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Offline semi77

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  • Posts: 7
« on: December 11, 2006, 02:10:44 AM »
« Last Edit: January 19, 2007, 06:53:15 PM by mascmanmi »

Offline Eldon

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  • Posts: 2,664
Hello Mascmanmi,

In the past, I too have experienced similar to what you are going through right now. Inside of me, I want to do whatever I can to help you with your situation. Here are (6) Six Simple Steps that may be able to help you:

FIRST – Recognize that you are feeling anxious. Accept your body feelings as a symptom of your anxiety and a sign that something is bothering you.

SECOND – Give yourself permission to feel anxious about whatever it is that is bothering you. “Of course I feel anxious because…and it’s ok to have anxiety.”

THIRD – Breathe. First, inhale through your nose slowly for two-seconds, mentally counting on, one-thousand, two, one-thousand. Then exhale through your mouth to mental count of four-seconds – again by one-thousands. Do this for at least 60 – seconds.

FOURTH – Use positive dialogue to talk yourself through the anxious time. It WILL pass. Examples of dialogue might be, “It’s just anxiety. It will go away. I will not lose control. I can still go about my business feeling spaced-out. It won’t hurt me.”

FIFTH – Get busy. Do something to release some of this self-induced stimulation. Your body is like a car in high gear with the brakes on. Don’t just sit there! Walk, run, clean closets – but DO something. Distract yourself from the way you are feeling.

SIXTH – Try to see a little humor in the way you feel. You may FEEL weird, you don’t LOOK weird. Give yourself permission to feel weird for a little while. It’s no big deal. Try to figure out what is really bothering you. Is it some type of conflict that you don’t want to deal with? Is it a scary thought? Is it a ridiculous expectation you have about yourself? How about the television program you watched last night? What is bothering you?

It takes time and lots and lots of practice. But the only way to stop fearing panic and anxiety attacks is to experience them. Then, work your way through them and begin to see that they won’t hurt you.

There is no need to run. You are your safe place and your safe person. Try these steps out and see if they will help you with your situation.

On A Lighter Note:

Your CD4's and your VL looks good. Also, congratulations on your completion on your course with Psychology. It is all within you. Just like you aced and sailed through the fall semester, you can ace this too. It is all within you.

Offline Boo Radley

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  • Not a "real man" and damn proud, mithter... FAB
    • Animal Rescue New Orleans
Anyone who knows me knows how I feel about responses like "Hang in there and everything will get better" because they're often patently untrue or too pat and easy for dealing with one's life's complexities.  So I won't make such a statement.

I will, however, try to point out positive highlights in your life this last year:

1. You're physical health is good.  Always a blessing.

2. You have a 4.0 average in grad school.  A real accomplishment.

3. You've dealt with HIV for a year in an apparently healthy and life-affirming way.  You're making it.

4. You're intelligently dealing with stress and depression and that tactic is better than trying to ignore it.  You can deal with it.

5. You haven't strangled any 18 year old classmates (a near-impossibility for me...).  You've avoided criminal charges.

With your numbers for 1 you have a good chance of living a long and healthy life.  Your continued accomplishments with 2 will prepare you for a new career in a few years (or prepare you for post-grad school education).  Your ability to deal with 3 is the best way to deal with HIV in the long run.   On 4 you have to give the process some time, maybe try a different med if wellbutrin doesn't seem to help after a month or two (and if you don't click with your psych try to see another one), consider talk-therapy if you aren't seeing a therapist (many ASO's, if there is one in your area, offer this service free).  We can skip 5.

For the not-so-happy moments:

1.  You've dealt with rejection on some levels and no one feels good in those cases.  I can't offer easy fixes but I bet if you look enough you'll find people who accept you, warts and all.  That includes sex and dating or whatever you do to scratch that itch.  Yeah, it's unfortunate there are still many guys who are terrified if you disclose your status before any potential sexual activity but who would have sex in a New York minute if you didn't disclose.  Those guys are not worth stressing over.

2.  You haven't been able to be open about your HIV status but this will change to some extent, eventually.  Each of us knows our own lives and divulging is a really personal issue.  I am as openly HIV+ as much as possible but I've been living with the damned virus for years.  I truthfully say, with the exception of potential sexual partners, virtually every one of my friends and former coworkers, even strangers who happen to broach the topic or a related one, have always reacted supportively when given the info (about HIV -- I've been openly gay since before you were born...).  I hope you are as lucky as I have been.   

3. It's the holiday season, the time of year almost anyone who's even remotely sane gets depressed, at least at some point and one some levels.  I've ignored Xmas and New Years for so long you'd think I was a shut-in.  That doesn't mean I don't give and get presents for/from a few loved ones or that I sit alone like Mr. Scrooge throughout the holidays, just that I don't let the Juggernaut that is commercialized crappy christmas overwhelm me with unnecessary stress and guilt.   I may or may not visit a few friends or have some over to my hovel; no pressure, nothing fancy.

4.  You haven't hit rock-bottom emotionally but guess what?  No law requires you to do so!!  When I tested poz I kept waiting for the breakdown, the lowest point of my life, to come.  It never did or I missed it while watching a re-run of AbFab.

I hope my response makes a little sense, at least, and doesn't appear too glib.  It's way past bed time and I've been semi-comatose for about 10 minutes.

step forward, step back, it's like this little circle ball of emotions and pain that do nothing but spin in this wild uncontrollable pattern around me and i cant get away from it...

Having HIV requires us to learn to walk again, in some ways.  Overall success is accomplished a few steps at a time and it's normal to step back once or twice while you're still making your way in the right direction.   What seems way out of orbit now will most probably gradually return to a steady course.

Good luck and keep posting when you get the chance.

String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!

Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write © 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline poet

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  • Posts: 934
  • Poet living and working in Central Maine
First, congratulations on grad school!  It's so great that you have the focus to keep in school and clearly know where you are going and get there.  Second, it is a step forward, step back, do the little circle at time.  If you were WASP, you would know that 'we' aren't allowed to show emotions, so I have only been able to feel things about hiv through films and such about it.  As Boo posted, third, you may never have to hit bottom or you may find yourself there out of the blue.  I just hope that you keep in mind if and when that you have sailed through school despite all of the other things going on and that's a lesson learned.  Best, Win
Winthrop Smith has published three collections of poetry: Ghetto: From The First Five; The Weigh-In: Collected Poems; Skin Check: New York Poems.  The last was published in December 2006.  He has a work-in-progress underway titled Starting Positions.

Offline red_Dragon888

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  • Posts: 2,840
  • Love and Be Love in Return
smile more, choose to be happy, choose to feel young and to see a brighter future than ever imagine.

Off Crystal Meth since May 13, 2013.  In recovery with 20 months clean time.

Offline Longislander

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  • Posts: 2,489
HI Masc, nice to meet you~ From what I read, for the most part you're in a pretty good place. The holidays are way too stressful for alot of us.

You have lots of good things going on in a busy life. It's understandable that maybe you haven't taken time out for you to grieve over your diagnosis.  Perhaps , while on the Wellbutrin, you won't find that place. It's definitely not a good place to be, but from your post, and what goes on in your mind, a temporary meltdown of emotions may be cathartic. It's been a year for me also, and I've cried enough for both of us. If I could give you a voucher to redeem that for emotional stability, I would. Take some time over the winter break for you.


infected 10/05 diagnosed 12-05
2/06   379/57000                    6/07 372/30500 25%   4/09 640/U/32% 
5/06   ?? /37000                     8/07 491/55000/24%    9/09 913/U/39%
8/06   349/9500 25%              11/07 515/68000/24     2/10 845/U/38%
9/06   507/16,000 30% !          2/08  516/116k/22%    7/10 906/80/39%
12/06 398/29000 26%             Start Atripla 3/08
3/07   402/80,000 29%            4/08  485/undet!/27
4/07   507/35,000 25%            7/08 625/UD/34%
                                                 11/08 684/U/36%

Offline Life

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  • Posts: 2,389
  • Member 2005
Boy I see this all in a positive way....

So whats it going to be?   Might as well fill it to the top with the "good stuff" ahy?


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« Last Edit: December 11, 2006, 11:46:30 PM by Eric »

Offline DanielMark

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,475
Hi Mascmanmi,

Sounds like you are level headed and have a lot of good things going on in your life.

From what you wrote it also sounds a lot like I used to be - until one day I had no choice but to face what is and allow myself to actually feel anything about it. It’s never easy for me to surrender to my emotions but in this case I knew if I didn’t I’d go down soon. It was tough to do, but as they say what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.

Since then I still have mini moments of grief and regret but life has become a lot more manageable now after all those years. Enjoyable even.





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