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I have a scary disclosure for you ...

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I have a scary disclosure for you: I haven't been telling you the whole truth. It has been out of fear. Fear of being found out. Fear of being rejected. Fear of being judged, not liked, made fun of, demeaned. Not by you all, but by the general population. I haven't been using my real name in my Herpes Opportunity realm. I've been using aliases either as "Dale" or as "The H Opp" ... the truth is, my real, full name is Adrial Dale. There's been all sorts of seemingly good reasons I had come up with about why it was reasonable for me to use aliases (I own my own company with my name in it — shameless plug: http://www.adrialdesigns.com — what will my clients think?). And I'm realizing all of those reasons were based in shame and perpetuating the very stigma that I stand for wiping out. There are, in fact, layers of self-acceptance and letting go of shame.


And I'd love to hear from you, our community, here: What are your thoughts?

This content 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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Love this Blog Adrial...and calling you Adrial instead of Hopp ;-) and yeah I checked out your company website lol.


Everything you said is so true and we are only held back by our fears. I am struggling with wanting to start a support group in my city...my fear is that I am very well known and I don't want it impacting on my kids. They are amazing beautiful adults...yet I want to protect them from criticism and judgement too, not have people be thinking of their mother as 'that woman with herpes'. Or is this just another 'good reason' for me to hold back from doing something because of fear?


As for my name...I actually like Lelani better than Janice ;-) maybe I'll hold on to it here...:-)


The biggest hug Adrial...thank you for this site and for your courage and commitment to bring about positive change, you have made a difference for me. x

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Thanks for the support and the love, Lelani! Yeah, I like the ring of Lelani, too! And Janice ain't so bad as you make it out to be. ;) And what you say about not "coming out of the herpes closet" because of fear of your kids being criticized and judged is an interesting one. Do your kids know?


And to continue that thought, I keep reminding myself that being known as "that herpes guy" was definitely one of my worries ... And I remind myself that I'm not representing herpes, but alternatively representing self-acceptance and letting go of the burden around shame in general. I wonder what your kids would think of their mom representing that instead of representing some simple virus? And I totally appreciate you caring about your kids and considering them. :)

This content 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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I totally agree with you about the general self acceptance...and its only challenged when you have something about you that you find unacceptable.


I had thought of that approach with my kids too...yes they know and how I got it - it's challenged some of their knowledge and beliefs about it. I know they would be supportive...its just our situation is different from most people as we are nationally known through television. If it was just me I would be out there...but once you are a mama its no longer just about you. And then I think of all the kids who's parents don't talk about any of this...yeah its a dilemma!


But you are right, its about peeling back the layers and this layer of my kids accepting this part of me and then being comfortable supporting me helping others to accept themselves is just another. You just have to work at it aye? :-)

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I think you telling us your real name and revealing that you have been "lying" only makes you and this site that much more real. The first second I read that I was in class. I got it in my email and got a warm fuzzy feeling.


I think that is a huge step because I will admit, I become fearful revealing my real name publicly on the internet in association with herpes. I have told you my real name on the phone conferences, but chose not to on this site. Even with no picture I still have that fear.


I think you are an amazing inspiration and even without meeting you or knowing your real name, Adrial (until now), I can honestly say you have positively impacted my life and can see you have to others as well. Thank you for being honest, and maybe I will come to a point where I feel I can do the same.


Lelani, (Janice) that is awesome that you now came out with your name. My name is Alexa :) I also find your mentioning about telling your children about herpes interesting. I have told my mom before (I am only 20) that I cannot wait to be an inspiration for my kids and tell them all bout my herpes when I give them the sex talk. ;) It was interesting that she was hesitant about that and I would like to hear about your experience when you do that and how that goes. It is a while that I plan to have kids, but when I do I definitely think they deserve to know.

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Wow Adrial you are such an inspiration, talk about leading by example! I was sharing just yesterday with a (non herpes) friend about how much this site has helped me. She and I are both coaches ourselves, in early stages of building our coaching businesses after coaching in other enterprises. She said, "And he uses his real name? That's brave." "Yep," I said, "sure does, and it is ... but that's the essence of the new kind of coaching, you have to have experienced what you're coaching, and be up for being public about it." ... and now here you are, taking that step.


This is SO about owning who we are, owning the shame we have dealt with, and more than that, the fear of shame. Remember the old saying, "the only thing to fear is fear itself"? You know, every time one of us comes out just a little, someone else in the 16% who have HSV2 relaxes and feels heard and relieved and entitled to live their great life. It is a layer thing, we can always be generous with each other ... thank you so much Adrial, you are SO walking the talk.


Lelani where are you? I think I have impression you are in Oz, is that correct? so am I ... maybe we could play with a possibility re public shame reduction, no commitment, just explore together initially ...

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inspired32 - Ah, that feels so good to hear you say all of that. My heart is officially warmed. I appreciate you sharing yourself here. And I like that warm fuzzy feeling. Awesome! :)


kneecee - Ah, great to see you on the forums now, friend! ;) Much love and big hugs! Can't wait to see you at the support group Monday!


lively - That's pretty perfect timing that you were just talking about that yesterday (wow!) ... hmmm ... maybe I picked up on that telepathically from across the globe. ;) I appreciate you validating this move like that. That has me relaxing more, too. :)

This content 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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Adrial, I am totally inspired! I love hearing you describe feeling liberated and lighter. I've imagined the way it would feel. You're one of most courageous people I've ever had the privilege of knowing (even if it's just virtually). You're leading the way and God knows we need a leader!!! to wake us up out of the hysteria, secrecy and shame around this.


You and this forum have been such a source of balance and hope and inspiration for me.


I'm so looking forward to meeting you in Raleigh. I have a plane ticket booked! I wouldn't miss it for the world.

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Adrial.... that name has a nice ring to it ;)


Ok, so, I was thinking of sending this message through email but, I am just going to say it here and anyone can think I am crazy if they'd like lol Last night before I went to bed, I said to myself. Hmmm...Dale huh. (premonition was setting in). (I'll get back to this in a moment) I will be honest, I don't blame you for a second. I may have just done that same exact thing. Honestly, I put up my picture on here a couple days ago and then, I said hmm what if someone sees it that I dont want to see it, so I then took it off. The next day, I did the same. Mostly becuase of my picture and that is being associated with my real name. Finally, I said you know what, anyone who is coming to this site is only coming because they have this problem or maybe are researching because their soon to be partner has this virus. So, maybe if they see my picture they will know, wow people put their face out there with this virus so maybe it's not that big of a deal! Besides you put your face out there too.


Adrial, you did a courageous thing. Not just amazing not just awesome. It was courageous. It takes courage to gain the power to overcome the obstacle. (said in my own wordsB-)) You've done it! We can all learn from you. I know we all feel shunned by this virus and the only way to get rid of this stigma is to just be ourselves to be loved for it and for people to get OVER IT! Thanks for telling us, and I don't think you need to apologize to anyone! It's something that is understood.


Now getting back to the beginning of my message, I sometime's get premonitions, (call me crazy) but only when something big is happening that is going to impact the world. I firmly believe with all my heart you have done an amazing thing and you have helped so many people and more are about to follow your lead.


Im proud to be here with you! Congrats AND NOW I HAVE TO MEET YOU! :D

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Janet - I'm inspired that you're inspired, lol. :) And I'm humbled. Gotta be honest, feeling both fear and excitement as I consider going down this continuing path of transparency and truth with all of you ... (Yikes/Yay!)


crissy - Thank you for seeing, recognizing and celebrating my courage. I can't tell you how many times I went back over the email this morning before sending out. I finally had to force myself to just push the damn send button! ;) Seriously, though, thanks. And no, I don't think your premonitions are crazy in the slightest. I'm wide open to magical things being possible ... That's what makes life worth living to me! Belief in magic (and yeah, that love stuff, too). :)


SingBlueSilver - Thank you. It has me feeling super good hearing that you'll be getting more involved. I need help getting this message out there. And I need my community behind me so all of us can continue down this path of self-acceptance and wholeness. I can't wait to meet you in October!

This content 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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Dear Adrial,


Thanks for coming out of the H closet (again!) I'm glad to know you and your real name. If I were there I'd give you a big hug and buy you a beer or a coffee or a vegan taco or whatever you like. You're one pretty awesome, honest heartfelt dude. Thanks for being that way.


I kept thinking of your post throughout the day and it made me feel totally inspired. I wanted to shout my herpes status from rooftops. I think I speak for everyone here when I say that we all understand how difficult having herpes can be sometimes. I absolutely forgive you! We've all been there.


And thanks for a great coaching session. Still feeling the ripples from it in my daily life.



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I talked to one of my kids today....about this very thing. Adrial...you gave me the courage :-). She loves that I am open with her and that we can talk about it...yet she isn't so comfortable with me being open with random people - because we are so well known. I have to respect her need for privacy when we have been so public.


I'm in NZ lively...and Alexa don't worry about your Mom's hesitancy, I have always told my kids the truth about life and myself. It's recently helped one of my daughters who's partner was diagnosed with HPV...they were able to come to me for knowledge and support to deal with it. It was a real gift for me to be able to do that for them.


So Adrial there is nothing to forgive...more like something to celebrate! My arms are stretching from the bottom of the world to give you another hug lol! :-)

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Hi Adrial --


In the midst of my jam-packed day I kept returning to your email (just like mister201, and probably all of us on here who have been deeply and permanently touched by your work on this site).


Would just scroll to it while holding my iPhone, and look at your message, and think.


So much to process about shame. How we are programmed for shame in myriad ways prior to the appearance of h in our lives. And how this occasional skin condition becomes Velcro for all that free-floating shame.


Much to think of... But for now, I want you to know how proud I am to know you, Adrial.



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Hey Adrial,


Dude...I SO owe you an email. Forgive ME.


Honestly, I am completely overwhelmed right now. I've been traveling with my new job and have been going through some really tough personal stuff. BUT...I had to take a minute to stop in and tell you how much you inspire me. (and then there's that big crush you know I have on you) :-*


Oh, and I also had to bring the truth on your fear of being 'the herpes guy'? A man who does what you have done for so many others is not a man who plays it small, and 'herpes guy' is waaaaayyy too small of a label for your big, big life. Just keep doing you! And while you do, the shame, the fears, the worry...none of it will be able to hold on to you while you're blasting through stereotypes and lies at mach 10 with a big grin on your face.


The truth will set you free.


Your badass email today reminded me of this quote I love from Victor Hugo.


'No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come.'


You are the man with the idea whose time has come. Let the haters hate...you just keep leading others into the light.


I am so honored to be the tiniest part of your world, A. Truly.



aka breatheandletgo

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HI Adrial,


Thank you for your truth. I too had this funny feeling about your name Dale. It didn't sit well with me. We are going through these deeper and deeper stages of unraveling and discovering our lies which reveal the deepest truths of who we are. It's a process I am thankful for and frankly herpes is forcing me to do this work. I think we become real out of necessity, not necessarily because we always want to. It's edgy and scary. But breaking those chains one by one feels better than any of us can even express. Annie Dillard says it well. I read this quote many years ago and it still shares its power with me.


Thank you Adrial (beautiful name),



"In the deeps are the violence and terror of which psychology has warned us. But if you ride these monsters deeper down, if you drop with them farther over the world's rim, you find what our sciences cannot locate or name, the substrate, the ocean or matrix or ether which buoys the rest, which gives goodness its power for good, and evil its power for evil, the unified field: our complex and inexplicable caring for another, and for our life together here. This is given. It is not learned."


- Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk

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Hi Adrial: I just wanted to share with you that when I woke up this morning and thought about your blog post yesterday I had this warm feeling that the world was somehow a safer place to be in! Thank you.


Also wanted to thank you for all the healing and the enormous love that flows through you. We can all feel it. You're living large!


Breatheandletgo, I love the quote 'No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come.'


Thanks everyone for your shares. It's a beautiful day! :-)

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Adrial, I just want to thank you for our conversation yesterday, and overall for what you're doing with the website. The fact that you personally reach out and spend 30 minutes of your time talking to newcomers is the most amazing thing. Your manner, words, ideas, and philosophy transmitted new ideas and understanding to me in a way that was welcome and accessible. THANK YOU. I downloaded the book; will read this weekend. I feel energized about the possibilities, and will keep you posted on the forum. You are a pretty amazing guy, and I am happy to have had contact.





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mister201 - I'll take the meat-filled taco, please. No vegan for me. I'm a carnivore kind of guy all the way (with a side salad). :) And I appreciate the support. I appreciate you forgiving me, too. ;) That was weighing on me more than I thought ... Looking forward to our coaching relationship and heck, friendship. And can't wait to meet you in person in October. So glad and excited that you're coming. Much love, bro.


rothkkolady/Anne - (I love how you dropped your name in after the first post, by the way.) I'm so inspired to hear you use the phrase "deeply and permanently touched" by this work. Wow. So appreciative of that. And looking forward to all of us touching many, many others with this work. And I love how you put that about herpes being like "velcro for all the free-floating shame." It's true. And I think that's why herpes can be an opportunity, too. It can be the thing that amplifies all that shame so we can recognize it easier. It's always been there in one form or another. Herpes just seemingly makes it more accessible, more in the forefront.


breatheandletgo - You don't owe me anything. AND I look forward to finally connecting (been a long time coming). ;) When I read the "mach 10 with a big grin" I both laughed out loud and got a huge body buzz. A huge rush surged through my body. Awesome. Powerful. I'm glad we're part of each other's worlds. Booyah. Talk soon!


Beth - Funny how you felt funny about the name Dale, too. Hmmm, I guess I wasn't fooling everyone, huh? ;) And yes, so true: Revealing the lies actually then allow us to see the truth. Well put. If the lies remain hidden, they remain elusive. In the light of day, they dissolve into what is true. Nice. And I LOVE that quote. It's going in my gargantuan quote repository. ;)


Janet - That's awesome! I feel so happy reading that! I love that the whole world can feel even the least bit safer to you based on one blog post. I like that. Yes, beautiful day indeed. See you in October!


Orchid49 - As I've told you already, I really enjoyed talking with you yesterday, too. It feels good to hear when that shift in awareness happens ... from the perspective of shame to one of possibility. I love that kind of an "aha" moment! Feels good ...

This content 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. 

Helpful resources:

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What's up ADRIAL... wow man, you never cease to amaze me. I actually thought you were out of the (h) closet until that email exchange we had recently. I understand and support you, and can't help but admire you for taking such leap. I wish I could be so bold! Although I disclose to romantic interests, I have yet to have the talk with my own Mom (who has HSV1) or my little sister (I did tell her husband though). Yes, my process has been slow with (h) and I guess my number 1 excuse is: coming out Gay was so painful (re: my family) that I don't have the mojo right now to do another coming out session :\


But you're right! (h) is something we have and it does serve a profound purpose, it weeds out the riff-raff :)


Congrats ADRIAL, on kicking that closet door all the way down! You got a friend here. Big hug, Carlos.

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I wanted to thank you for being such an inspiration to myself, and to everyone on here! I remember first being diagnosed, and almost from the start, I felt like I just wanted to let everyone know, because I felt like the shame of having this, and the burden of carrying it around would feel worse then just letting it out. But I was also fearful, as we all are, so I only told a few close friends.

I do hope in time I will be able to put myself in your shoes, and do exactly what you are doing! It must feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, and that you can finally breathe :)

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