I was first diagnosed last February. I was told I could test again in six months. This wasn't my first scare. Back when i was 27 I had a scare which turned out to be molluscum contagiosum. I still let it defeat me thinking i had hpv. It would take me almost 4 years to get back to a good headspace again.
When i was first diagnosed i was comitted to not going to be defeated again regardless of the outcome. I worked hard to get where I was at mentally and I didn't want to lose it. After 6 months I had convinced myself i didnt have it and if i did then nothing would change. I would still be on an upward trajectory.
When i did get the news i was depressed. It had even caused me to lose a friend who still doesnt know whats going on but now seems regretful of his actions. I read the articles and kept reading how its still possible to live a normal life. But i never really had too much luck in dating anyway (hence the nothing would change part. I recently ended a two year dry spell.)
I decided if i were to disclose i would definitely disclose to people who were obviously worth it. In that tme since August I just kept on doing for me no matter what opportunities I lost. I started going to the gym again, quit smoking (something I'd been wrestling with for a couple years ) and simply just lived my life.
Every now and then I'd flirt or start talking, nothing that really went anywhere until December. I met several amazing women and not one of them cared about my status. None of them even batted an eye when I had disclosed. All they said was that it didnt change me as a human being and they still saw me as this nice, funny, attractive (one girl rated me as an 11) person.
My confidence is at an all time high now but I didnt get here without work. Self defeat is not who I am anymore. I feel that this whole thing has built and revealed a lot of character and I know I still have even higher levels to ascend to. And you can be here too. Maybe not today or tomorrow but so long as you work your way to that point you will win everytime.
I am no longer afraid of disclosing. When i first begun reading Ella Dawson's articles on the subject i kept on thinking, "Well this is her experiences not mine. Obviously women would have an easier time of things." Which may or may not be true but I dont care. Looking back at things it seems more like she accepted it more quickly and was more open about it. She too didnt let herpes slow her down. I think it was that openness that helped her. And i think that is what will help me.
We dont have to let this define us. We are defined by our actions and our passions. So please join me in this good place. It will be nice to have more company.