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Herpes: Change for the better, the power of positive thinking


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Howdy! I'm a 28 year old male who has recently (less than a month ago) been diagnosed via biopsy that I, in fact, have HSV-2. Sure, I wanted to believe every other possible scenario until the results came back and that's how I got through the week before leading up to the phonecall. Ingrown hairs, infected hair follicles, anything but herpes. But alas that was not the case, and now that I have the rock solid information that I indeed have HSV-2, there have already been changes in my life ... for the better.

For one, I've had to look deep inside myself and reinforce positive affirmations that this doesn't define who I am as a person. I'm still talented, smart, handsome *grin*, a good friend, and someone who understands and feels emotions deeply. There's a stigma that gets attached to those carrying the virus that somehow we're going to be tainted for a lifetime and that there's no way anyone would want to be with us forever. To be blunt, that's all bullshit. There are deeper levels of loving aside from all the surface material things that society has taught us to look for in a mate.

To be clear, I am single. And I have never really felt love in the deepest sense of the word. I've never struggled to find sexual partners, but that's just what they were: Sexual partners and not caring relationships. So in that sense, I have certainly sold myself short over the course of my lifetime when it comes to giving someone special the absolute best of me. I simply haven't done it. That in itself is a deep realization that I don't think I would've had without my recent diagnosis.

There's beauty inside all of us. Things that matter more than just physical attraction. I was talking to my best friend (the only person who've I've told so far) about sex and how meaningless it had become lately. It was all about the pursuit and the conquest but never about developing something real with another human being. A tough pill to swallow indeed, but a thought that would never have crossed my mind if I hadn't been diagnosed with HSV-2. In short, this is already making me a better person.

There's power in positivity, knowing who you are in the deepest of your core and being able to share that with those around you. The old saying goes, "Lemons to lemonade."  That can definitely be applied here. Like Brene Brown's TED lecture linked on the herpeslife site said shame unchecked can lead to intense feelings of isolation and rejection. But it also lends itself to vulnerability, the exposing of your heart for those closest to you to see. One thing I do know is that honesty is a powerful thing; it demands respect. Expressing your feelings and what's in your heart is a hard thing for anyone to turn their back on. You are giving them the truest of you, and if they can't accept that then they don't deserve to be close to you.

In conclusion I'd like to say I've started on a new path, a realer path, a path lined with honesty. Not only to myself, but to those I hope to hold close in my heart. There are things to stress out over and having this virus isn't one of them. This isn't a death sentence. 

I wish you all the best and I will gladly be a sounding board and an ear for those who wish to talk. The environment on this website is one of safety and spiritual healing. There's no doubt we'll overcome the guilt and shame associated with this. Just remember you are beautiful in every way, and if this does change you, let it be for the better. 

Much love,
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Ty ... brother ... What can I say, other than YES! It reminds me that true character can be seen when you are presented with something difficult and what you choose to do. It's our relationship to our difficulties in life that shows who we are on a deeper level. I know people who have let bouts with cancer or the death of a loved one or losing their children in a nasty divorce mean that they have shone brighter in the face of those things. They take struggles in life as opportunities to sharpen their blade of who they already know themselves to be. The things in your life don't define you; who you are in the face of those things define you. And you underline all of that beautifully in what you have said, Ty. I'm glad you're a part of this community. You're always welcome. Can you make it to our next (h) group to bring your powerful perspective? Here are the details: http://thehopp.eventbrite.com/?discount=HFORUM


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  • 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 your words Ty - just how I think too and so refreshing to hear those words again from some else..positive, healing and so real.  I can feel the authenticity in your words and know that you would be someone I would love to meet and get to know because of that, pleased to meet  you! 

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  • 2 months later...

I love everything you said Ty! I keep going through these stages with myself where I feel like I've completely healed my feelings on having herpes, and then randomly one day a negative thought comes up in association with that and it almost feels like I'm back at square one. I've come to realize that it's just a matter of staying positive and learning that there's still more to work on with myself. I always think, how will we ever know what we need to work on with ourselves if nothing comes up? Those negative days are just an indicator that there's more I need to heal with myself, and that's a good thing.


Your message is inspirational and beautiful, it makes me realize, yet again, how small having herpes is in the grand spectrum of things. Thank you for taking the time out to write such a wonderful post, this is something I'll come back to and read when I need a little reminder of how herpes isn't a big deal, it's a chance for you to get to know yourself better and to connect with others on a deeper level.

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  • 1 month later...

Ty, I am so grateful to have found what you wrote. I was recently diagnosed with herpes and am so glad to read such beautiful words reaffirming my belief that everything is an opportunity to grow and become better. What may seem like the worst thing in the world at the moment is actually just part of your life, and part of creating who you CHOOSE to become. Thank you for expressing your positive outlook and I am actually looking forward to overcoming this obstacle and staying strong regardless of what happens in my life. It's also such a great opportunity to make stronger and deeper connections with the people in my life, something I have may have avoided in the past. Wishing the best to ALL of you and so happy to be a new part of this community.



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