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Lessons learned...first year

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About 15 months ago, my world was turned upside down with my herpes diagnosis. I remember standing in the mirror saying to myself “this isn’t possible. This is a bad dream”. I was in such a state of shock I couldn’t even cry. 

I kept thinking “everything is different now”. And in some ways, that is true. But not in all ways. The initial heavy burden I felt has disappeared. I was blessed with having a few sessions with Adrial, and I read and educated myself as much as possible. I also let myself work through those first difficult 6 months where I didn’t feel 100% myself, while starting to reprogram my brain to think of herpes as an opportunity for substantial growth. Which is most certainly has been for me. 

The point of this post is give anyone struggling some hope. I encourage you to, as much as possible, look at a herpes diagnosis from the perspective of someone who just found out they have terminal cancer. From someone who would trade herpes to bring their deceased child back. To any other medical challenge (muscular dystrophy, amputation, MS, heart disease, cancer). I totally get it, those things cant be spread and you don’t have to tell every partner you have about those issues. But there are so many medical issues (and in general life challenges) that could be far worse.

Herpes also has given me an opportunity to start every relationship (casual or romantic) with honesty, and to discard people in my life who treated me like garbage. I have been rejected, but I have also been accepted.

I was accepted by a man who ended up not treating me with the respect I deserve. The lesson there, even someone who is cool with herpes, can treat you like dirt. I was very hurt and disappointed by the experience. But I would have bene regardless of if I had herpes or not, because in the end he didn’t know how to treat me. I also recently disclosed to a man I was dating. He was kind, understanding and still wanted to see me after I disclosed. I decided to stop spending time with him, not the other way around. I disclosed to a man I am only interested in sexually last week…his response “I’m ok with that”.

 I can say one thing for sure, I have never had a person react unkindly for being honest with them. If you choose to always disclose, you will face more rejection that if you don’t. But you will also stand tall in your truth and integrity, and with every rejection and acceptance, you will gain confidence in choosing disclosure. 


I encourage anyone struggling to message me if you need advice or just someone to commiserate with. Support from peers, friends or family helped me immensely as well. Best of luck to you all!

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So good to see you again, @annalove

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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