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why more discouraged?

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Why is it that the more compliments I receive from people the more I think about my herpes and how I feel I messed up my entire life?? Everytime someone says I'm pretty or have a lot going for me....all I can think of is herpes and how I feel I messed up my life because of it. I never feel that wat until someone pays me a compliment. Its like I have a love/hate relationship with my herpes. Some days I feel real good. Like its a blessing and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And then other days...I feel all hope is lost. I know these are probably just my insecurities coming out way before I had herpes but H def makes me see them more. You would think I would feel good about myself after a compliment. But I don't. All I think about is all the mistakes I have made and how it led me to herpes. I know I am great at giving support/advice, but for some reason, when it comes to myself, I am my own worse enemy.

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I know what you mean I did the same thing for a bit. It's like a big secret that is right under the surface so anytime people compliment you you're really thinking "but I have herpes IF YOU ONLY KNEW" and that line of thinking is no good.


You are very correct in realizing it's your own insecurities coming out through herpes. Once I made that connection I started looking at what I really didn't like about myself everytime I tried to blame herpes. Know what I found? I'm more insecure of my microscopic muffin tops that I am a rash, I hate the acne on my face and my uneven eyes more than an std, and when I started to pick apart my appearance I realized I was hiding the fact that I was just plain unhappy with myself as a whole. So I stopped the toxic criticism of myself and started controlling my controllables. I can't control that I have herpes. I CAN control how I react to it. I can't control my feelings but I CAN control my reactions to said feelings and I began reworking myself into a strong confident woman. Now I'm not saying I'm 100%...I don't think I'll ever be but ya know what I'm okay with that because I love myself more now than ever before and it feels wonderful. Stop putting yourself down because you don't deserve it. Next time someone pays you a complement tell yourself that same compliment in your head a few times...don't allow yourself to doubt!

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Well said Orngpeelmafia :)


One other thing I have found helpful. When someone pays you a compliment, THANK THEM! Usually when someone says we are pretty, we blush and either say nothing or we self-deprecate.. just try on thanking them ... maybe say " Gosh - thanks...thats very kind" or "Thanks, I needed a lift today". Acknowledging the compliment helps you take it in more...


Most of us have our "faults" that we obsess about - right now yours is Herpes but it could well be a muffintop or whatever. I have a friend who is GORGEOUS - later 50's, genuinely beautiful person inside and out. But she is soooo convinced that men are attracted to her looks (ie, not her great personality) and they will be disappointed when they see her "sagging skin" over her knees or the cellulite on her upper legs ... I know 2 of her Ex's and neither could get it into her head that that wasn't even on their radar....if ANYTHING, her constant self-deprecating was waaay more of a turnoff for them than any lumps, bumps, or wrinkles she has.


It sounds like you could use some work on just loving YOURSELF first. If it wasn't Herpes, it would be something else. The "not good enough" voice is in each of us. Some of us have just tames it better than others...


Peace :)

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Trust me I know how you are feeling. Since I was only recently diagnosed 3 weeks ago, I keep wishing in my head that I could go back to the night that I was with the scumbag that gave it to me. I know he knew he had it although it wasn't visible and knowingly passed it to me. I have never had a single STD until now, I went to bed feeling great and then woke up again this morning thinking with anxiety. This is going to be a process for all of us. I truly believe that we all just have to be thankful that what we have is not life threatening, We haven't just been diagnosed with cancer or another terminal disease and we are not alone. Think about the thousands of people that have it that no one knows about. That don't have the courage to join a website like this and express their feelings. I think the way you are feeling is completely normal and you shouldn't allow what you have to take over your brain. This hasn't changed you in anyway, You still are the beautiful person that you were before this happened and when people pay you compliments they genuinely mean them.

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@ashaelizbeth thank you for taking the time to read and respond! #appreciated


@orngpeelmafia you make excellent points. Like I always blame herpes for being the reason I'm not good enough or the reason I'm unhappy. I probably hate my body or the fact that I cnt have kids or that my feet r too big....more...herpes pullss all that into the opened..."tell youyourself that compliment in your head a few times" I will have to remember to do that! I think that will be a very good starting exercise for me. Thanks!


@wscdancer2010 I tend to self depracate a lot. "There are so many better girls out there. Why would anyone want me when they can hv some one without herpes and can have kids and lives on their own" the list goes on. I'm definitely taking.on how to love myself. Thanks for the support and advice!


@hopefulvictoria I know how you feel because the guy that gave it to me I am pretty sure knew and just never said anything. I am thankful it is just a skin condition but I wish others saw it that way. And you make an excellent point! I am proud of myself for being able to go on this site....some ppl that i kno have it won't even talk about it let alone go on this site! Thank you for the support!


I greatly appreciate everyone taking the time to read and respond! It means a lot :)

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Hi simplyme24! When I read your post I felt like you were reading my brain! I have felt the exact same way! I just wasn't conscious of it until I read your post. A few times people have asked how I can still be single and that is my first thought, if they only knew what I had they wouldn't be saying that. Having H for me has been a roller coaster of emotions. Some days are great and others not so much. I agree with the people that responded by saying if it wasn't herpes that makes us insecure, it would be something else. It would be nice if we could see ourselves through other people's eyes sometimes. We just need to remember we are all blessed in many ways and we should focus and our energy on that and not the nasty stigma that is associated with having the H. Hang in there friends!

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I love the last point you made:some peoe who you know have it and won't talk about it. How many times have you said the word herpes out loud since you found out? I wasn't able to until I started to really accept myself. Even thinking the word made me feel gross. The more I started to accept myself the easier it became to deal with having herpes. Herpes was the catalyst for all my self loathing and doubt...but somehow it also made me love myself. We can't keep shaming ourselves.

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Ya know what I am finding to be really interesting? Since I came fully out and disclosed to the world (on FB and also on my OKC dating profile) I have only had ONE person be an asshole about it (the guy whose reaction caused me to choose to publicly come out). Everyone else has been great - even the guys on OKC - the ones who it has been obvious that they read the profile either already had it or gave me points for being honest and "brave" and chose to contact me in spite of their reservations and fears. And I have been able to EDUCATE soooo many people already about this.


What I am finding is that at least half of the stigma is in our heads - and the more we come out, the less the stigma will be in the public because with stigma cannot stand up in the face of education.

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simplyme, I can totally see myself in what you wrote too, and am loving everything that has been said on this thread. It made me think of that line from The Perks of Being a Wallflower that I think Adrial has quoted a few times around the site, and that is, "we accept the love we think we deserve". We feel even more discouraged when people compliment us because they are offering us love that we haven't given ourselves yet. We perceive our secrets as darker and more shameful than anyone can ever know...and if they were to find out, they would suddenly somehow no longer mean the nice things they said about our outfit that day or our job performance or our personality. But EVERYONE has secrets, and certainly not just about herpes. The person giving the compliment is probably ashamed about something too. He or she wants acceptance for that thing, but might be too afraid of judgement from you to say so. We all feel vulnerable for one reason or another, and showing that vulnerability is so hard that it's often easier to keep it in at the cost of experiencing it alone.

This forum is so liberating because we have a chance to experience both feeling alone with H and opening up about it together. And when we are ready we'll be able to let in the love that another person gives to us and really know that we deserve it, and also give love back in hopes that that person believes they deserve it too.


You're beautiful, all of you!! <3

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"We perceive our secrets as darker and more shameful than anyone can ever know...and if they were to find out, they would suddenly somehow no longer mean the nice things they said about our outfit that day or our job performance or our personality. But EVERYONE has secrets"

So true! The glaring spotlight shines the brightest when we turn it inwards laying bare the most minute of cracks. The real challenge is to accept and love ourselves despite these perceived flaws. Like a crooked but beautiful house that we call home.

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"We perceive our secrets as darker and more shameful than anyone can ever know...and if they were to find out, they would suddenly somehow no longer mean the nice things they said about our outfit that day or our job performance or our personality" ....and doesnt that just take the words right out of my mouth?!


"we accept the love we thing we deserve"....so true! i love that. because we cannot truly expect someone else to love us if we do not love ourselves first. and so many times i have stayed in rotten relationships because i thought i owed them something. "this guy stayed with me knowing i have herpes and took the risk, so i owe it to him to stay"...big mistake!


i love the support that this post received because it goes to show that I am not alone in thinking this way. Thanks guys!

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