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I'm new and here's my story.

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Andy Velez:
Welcome! I'm very glad you have found your way here.

You've had a very big shock and right now it may be overwhelming. But it's not going to stay that way. Gradually as you get more information and make connections here and elsewhere you will see that your life is going to go on and it's going to be good. There will be some different things to be aware of and pay attention to, but HIV will only be a part of your life.

You don't have to rush to disclose your status. Please read the lesson on this site about disclosure if you haven't already done so. Maybe there is a close friend in your life whom you would feel comfortable talking with. You might also contact any HIV/AIDS service organization in your area and ask if they offer either indiividual or group counseling.

It will be important to for you to get a doctor whom you can work with and develop a good partnership. That will include having regular tests to monitor your numbers. But this is not something you have to resolve today or tomorrow. You're not going to suddenly fall through a black hole. You're just at the very beginning of learning how to take care of yourself about HIV. It will take time but you're going to learn everything you need to know and most importantly, you don't have to do it alone.

Reaching out to others here is a good first step. What you want to avoid is isolation. You haven't done anything "wrong." Be gentle on yourself. You've contracted a virus and it requires certain things to keep you healthy.

You can always ask any questions here that you want to or discuss anything that's on your mind.

Keep us posted on how it's going.

We wish you didn't need to be here, but we're glad to be here for you.

Cheers,

aztecan:
Hey FunkA,
Sorry for this bad news and the turmoil it has caused, but glad you found us. You are welcome here.
NOW - first, start reading the lessons here at this site. They are a great way to start educating yourself about being positive and how to deal with things , including, as Andy said, disclosure.

You have had great advice regarding this, so I won't add anything. I would add that, if you are in the U.S., find out if there is an AIDS service organization near you. If so, go see them.

Depending on your income level, they can help set you up with services, including a doctor. They probably know which doctors in your area specialize in HIV care as well, which is important.

Because you are an adult, this may be an avenue for you to access the care you need without involving your mother. That way, you won't feel you have to tell her right now and can wait until you are really ready.

In the meantime, please take a few moments to just breathe. Don't try to do this all at once. And, please come back and let us know how you are doing and feeling.

By the way, chances are I was infected when I was 23 years old. I will be 49 next month. So, please keep in mind you won't get sick or die tomorrow, unless you get hit by a bus or some such.

HUGS,

Mark

Robert:
Sorry you had to join us and the way it happened.  As Andy mentioned HIV is now a part of your life.  RIght now it might seem like it EVERYTHING and YOUR WHOLE LIFE.  After time, you will learn that it's just another part of who you are.

Let me stress what Cliff said.  Be careful WHEN and WHo you disclose to.  Once the cat is out of the bag, that's it.  You might think even your closet friend and confident will hold the secret but don't count on it. 

There is a great book called THE FIRST YEAR:  HIV. An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed, by Brett Grodeck. Between that book and the help you get from your friends here you will be just fine. 

It might seem like the world is crashing in on you right now but please don't dwell on it.  I know easy for me to say.  But look at Mark and Jefferey.  They were both in their early 20's and look at them now.  Strong, sturdy pillars of society (lol.)

robert

David_CA:
Hi Funk,

I can understand how you feel.  I found out I was HIV+ this past March, and it was a major blow.  I felt stupid, dirty, like a total fuck up.  I even had to consciously do breathing exercises to keep away panic attacks those first few weeks.  There are three things that really helped me, and still do.  One, you've found it: this website.  It, and its many members are the best.  Second, I confided in a couple really good friends.  Third, and this may or may not apply to you, I prayed a lot.  I didn't pray to be negative again; I knew that wouldn't happen.  I prayed to be able to handle this.  I knew my status wouldn't change; I prayed to change and deal with this.  I feel pretty much like my old self most of the time.  Of course, the fact that my Dr. prescribed Prozac to help with the anxiety and panic attacks (never had 'em before) contributed to my feeling better.

Listen to what these people tell you.  There's a lot of experience and information for you here that you won't get anywhere else.  Relax and give yourself some time to figure things out.  That's easier said than done, I know.  I had my first appt. within a week of finding I was poz.  Coming out as gay isn't always all that bad, either.  In my case, I've never had any problems with it.  I don't advertise the fact that I'm a queer, but friends know.  If others figure it out (how many 40 year old men have room mates?), that's fine too.  That's one burden I'm glad to not have to carry around any more.

Things will be ok.  They'll be different, but you'll adjust.  There really isn't any option to adjust, in my opinion.  Just forgive yourself first and the rest will come much easier.  Take care.

David

skeebo1969:

Hi funk, welcome to the forums.  I was diagnosed on September 14, 2005 and I went through some of the same feeling you are going through now.  Don't worry about disclosure right now, you need to give yourself time to let all this sink in.  There is no way you can prepared to face any possible negative reactions you may get.  I know that I was not, I found this out 1 week after my diagnosis when I started disclosing to people close to me.  Big mistake!!  Here I was still recovering from the shock of being HIV+ and now I added someone else's feelings in the mix.

There will be plenty of time for disclosure later.  Only you can determine when the right time will be, but that should not be a worry right now.  Follow the advice some of the others have given you.  Try to get some counseling and definitely find a doctor that you feel comfortable with. 

What is your support group like?  Any friends that you can look to for emotional support?  If not I would definitely seek out some form of counseling, whether group or therapist.  You could discuss with others on issues such as disclosure.

You are definitely in the right place...  This was one of the few support systems I had !

Take it easy and most of all do not beat yourself up!  It does no good!

Thomas

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