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Where do we find the Strength......?

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The past year has been difficult for me also. Right now I am living one day at a time, for both myself and my loved ones. I take what comes each day, good and bad.

When the days are bad, I think of others throughout history who have suffered. People in the early days of hiv; people who live through war, and famine. People who lived through the Holocaust. It helps me have perspective on my own problems.

When I was in college, we were required to read Night by Elie Wiesel. He recounts his time in a concentration camp. For me, it helps to know that others have suffered, and yet still have dignity and strength of character. Others who have suffered, but are able to find goodness and peace in the world. I have reread Night many times over the past years.

That is the philosophical part of me. The physical/mental part of me takes Ativan when the stress is high, talks to the therapist, and has a good cathartic cry, followed by a hot bath.


In my current state of mind, it saddens me to read this story and the other as well.

Tim, if thoughts and energy could make you better, I would give my last breath to do so.

Just know that I am connected.

In love


Dear Tim,

I know where you are coming from too, having 3 cases of cancer and my whole life changed.  I now am 'homebound', but I have adapted.  I try to keep that in mind, when I am facing a difficult situation, that I will adapt to it.  That doesn't mean I don't despair, sometimes to the point of not wanting to get out of bed.  But time, in and of itself, I find to be a great healer.  I now sometimes think I am in a better place than I was before my cancer, but I know that the accumluation of one scare after the next gets very tiresome.

These are some of the ways I find strength:

1.Utilizing the vast resources of the internet, including this forum.  I don't have the panic I used to experience before the internet was available. Now I can do a tremendous amount of research on my condition, this relieves a lot of the panic I used to experience when a doctor gave me some horrible diagnosis. 

2.Coming to forums or support groups like this one so I know I am not alone.

3.Getting outdoors, especially taking walks in nature.  I find that to be very calming and therapeutic.

4.  Escape, usually via some form of entertainment.  Right now I am hooked on Second Life (, a virtual world where my subconscious and conscious can play and create on a level which was unimaginable before.

5.  Asking for help.  I used to think it was a sign of strength to fight my battles on my own, also there was a side of me (from childhood experiences) that thought that 'no one cared about me'.  I actually endured terrifc pain during my radiation therapy, because I thought I would be a 'sissy' for asking for pain relief (that was in 1998).  Now I know that there are a lot of resources to help and have met some real angels.

6.  Going to the gym, if I'm well, and trying to build my physique.  It is my way of physically battling this disease.

7.  Self-expression.  For me it is writing and photography.

8.  Xanax.  It puts me to sleep every night, so I don't ponder on all the negative.  And if I have a huge 'scare', I'll pop a little in the daytime to calm me down.  Although, I am addicted (an in like a heroin-type addiction) to it.  However, I was an insomniac for my entire adult life until I found it, and frankly my quality of life is much better with it,despite being 'hooked'. 

Big HUG.


If I could add two things to karim's insightful list:

1)I love to BLAST my favorite rock and roll songs and pretend I'm a rock n roll star..It sounds odd i know but it cheers me up most of the time.

2) Watch a good movie.

I try not to look to far ahead or too far back. These two things help me do that.

Stay strong Tim.

I'm off to "Sufferjet City"...

Sometimes I feel like I'm going to fall apart.  The only real support I have for the HIV thing is this forum right now.  Not because I don't want to disclose, but because the people I do know in this town who are HIV+ are all strung out on drugs and the rest, well I guess, they just want to keep private.  I do have good support for my recovery regarding addictions.  I go to AA/NA.  I have a FEW close friends that I talk to, but no one else here that's HIV+.  I try to pray a lot.  So many tragic things have happened in this town recently.  A cop was shot and killed a couple days ago by some wacko on drugs; a friend of mine went to visit his mother and found her dead; they had a tornado just west of here; there was a horrible accident on the Indiana toll road today that killed eight people.  Does tragedy just happen in large volumes?  It always makes me a little nervous, like what's coming next?  Thank God you all are here for me to vent to! ;)


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