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Author Topic: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?  (Read 6908 times)

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Offline allopathicholistic

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"LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« on: July 17, 2006, 12:44:40 pm »
I used to work 40 hours a week. I took pride in that. A lot of pride. I did this for 10 years.

And I know I'm not supposed to care too much about what other people think of me---- but------ there's one tiny speck in that equation that is an undeniable hot button for me personally. I fear being perceived as lazy because I don't work and I'm on Medicaid and getting government aid. No one is outright saying "you lazy ass" but who knows if they're thinking it. Just some background: I live in a huge house with my aunt and uncle and my cousin and his fiancee. I had to move here when I had 42 tcells last year  and nearly died twice due to "unexplained weakness" (as stated in the hospital paperwork)

A penny for your thoughts, as the saying goes (although I predict I'll value most of the responses much much more than a penny!)

In a way, this can sort of tie into the whole "HIV+ is now a manageable condition" ... I have mixed feelings about that viewpoint. I'd say it's more manageable now than before. Doctors don't know the long-term ramifications of HAART. It's too new. HIV/AIDS is one of the most devastating realities this world has ever seen. My brain right now is cluttered with 10,000 thoughts. I better stop typing.  :-\

Thank you
« Last Edit: July 17, 2006, 12:50:19 pm by allopathicholistic »

Offline Life

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2006, 12:57:54 pm »
Alex I have thought about what the future holds for all of us.   I feel the way our bodies handles the virus is different for different people.   Whatever YOU need to do to make your life work is perfectly acceptable.  Now for what the bystanders are saying.  SCREW EM!   I am scared to death of not being able to do what I do.  I continue to work two jobs at 80 hours a week..  It keeps my mind off of THIS..  If I am not active I feel I will just die..  Who is to say you will be on medicaid forever??  How bout just today? Ah?

Love & Support!!!!

Offline ACinKC

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2006, 01:08:46 pm »
I am struggling with a situation similar to this.  I used to work 80hours a week and work was my life, it led to a SERIOUS flameout and contributed to my aquisition of this virus.  Since my burnout and diagnoses I am seriously lacking in the motivation department and can only go in spurts, 3 mos here and 3 mos there followed by months of just making it to 5 oclock and the weekends.  As far as how others percieve me, I do worry about this alot as I am employed by my parents and have been for 6 years, but I know the other employess all see the preferential treatment I get sometimes.  Their viewpoints of me troubles me to say the least.  It leads to a bad cycle and what I have lovingly referred to as my "funk".  I get in a funk and it takes me SOME time to get out of it.  Most times it feels like HIV is just a crutch and maybe its a MAJOR character flaw in me personally, maybe its the sustiva not letting me SLEEP that leads to this depression like state, maybe its the ADD i have and the fact medicine may be altering my concentration level even more.... but when I start to make these claims they feel like excuses and makes me feel even WORSE....  CHRIST I RAMBLED! 

Alex, do whatcha gotta do man, you are the one on this ride NOT THEM.  And when you turn around and look behind you on this roller coaster we are on, Im the one with his arms in the air screaming like a friggin madman the whole way, uttering over and over "LETS DO IT AGAIN!"
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A

Offline AlanBama

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2006, 02:07:13 pm »
This is a very good topic for discussion, Alex.   It's something I have had 'issues' with myself.   I have worked all my life, and suddenly AIDS took that away from me.   Thankfully, I was able to begin part-time work (I went back to work in 1999 and have worked ever since at something!) and this gives me a reason to get up in the mornings, and a way to interact with other people on a daily basis.   Some days, it is tough for me to even make it through my 6 hours, but the hardest part for me is getting up in the morning and getting moving; once I do that, it is downhill for me, mostly.

Also, an issue for me is that working takes "everything I've got", there is no energy left over to do things most people take for granted, like cooking and cleaning.   Also, a related issue for me is the stress of keeping my health issues 'secret', since no one at work is aware of my status.   They know I am on disability, but they think it is for my Congestive Heart Failure; this is partially true, but in a way it is a lie by 'omission'.    The stress of keeping up that charade is taking a toll on me, and no one in my family or my negative friends seem to understand why that has such an impact on me.

I grumble and complain, but the last thing at night before I go to sleep, I thank God/the Universe for giving me my life back.   I can very well remember being afraid to go to sleep, because I thought I would die during the night.  If anyone had told me then that I would be able to get up and go back to work in ANY capacity, I would have thought I was dreaming.   So I am deeply grateful for the blessings I have, just being able to live a somewhat 'normal' life -- even if nothing feels very NORMAL for me!    Life is good, and at the end of the day for me to be able to say "thank you" is enough.

With love,
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline blondbeauty

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2006, 02:20:45 pm »
Donīt feel lazy. That is why human beings live in society: to help each other. That is how social security works: when you loose your job, when you are sick...yo recieve the help you need from the people taht are in a better situation than you and contribute to the social security.
The same happens with retirement plans or insurances. If your house burns down to ashes the insurance company will pay for it with the money of other customers that still have their homes intact.
We are here to help each other. If not this would be the law of the jungle.
Or at least that is how we see it in Europe. Think you have been contributing to society with your taxes for as far as you could. Now its time to recieve from them.
Enjoy it!
The only member in these forums approved by WINBA: World International Nail and Beauty Association.
Epstein Barr +; CMV +; Toxoplasmosis +; HIV-1 +.
Counts when starting treatment:
V.L.:80.200 copies. CD4: 25%=503
Started Sustiva-Truvada 14/August/2006
Last V.L.count (Oct 2013): Undetectable
Last CD4 count (OCT 2013): 52%= 933

Offline pozniceguy

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2006, 02:40:36 pm »
Alex   . a few words to ponder......why do you feel that others see you as Lazy??  has anyone actually commented??? Are you feeling this because you collect money for not working?....if so think about how long you paid in to funds to support people in your situation...is it because you are fortunate enough to have relatives who will take you into a comfortable house?   think of what that would cost the agencies that would supplie you with housing and other support if you were not supported by family...
Maybe you just need some solid recognition of your worth as a person.....Volunteer.....there are many groups /agencies that would love to have you even a few hours a week......read to the seniors at the senior center...deliver newspapers /magazines to patients in the hospital....become a classroom assistant...volunteer as a crossing guard... there are many more opportunities that won't require full time and will give you a sense of worth until you can get to the stage where AlanBama is and you can got back to "regular work"
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline J.R.E.

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2006, 04:05:13 pm »

 I know a lot of people that work, that are lazy !!! I am still very fortunate to be able to work. I have mentioned this before, my biggest fears, are when I am not going to be able to work anymore. That bothers me more then anything else., right now.
However, When the time comes, and I will have to collect disability, then so be it, and if anyone doesn't like that welll.... screw them !!!! If I collect disability, it willl be because I am no longer able to work, not because I'm lazy.

Take care----Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune / Epzicom , 20 mg of Atorvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Amlodipine Besolate 5mg-- Updated 7/15/20

Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of July 8th,20,  Viral load remains Undetectable

CD 4 @589 /  CD4 % @ 17 %

Offline Joe K

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2006, 04:45:20 pm »
Hey Alex,

There is nothing that will castrate a male faster, than his losing his job.  We are so conditioned that we must be productive and if you are not, then you must be lazy.  Rubbish.  I believe the real issue with not working is that we lose our identity.  Not as a person per se, but as a citizen.  We no longer have a "function" that contributes to society and instead we become a drain on that very society.  Again rubbish.

Most of this battle is in your head and only you can make peace with these thoughts.  I really don't understand why you care what others think of you, especially strangers.  As long as you lead a decent life, what others think is irrelevant.  I have a disabled parking card and many times I get really dirty looks when I use it, because I appear to be normal, but my reality is quite different.  Generally I just ignore the remarks or looks, but a few times, especially to really bitchy people, I'll walk over and tell them I have AIDS and I hope that it meets their high standards for disabled people.  They usually just slink away because someone called them on their bigotry.

I suggest that you work at viewing yourself realistically, because that is all that really matters.  You are a valued member of society and you have contributed to the very programs that you now access.  Stop letting others define who and what you are.

Offline allanq

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2006, 05:47:42 pm »

I went on disability in 1995 at the age of 47. It took me a long time to get used to not working. I periodically had to remind myself that I wasn't lazy; I was just physically unable to hold down a full-time job.

It is unfortunate that In our culture, work is almost part of our identity. I remember reading somewhere that in Italy, it is considered rude to ask someone what they do when you first meet them. Here in the U.S., it's often one of the very first questions someone asks.

I used to get very nervous when someone would ask me what kind of work I did. If the person wasn't important to me, I just made something up. I didn't feel like explaining my situation to someone who was at most a casual acquaintance, or someone I would likely never see again.

As I got older, I told people that I had "retired." Some people assumed that I had a bundle of money saved or some terrific severance package if I could live without working.

I only tell people my "story" if they truly mean something to me--namely, friends and family.

One suggestion: Are you able to do any volunteer work? You have a lot more leeway in choosing your hours, and it feels good to be doing something that helps people.

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Offline sweetasmeli

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2006, 07:00:45 pm »
Hi Alex
I'm going to take a slightly different angled reponse to this topic:
I actually don't think there is anything wrong in being lazy - whatever that word actually means ( I actually prefer the word 'chilled') - as long as you're not harming anyone with your 'laziness'. Define the word 'lazy' anyway - surely it's only relative to people's personal perceptions?? And everyone's perceptions are unique to them!

I personally think that work - unless you love what you're doing - is a necessary evil. There are very few people in this world actually doing what they would love to be doing and getting paid sufficiently for it. I use the term 'sufficiently' very loosely as again, that too comes down to individual perception...

I find it so sad that the world we live in is so money/work/power orientated, mainly due to corporate corruption, wasted/mispent money by governments and powerful and effective brainwashing from the mass media. And I think its bullshit how people are viewed as 'lazy' if they dont all voluntarily jump on the Crazy Work Work Busy Busy Work Work Bang Bang Band Wagon! (Try saying that after a few ouzos!)

I find it even sadder that the world we live in as a whole is not people/community orientated anymore. If it was, people may actually be more focused on each other rather than on money and possessions.

I admit I am lazy/chilled. I was lazy/chilled before my diagnosis and I'm still lazy/chilled now! But I dont see that as a negative thing - I just like to take things easy as much as possible. I like being able to do whatever I want whenever I want, within my own personal limits of course. If I can put something off until tomorow then I will! I do things when I want to and/or as they need doing - whether that be washing, cleaning, cooking, earning money, socialising, whatever...Admittedly, my laziness sprang happily out of the closet a couple of years ago after finding myself not in a relationship for the first time in 17 years! I suddenly had no-one to answer to or consider directly within my household and IT WAS GREAT, very liberating!

If I am well I work if/when I have to and I simply spend within my means. I have a very low cost of living, I'm not very materialistic and I keep my outgoings to a minimal. Post diagnosis I suffered much depression/anxiety and wasn't in a fit state to work, so I claimed benefits (in the UK) until I was better. I wasn't sponging, I wasn't being lazy, it was what was necessary for me at the time. And I've paid enough into the system with tax/insurance over the years so I had no quarms about claiming benefits for that period.

Like Eric said (and I totally agree):
Whatever YOU need to do to make your life work is perfectly acceptable.
With the added comment from one of my personal mantras: As long as you are not hurting anyone else.

I think what I am trying to say Alex is this: From what you have shared of your personal situation my opinion is that you are not lazy. You basically are doing what you have to do. But my opinion also is this: So what if you are lazy! As long as you're not hurting anyone else...

What Joe said is very important to try to remember:
As long as you lead a decent life, what others think is irrelevant... Stop letting others define who and what you are.
It can be a difficult way of thinking to get used to but once you master it you can apply it to everything and it takes soooo much pressure off!

I know there are people in my village who wonder how I manage financially cos I've not worked much since I arrived here almost 2 years ago. If people are overcome with curiosity and ask I have 2 responses:
1. I smile, wink and say "I have my ways!" and leave them dangling much to my amusement...OR
2. The truth - only to the people who matter to me.

And I agree with Allan's suggestion about volunteer work. That's something I'm looking into at the mo...
Incidently for what it's worth, 10,000 thoughts swirling around your head is definite overload. Try not thinking about the stuff you can't personally control...something I'm working on too at the mo! ;)

I know this reply is a bit haphazard but, ah well, I'm posting it anyway! It'll give you something to do, trying to fathom it out!

Melia Lazybones (Card-carrying and proud of it!)  ;D
« Last Edit: July 17, 2006, 07:04:35 pm by sweetasmeli »
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Offline cubbybear

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2006, 09:02:52 pm »
Hey Alex babe.

You've worked hard, done your stint with full time hours, became unwell at a stage in your life, and seriously unwell at that, and you are giving your body the break that it needs to regenerate and heal as best as it can.  Under the circumstances, give yourself a break and don't beat yourself up over having some time off.

I am where you are right now, I have had the last 10 months off, living on my social security benefits.  I tried to go back to work in May and I found it too soon, and I crashed.  I am going back again in 8 weeks, and this time I am going to make it work.  Take as much time as you need for yourself to feel well, both physically and emotionally before you even think about going back to work. 

You have worked and paid your taxes, you are entitled to earn a little of those paid taxes back, so go easy on yourself.  You're not lazy, and you deserve/need a break for how ever long that might be.  If anyone calls you that, send em over here and I'll punch them in the nose for you.

Like the others said, if you feel you are stagnating and not growing as a person, but you want to, try doing a course, some volunteer work, or some part time work to get back in to the flow of things, but do it all when YOU are ready.

(He who's planning on going back to work in October, despite being a lazy bugger at times!)

Offline purpledragonfly

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2006, 10:30:30 pm »

 I know how i feel, and yes people have called me lazy, it hurts a lot. it has come from my famliy and stangers. I also feel like i am lazy but i do not have the energy to do much at all. When i first found out i was poz. i was working 3 jobs so i could get enough money to get my boys away from their father and a very bad stepmother.About a yr. after i got them back i had to stop working, my lungs just couldn't take getting colds and all and it seemed like i was getting one every week.I have been on ssi since 1990, it has been hard. but the hardest thing is not being able to keep my home up the way i should or to do things i use to do. I have no strength to do them. I cry sometimes because i miss doing things, now i sit here, i don't have too many friends. most people work and if i can't work i can't meet most people.I know i should just ignore people but it is hard, the hardest things to take is to hear your own family call you lazy. I just wish they could see just how this virus has affected my body. They see the outside of me and think i am health one day i hope people will stop looking at others from the outside and see the inside.

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2006, 01:31:09 am »
Hi Alex,

I used to show up at the office at 4:00 AM every day and stay until at least 7:00 PM and take work home too.  That was then and I had HIV.  When I was hospitalized with PCP about 10 years ago, everything changed but in my neighborhood, everyone knew everything, there were no secrets and we talked about our T-cells on the street corners.  That was Los Angeles.

About 6 years ago next week, I moved to a small northern California town which had a population of just over 1,000 people.  My family loaned me a vacant ranch property and free rent, why not?  I spent about 4 years there with no outside contact, no friends.  My only conversations were with the clerks at the convenience store and very limited.  But what could I do?  Good lookin guy, sports car, ranch and no job?  Not lazy, I restored two houses, landscaped 5 acres and utilized that time working on my new product line to compete with my former employer.

Since moving here, to the Russian River, I have become an active participant in HIV rights/issues, I am a Commissioner of the Sonoma County Commission on AIDS, built and market a web site, and serve on about 6 sub-committees.  In my free time, I am finally opening up my competing company and developing a full social life.  We are not lazy but in certain circumstances, we have to be private and expect people to respect that privacy.  Have the best day


Offline Jeffreyj

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2006, 01:58:42 pm »
I am in the same boat you are. It used to make me so angry when people would wonder why I'm not working. Then it hit me that I was waisting energy by being angry with them. PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT POZ JUST DO NOT GET IT. THEY NEVER WILL.
And that's OK. It's not their fault. It's like when my wife died. So many people said"I know how you feel" blah blah. They were trying to be nice, but they had never lost a husband or wife. There is no way on earth that they could even begin to know what pain I was going through.
It's the same with HIV?AIDS...How could they fully understand? The only thing most people know is what they hear on the news. After all, "It's now a manageable disease" If I hear that one more time I'm gonna puke! LoL. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it be more truthful if they said the disease manages the person who has it. It sure has managed my ass the past 7 years.
People don't understand. They will never take the time to even try to understand. That's the way I see it. I forgive them though.
Don't let em get you down Alex. They just don't GET IT.
Love and Hugs to You!
Positive since 1985

Offline richfinsm

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2006, 06:56:08 pm »
Alex, all I can say is that I have suffered the stigma of being on disability.  I understand.  I know only part of what you feel because you wrote about it here.  I know what you mean, though.  I used to be a hard-working man who worked 40+ hours a week, as well.  Hell, sometimes I had two jobs.  I always paid my own way.  I miss that, as well. 

Have you thought about a home-based business?  That is what I do on the side.  Find something you enjoy and make the most of it.  It can be Spiritually, Emotionally and even financially rewarding, as well.

I'll be thinking about you.  Hang in there.  Take care of you and put aside what others think about you.  As the last respondent said, I agree:  Why waste the energy?  I am slowly learning this for myself.

Sending lots of love and positive energy to you.


Rich :) 
Positive since 1/85.  Tested positive with full-blown AIDS 5/93.

Offline Eldon

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2006, 09:34:06 pm »
Alex, it is Eldon. I want to start off by saying that you are NOT Lazy. Let me share my story with you. I found out about my HIV diagnosis in August of 1990. I'll never forget it when the Health Insurance Salesman stood in the parking lot of my Job and told me the news point blank. Since then I have worked (40) forty to (70) seventy hour work weeks with ease.

Just about a year ago I found myself burned out and I had to move back with my parents to get myself together. They took me in with open arms. Yes, it did place limitations on me but to no avail, my mother did what it took to take care of my health. After working for so many years and paying my taxes, paying my SSI, the time had come for me to put in a claim for assistance because "at the time" I wasn't able to go to work.

I've ran (3) three successful business, I've worked in the healthcare field, the finance industry, Information Technology and more. There were times where my family and friends had to ask me to slow down because I was labled as a "workaholic". It tears me up now each day that I am still on Disability. I want to go back to work and do the things I used to do with ease.

Amazingly enough I have been healthy through it all, I just started my meds in Feb 2006 and I feel almost like my old self again. There is still something that is missing. I just can't quite put my finger on it. As for the question of relating, I can relate to you very well with what you have been through and where you are at now in this point of your life.

There is something inside of you that continues to push yourself forward and wanting to do things. Don't get me wrong this isn't a bad thing it is a good thing after all. I project within the next year or so aside from my voulunteering to do something for a few hours a week, starting a support group in my town, and eventually going back to work full-time. I know, it is a sense of accomplishment when you are up and doing something worthwhile.

No matter what the other person thinks, you and I have paid our dues to society. My motto has always been to HELP those who are in need and when I look back on my track record....relationships, friendships and co-workers, Eldon has always been there to lend a helping hand. There is so much you can do, and there is so much that needs to be done.

Don't fall into that category to say that you are LAZY because you are not. Sit down one day and map out the things you would like to accomplish whether large or small things. The list a plan of action on how you wish to do it, then proceed with making it become a reality from what you wrote down on your paper. Don't try to over-extend yourself, start out piece by piece, Michael did it that way and look what good he is doing right now. My hat is off to you Michael.

Support is the greatest factor in your journey. Establish your support mechanisim then proceed. A year or (2) two from now you will be suprised at what you have accomplished. I hope this helps you as I again can relate to what is on your mind and what you are going through. Everyone's situation is different. But, there are some similarities that come along with them.

Keep us posted on your progress and thank you for Keeping it Real and open about what you are going through.


Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: "LAZY" - an ugly false label. Can anyone relate?
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2006, 01:09:52 pm »
Goodness Michael, you sure did work ALOT!!

Thank you everyone

I'm going to print this whole thread out and file it under "C" for Caring Wonderful Forum Family

 :-*  :-*  :-*


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