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Stopping the self-destructive behavior

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I tested positive April 10th and my confirmatory test was back a week later on the 17th. Had my blood work drawn on the 3rd but won't get those results till the 23rd.

I've been trying to get ahold of my caseworker to see if she put me in for mental health services, apparently I make too much for some of their services but not all. In the last couple days I've realized I need to work on taking better care of myself. When I say self-destructive behavior I'm referring to not taking care of myself. Although I've had dental insurance thru my employer, I haven't been to the dentist in 12 years. Before I tested positive my primary care Dr did some blood work and found out my blood sugar was high as well as my liver enzymes. And to top it off I'm about 40#'s over weight.

So I really should be making lifestyle changes to offset those issues. I guess my question is how have others worked thru these issues to get on track with taking better care of yourself.

I am very sorry you had to get HIV.  Its a shock to the psyche, not to mention to the body!

I highly suggest you go slowly and do NOT confound everything together into an unmanageable goal of total self improvement.  Its not uncommon for people to react as you have, upon diagnosis.  "It's a wake up call"  - Ok yeah. maybe it is.  "I'm going to turn around my life."  Well -- go gently on this one...

From a distance, the resolution of the health challenges that you mention, does not  necessarily have anything to do with the other.  In other words, for example, a person can be overweight AND successfully deal with HIV. etc etc etc. 

In plain words, the best thing you can do for your overall health in the following months is learn about HIV and get all the medical attention you need for HIV, and start assimilating that this is something to live with, deal with, but not let become overwhelming.   

The single BEST, and pretty much ONLY lifestyle behavior, for successfully fighting HIV is getting regular medical attention and going on the HAART when it is time. 

Now, each other health issue is important, YES, and a factor in general good or bad health.  But remember to address each one on its own terms, and not confound it all together into something unmanageable.

You got dental insurance - go to the dentist and get your mouth back into shape.

If you think you might be heading toward diabetes, get some expert medical attention to see your exact prognosis, and learn and try some of the solutions as for diet and exercise.

I don't know you at all, so I don't know if "radical turnaround" is something you have done before. 

I do know an overambitious "turnaround" plan can easily set up any person for failure, and a feeling of disappointment... 

So please be kind to yourself, and go with steady measured steps.

May I suggest you focus on one or two of your behaviors you do not feel comfortable with? Pick the ones you have the least antipathy for.  It's not the outside world uncomfortable with yourself, but yourself.

Get a handle on one or two, and you may feel more comfortable with yourself. And feeling better about yourself, you may have more confidence in regard to making additional positive behavioral changes.

A step at a time, along with perhaps a trip or two. . .

Joe K:
Hey Shayne,

If I read your post right, you haven't been poz for even a month and what I think you need the most right now, is to just take a few deep breaths and realize that you are not going to die any time soon.  Testing poz is one of greatest challenges that life can give you and it's perfectly normal to need some time to begin understanding how your life might change.

That's not to say that you should not take care of yourself, however, right now it's all too new and I imagine confusing, so give yourself a break and just take it slow.  If you have immediate medical needs, please take care of those so you will feel that you are in control of your own destiny, but don't worry about correcting all your foibles at once, because that will simply overwhelm you.

I suggest you take it slow, be kind to yourself and do something, anything, every single day, that you absolutely love.  Try to always feed your body, spirit and mind as they are our greatest allies in the fight against HIV.  Let yourself feel, whatever it is you need to feel, without the need to do anything about any of it.  Just because you "feel" something does not make it real, so give yourself permission to feel or express yourself in whatever way works for you.

I've been poz for almost 30 years and I promise it will get better.  What I think you really need right now, is simply time and since your health is fine, you have all the time in the world.

Welcome to the forums.


Some really good advice here. Take some time to take care of yourself. Death is not imminent. When diagnosed, there is a huge amount of stuff to process. Take your time, listen to your doc and remember to breathe. It really does get better.


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