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Better In Time


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I found out literally a week ago that I have herpes, I'm new to this stuff so I'm not quite sure which one.

I had 2 days where I just shut myself off and....cried, then realised really that life goes on.

I don't have an exhaustive sexual history, and I've always been careful, I've just rolled with ignorant guys....So initially I couldn't help but think, why me?

And being a christian I think God was trying to send me a message about my recent "escapades" with guys and to know that I have more to offer beyond just sex. I've had commitment issues, and self-esteem issues for years and I think this happening to me has kind of FORCED ME to acknowledge my self worth, and to not settle for guys using me just because I don't like being alone. 

My first steps are to get to know as much as I can about the disease, and to be comfortable with being alone because it's probably going to be a long time til I meet someone who will accept me with herpes (it was hard enough finding someone to accept me without, let alone with herpes).

I just want re-assurance on the fact that relationships and sex are not a thing of the past for me, and the hardest hurdle of all ... telling my parents. 
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Hi BetterInTime,

First off, I'm so elated you're already reaching out to find ways to get a deeper understanding of the virus and ultimately of yourself. So, so happy about that. There's a lot of great things to find in yourself when you go searching like that.

The part of your message that really jumped out at me was the "FORCED ME to acknowledge my self worth" ... That is beautiful to me. Because in order for you to really get that herpes isn't really a big deal, you need to really get all those great things about YOU that overshadow a silly little virus. 

I get curious about the being alone part. Are you saying that out of shame (as in "I'm dirty so I give up") or out of self-acceptance (as in "alone or not, I'm still the same awesome person.") Is being alone something that you're going to make a reality by believing it? Or are you willing to take the chance in believing that having herpes might actually not be the dealbreaker you believe it to be? 

And no, sex and relationships are NOT a thing of the past for you. Just how you go about them has changed. Which isn't good or bad, just different. And you'll learn a lot of cool things about yourself, your integrity, your big heart, and what you have to offer to your future guy by going through this process of self-acceptance.

Notes:

  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
  • 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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I just feel like it's hard enough meeting a good guy when things are simple, let alone when things are this complicated, and I'm an honest person, and always have been but all people have ever done is taken advantage of that, and no one has returned the favour (partly what has landed me with the disease), I think at the minute the uncertainty about my future, and having no one who gets what this is like, is adding to my fears about my future relationships with guys, with my family, friends, And I still can't help but wish I could go back and do it all over again and take it back. 

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BetterInTime, I got news for you: Life is never simple. ;) And on some level, wouldn't it be so boring if it was? If it weren't herpes, it'd be something else. It's not about how simple we wish our lives could be (I've wished the same myself, trust me), it's who we are in the midst of what life hands us. That's the essence of character. Who are you when times get tough? And it sounds like your character is strong. You will get through this. Trust me. And you'll be stronger for it. This isn't about being negative saying "well, life is always going to be hard" ... it's about stepping up in the face of difficulty and holding your integrity strong. Don't doubt the power of being an honest person. Just because certain people haven't been able to appreciate solid honesty doesn't mean it's not still a beautiful quality.

Also, how does it feel calling it a "disease"? (This may just be my negative association with the word.) Words are powerful. They create meaning for us. If you convince yourself that you're "diseased" it may carry a heavier meaning than what this really is. It's ultimately a skin condition. Check out the herpes wordplay article for more on that. 

And yes, the time machine would be helpful, wouldn't it? Aside from me winning the lottery, I might have let myself know to be careful during that one sexual experience. But then I reconsider: What good would that do ultimately? Our hand is dealt to us based on our choices. The more we own that, the more we grow and learn to love ourselves more deeply. That serenity prayer is so true: 
"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference." Really getting this can save us a whole lot of time in our lives. I know it has for me.

Here's another quote (I'm full of 'em this mornin'!) from Lee Iacocca:
"We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems."

Notes:

  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
  • 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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