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Be Our Own Therapy

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So, the post kind of turned into something other than what I originally planned on posting. Seems to be more like a journal entry than anything :-P. But, I get to the point eventually.


Today has been such a great day. The weather is beautiful. My apartment windows are open. The breeze feels so nice. Went for a bike ride at the park. The apt smells like the big pot of chili that is cooking on the stove. And, I'm just jamming away to Janis Joplin on the classic rock channel. Then it hit me, I hadn't thought about herpes since last night. And then it occurred to me that I have spent a lot of time the last two weeks thinking about herpes. A lot. So then I thought about why I haven't thought about herpes since last night. Because I got my ass out of the apt and went out and had some fun. I dressed up like the undead, and spent time with people that made me laugh, gave me beer, and filled my belly with the best ghoulish food and jello shots I've had in a long time. We talked about family, laughed at the drunk clown that fell over the cooler, watched the guys play beer pong, scared the little kids with my rotted zombie teeth. It. Was. Awesome. And I didn't think about or talk about herpes once. Or any of the other problems I've got going on right now.


When life throws us curve balls, we have to figure out how to deal with it. Sure, first we have to get over getting the wind being knocked out of us, but eventually we have to start taking that first full breath again. Unfortunately, finding out you have herpes does not wait until we have nothing else going on in our lives. Kids, school, work, an unhappy marriage, planning a wedding, depression, anxiety, late paying the bills ... whatever. It's life. Life is stressful. It would be great if we could say "OK, everything else needs to stop while I deal with this and get my shit together". But, it can't. We can't put life on hold. In fact, we feel like we have to act like nothing is wrong. Because if we show something is on our mind or that we are upset about something, someone will want to know why. "What's wrong?" "Something up?" "Anything you wanna talk about?". And we really want to say Yes, but then that means we would have to disclose. So, many many of us go through life for months, years keeping this secret, thinking that we are all by ourselves. Well, we aren't. At some point, we need to step up and say "OK. Yes, this situation is messed up but I can't let it become ME. Become WHO I AM".


I thought back to when I got divorced. And, side notes first - Ok big deal right? It's just divorce - a lot of people get divorced. But, it sucks. Even if you are the one who wanted it. It's a big life change. In my case, it was quick. Talked about it on a Friday and I was in my own place by the following Friday. And I was scared shitless. I had never really been on my own. Moved out at 18 with my fiance, broke up and back home with mom and dad by 20. Met my ex-husband by 22 and that's all she wrote. Found myself at 36, on my own for the first time in my life. Not that I can't function - I can grocery shop, pay bills, be a responsible worker, etc. Just never had to be with just myself. Ever. Never didn't have someone to lean on or a second income if I lost my job. Never didn't have someone to go to dinner with or to check out that new bar.


After about 6 months of doing nothing but drinking wine for dinner and crying and feeling sorry for myself and having my self-esteem knocked down by online dating (just don't do it people), I started to really look and see things differently. I don't know why. It was a day like today is - beautiful weather, a laid-back lazy day. I was feeding some ducks at the complex pond, there was a chilly breeze and the sun was shining on my face. And I just thought to myself "What a beautiful day" and took a deep breath. Just enjoyed the moment. Didn't even think about it. Didn't even think about anything. So, I went for a bike ride. Without my cell phone. Without my music. And didn't think about anything for about another hour and a half.


The point I'm making is, no matter what happens in life, we've got to forget about it for a little bit. We can't let it become EVERYTHING about us. There is more to us than herpes. Remember what makes you smile. Remember what calms you down. Remember what makes you feel good. And then go do those things! And those things can be so little! We spend so much time focusing on what we THINK are negatives about us. We need to take just a fraction of that time and redirect our brains to focus on the GOOD about us. It doesn't have to be anything big. Like, I can make a kick-ass pot of chili! My friends MISS ME when I'm not around. I will go out of my way to help someone. We have to remember the things about us that remind us we are good people, just going through an unfortunate situation. We have to remember the things that warm our hearts. We gotta take the time to slow down for a minute and do for ME. It is not selfish. Do not feel guilty.


So, no offense everyone, but I'm going to go forget about you for a little bit longer :-) Gonna go eat some smoked sausage and cheese and crackers and beer cheese dip and drink some wine and hang out with some friends that will probably make me laugh until I pee myself :-) I'll be back soon though. Because, it's because of you all that I CAN find it in myself to forget about you for a bit :-)

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Nicely written and very inspirational!


I am coming up on three weeks since diagnose, and although I still think about it a lot, I am able to forget about it more for each day that goes by. Babysteps as someone (Dancer I believe) here likes to say. It won't happen overnight, it's a process which one has to respect and not try to force. For some it's easier than others, but I hope we all get there eventually.


I must say, although there is definitely a huge value coming here once newly diagnosed, I think it's very important to be able to "keep the distance" to everything herpes related material you can find online. Educate yourself, just try to not to obesess yourself with it. Easier said than done, it takes a conscious effort, but H doesn't deserve all of that attention.


Also, it's very easy to get all caught up with the negativity regarding herpes (guilty of that myself), but as I found myself focusing on the positive posts on various forums I felt much better. Remember, the majority of those with difficult physical/psycological problems come to the forums for help, while (I believe) the majority of those H+ who are fortunate to not have major complications (once they get over the initial shock) don't feel the same need to post on these forums. Hence you will read more sad stories than happy ones. Luckily there are a few very devoted and compassionate people here who truly want to help those who suffer the most. Huge thumbs up to them!


I just returned home to Europe from the US a few days ago and while walking around the city I realized people are not looking at me in a funny or different way compared to four weeks ago. Girls are still checking me out. :) Kids still smile at me. Dogs still like when I pet them. Folks, IT'S IN OUR HEADS!!! When you are walking around people try to think that not that much has really changed. Yes, we get blisters in very inconvenient places, and some definitely suffer physically as much as mentally making it a bit more complicated, but if you try to think and focuse on positivity maybe the physical pain will reduce too.


I am trying to not think about "when will my next ob show up", because I am convinced stressing about it WILL make it happen. In fact, I have been trying to provoke an ob by eating donuts to test my body for its reaction. Key lime pie, donuts, chocolate, lots of candy and some alcohol. Combined with bad sleep for the last few nights due to jet lag and stress from relationship problems I was almost certain a spot or two would show up. So far nothing! I am starting to think that maybe I was misdiagnosed, or maybe I cured myself. :) Well, I know better than that. I do think that trying to not obsess about it helps moving on.


My whole point with this rambling, and much longer than initially intended post, is to try to focus on the good stuff (sometimes hard, I know) but I bet you will find it a lot easier dealing with this little "demon" we all carry if you do.


Have a pleasant Saturday evening everyone!

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I'm happy I read this because I have been falling back into a really bad depression but this is very inspirational and makes me realize that I'm responsible for my mental state and can do things to help myself feel better ....maybe I dont need a guy to do that for me...so thank you :)

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I'm responsible for my mental state and can do things to help myself feel better ....maybe I dont need a guy to do that for me.


YES YES YES!!! Good for you for getting that...those who choose to *learn* from their Herpes experience often find that they get to a healthier personal place than they have ever been in. ;)

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