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The punchline

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Today I found myself in a conversation where someone was saying their friend went to the ER cuz she thought she had a yeast infection but saw bumps too. And this person jokingly said to her friend ohhh you must have herpes... the other person in the room was like ohhhh did she ? No, she didn’t.. and while I wasn’t offend I just felt bad. I wondered if I ever made a “joke” like that and some one was sitting there with their secret.


I’m only a few weeks into this diagnosis and I still can’t believe that I have this. I’m doing better than I thought I would be because I do find my self still laughing, sleeping and having an appetite; although not a great one. I still remind myself of all the goals I have for myself and know they are no less attainable. I don’t cry everyday, but today I feel a little bit more down maybe because I’m just sick in general right now. Yesterday I was just mad. A few days ago I came across a post on here in which the member suggested this book by Brene Brenner called “I thought it was just me but it’s not” it’s about shame and I’ve been listening in my car or with my headset and it has made some really useful points. I’ve also gone back to my therapist and he really gives me hope that this will not always be so tough. That’s one of the things that scares me most. More so than having H is my mental health. I won’t let this consume me fully. I have too much to do and see, but right now it’s hard to focus on much else. This is brand new and I am allowing myself to feel the emotions. To cry, to be mad... to grieve. As long as I am taking steps toward recovering from the trama I am allowed this time. I get scared when I read about people who are years into their diagnosis and still feel lost. I don’t want to be there. I am always the person who “fixes” everyone’s problems and now I need to fix this. Hell maybe if I paid more attention in biology I could have cured it, but alas no. It was not my strong suit. So, I must fix myself. My mindset and reaction toward this overly stigmatized punch line disease. Part of me wants to just do a face book live and put it out there for all of my friends and be like “yeah, i thought it wouldn’t happen to a girl like me either, but here we are and I don’t fit the image we all thought went with the scarlet H”..... but then I snap back and realize oh no... no no no.... we are sooo not there yet.


I have been humbled. And to anyone who sat at the table with this as I threw down my cards of humanity round winning card that read “herpes” I am sorry for ever making your sorrow a punch line.


Thanks for reading.

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You know, I have had the opportunity to be part of the conversation when herpes becomes a topic. Either a punchline or a part of harmless joking on another person.

It' definitely does queue a sharp reminder in my mind that "Oh, yeah I have herpes." Which isn't fantastic. But I also realize that nobody means any harm to me by it.

Commemts like, "That's how you get herpes" could be offensive. But it shouldn't be. Being reminded that I have a medical condition and that there is stigma associated with it is a fact of life. It will continue to happen.

I don't take it any different than when someone says something in a joking manner about my heritage. It's not a reflection of who I am, just a reflection of another person's perspective.

Plenty of people have jokes about a Polish guy. "Dumb pollack" and etc... Best not to dwell on wishing you could prove them wrong or teach them a lesson. Better to let people have their own opinion and keep on cruising along.


Overall, though, it sounds like you are actually dealing pretty well. Sure, yhere are some tough days and things will get you down sometimes. But keep focused on that longview perspective and you'll keep doing better as time goes on.

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I always thought it was funny how people jump and say someone might have herpes or whatever like how he said the girl went to the e.r because she thought she had a yeast infection but saw bumps must be herpes like... HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT? It sound like people have experiences with it that’s why they reference it I don’t know if it’s me being oblivious but herpes wouldn’t be the first thing to come to mind if I heard that about someone

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