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How can it get better?

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Honestly, I fail to see how any of this can get better. It's just such a frustrating situation that never ends. Everyone here says that it takes time to get over it and "accept" it, but it's been a year now and if anything I feel much worse. I've gained what probably is an alcohol dependency, my love life is shot, my relationship skills are down the toilet and my general self esteem is at an all time low. Doesn't seem to be getting any better.

Thanks guys.


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Hey... I think, like everything else in life, it's a matter of perspective. This is nothing more a skin condition that cannot and will not kill you or limit your ability to experience life to the fullest. Think of the person who contracts HIV, or the man who finds himself completely paralyzed after a freak accident, or the woman who is struggling to beat cancer for the 2nd time. I know this is hard to accept, but you can choose to slowly alter self-defeating thoughts and recognize that in the grand scheme of things, this is not all that bad. Granted, if you are struggling with the physical symptoms, it can be a constant reminder... and a painful one. Part of getting your body back in a healthy place is getting your mind there first... working everyday to find love yourself, and seeing the value you have to offer beyond this diagnosis would serve you well. It's not easy... life is not easy, but every little effort, every little moment where you take a pro-active approach to changing the negative feelings and thoughts, will slowly but surely lead to you to a happier life. Yes, nobody wants herpes, but we have it, and it's not magically going to disappear... so you have a choice: 1- beat yourself up, put yourself down, dwell in anger and despair, and dive into a cave of unworthiness, or 2- do anything and everything you can to forgive yourself, love yourself, and recognize that you are worthy of everything you desire in life and love. Considering we only have one life to live, that every day is a gift that we will never get back, I choose option 2. From reading another post of yours, is it possible that the feelings you have for not feeling loveable stem from something deeper? Perhaps, H has just put a magnifying glass on something that needed to be tackled anyways. The stigma that society has created about herpes cannot dictate your worth... in fact nobody can, but you. What you believe about yourself is powerful, and finding love for yourself, regardless of any ill event or experience, is the only way you will get out of this dark place. Have you considered working with someone? Perhaps going to see a therapist to help you through this? It has been helpful for many, so maybe something to consider.


I'm a quotes kinda girl, so I'll leave you with a few:


"You matter because you are, and you matter until the last moment of your life."

"Start using every day to let go of that scared part of you that won't let you live life fully."

"This journey is one of passing through exactly where you have been struggling not to go."

"Your sense of self is determined by where you are focusing your consciousness."


Sending you lots of love and all kinds of positivity. You deserve happiness, acceptance and love. It's your birthright.

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Thank you for your response, as to me having a problem even other than herpes, possible, but not likely. I was extremely happy before this. I had really never felt better in my entire life than before herpes. I had never been depressed or felt this consistently low and empty in my entire life. Herpes really has taken its toll, and it's a rut that I can't shake.


Honestly, I just sound like a whining child, so many of you all have somehow found acceptance and realized that it's not that big of a deal or its "just a skin condition" and that its all stigma. I would like to try to change my outlook, but I think I'm in too deep to pull myself around.


Once again, I really appreciate your perspective.

Thanks for your time.

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You're not a whining child by any means... this is not an easy pill to swallow. Some just take longer than others to have that ah-ha moment, or just find acceptance. For me, I just said to myself, "I am not going to allow society's stigma to define my worth." and I was committed to that. I am still the same beautiful, intelligent, kind and loving person I was before H, and ultimately, NOTHING has changed about me. I caught a virus, i'm human, and it can happen to anyone, at any time, in any situation. Yes, I have to have awkward talks, and face rejection for something out of my control, but that's just it... there is no control in anything in life... someone could easily reject me for many other reasons, and vice versa. Nothing fundamental about you has changed either... and yes, it will be very difficult to be vulnerable and share an intimate fact, whether for casual encounters, or something more, but when/if someone walks away, it's not about you... you are compassionate and honest and kind enough to give them a choice, and that commands a lot of respect. And from the stories of disclosures on here, a lot of people won't be phased by it. You will come to realize that the people that do stick around, are the kind of people you will likely want in your life regardless. Don't allow this to limit your life, because it doesn't have to... change your mindset, change your thoughts, believe that you are just are amazing as you were before... because you are. If you need help, do anything you can to find it. You owe yourself the opportunity to feel fulfilled and happy again. Reach out if/when you need us, we're all here with you.

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As always PB has contributed with her very rational and intelligent writing and thoughts.


Screwthis, listen to her words and it will help you towards getting rid of your dark thoughts. It's up to ourself to take control of our own situation, no one else can truly do that. I bet if you take all your positive attributes and line them up against your negatives, you will find a lot more positive than negative. Focus on them as those are the ones a woman will fall in love with. If you highlight them you are already ahead in the game.


Pre H I felt, as you, that my life was going pretty damn good as well. I too have had your thoughts, but as PB is saying, to 99% (if not more) I am still the same person as pre H, and that is what I have to focus on. I recently disclosed to a woman who I met pre H and I decided to tell her about H, although we are not in a sexual relationship. It was more of a test of her reaction than anything. Her response was, "So, what's the big deal? It won't kill you, or your partner if she gets it. Any woman who passes you up for something as little as H would be an idiot, and an ignorant idiot at that". It was a nice confirmation of my own thoughts regarding my own worth in the eyes of a woman. Maybe you have a female friend who you can confide in just to get a woman's (who knows you) perspective and hopefully encouragement.


Best of luck, as has been said so many times on this forum, you are far from alone!

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I mean, i do have friends with whom i could disclose, but as a gay male i think the perspective shifts a little more to the negative side. With a starkly less amount of people who are actually gay in the world, it makes it a tad more difficult. Honestly for me to say someone is "stupid" or "ignorant" if they dont accept me on the sole basis that i have herpes, i wouldnt blame them in the slightest. I would have done the same. Who would really want to risk it? I've seen this scattered about the web from people who dont have herpes, "Love can come and go, but herpes will stay with you forever."

Its true. and its THAT what gets me.

Thank you for your kind words of support.

Hopefully in time, i can pull myself together.

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Well, as long as you listen to people who make those comments you will be stuck where you are.


You really think those same people would keep saying that if they caught H? There is, as we know, a pretty big chance that they do. I doubt they would laugh and make jokes about it then.


People get lots of other things that they are stuck with for life, or which eventually kill them. Most of the happy people you see walking around have something they would not want to share with you and that they are ashamed of. Yeah, H got a bad rep, but that is because uneducated and mostly ignorant people. And pharmaceuticals of course, but that is another story we all know all too well.


Would I blame someone from not dating me because of H? No, not really. But I also wouldn't think much of them as I know what they are missing out on. My soon to be ex wife told me she does not see me as a person with H, and told me to never let it define me. She knows my good, and bad, qualities and love me for who I am. With or without H.


Who would really want to risk? Mature, sensible people who will take their time and educate themselves. People worth having in your life. That's who. And you can find such a person, gay or not.

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Ihaveittoo1975 hit the nail on the head... if you listen to people with those thoughts and opinions (who likely do not know that much about herpes in the first place...cause honestly before we all got it, we didn't know that much either), then you will be stuck. What I find interesting here is that you are making a lot of assumptions based on what you "think might" happen if you told someone... without having actually even tried. You are already rejecting yourself based on these perceived assumptions. Part of giving people the choice to walk away is also giving them the choice to stay. Why not give them the chance to make an educated decision, once they have gotten to know you a bit? Perhaps, just perhaps, they will think that you are worth it. Perhaps, they will not care about the stigma or the risk. Perhaps they will have it too! Why not let go of the fear of "they definitely will reject me" and open your heart to "I don't know, maybe they will, maybe they won't"... and let the cards land where they may. It's scary as hell, but facing your fears, confronting these limiting beliefs that you have concocted and adopted based on what you have read or feel, is the only way to break down barriers and grow. Imagine if some of the greatest scientists just assumed things were as they are because that's what people said... imagine if no one ever took risks to challenge their beliefs...I couldn't; how sad. You have to try in order to fail or succeed... and when you fail, you have to try again until you do succeed. Not just in this situation, but in life. There are many people here who have felt the way you do, then only to find someone who openly accepted them... and that was what changed their entire perception of living with this diagnosis. I guess all I wanted to add was stop making assumptions, stop assuming that someone will automatically reject you because the reality is that you don't know that until you give them the choice. There are too many what ifs to say for sure what the outcome of any situation will be... don't jump to conclusions, let people love you regardless of herpes, because they will want to. Perhaps telling some friends, and talking about it with those you can trust is a first step... having those around you show your support and love regardless might help to build your confidence back up. There are people here who came out to their entire facebook network, and they were openly received with an outpouring of love and support. Don't carry this alone, telling the people you trust most might help you understand that people will accept you and love you regardless... one step at a time, you'll get there. And when you do, we'll be here to praise your successes and share in your triumphs.

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It's incredibly frustrating to have to come out all over again. I did that enough when i was younger. Its like a nightmare that i cannot wake up from. Its even in my dreams, sleep used to be an escape, but herpes have found its way in there too.

Therapy might be a good option haha

Thanks guys.

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I'm not at my home computer so I cant access all of my links, but I will post a great Ted talk about Coming Out when I get home. You see, most of us have at LEAST one closet that we live in. Being Gay or having Herpes are just 2 of the many closets that people live in. I've seen MANY posts on here where the person disclosed having H, which opened the closet door for their partner to disclose something about themselves that they were ashamed/frightened to disclose... and that joint vulnerability creates a beautiful bond that deepens the love that is developing between them.


And I'm going to be perfectly blunt here. (Tough Love Alert!) Stop using the Gay card as the reason that having H is "worse" for you. I'm a 53 yr old woman who lives in Upstate NY. Honey, let me tell you, the pickins here are not that great ... for one, my kids are grown, but a lot of men in my generation started families late (or are wanting to start a family now...AACK!) ... and I am over the Puberty years and don't want that in my life. And as an "older" person, I have developed my values and interests, so finding a man who has similar (or at least not conflicting) beliefs and such adds another layer of difficulty. As a grandmother I don't really want to move far from my grandbaby and daughter. And I live in a rural area. That pretty much pares my prospects down pretty badly. In spite of that, I've had 2 three year relationships with men who acceped me and my H ...that didn't work out for other reasons.


Finding love is tough. Period. You can find every excuse in the book for why you can't find love.... age, height, race, sexuality, physical attributes, health issues, etc. You can either believe that this "fault" or whatever is keeping you from finding love (in which case, you will be right), or you accept those parts of you that make you who you are, and you ATTRACT the person to you who will love you and all your "defects" ... because that is what love is ... finding that person who you choose to be with even when they drive you crazy, even when they are sick, even when life throws them a curveball and possibly give them a life altering illness or accident ... AND that person would do the same for you. When you find him, H will be small peanuts ... believe me :)




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Glad you took it with the intent that I was trying to convey :)


So can I ask you this? Is your hatred and disgust at Herpes, or being Gay? Have you totally accepted your sexuality? Or had you managed to stuff down any unprocessed anger/upset around being gay until Herpes came on the scene and brought it back tot he surface? Because what I see a LOT on here is that what comes out when someone gets herpes is stuff that was already there ... but not properly dealt with ;)


Until you have worked through those issues, they will continue to re-appear every time life throws another curve ball at you in the area of relationship and love. Sure, Herpes adds another layer of stuff to deal with in the early stages of a relationship. But it's just one layer of many that new relationships have to survive and thrive through :)



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100% okay with being gay. I Accepted it and embraced it years ago. My frustration lies within my feeling of being put back into another closet rather than being able to finally experience and explore my sexuality freely. And no, I have dealt with plenty in my life. I can promise you it's just the herpes. That is what I am disgusted with, and is currently preventing me from thinking of anything else. Beig gay is now such a non problem in my life. I was feeling so great finally, then herpes decided to destroy all of the progress I had made.

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OK - just checking ... because like I said, old, unresolved anger often comes out with H diagnosis ;)


However, to say that herpes decided to destroy all the progress I had made just plain isn't true. For one, *Herpes* doesn't plan and plot to do anything... it just wants to replicate. That's it's ONLY job in life. So lets get to the truth. Shit happened and you acquired herpes. And now you are blaming it for your buying into the stigma of Herpes.... just like many Gays still buy into the stigma of being gay and end up depressed and unhappy and often get into a hetrosexual marriage because they feel that is the only way they will find love because they can't deal with standing in their truth to their families/church/communities.


It's because of the steps that many gay men and women took by coming out of the closet when the stigma of being gay was much deeper that has brought the wonderful strides that have been seen in gay rights that we are seeing today. And that is where we are with Herpes ... we all have a choice to buy into the stigma and allow ourselves to stay in our closets, or we can take a stand and accept who we are and be PROUD of all the beautiful things we have to bring to a relationship, and BELIEVE we are deserving of love. It doesn't mean you have to scream from the mountaintops that you have H (just as many gays are quietly going about their lives) ... BUT, it means that when someone comes into your life who has a mutual interest, there will be a time when you will have to be vulnerable with them about this part of yourself.... AND, when the right person comes along, you will very likely find that the conversation creates a DEEPER bond between you ;)


My friend, we ALL have closets ... ususally more than one.... we all have things we are afraid to let people know about us..... you have proven you have the courage to step out and step into your truth already ... which is far more than many people ever achieve. So at some point, you will have to do it (to some degree... even if it's only one on one in a disclosure) again ... AND, you know you can do it... so pull on the strength and power you gained with coming out of the gay closet and use that when the time comes...


Check this video out ... it may help you to see where I am coming from. It helped me to come out competely about my H status ... ;)




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This is another great Ted talk as well ...


And just so you know, I go and watch pretty much every video link that I post at least once a month to keep me focused on where I am trying to go in my life ... because I have *my* struggles too...


As Dr Phill says: You have to mourn what hurt you, then you have to CHOOSE to heal it ... take this time to mourn what happened ... but don't let it define and control you when you come out of that phase.... it's a choice..... ;)


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