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HIV & Mental Break

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coltsteele:
My damn computer may have posted my first try.

Suffice it to say, within 6 weeks in May/June 2006, our family buried two members, way too young, and between funerals I found out I was HIV+ (hospitalized, anemic and a couple other intestinal probles). No choice in starting meds as my CD4 count was 42.

July 2006 I was "not myself" on returning home from funerals, and I completely freaked out my partner, wouldnt get help and wouldn't go back to the hospital when he suggested it. I "flipped out" (his words), and had such a euphoric psychotic state, that I was off meds for 6 weeks to 2 months. Argh!

Since he couldn't do anything with me, he convinced members of my family to "come and bring me home" to get mental health treatment so they "ganged up" on me, and flew me back to the midwest. Partner packed up his stuff and had to move to a smaller place (before I left). I didn't understand at the time why he was doing that...and not being very communicative, he didn't tell me, and I didn't ask. (Kicking myself in the ass for that as I might have gotten mental help).

Got treatment in two different mental health centers, and now am back to myself, compliant with HIV meds (just started Atripla) and anti-psychotic meds.

As a result of being gone so long, I lost my job and am now undertaking a job search that will take me back to South FL. I speak with my partner every other day, he calls or I call. I'm hoping that we can put our lives back together, he's non-committal (and guess I might be the same if I were in his shoes).

Job search-I have a good offer of a job though in central FL and will go for a final interview in a few days.

I'm kinda feeling like my life is stopped and slowly slipping away. I'm currently staying in a residence for people living with AIDS, but the others are on disability and most likely will be unable to hold full time employment again. My family kind of arranged to "park" me here, hoping I would stay home, but there just aren't any jobs in my profession open in the area.

My thoughts are that for my health (mental and physical) I should return to full time employment in a profession that I know I can do and am good at (and have some national recognition). As much as I would like to be living with the man I think of as my partner, (we were only together around 8 months when I "flipped out"), I know I have to do what's best for me.

Does this sound selfish or egocentric? One of the issues I'm dealing with in counseling is that I have spent my life taking care of others, and neglected to take care of myself.

Thoughts would be appreciated.

dtwpuck:
Hey there... and welcome.

Sorry to hear you're having such a tough time.   It's good that you are trying to say focused and stay positive. 

What's happened with your partner is water under the bridge in a way.  You might be able to get it all back, you might not.  It sucks.  It really does.  But you have to forgive him for being human, just like you have to forgive yourself for having a breakdown.  And, it definitely sounds like you had one.   There is no way to predict the future, but remain hopeful ... and also remain accepting of what hands life deals you. 

I remember when I was a teenager a teacher of mine said to the class "You can't control what happens to you.  You can only control your attitude."  I took that to heart.  Every time I forget it, I regret it.  And every time I remember ... good things happen.   So, there is a lot to be said for a positive outlook, and I wish you the best of luck.

Please focus on your health and your mental well being.  It might be wise to take a break from work, even though you feel it is necessary in order to feel human.  Work will still be there after your CD4's rise.  And you will be in a state of mind to be able to perform that work with full presence.  It's just a thought.

And, I am truly sorry for your losses.  There is nothing that I can say that doesn't sound trite.  We all deal with loss in our own way, and in so many ways learning to live with the memories of loved ones is a defining factor of what makes us human.  Sadly, we are all mortal, and it is painful to be reminded of that when we lose the ones we love.  Just remember, there are others who love you.  Take care of yourself so that they don't have to deal with the pain of the loss of you.

This site is great.  There are a lot of wonderful people on here.  Keep coming back and let us know how things are going.  In many ways, people find a lot of solace and community here.   

Hugs and all the best to you,

Puck

Andy Velez:
Colts, I'm glad you have found your way to our site. Welcome!

Well, you have certainly had a lot to handle and get through. All in all what you have written comes across to me as strong and determined to get on with your life. Selfish? Not a bit, man. We're talking survival here so I encourage you to do whatever you need to do to get back on your feet. You have work you seem to enjoy and are good at. Go for it!

You may very well be up to working full-time again. Go at the pace that's right for you. Talking here is a good way of getting the support you need in your life to be picking up the pieces. Wherever you end up moving to may well have an AIDS service organization that will also be helpful to you. As for your partner, you'll see how things go. It sounds like both of you have been through a lot, so give that some time.

You're always welcome here to ask questions and to talk about what is going on in your life.

You've survived a lot of tough stuff coming all at once. Now's the time to focus on what you want and doing your best to get it.

Cheers,

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