm told it's a colour that suits me.



I've been thinking about that too. Actually, black is my favorite color which is one reason I wear it. Another reason is that I don't have to stop and think about what I'm wearing as everything already matches LOL ... If my ADHD meds haven't kicked in yet just picking out a belt can be a challenge ... It's a running joke with my friends

However, I've been thinking about adding some color lately so I will definitely take your advice into consideration.

I'm glad to hear you got away from an abusive relationship. I've been there myself and I know what a terrible toll it can take on your self-esteem and confidence. With the self-exploration you're doing, that can and will get better.

Thank you. I found out that I was positive while in this relationship. So it was a double wammy.

You sound like you have a lot going for you, despite the hurdles put in your way by things like the economy. One key to being happy in life is to like - to love - yourself. We tend to shy away from thinking about loving ourselves, because we are subliminally (if not outright) told this is the same thing as selfishness. It's not. It's all about being happy in your own company, respecting yourself and being the best person you can be.

Liking/loving yourself is the first step to having healthy relationships. How can anyone else like, love or respect you if you don't like, love or respect yourself? Don't let an abusive ex-partner colour how you see yourself. Remember that his actions and opinions were the result of his illness and not a true reflection of who you are.

I do. As I mentioned earlier. I expect so much out of myself. I'm overly hard on myself. It may have pushed me when I was younger but I think I'm beating myself up now.

Yup, that is what the last year of therapy was about. Sorting out what the abuse did to me and how to start living a new and happy life again.



You hate your job. I get that. Start putting feelers out there, start applying for other positions with other companies. Have a frank talk with your boss/supervisor and express your dissatisfaction with your work. I'm not saying that you should threaten to quit (or even let them know you're looking elsewhere), I'm only suggesting that you make it clear to them, in a calm, rational manner, that you are stressed and unhappy. You may be surprised by the reaction you get.

Feelers are out there. I'm putting together a strong escape plan from my job. I think part of the issue is I feel trapped in a job I hate because of the HIV. I have to have insurance so I can't just leave it.

I have spoke to my boss about all this. He's written me a letter of recommendation to assist me in my goal to escape my job. Why? Because I've known him for over a decade. Because I'm good at what I do. Because he hates it there also and is looking for a new job himself LOL ...



In the meantime while you're stuck in this dead-end job, start making your out of office hours more enjoyable. Take up a hobby. Get yourself a decent digital camera and start taking photos every chance you get. You may surprise yourself, and there are plenty of online photography communities you can share your work with (and you can share here too!). You may even find a photography club in your home community. Join a gym. Start going for walks. Get yourself a dog to accompany you on your walks.


Have the dog :-) ... I call her Puppy Prozac ... Been together for 5 years ... She's awesome

The gym is on the radar again. I need to make myself start exercising again. I'll feel better. I'll look better. I'll sleep better and my clothes will fit better.



The best revenge is to be happy!

I hope you find something useful in what I've written. Hang in there and keep going onward and upward as you seem to be already doing. You'll get there. :)

Thank you for the suggestions. I'm working on it. Mecch hit it on the head with the midlife crisis. It may not be a full blown crisis but it's a major adjustment to reach midlife. The first step was realizing that something was "off" ... that realization hit a few days ago.

Now, I just need to come up with a plan of action which I'm working on. It's going to take time. I'm really patient with everyone around me, except myself. I have no patience with myself.

Yup, the best revenge is to be happy. I'm not unhappy any more. Gotta work on the happy. Or maybe it's I need to redefine what happy is now. I may be using a criteria to measure happy that is outdated and applies to me at 35 instead of now.


Offline mecch

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Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 09:58:23 AM »
I am sorry. I didn't know you have ADHD and that you are on medication for that.

Kind of big reveal. (And I wonder why you didn't mention this earlier in the thread?)  I am a bit confused, now, about whether you see a therapist regularly or do not.  I think these matters are very complicated, and if you are not seeing the therapist you might as well go back and talk about the current state of affairs because they have the experience and knowledge to help a bit, and also clarify.  Whatever is causing the isolation you have described, it's still not a great development in your life - because you originally summarized it as such:   "My social life has dwindled to nothing. I don't even go out because I just feel so crappy all the time."

Just keep in mind that you have a lot strength.  And solutions don't come over night.  And don't get worried about some of the projects being on back burners, just take it one day and week at a time.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline britchick

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Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2012, 10:36:43 AM »
Hi wow1969!

I hear you!You are stronger than you think!Just being able to write what you have shows me that you are strong..even though you dont think it !

I can soooo relate to the job thing /not liking myself very much and being in a dark place...but thats before  I joined here!

My first messages here  were tentative re going back to work ,avoiding friends..I was sooo scared about everything.It can change.....just allow yourself time at your own pace.It doesn't have to be right now.....maybe a wk , maybe 6 months down the line.....

I never , ever thought that  I could do counselling, thought that  I would never get over abusive relationship and AIDS as well!I started counselling, got anti depressants and sleeping tablets  and am back at work(after being off sick  all of this yr!).....very slowly!!!!!!

I like me again....huge long road for me!!!

Email away.... I promise you someone will have gone through a similar experience and offer up their way of coping.

I still have  a few physical and mental health issues going on....but im getting there!!!!!!

Wishing you the best.Everyone here is so unique....and you have to take time.....

Britchickx

PS Loved Anne's post re clothes .....brighter clothes....its true...it lifts your mood!!!!!

Offline mecch

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Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2012, 12:35:36 PM »
PS - I take focalin myself.  It helps. But after a few months its clear its not a miracle pill that solves life challenges.  But I guess we all know that.
The therapy helps too.  Have to compliment one with the other. :)
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline wow1969

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Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2012, 03:21:25 AM »
I am sorry. I didn't know you have ADHD and that you are on medication for that.

Kind of big reveal. (And I wonder why you didn't mention this earlier in the thread?)  I am a bit confused, now, about whether you see a therapist regularly or do not.  I think these matters are very complicated, and if you are not seeing the therapist you might as well go back and talk about the current state of affairs because they have the experience and knowledge to help a bit, and also clarify.  Whatever is causing the isolation you have described, it's still not a great development in your life - because you originally summarized it as such:   "My social life has dwindled to nothing. I don't even go out because I just feel so crappy all the time."

Just keep in mind that you have a lot strength.  And solutions don't come over night.  And don't get worried about some of the projects being on back burners, just take it one day and week at a time.

Yes, I see a therapist regularly. Not for ADHD as I learned the management techniques years ago. I have been seing a therapist for the last two years dealing with the fall out of this relationship and all the changes in my life.

I didnt' mention the ADHD as I've had it my whole life. I've been on meds for it since I was 20. Most of my family has it. It's been managed very well for years. It's such a part of me, I don't think about having it consciously. It's just me. I don't even think it's a "big reveal". I only brought it up because I realized it had a bearing on this current topic.

Here is what I mean by the isolation.

After the relationship ended a year ago I deliberately stepped back from my social life so that I could work on myself. Over the course of the last year, I have realized that my original intention to step back and work on myself had changed and is becoming isolation for different reasons. Also, being in an abusive relationship one of the first steps the abuser engages in is to begin isolating their "target". When I realized how isolated I had become during the relationship I started deliberately socializing again. However, because of the abuse I just wasn't ready for that and after the relationship ended I stepped back to work on myself. It's just changed from "working on myself time" to "hiding from the world time" which is totally not what I intended.

I stated that to remind myself that I did want some alone time to evaluate my life and that the isolation has a positive benefit. Being alone isn't the worst thing in the world if it's what a person wants. This is what I wanted.

I think I feel crappy because I'm comparing my life today to the life I had 6 years ago. It's not a fair comparison. My life was freaking awesome six years ago. It's like comparing the life of a millionaire to that of a school teacher. Both are good but they are definitely not the same. It's why I said I need to start working on accepting things as they are today instead fo comparing my life now with what it was. The truth is, I will never get my life back. Between the relationship and the HIV I am permanently changed.

The fact that I can write, analyze, discuss and look at myself and figure out what is going on is a direct result of being in therapy. This is what we do in my therapy sessions. It's what I worked to be able to do. Figure out what is going on so I can make choices and understand the situation.

As I said, I have mixed up a bunch of things together that do not necessary share a common cause they only share that they are occurring at this time in my life. Most of this has been rolling around in my head for who knows how long but it took one single comment to set it all off.

Offline wow1969

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Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2012, 08:06:42 AM »
After some experiences this weekend, posting here and journaling something hit me.

I've been focusing on all the negative. The things I could lose. All the things I lost. What my life might be like in the future.

I've been terrified of losing what I have built.

I've been comparing my younger self to my older self and beating myself up for not being who I was.

Then, this weekend, something happened in my life and the things I had been writing and thinking about "clicked".

I'm worried about losing everything I have now because it's become valuable to me. I've rebuilt a life for myself. It's not the one I had that I lost. It's a new one that I'm terrified of losing. But it also means that I value what I have now. I have so much more than I was giving myself credit for.

We don't fear losing things that are of no value. We don't fear dying if our lives have no meaning.

I was hit with a truly overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my life as it is today. It's not the life I thought to have. It's not the life I did have. But, somewhere over the last year, it developed into a life I value.

So instead of focusing on "I might lose my house so why invest in it?" ... I spent the weekend doing things around the house. Finishing up projects.  Hanging out with my friends. Being with my family. Starting exercising again. Making sure I didn't miss a dose of my ADHD meds (ADHD affects short term memory and I forget things easily) and getting enough sleep.

Spending the rest of my life stuck because I'm scared I'm going to lose everything isn't a way to live. It's just a way to stay in one place and slowly die.

Gotta enjoy today for today.

I know I still have work to do but focusing on the negative only keeps me stuck in the negative. Realizing all that I have built and have building from there is a much better way to live.

Again, thank you to everyone one who posted on here. You're thoughts, comments and observations made me truly stop and re-evaluate where I was and what I was thinking. My life hasn't changed over the last few days but my perspective on my life has shifted. That I truly appreciate.

Offline Rockin

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Re: Venting, Griping, Just Putting It Out There ...
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2012, 01:25:11 PM »
After some experiences this weekend, posting here and journaling something hit me.

I've been focusing on all the negative. The things I could lose. All the things I lost. What my life might be like in the future.

I've been terrified of losing what I have built.

I've been comparing my younger self to my older self and beating myself up for not being who I was.

Then, this weekend, something happened in my life and the things I had been writing and thinking about "clicked".

I'm worried about losing everything I have now because it's become valuable to me. I've rebuilt a life for myself. It's not the one I had that I lost. It's a new one that I'm terrified of losing. But it also means that I value what I have now. I have so much more than I was giving myself credit for.

We don't fear losing things that are of no value. We don't fear dying if our lives have no meaning.

I was hit with a truly overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my life as it is today. It's not the life I thought to have. It's not the life I did have. But, somewhere over the last year, it developed into a life I value.

So instead of focusing on "I might lose my house so why invest in it?" ... I spent the weekend doing things around the house. Finishing up projects.  Hanging out with my friends. Being with my family. Starting exercising again. Making sure I didn't miss a dose of my ADHD meds (ADHD affects short term memory and I forget things easily) and getting enough sleep.

Spending the rest of my life stuck because I'm scared I'm going to lose everything isn't a way to live. It's just a way to stay in one place and slowly die.

Gotta enjoy today for today.

I know I still have work to do but focusing on the negative only keeps me stuck in the negative. Realizing all that I have built and have building from there is a much better way to live.

Again, thank you to everyone one who posted on here. You're thoughts, comments and observations made me truly stop and re-evaluate where I was and what I was thinking. My life hasn't changed over the last few days but my perspective on my life has shifted. That I truly appreciate.

Hey wow, good for you!! That's the thing, why focus on the negative all the time? Many people out there face bigger problems than we do and yet they still remain positive. Have you read the story of the girl who lost her limbs due to a flesh-eating bacteria that she got while swimming in a river?? She's apparently being incredibly brave and optimistic about her future. So why we, who still have all our limbs and our health (we might have ups and downs but we remain alive) cannot be like that?

 


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