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Patients HIV/AIDS

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Member Carenity
Posted on

Hello all,

You can call me Healthyme... I have been diagnosed for about 5 years and have over time become more and more comfortable with owning my diagnosis and educating others just how far medicine has come. Often there is a stigma attached to the words HIV or AIDS.

My journey was not easy and I do not go around openly disclosing my diagnosis; however, I no longer shy away from it or feel shame when I should disclose condition: relationships, certain medical professional appointments. But what helped me is understand what led to my diagnosis and become accepting of that, then become accepting of my life that I have the diagnosis, and then become accepting of that fact that the diagnosis does not define me for the rest of my life. These were not easy steps and were not done over night.

However, I am now coping mentally, socially, and emotionally 100% better than I was 5 years ago. I would love to hear other stories and how you are coping and perhaps we can work together to better us!

Hope all is well,

Healthyme

Beginning of the discussion - 2/15/19

How are you coping mentally with your diagnosis?
Member Carenity
Posted on

@Hidden username That is great. Glad you are coping so well! What did you do to become more accepting of your diagnosis and improve your overall outlook? I understand you said that understanding what led to your diagnosis and become accepting of that and becoming more accepting of the fact of your diagnosis... but how did you get to that point? Did you use any resources you would recommend?

I am doing much better, I think, but you know - there are days where the diagnosis gets to you mentally, not to mention the physical, medical, and social affected aspects.

Thank you!

How are you coping mentally with your diagnosis?
1

Member Carenity
Posted on

Hello there 

I look forward to the day Ican say confidently, I am ok with my diagnosis and that I do not let it touch every inch of my life. I have been diagnosed for a year now and it still feels like day one. I have gone through the meds and therapy process and i am undetectable. I am happy to say that much. But still the feelings of frustration, depression, uselessness, longing for the "real you" to return. I still have dreams of being the "old real me" and wake up upset that it was just a dream. I guess you can say im having a really hard time accepting this. I attempted distractions, a brief relationship w another pos man that failed. Moving to a new apartment, and even starting a new job yet still feel so unlike myself no matter how hard I try. How long does it take until i will feel like me again? Feel safe and ok with my life? 

How are you coping mentally with your diagnosis?
Member Carenity
Posted on

I'm am at a better place now then when I was first diagnosed in 2011. I had a great support system which was my family. Everyday is a different day. I got about life not even thinking about what I have until I have a doc appointment or when I meet someone new. Those are times when reality hits me in the face...I don't feel normal. Im only 36 and have never been married. I'm suppose to be living it up. But my diagnosis have buried that old life. So I try to remind myself that because of the meds I'm able to live a longer life. Dying doesn't scare me because I have a relationship with God. But dieing alone is what I fear most. I have a broken heart due to the disclosure of my diagnosed. I'm happy but empty. But what if it was cancer or diabetis? Would I still feel the same? I also find it hard because most stigma is toward gay people so they have more outlets. Me being a heterosexual woman I haven't ran into any woman I can relate to, who looks like me with it, so I feel most of the time alone in this. 

How are you coping mentally with your diagnosis?
Member Carenity
Posted on

I am sorry to hear that you feel that why.  In the beginning of my diagnose, I felt like it was a nightmare, a never ending one for about 5 yrs until I learned to love my self and just accept what life has dealt me.  I put myself though hell and back with my pity party.  I've been it lots of relationships when I was negative and lots of relationship while I am positive.  Most people have a fear of dying alone but in reality no matter if anyone is there with you, you still will be the one alone dying.  So my point is to look at it with objective lenses.  Negative people can wind up alone just like a positive people. I don't think it has anything to do with your status. You will be fine.  

How are you coping mentally with your diagnosis?
Member Carenity
Posted on

Hi new to group was just wondering how long has or were people under 200 for T-cell counts it has been 12 years for me luckily though my viral load stays undetectable please let me know if this is normal in lots of pain now that I have aged I'm 60 soon to be 61 wonder if this is just ageing or because of my disease (or diseases  thanks for listening 

How are you coping mentally with your diagnosis?
1

Member Carenity
Posted on

@Hidden username 

sweetie, dont torture yourself. and dont feel like you're alone. we are all here, and if you need a friend, im always excited to make new friends. with the meds, and more being invented every day, (...& we all know that there is a cure, its just going to come in time). 

you are still the same beautiful soul you always have been. i have been HIV+ for 32+ years (that i know of), and 25-27 years full blown, w AIDS. when i was exposed, (thanks to my ex husband being a cheat and drug addict, that i knew nothing about), it was in the 80s, and HIV was a death sentence then. so i have dealt w it for many years, and people dont die from it like they used to. today it is a livable disease. the only things that change is, you take medicine every day, and you practice safe sex.. not just for anyone elses safety, but also for your own, because you can be RE-exposed. 

you dont need to be in a relationship, to not be alone. friends last longer than boyfriends, much of the time, anyway. and if a man loves you... TRULY loves you, he will accept all of you. but while you're single, embrace it. the hardest part of being single, is learning HOW to be single, and enjoy it. you can do what you want, when you want, without anyone else to protest! Lol. if you wake up at 3am, and want to go sit at IHOP and eat breakfast, and read a book, theres no one else whos going to be griping about it, or accusing you of something, when you get back home! learn to accept that things are what they are, right now, learn to love yourself, and when the right person comes along, you will know it. i didnt tell people about my diagnosis, until i knew they truly loved me. (but i have a million reasons, why to practice safe sex! in the meantime). 

one of the best pieces of advice anyone has given me, was in therapy, i was asked, "have you ever cooked an amazing dinner, set the table for 1, and had a candle light dinner, just for yourself?" i said no. why would i do that just for me? and they responded, "why, arent you worth it?" it made me think. i AM worth it. and it took a while, but after i learned HOW to love being single, i have to admit, it was difficult to give up, when i got back together w my current husband. (pretty sweet love story, actually. we were together many years ago, but i had just recently divorced from my daughters' father, when this one told me he loved me and asked me to marry him, it freaked me out, and i ran off w the carnival, literally. then 1-2 years later, i realized i really did love him, and i came back to profess my love, only to find out he had moved in w someone else, who he eventually married. and i loved him too much to push my way back into his life and disrupt his world. 20 years passed, and i never even got an email from him! however, after his wife passed away from cancer, he showed up at my moms house, looking for me. we have been together every day since! -i was NOT going to let him get away twice!! Lol). but it was pretty difficult for me, at that time, to give up my independence, and have to learn to share my life, after i had Loved being single, for 13 years! 

you will find your way, you just have to learn to love yourself. and that is necessary anyway. i know you have heard it said that, "you have to love yourself, before you can love anyone else!" and everything will fall into place, in its own time. find good hobbies, do all the things you always wanted to do, and then when you find that special person, you can share w them all the best things you have done/seen, along the way.

be a strong, independent woman, and men will love, and appreciate that! 

How are you coping mentally with your diagnosis?
Member Carenity
Posted on

@Hidden username i am at about 350 t-cells right now, but they were under 200 for many years. the most important thing is that your viral load is undetectable! i didnt find the right doctor/medicine until i was in my 21st year of diagnosis. now im undetectable. as long as you have a good ID doctor, you will do fine.

How are you coping mentally with your diagnosis?
1

Member Carenity
Posted on

@Hidden username i love the way you think!! you have to learn to love yourself, and just accept the hand you have been dealt, and the rest always falls into place. the ONLY time i even acknowledge my status, is when i have to take my meds, and get blood work drawn. (and i try to protect myself a lil more, during flu season, of course). HIV/AIDS is a part of who i am. it in no way, 'defines' who i am.