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Author Topic: Spencer Cox, AIDS Activist, Dies at 44  (Read 12049 times)

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Offline thunter34

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  • His name is Carl.
Re: Spencer Cox, AIDS Activist, Dies at 44
« Reply #50 on: December 30, 2012, 03:39:29 PM »
It is an illness that really can not be treated by oneself -- it requires professional assistance, just like any other serious illness. 

^Gospel.  I have said on here before that it took AIDS to save me from depression.  Not trying to be all shiny happy about HIV, but saying that it was only once I was diagnosed with AIDS that I had people physically holding my arm and leading me into therapy and getting me on the road to regaining some footing. 

I was so depleted by depression that I was almost physically paralyzed.  It's hard to describe it.  It's not that the muscles couldn't work in and of themselves, but there was a complete lack of will to fire the nerves up to move them.  I felt exhausted in every cell of my being.  I felt as if someone had just died.  My thought processes immediately ran through the bleakest, most morbid courses.  Looking at a pond would make my thoughts turn to drowning.  Watching traffic pass by made me think of brutal auto accidents.  Even listening to the birds chirp directed my mind to thoughts of environmental collapse....and on and on.  Every few moments I had mental flashes of myself dead or getting torn apart.

I absolutely could not have saved myself from this.  I had to have someone reach out and pull me in.

So if this man, Mr. Cox, was in any similar such state to where he needed outside intervention, and if he was surrounded by circles involved in heavy meth use, any sort of safety net would have been hard to come by.  And so many people reach to such substances to self medicate their way out of that feeling of desperation - I certainly did - that it becomes a downward spiral.  And on the depression front, your behavior makes your self regard of failure and doom a self fulfilling prophecy.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Spencer Cox, AIDS Activist, Dies at 44
« Reply #51 on: December 30, 2012, 03:53:41 PM »
For those who followed Spencer's work in HIV, I am curious about something.  I only read about him a few months before his death.  With so many drugs on the market now, did he feel like his advocacy work was now behind him? 

I often have a hard time articulating my thoughts.  Was he still just as active as ever, or was his great work becoming slowed, due to the fruition of all his and others previous work?  I was just curious whether he felt he was no longer able to effect change, like he did so well in the past.  Add that to underlying mental and/or physical health issues, and I can see how someone could become depressed even more.  You give so much passion and hard work to bring change.  When that ends or slows, then I think it would be hard for many to know what to do with that drive and passion. 

This is why I am curious whether anyone knows whether he was just as active, or allowed to be active and participate, as he always was.  Many drug companies don't need all the pressure they once did to come up with new drugs; many are now doing it on their own.  And, there are more advocacy groups.  The big issue today is getting better access to meds.  Just something I was thinking about the last few days.  Of course it could be the opposite.  He could have felt too stretched thin, being just as active.  I know some friends who began using meth, because they felt they needed the energy to do everything on their plates.  They feel burned out.  Add drugs to depression, and you have two things skewing your way of thinking.  Well, three things with longterm infection.  Whatever the case, it is truly sad.   

Offline wolfter

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Re: Spencer Cox, AIDS Activist, Dies at 44
« Reply #52 on: December 30, 2012, 05:36:44 PM »
This is such an emotionally charged topic and I was afraid it was going the route of  other threads. 

I am frightened when I read things that hit close to home.  I had never dealt with depression and had only had short periods of sadness and sorrow dealing with everything the first 20 years of being poz brought about.

A few years ago when I went through my deep depressive episode, I wasn't even aware of what was happening.  I thought it was just deeper sadness than normal.  I entered that deep dark hole and wasn't prepared to figure out what I needed to do to survive.

I made to the decision to commit sanctioned suicide by stopping all meds.  At the time, it brought about a calmness that I had experienced for quite a while.  I was ok with being dead, just not prepared for the process of dying. 

Now I'm left to struggle with what caused it and what might trigger it in the future.  I had no control over my thought patterns.  I do worry that this could be a long term affect of constantly living with the challenges of this disease.

Wolfie
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline thunter34

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  • His name is Carl.
Re: Spencer Cox, AIDS Activist, Dies at 44
« Reply #53 on: December 30, 2012, 08:28:05 PM »
A few years ago when I went through my deep depressive episode, I wasn't even aware of what was happening.  I thought it was just deeper sadness than normal.  I entered that deep dark hole and wasn't prepared to figure out what I needed to do to survive.

I had no control over my thought patterns. 

Exactly.  Your thoughts - even if you recognize the destructive patterns in them - constantly revert back into blackness.

And I was the same way.  I had lived with what was basically a life long terminal low-grade sadness, even on the best days, because of the stigma associated with being "a queer".  The onset of the big event was fairly quick, yet still a graduated process - it wasn't just all of the sudden BOOM, you're depressed - it was a quick accumulation.  More like a current that suddenly picks up and carries you off, adrift.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline wolfter

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Re: Spencer Cox, AIDS Activist, Dies at 44
« Reply #54 on: January 02, 2013, 02:29:08 PM »
Here is a link that provides some insight into the troubles Mr. Cox was dealing with.  Most of it reads like a personal self experience for a lot of LTS.

http://marksking.com/my-fabulous-disease/the-private-war-that-killed-spencer-cox/

Wolfie
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline Jeff G

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  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Spencer Cox, AIDS Activist, Dies at 44
« Reply #55 on: January 02, 2013, 06:21:33 PM »
Here is a link that provides some insight into the troubles Mr. Cox was dealing with.  Most of it reads like a personal self experience for a lot of LTS.

http://marksking.com/my-fabulous-disease/the-private-war-that-killed-spencer-cox/

Wolfie

Thanks for sharing this . Here is a quote from Mark King that sums up what some of us that's been there from the beginning of Aids feel ... it resonates with me . 

Quote from Mark King .
AIDS has always been creative in its cruelty. And it has learned to reach through the decades with the second-hand tools of disillusionment and depression and heart-numbing traumas. Or, perhaps, using the simple weapon of crystal meth, with all of its seductions and deceits.
 
Yes. There are many complications related to AIDS.
 
To consider “survivor’s guilt” the culprit behind the death of Spencer Cox is a popular explanation but not necessarily an accurate one. That condition suggests surviving when other, presumably worthier people, did not. Sometimes guilt has nothing to do with it.
 
For many of our AIDS war veterans, the real challenge today is living with the horror of having survived at all.

Offline phildinftlaudy

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  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: Spencer Cox, AIDS Activist, Dies at 44
« Reply #56 on: January 02, 2013, 06:31:21 PM »
Very powerful and moving reading in that link....
The part that resonated the most with me...

Gay activists like Spencer were consumed by AIDS for so many gruesome years that many of them were shocked, once the war abated, to see how little around them had changed. Climbing from the trenches, they saw a gay culture that must have seemed ludicrous, packed with the same drug addictions, sexual compulsions and soulless shenanigans that AIDS, in its singular act of goodwill, had arrested for a decade or so.

They found themselves in a world in which no one wants to see battle scars, where intimacy is manufactured on keyboards and web sites, where any sense of community had long since faded from the AIDS organizations and now only makes brief appearances in 12-step meetings, or as likely, in the fraternity of active crystal meth addicts chasing deliverance in a dangerous shell game of bliss and desolation.

I think the reason the above drew me in is because of the amount of truth - sad truth - in each of the words written.

September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline mitch777

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Re: Spencer Cox, AIDS Activist, Dies at 44
« Reply #57 on: January 02, 2013, 07:01:28 PM »
it is sad, yet understandable.
AIDS and hiv has become an almost nonexistant and distant crisis.
 :'( >:(
32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: Spencer Cox, AIDS Activist, Dies at 44
« Reply #58 on: February 24, 2013, 04:20:27 AM »
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline OneTampa

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  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: Spencer Cox, AIDS Activist, Dies at 44
« Reply #59 on: February 24, 2013, 11:49:15 AM »
The link was a fascinating read.

It shows how many of us have triumphs and trials in our journeys with this disease.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline Growler

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“If loving someone is putting them in a straitjacket and kicking them down a flight of stairs, then yes, I have loved a few people.”

Offline buginme2

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Re: Spencer Cox, AIDS Activist, Dies at 44
« Reply #61 on: February 27, 2013, 12:11:21 PM »
That story is so sad.
Don't be fancy, just get dancey

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Spencer Cox, AIDS Activist, Dies at 44
« Reply #62 on: September 19, 2013, 12:24:00 AM »

 


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