Sending Hope to Those Who Are Struggling

by Katie
(Chicago)

Hey there-


I was diagnosed about 2 yrs ago with HSV 2. I got it from a boyfriend who had it - I wouldn’t be positive if he knew he had it... but voila! I have herpes now.

I felt it was my duty to come back here and share some experience strength and hope with everyone in the Herpes community.

When I was first diagnosed, like many of you, I was devastated. Thought my love life was over, thought of myself as diseased, dirty, unlovable. THE MEANEST things I could have thought about myself. I thought them for a very long time. I actually had suicidal thoughts - It was that bad.

Here are some of the highlights I would like to share with everyone about my journey.

1. Time heals all pain, it does get better.

2. I wouldn't go as far to say that I am happy that I have herpes but there has been some really amazing things that have happened because of it. I already had low self esteem prior to catching HSV, so when I got it - my esteem went lower and lower. It got so low that I needed to make a change, because I didn't want to live in sadness for the rest of my life. I went to therapy, talked about it a lot - and in learning to accept my herpes, I had to learn to accept other things that I didn't like about myself. Today I have more confidence than ever before - I love myself inside and out. I am comfortable in my own skin - It was hard, but the best gift that I ever gave myself.

3. Talk about it! I tell a LOT of people - everyone of my family and friends knows about it, I even tell people that I have just met- because I am not ashamed! I tell them for a couple reasons, we need to educate people about the frequency - the nature of the virus - I do this to help lessen the stigma and to help people protect themselves from catching the virus.

4. Use positive thinking. If you fall prey to the inaccuracies of common public thinking then we are never going to change the stigma if we can’t change it in ourselves. Let’s face facts... Herpes is just a damn skin rash. Does it suck- yes, does it hurt - sometimes... The bigger you let it be in your head the more you are subconsciously projecting that onto your potential mates.

5. Here are some amazing quotes I’d like to share "Special people look past your broken gate to see your beautiful garden". "Our strengths may make us admirable, but our weakness and openness make us approachable".

6. My love life post herpes - I have told and had sex with 4 guys that were HSV free. They liked me enough to take the "risk". It is hard and scary to face rejection - but there are so many reasons a person could reject you for, this is just like all of those. Face your fears and move forward anyone who rejects you because of this- ultimately wasn't the right person for you.

I am single today. Not because of my herpes, but because I have not found the person that I think is my life partner. I have to be honest, I do have bad days and wish this never happened to me.. but that is only because I am fearful of rejection or that I will be alone never have children. - but I would still have had those fears if I was HSV free.

Keep an open mind and an open heart and herpes will be one of the least important problems you face in a real relationship.

Good luck to all,
xoxoxo

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