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

Didn't realize how having HIV affected me

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mecch:

--- Quote from: wow1969 on April 04, 2013, 04:06:34 PM ---
The fear of dying/unemployed/broke kept me in a job I hate which has done nothing but bring misery to my life.


--- End quote ---

Try to deal with stuff piecemeal?  Lumping it all together could be overwhelming. I understand that you see a lot of the challenges and griefs you mention as being because of the diagnosis and living with HIV. 

But this one I selected above doesn't seem so related...  I think most of us have fears of unemployment and/or being broke.  (At least I do, too. Its in my bones, maybe growing up American...)  Working to make ends meet - sometimes I loved my jobs sometimes they have sucked and this was from the age of 18!!!  Fear of poverty.   Its a sucky anxiety but not really about being HIV+, is it??  I mean, not principally?   

Sure you have to find ways out of all this stuff.  But look at each thing as one problem, each one might be more manageable...   

And maybe some of this doesn't have much to do with HIV but more who you are, your coping mechanisms, etc,, and how you have lived for years.....


wow1969:
Mecch ... thanks for the response

Unemployed/broke is that I won't be able to afford my medications ... I have stayed in the job, I realize now, because I"ve been so terrified of not having insurance that staying was the only way I saw to stay alive ... Sort of like tunnel vision ... I'm now seeing I have other options but it was the fear associated with HIV that held me to the job ... Up until recently the fear of not having insurance outweighed the misery of the job which is truly saying something ... However, due to stress my body has started fighting back and I can no longer ignore this


Breaking it down into smaller clumps is what my therapist and I are working on ... I honestly thought that if I could get logical about having HIV I would be fine emotionally ... Seems that didn't work out like I'd planned ... In fact, the more logical I became, the more I suppressed my feelings about having HIV ...


Coping mechanisms are definitely something I'm having to figure out ... I"m not always good with emotions so I thought I'd try here for suggestions in dealing with the fears (which seems to have become paralyzing over time) and anxiety ...


How do we confront those fears?
How do we make peace with having HIV?
How do we feel good about ourselves again?
I honestly feel like damaged goods. How does that go away? Can it?
I doubt I will ever see a time when I"m thankful for having this. How do people deal with that? I can't be the only one.

buginme2:
I know I said this already but, you are not alone in this.  I've felt some very similar things that you have and I'm sure others have too.

You mentioned how people say "it's just a virus."  That is something that gets me too.  It's the whole "HIV is no big deal" that gets tossed around.  I hate that.

The insurance thing is an issue for me too.  I have good insurance through my employer.  Actually it's very good insurance that I am lucky to have.  However, I have these little moments of panic like what if I lose my job? What if I get sick and can't work and therefore lose my insurance?  It's also made me less likely to look for a different job.  I do ok but, I feel like I have to settle for my current job because of the insurance.  It's a crappy thing.


--- Quote from: wow1969 on April 04, 2013, 09:45:20 PM ---


How do we confront those fears?
How do we make peace with having HIV?
How do we feel good about ourselves again?
I honestly feel like damaged goods. How does that go away? Can it?
I doubt I will ever see a time when I"m thankful for having this. How do people deal with that? I can't be the only one.



--- End quote ---

These are good questions.  I'm not about to tell you what the answers are because we are all on our own journey and the answers can be different for all of us.  However, I will say your question about "when will you be thankful for having this?"  What do you mean by that?  Why would you be thankful for having HIV? 

wow1969:

--- Quote from: buginme2 on April 04, 2013, 11:12:34 PM ---
These are good questions.  I'm not about to tell you what the answers are because we are all on our own journey and the answers can be different for all of us.  However, I will say your question about "when will you be thankful for having this?"  What do you mean by that?  Why would you be thankful for having HIV?

--- End quote ---

Thank you ... The parts about insurance hit the nail on the head ... That's basically the fear ...

What I wrote was "I doubt I will ever see a time when I"m thankful for having this. How do people deal with that? I can't be the only one"

Meaning, it's not something to be thankful for or glad to have ... It's permenant .. It's life changing ... It's 24/7 ... How do people deal with that? How do people feel about that? ... The mental energy used to keep up the fight can wear a person down ...

So how do we deal with the permenance of this? The fact that it's not going to be a happy thing. We aren't going to be thankful for it.

We may learn to tolerate, co-exist, understand, live with HIV ... But I doubt it's ever going to be something to be happy about ...

jkinatl2:
I will have been diagnosed with HIV for twenty years this month. I'm not happy about it. I've certainly learned a lot along the way, and survived when I really shouldn't have. I am grateful for those things, even if from time to time I feel like a ghost in this world.

Access to meds will keep you alive and healthy, as you know. Leaving a job you do not like, or have outgrown is a natural part of life. You simply have to take the insurance part into consideration. I like your therapist's idea about breaking things down into smaller chunks. It's easy to just freeze when the whole picture presents itself to you like some gruesome tableau.

I daresay that most if not all of us have been there. And I can only speak for myself, but I have sometimes found myself there again, from time to time - especially when facing a major life event. Changing jobs, dissolving (or entering) a relationship, moving, the loss of a parent or friend or pet - all these things can trigger this cascade effect. Working with your therapist, you will hopefully find tools to cope with these things, with THAT thing.

 I have had the chance to do some good in this world since becoming infected, and I have become someone who seeks out that opportunity. For that growth in character I am grateful. Who says I wouldn't have done just that without HIV? No way to tell in a linear universe. No way to jump multiverse tracks at will and find out how Jonathan 2.5 went/is going about it.

I can say this. I wouldn't mind a little less character and a little less pain. But I'm here now, and so are you. The future is our only real chance, and the present is our opportunity. Maybe in five years there will be a working cure. Maybe we will chug pills every day. For you, that might be a completely normal life span. Hell, for me too even, odds be damned.

It's cold comfort to know you are nowhere near alone, but it's the comfort you get sometimes. I have nothing but good wishes for you during this journey. You already know it's not easy. The trick is to make certain you get your money's worth.



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