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How did you find self acceptance??

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Just got blood work back for HSV1 AND 2. I’ve only been with four people ever!

I hate how I feel: 










I hate reading how people just suddenly decided to be fine with it. 

Like it’s just a switch that needs to be flipped and why can’t you find the fucking switch. 

I hate reading now it’s really not that bad. 

How for most people it’s just rarely a little bump or nothing at all. 

When I haven’t been able to sit comfortably for weeks and am apparently one of the very unlucky ones.

And how I’m more likely to get a lot of breakouts over the next year. And God knows how long I’ll be shedding the virus, 6 months? 12? May as well be forever. 

I hate how viruses have so severely fucked up my life for the past few years.

And now a new one will live forever at the base of my spine, ready to cause ruin and invade a new host at any time. 

waiting for totally unavoidable triggers like hormones and stress and life.

“Stress is a trigger.” Oh great then my sobbing uncontrollably should help. 

And I hate how of course I just met someone who is so sweet and I’m not stable enough to disclose so I’ll probably sabotage it before that.

I can’t even accept myself, how can I act like it’s no big deal?

I had just taken a step forward, got a therapist, left my partner of 15 years because I finally realized it wasn’t good for me. 

Only to be knocked two steps back when the next guy broke my heart and gave me hsv2. 

Now I hate myself even more. How is that progress? How is that “healing?”

I can’t see the light. 

I can’t see a path to self acceptance. 

I’ve fucked my life right up. 

People who say it’s made their life better sound just as nuts as people in prison camps or on their death bed convincing themselves there’s hope. There’s definitely not but hey it’s the only way to not kill yourself first. 

How do you not hate yourself? How do you like or love yourself?

It seems impossible, the farthest star at the end of the universe. So far that it’s only fantasy. 

I’m just floating untethered in the darkness and I don’t want to bring anyone else into this black hole. 


Genuinely interested in how others found self acceptance and if the only answer is time I’m going to lose it I don’t feel like I’ll make it that long. 

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Hey there @thefartheststar

Thank you for having the courage to share your thoughts and feelings with us. THAT is healthy. To process it out. Get it all out. (But don't ruminate on it! Don't believe it as a Truth that you're sentenced to in the jail cell of despair!) Reading your post, my past self can so relate — I certainly thought and felt so many of the same things, especially toward the beginning of my shame resiliency journey. It's so easy to feel worthless, dirty, and unlovable when you receive a diagnosis like this (gee, thanks sex-negative Society! Thanks Stigma!), and it can be frustrating to hear others talk about how they just "decided to be fine with it" when it feels like such a monumental shift in your life. I get it. 

I hear you, it can definitely feel like there's a switch that just needs to be flipped, but it's not always that simple. I think it's more about making a decision to see this as an opportunity to grow and learn, even if it doesn't feel like it right now. It takes time and effort to change your perspective, and it's okay to fumblefuck your way through and make mistakes along the way (I sure did!). It's a process, and it's worth it to put in the work to find self-acceptance, and even love yourself despite this diagnosis. So don't be too hard on yourself, and give yourself the time and space to work through this.

I know it can feel like everyone else's outbreaks are just a little bump or nothing at all, but that's not the case for everyone. I've had my fair share of painful outbreaks that made me feel like I was never going to be comfortable again. But the good news is that there are things you can do to manage your outbreaks and make them less frequent and less painful. It may take some trial and error to find what works for you, but don't give up.

And while it's true that stress can be a trigger, it's not the only one, and it's not something you have to just accept. Finding healthy ways to manage stress, like exercise, meditation, or talking to a therapist, can make a big difference in how often you have outbreaks and how severe they are.

As for disclosing to a new partner, it's understandable to feel nervous and unsure. But remember that you are not defined by this diagnosis, and it doesn't make you any less lovable or worthy of a happy, healthy relationship. And disclosing doesn't have to be a big scary thing - it can be as simple as saying "I have herpes, here are the facts about it, and here's what I do to manage it." (There are a ton of videos and articles on the herpes talk on the website.) The right person will see past the stigma and love you for who you are.

I know it can feel like you're floating untethered in the darkness right now (an apt metaphor that certainly describes my initial experience, too), but you're not alone. There are so many people out there who have been where you are, who have felt the same things, and who have found their way to self-acceptance and deep, meaningful love. It may seem impossible right now, but it's not. You are worthy of love, of acceptance, and of a happy life, and you will get there. It may take time, but please don't give up hope.

(You might roll your eyes at this one, but I'm convinced I wouldn't have actually connected on such a deep level to the woman who is now my wife and the mother to our 6-year-old child — if it weren't for the experience of growth that I went through with herpes; to clarify, this isn't me saying "Herpes is GREAT! I love herpes!" No. I'm not some crazy guy putting herpes on a pedestal. It's the vulnerability and strength of being authentic and real to our partners that is quite a profound catalyst for deep love and true intimacy.)

And please remember that you don't have to go through this alone. There are support groups, therapists, and online communities like this one where you can connect with others who understand what you're going through. We're here for you. 

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Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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A year and a half ago, I was where you are now. I couldn’t look at anyone in the face, I was so ashamed. It takes time. You realize that it’s not your fault. It still sucks, and I don’t know when the switch flipped for me, but at some point it does.

In the meantime, take care of yourself and give yourself all the love you deserve. It’s beyond annoying that we’re all made to feel like this for a skin condition. 

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Thanks for sharing thefartheststar. I'm in my mid 50s. was diagnosed at 20yr old. been in and out of relationships. disclosed my herpes in many different way. some of the men were understanding, most were not. just divorced after 22 yrs, have two beautiful grown children and now I'm starting all over. come to think of it, I dont believe I've come to the point of acceptance. I'm new to this forum and to read the other posts and those that are struggling, has been encouraging. reading the blogs and watching the videos is extremely helpful too. My current relationship is sketchy. I disclosed after 6 months of sex. wonderful man, and I feel terrible about the betrayal. See, I've been symptom free for over 30 years.. go figure.. So after this new outbreak and out of "fairness" to him, I had to speak up. I felt all the shame and disgust that we all feel with this virus. Currently, I'm not sure where our relationship is now and I fear the future and the thought of being alone.. BUT, this forum is helping me understand that I really need to "accept" this and learn to love myself before I can expect the same from others in any part of my relationships. I'm considering signing up for the Coaching with mr_hopp. I need more than what I'm offering to myself..a new perspective.


Please hang in there, and dont loose faith. Stay healthy. Do the things that make you happy (I hike a lot, to places that help me feel close to God) Try to get "out of your head". I know it's hard because now this Herpes is life consuming. Dont let it define you. I've done it all my life and it's getting me no where. Stay connected to this forum.  couldnt hurt, right.

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Aw I'm so sorry that you're feeling this way. I remember finding out and being hysterical that first night. I was lucky to have support around me and an understanding reaction from my boyfriend at the time. I think the way I got through it was by reminding myself that I had done nothing wrong, nothing different from most people. I also realised that it didn't change a lot. It meant that I was going to periodically have pain (which really fucken sucks, it's bloody awful) and that some people might not want to fuck me, but lots of people won't want to fuck me anyway 😂. I was still smart, funny, a bit weird but a half decent human. Horrible itchy, painful scabs on my arse aren't going to change the magnificent person I see when I look in the mirror. May you get over this patch soon and see that you are still worthy of love from yourself and others xxx

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  • 1 month later...

I was diagnosed two months ago and I could have written every line of your post, it is all exactly my sentiments. I don’t know if it helps, but you’ve got at least one person in the universe who is in exactly the same emotional / mental boat as you. 
I just found this forum, and the information and supportive words have been great, but I am there with you in that I am not ready to be practicing resilience yet. I am simply not willing to accept this with any kind of positive attitude or developing healthy perspective - at least, not yet. I don’t see one good thing about this and I am deeply sad. I get distracted and forget about it for a while but then the memory hits me and I feel that hard gut punch and my eyes tear up. It’s the worst thing that has ever happened to me and I feel like I just need to be sad and angry and hopeless for a while.  I don’t want to make it worse by reiterating and dwelling on the negative, but maybe it could help you to know that you are not alone. 

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Thanks for sharing and sorry you’re in the same boat. If it helps, my mental state has improved since I wrote this and the initial despair has worn off. It forced me to confront how some of the shame I felt was deep seeded and there well before the diagnosis. Brene Brown’s concept of facing shame is helpful. I’m still having outbreaks every time I get stressed or hormonal and I feel like it’s so unfair that I’ll never get to be casual and carefree again. I hate calling the doctor’s office every time to get meds and hear the nurses sound uncomfortable even talking about it, even my doctor danced around it until I realized what was happening. I don’t think I’ll be able to be with anyone for a long time. The level of trust I’d need to have in the other person seems nearly impossible to find these days. Hope it gets better for you. Sometimes you just got to be in a low place until you feel like moving to a different one. 

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