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First Day and Trying to Stay Upbeat

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When I look back on my biggest regrets and the most terrible things I struggled through, herpes actually doesn't rank very high on the list.

Now, I don't suggest that anyone ever make an ordered list of things they feel bad about. Especially not when they're feeling down. But I woke up today remembering some really difficult things either because they still get to me in my dreams sometimes, or because it's just one of those days.

I'm filled with reslove and strength, much in spite of the bad times I've had. Sometimes, when I have nothing else to hold onto for fuel to carry on, the memory of the bad times and the desire to be successful and happy in spite of them becomes that fuel.


I remember the fist fights, hopless and painful. The accidents, the injustice, the times I had been a victim, when I had to take the lesser of two bad options, the foot-in-mouth, the utter selfishness and vanity that ruined things that could have been happy memories, the fuitility, and the pain, and the regret.

I remember all of those things so clearly from the despiration and pain that came with them. I could relive each moment if I focused my mind on it.


But looking back from here, herpes ranks a mild 5 out of 10 on the regret, pain and despair scale.

There are a lot of things that lead to my contracting herpes that I don't regret, many of them lead to the same outcome. The fact is true that if I had stayed who I was, I wouldn't be who I am. And I like who I am much better than any other me I have ever been.


Sure, sometimes I wish I could go back in time and do things differently, or better yet, be there for my younger self. I'd probably start in 1997.

But things being what they were, and taking each day as a new one where I get to make a new set of choices was all I can ever do. And I have always been pretty good at that. I never did make the same mistake twice when it comes to life lessons.


It's easy to look back with regret and nothing very valuable comes from it, unless you use it to change the kind of choices you make going forward. But once that decision to conduct yourself differently has been made, there is no reason to look back anymore.

Because what is ahead of you and how you handle it will soon begin to define who you are. Good choices, ones that protect you from danger, protect your loved ones, help you achieve goals and make you feel good about yourself are all ahead of you.

Rather than list out what makes you angry, sad, or regretful, Make a tally of the things you want to have happen in the future, big and small. Make a list of things you need to do to make those things happen. List what you have to change about your conduct and what you should keep doing.

Dwelling on pain and feeling self pitty is just one small part of healing and becoming who you will be. Don't dwell for too long, it'll just drive you crazy or make you depressed.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Things are good these days!


I'm on a new diet. Very little bread and dairy, replaced with more beans, fruit and veggies.

It's not exactly paleo, but it is working really well for me. After much research and self reflection, I decided to take my own advice and make a lifestyle change regarding diet. 3 weeks in and it's already helping me to have more energy, lean out some hard to sculpt areas and I've got another small measure of my pride back.

I'm still working out the same as always and I can see that I'm getting better results after having started being more careful about what I eat. That combined with the fact that the diet seems easily sustainable makes it a big win for me!


Herpes continues to be one of my least concerns. I find myself imvesting more research and time into hobbies I have always enjoyed, which is really great. I get to feel like myself consistently, without suffering painful reminders of herpes everywhere I look. I think about it when I mean to, and I don't think about it when I don't have to.


I've also been spending a lot of time researching investing for retirement. Thinking about the future and all the ways I can make sure that it will be a financially sound, happy and fulfilling one is very satisfying. I'm finally moving some of my long-standing, but stagnant retirement funds into more profitable things. And that has helped me to feel very accomplished, despite my continuing feeling of having so much more work to do!


It's been a long time since I have had a chance to just sit back and enjoy all the wonderful things I have put together for myself. I think this coming weekend will be the perfect time to do just that. I won't go anywhere, I won't promise to help anyone tackle their challenges. I'll throttle back, watch some tv, wash my car, cook something special, and enjoy my bright and positive living situation for once!

I am the type that struggles with feeling guilty when I'm not buringing every ounce of my ability to achieve something bigger. I think I've finally gotten to a spot where enough things are working themselves out that I can give myself permission to chill for one weekend. That in itself is a big accomplishment.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thursday and Friday were stressful days.

I'm grateful that stress doesn't seem to be a trigger for me, and still no followup outbreaks. I was once very fearful that I would no longer be able to handle stress due to risk of triggering an outbreak, but those fears were totally unfounded. I have much to be thankful for.

The girlfriend had a combination of her phone and car nearly crap out and she decided it was time to replace both. A big endeavor for most, and even more so for her. Then her cell provider blindsided her with a huge bill for a new plan they snuck in without communication.

Needless to say, I was a victim of her rightous vengeance for a while, haha! But I remained positive and supportive and things settled down as we made progress on researching new options together.

There is a minor lesson for me to take note of here, communication and a little patience vand understanding go a long way. Being able to weather the storm of someone else's bad day, but maintain a sympathetic and supportive attitude is an important talent to bring to the table. Sure enough that the shoe will be on the other foot just as often. So give as much as you would hope to get.

Well, anyway.

After hammering out some serious research and cost comparison and budgeting while enduring the intermittent cries of frustration and despair, we came up with a plan and started pulling the metaphorical trigger on one item of our checklist at a time. Things are coming together well. But damn if it wasn't a lot of pressure to be precise and quick!

I am yet again assured that herpes has no bearing on who I am, or what I can accomplish. Even if it is just pricing out discounts and budgets.

By the way, for you ladies:

If you can calculate a budget, price out major purchases like a car including discounts and intrest on a loan, and execute the checklist you develop to get the thing done, you're a special kind of woman indeed!

Doing all that with my girlfriend, seeing her flex her smarts and exercise some reasonable financial decision making was actually both very refreshing and very reassuring. It's a rare set of skills in my own personal relationship experiences, and made me feel very confident that I had chosen a woman who can handle adversity, accept the bad news, and mitigate fallout. All with just a little sideline style encouragement.

If you can do all that, you're a catch for sure!

If you can't, get some practice by getting familiar with Excel and plugging in your monthly bills and expenses.

Of course, I tangent my own tangent.

Bottom line:

Don't waste your time mourning the loss of a part of yourself you never actually had taken away.

Communicate well and be empathetic with people close to you.

Be blunt, but kind.

Handle herpes like my girlfriend handled her less than ideal circumstances these past couple of days:

Vent to someone who cares about you, listen to their reassurances, accept their offers to help, take their help and amplify it with your own honest best effort.

Make an actionable plan based on a checklist of tasks to perform.

Stick to the checklist and do the damn thing!

You might not be able to change certain aspects of your situation, but you can mitigate damage before it happens, you can make changes you need in order to steer yourself toward a better future.

And, as always, put both hands on the situation and steer it the way you want it to go. You'll end up on a better path than if you had done nothing 100% of the time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hope you all are finding some things to enjoy this summer.

I know it's hard for many in the community.


I've been giving my brother and a few old buddies from previous jobs similar advice as what I often give here.

About self-image, self-respect, seeing the good qualities you have, trying to do right by you and yours.

I find there are a lot of ways that life beats good people down.

There are a lot of sources of frustration, anger and sadness.


The only difference between someone who overcomes quickly and someone who struggles for years is how they see themself and their future.

For those who fall victim to self-defeatism and who believe that they don't deserve the future they want, overcoming hardship can be a long and miserable process.

This seems to be the most common stage of dealing with struggle that people get stuck in.

The earlier stage being accepting the situation and the implications in the first place. Some will transition through this in a day, others in several years. It's a matter of having the courage to admit what the bad news is to yourself.

The later stage is deciding how you want yourself to be and how you want your life to go. Then, deciding how to get there. Deciding that you will get there.


So, when you find yourself struggling to deal, or feeling fear for your future.

Take a step back and contemplate why.

Accept the hard facts without putting up mental barriers around yourself that might not truely exist.

Then, decide what is important to you and prioritize those things.

Finally, do what you must to regain your self-respect and pride so that you can find the courage and the strength to use those good qualities you have to make the changes you need.


It's easier said than done, but it is how you will overcome.


Not just HSV, but a lot of hardships are overcome this way.

In that process lies a thousand small milestones along the way, and a thousand other methods for dealing and carrying forward. But that's the general idea.

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Thanks for writing down your journey. I have been through ups and downs since I found out about having H. I also have the fear of shaving. I fear intimacy and I rather not anymore cause that outbreak I had scared the Crap out of me. I found out for me that going to YouTube channels and watching funny things has helped me. There are times at work when I think about this but I try to distract my mind. I just want to tell you and anybody reading this that we have to remember that we only have 1 life here on earth not 2. This virus is horrible but we have 1 life here on earth. This virus will come and go but we have the opportunity to still wake up and carry on with our days and that's a blessing. I think for me the worst that can happen is one of my family members passing away. I rather go through this physical pain that comes and goes than to have to deal with one of my loved ones passing away. Unfortunately we all will pass away so right now we should enjoy and appreciate the people that loves us and we should learn to love ourselves more.

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I totally agree.

There are a lot of bad things that can happen. But if there is any discernable point to living, it would be to do as much good as we can and try to carve out some measure of happiness for ourselves and our loved ones.

It doesn't have to change the world, it's just a little bit at a time.

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