ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

HIVINE is written by HIV positive women but still with a sense of humour




                                                                                                                                                                         I woke up with a weepy eye yesterday in both senses of the word. HIV, or maybe it should be H-eye-V, as well as the other horrors it is known to inflict is also known to cause rapid deterioration of the eyes, but then, so is old age. I know that at 58 I am hardly in my dotage, it just feels that way sometimes and yesterday was one of those days and it was a combination of the two things that got to me. 

HIV and old age, or having it at any age for that matter, can cause one to feel very depressed at times and I don’t know which is the worst.  There are various ways to cope with depression and through my work as a counsellor I have found there is a common theme for women which revolves around retail therapy. Not retail therapy as we know and love it however, as in the buying of clothes and make-up etc. This is retail therapy with a difference and involves hardware shops such as Focus or B&Q. 

The trick is to choose an out of town shopping centre or retail park , preferably surrounded by depressing pylons or wastelands to all add to the gloom and possibly a caravan where you can get a greasy bacon butty afterwards, which will make you feel even more depressed.  The bigger the retail park or shopping centre the better, because this will afford you the added benefits of a choice of carparks to sit on if you choose the second option of just sitting in your car and weeping.  

If you want to go the whole hog however, you make yourself get out of the security of your car and grab yourself a huge trolley, then wander aimlessly up and down the aisles numbed into submission by the subiminal piped music.  Humming tunelessly, up and down the alleys you go at a very slow pace, looking at all the things you don’t need and unlike clothes or shoes, don’t really want. This works quite well I’ve found until you get to the storage items and this is where the theory goes to pot, because I for one, feel that if I buy some of those shoe organising boxes or sock sorters or even a tie rack and I don’t wear ties, I can some how get my life back in order. The same goes for cleaning items such as mops and plastic buckets – if I had a new mop I might get round to cleaning the kitchen floor. A new broom sweeps clean and all that.

If you are financially challenged like me, you can’t afford to buy anything anyway, so you put the various storage items or plastic buckets piled high in your trolley, walk them around for a bit as if you are taking a child for a walk in its pushcahir to give its poor mother a break, which can also cater for the empty nest syndrome if you happen to be suffering from that, then when you are fed up, you go and put them all back. If only one could have done the same with one’s children.

If you are a sensitive, considerate person, like a dear friend of mine, who if she is reading this knows exactly who she is, you will dutifully put them all back in the rightful places. But if you are more like me you will deliberately deposit them in unlikely places where they shouldn’t be. This is actually good shopping psychology as far as the shopping outlet is concerned and one which M&S for example apply on a daily basis, believing if you change things round every day, shoppers will be shocked out of their routine and buy things they weren’t really intending to. This can all add to the excitement of food shopping I suppose, but I just find it to be time wasting.

If you are the rare kind of person who is feeling energetic as well as depressed and also harbour a secret passion for Dale Winton, you can up the stakes a bit by playing your very own game of ‘Supermarket Sweep.’ Set yourself a challenge, for example – today I have to find ex number of bedknobs, doors and broomsticks in ex amount of time. A simpler version of course, would be just to watch the video of the film.

If this all sounds too much like hard work and all you really want to do is get away from everyone and wallow in your own misery, you can simply sit in your car on the car park and have a good cry. I have another friend who is also a counsellor and often indulges in this kind of behaviour, so what does that say about counsellors? It’s like the theory that all dentists have bad teeth and hairdressers all have bad haircuts. If I call him and sound depressed, he sighs and asks me what carpark I am on. Then, because he is a counsellor, he might ask me what I put in my trolley and why – and if he wants to dig even deeper he would ask what would I keep if I had the choice and what would I throw out. Like the million dollar counselling question, if you woke up tommorrow and everything was OK how would you know?

I wonder if that’s where the expression off your trolley comes from? Maybe between us we’ve hit on a new therapy to outdate CBT and TA. Ours would be known as B&Q therapy or RCT regional carpark therapy.

I heard on the news today that even lobsters get depressed and suffer from stress. Apparently, if that is the case, all the stress goes to their tail and they don’t taste as good. There must be a moral there but I can’t quite think of it. Any suggestions? 

There’s a book called, ‘Counselling for Toads’ – how about, ‘Counselling for Lobsters.’


  Julie wrote @

Dear Trolley Dolly

Re: Tail Therapy for Lobsters

I can recommend 2 other options:

1. Commandeer a swing seat in the garden centre (preferably a big comfy flowery version) and rock gently for a few hours. This is undoubtedly very comforting and can be quite social if you’re in the mood for a bit of banter with fellow shoppers (unlikely, but you never know). Unfortunately only possible in the spring and summer months.

2. IKEA. This suits the more structured non-shopper as you have to follow a red line a bit like Dorothy.. Children’s bed section has always got an ‘aah’ factor and you can also curl up and lie down on the beds (at least for a while before the security guard throws you out).

On Lobster stress – I also recall having dinner with some colleagues one evening, and most of us ordered steak. Everyone else’s was quite nice, but mine was full of horrible stringy veiny bits. One of the colleagues was from Argentina, so a self-styled steak expert. He told me that it was probably because the original animal was very stressed out as it knew it was going to be killed so all of its muscles tensed up and its veins hardened. Yeugh. Maybe all of those Japanese Guiness swilling massaged cows also have a stress moment when they see the sushi chef approaching with his cleaver….

Yours counselledly


  Viv Williams wrote @

Well hell, I’ve just had more than my share of two bottles of wine and I thought I would share with you my list of things to do when depressed.
1. Chocolate. lots of it, preferably of the dark and expensive kind in vast quantities.
2. Bath in the afternoon when it’s raining outside. Lots of bubbles, something nice to drink and a very good book.
3. A lovely walk. All wrapped up against the elements hat, scarf, gloves and a flask in you rucksack with something hot , spicey and alcoholic
4. Oh my god1 The 50% of genes that I share with you, so identifies with searching out that little something that will sort my life out – stacking boxes, that certain file, a box file, a diary, crates, separating file indexes where is it? I know it exists somewhere!!
5. Coronation Street.
6. Writing, writing, writing!!


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