The Flagyl Blues & my recipe for success

Published 01, Sep, 2011
Author // Brian Finch - Founder

At least they say I look good!

The Flagyl Blues & my recipe for success

Flagyl Blues: A traveller's guide to weight loss.

In my last post I shared some of the challenges I face. One message I wanted to get out is that those of us who work on Positivelite.com are just like those who come to the site. We are you and you are us.

Today I wanted to focus on some of the solutions that I'm focusing on and not just the problem. Before I get to that I wanted to thank everyone forthe very kind messages I received after letting everyone know where I was at.

A perfect storm had come together during the summer  -temporary, yet protracted illness, a treatment (Flagyl) at the maximum dosage (2250 mgs a day), straying from my foundations of dealing with life itself (12 step program) and never having recovered from having gone through a long and protracted episode of isolation (bunion surgery with three months of a cast and very limited mobility).

Now it's time to look at the gifts that are in my life. On the bright side this has turned out to be a great weight loss program. Mind you, it's not something I'd recommend.

However, there's always got to be a silver lining!

There was a time when I had joked about the "Playa Los Meurtos Diet" where you fly down to Puerto Vallarta, head down to the taco stand and grab a couple of tacos along with a tall glass of tap water. You'll come back thin and beautiful. This version is fly to Italy, wait a while, do some tests and go on a dosage of a toxic antibiotic that's enough to kill a cow. It's done wonders for my figure.

The recipe to rebuild and get out of where I had found myself is really not that complicated, yet in the moment can seem so difficult.

Isolation leads to this innate state of inertia that once settled in, takes about 1,000 times more work to get out of than it took to get there. My Oprah "ah ha" moment came this week when I was feeling so frigging horrible, I'd get up, take my Flagyl and then go back to sleep until noon. I'd repeat this with the mid-day dose and so on and so forth.

Suddenly the smallest task feels like climbing up a mountain. On Monday I fell into this space of feeling sorry for myself. Here I was feeling imprisoned in my apartment again. I cancelled my Tuesday appointment with my therapist and planned to spend the next couple of days inside.

I went for my afternoon nap and got up and thought, "the only thing worse than feeling miserable is being home alone and feeling miserable." Even though I slept all day, I forced myself to get out and get a bit to eat (I've been living on Boost for the last two weeks) and get to my 12-step meeting.

I have to say it was the last thing I wanted to do. I visibly looked unwell and didn't want to be seen looking so sickly. Certainly I couldn't be the worst looking person walking into these rooms so I got off the couch.

Attending the meeting and people with people, despite feeling so awful, did make me feel better. Afterwards I was invited out for a bite to eat. The thought of real food wasn't so great, and my immediate thought was no, I'd go home. Instead I did the opposite and went out and got a banana split. The food helped, and it was nice to be out with people.

I also uncancelled my appointment and got there, even though I did wake up only 26 mins before I was supposed to be there. With the aid of a taxi I made it. Next came the Tuesday night meeting. I forced myself up and out I went. Again being around people lifted my spirits and I had a nice walk home with a group of people who understand what it's like.

Today I'm making small goals I can attain instead of becoming overwhelmed by thinking about taking on too much, or what I should be doing. The recycling got out, little Hildy got her walk and I cleaned up the kitchen.

I'd forgotten that it is the baby steps that lead to success. Emotionally I feel better. Just knowing that I'm finishing this horrible drug today is enough to lift my spirits. It's been a week or so feeling like I had started HIV meds all over again.

So here is my recipe for getting out the slump I've been in:

1) set small and attainable goals

2) get a therapist (for me setting goals with someone else is essential to move from reflection to action)

3) Adjust antidepressants (time will tell on this one)

4) Think about the gifts in my life, write on thing for today I am grateful for.

5) re-examine and evaluate areas that give me anxiety and find solutions

6) spirituality.

In the long term, I hve to prepare for the winter and I think one of the largest issue I have to deal with is something that many who live with HIV and are on disability face; lack of structure. This is such a huge challenge and where there is opportunity, we must set goals and follow through by working with someone else.

Exercise! For someone who went to the gym 4 times a week it's hard to imagine that I don't go at all. This relates to structure and I'll be incorporating in what I envision a weekly schedule that I will develop. At this point I have no boundaries - such as when do I start working on the site? When do I make time for other holistic parts of my life, the body, mind and soul?

I know I'm being repetitive but the one thing I've really connected to this week is that feeling tired or sick home alone is far worse than feeling that way and being in the company of others. I have to push through it. I wish I didn't have to. I wish I could be someone where doing such things happens without any effort. But that's not the case.

About the Author

Brian Finch - Founder

Brian Finch - Founder

Brian Finch, founder of PositiveLite.com. I've had a blog since 2005 when I decided one day that I just wanted to write. Since then I've grown to writing for a local Toronto magazine, Fab, and contribute to MyGayToronto.com.

I first went public in the 1980s, and with the exception of a few years of taking a break, have not really stopped. More recently (relative to twenty years ago) in 2006 I was featured in the Ontario HIV Treatment Network's documentary "Positive Voices" filmed during the 2006 International AIDS Conference.
The very same conference where I organized an action against the Conservative government for our Prime Minister not showing up, which is now known as "The Pillow Case Project" approximatel 1000 message-stenciled pillow cases were held up at the moment the government representative stood up causing an international photography sensation.
During these years I was on the board of Canada's treatment advocacy NGO, the Canadian Treatment Action Council, and have been privileged to have worked with great activists internationally such as Africa.
Life is an evolution, and today I am now the owner/publisher of PositiveLite.com, an online project to bring people (and our allies) living with HIV together in Canada and abroad. The vision is to bring the world together with a uniquely Canadian perspective.I first went public in the 1980s, and with the exception of a few years of taking a break, have not really stopped.

More recently (relative to twenty years ago) in 2006 I was featured in the Ontario HIV Treatment Network's documentary "Positive Voices" filmed during the 2006 International AIDS Conference. 

The very same conference where I organized an action against the Conservative government for our Prime Minister not showing up, which is now known as "The Pillow Case Project" approximatel 1000 message-stenciled pillow cases were held up at the moment the government representative stood up causing an international photography sensation. 

During these years I was on the board of Canada's treatment advocacy NGO, the Canadian Treatment Action Council, and have been privileged to have worked with great activists internationally such as Africa. 

Life is an evolution, apart from my contributing to PositiveLite.com, I've become a budding stand-up comic creating a new genre of comedy: candid comedy. Look out as there isn't much I don't talk about.