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An End-of-year Love Note To All Newbies


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“i have found that the process of discovering who i really am begins with knowing who i really dont want to be”

 

what has unraveled during the past 16 months is interesting. experience has suffused my thinking with new life. all of a sudden i’m not just loving myself, i’m extending all that love outwardly. for a narcissist like me, that’s HUGE. at the same time, i’m essentially one of the good guys. like YOU. nevertheless obsessed by the thoughts and fantasies that ricochet inside my head; i’m totally hooked to… seeking for the self alone.

 

and i’ve used whatever i could to get that high - i used people, places, things, career, money, booze, pot... the chase was on and i was a rebel.

 

then it happened - some 12 years ago - a doc at the local STI clinic informed me that I had contracted herpes. i’m a gay man and to be told that the strange-looking acne on my junk was herpes… well, the world imploded. from that day forth, i lived thru some war stories. i ain’t gonna lie - it SUCKED. all that you are thinking and feeling right now… same here!

 

“the feeling of having shared in this common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us”

 

but this end-of-year note d'amour is not about my war stories and my battle wounds (which i wear with honor and urge you to learn to do the same). this message is coming from 12+ years of true and tested change. and it’s all due to herpes. all thanks to herpes.

 

when i say to you that i had no idea how toxic my thinking was, how toxic the situations i was getting into were, how toxic were the people i was inviting in… i’m making an understatement. but i also cannot assert that knowing what i know now would have kept me from getting herpes… because there is a randomness to Life and bad weird shit happens to great people. my point is - somewhere along your journey you will be faced with that mortal coil: “is this it? is this as good as it gets?”

 

a bit of context:

i faked acceptance for years. i concocted all sorts of ways to move thru despair. i had been branded a PWH and i rejected that notion. so i lied to myself and to several men i wanted to have sex with. the toxicity in my thinking and my attitude overpowered me. i was ENSLAVED.

 

maybe - maybe - you’re thinking of doing the same: take the daily Valtrex and keep a lid on it; get close enough to get a taste for intimacy and when it gets too close and scary, bounce! or isolate. after all, what better way to treat loneliness than with isolation?

 

i did all of it and then some. didn’t work. nothing could get me out of my makeshift hell. SHAME had me by the balls.

 

then i met a guy i knew i couldn’t have - for the obvious reason - but he was also deep in the closet. he was an up-and-coming young surgeon passing thru a NYC residency and on his way to a fellowship down south. so we both knew whatever we’d found in each other had an expiration date. and after a few hot semi-naked love sessions, i just came out and told him i had herpes… i put it all in an email and hit send. not an ideal step but a step nonetheless.

 

yet he didn’t stop seeing me. and in that post-email convo, he said… “i’m not worried about the herpes, tho i wish you had told me before the deed, but what i want to ask you is, why are you getting into these short-lived sexual relationships when you could have anybody you want?”

 

this guy is no longer in my life, his journey took him down south as planned. but if he didn’t cause a seismic impact upon my psyche, then i don’t know what that BOOM was. so many layers of shame, deceit, self-loathing and longing began to evaporate.

 

yet this evaporation happened not overnight. nothing ever will for us. insights come when you’re receptive. right now, as you read this, the Higher Intelligence that fuels all Life is priming you to receive serious wisdom. when i finally got that - which now feels like common sense - i realized i was in good shape and all i needed to do was humbly ask this Higher Intelligence to not let me get me.

 

“don’t let me get me, i’m my own worst enemy” i would say in praise. and still do!

 

the picture - our picture as persons with herpes (PWH) - does appear bleak and post-apocalyptic. we hit the WWW scavenging stats, percentages, magical cures, news of a vaccine, dating sites that cater to herpes-ridden fools on the loose. is all good. it’s part of the process. but ask yourself this, am i trying to catch lightning in a bottle?

 

sorry about all the cliches. but it’s a fantastic question nonetheless.

 

the moment you quit trying to catch that bolt in the bell jar, you will slowly begin to awaken. suddenly the priceless gift you have been given reveals itself.

 

i wish i could spell every aspect of your journeys and save you the heartache and tears, the homicidal rage. but we all have our karmic roads to trek on.

 

ignorance does roam the globe and you will not be able to thwart those who don’t know any better (remember, we were once them). you may choose your words prettily as you disclose - that won’t guarantee you a walk down the aisle. but if you wise-up, your words will guarantee you happily ever after (partnered or not).

 

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” -Peter Drucker

 

i will state this fact, this belief, confidently and forcefully: you are going to flourish not perish; you are going to bloom despite the gloom; you are going to see your old roots die

as you keep growing NEW roots.

 

a year from tonight, as you look back to 2015 and all it’s brought you, the good and the bad, ask yourself: have my old roots died yet!?

 

keep growing NEW roots!

 

i wish you all LOVE, WISDOM, HEALTH and WEALTH in 2015

 

your friend-

Carlos V.

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I love it when you sweep back through our community, Carlos. Feels like breaths of fresh air. Big hugs!

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. 

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