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My double wake up call

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It was one year ago, I felt some pain in my back and I looked myself in the mirror, a small red wound near my spine looked at my back -never mind- I said -I must probably hit my back against the swimming pool buoys or something-


But oh dear, that red stain itched like a bitch.


I didn't pay much more attention that night, I am used to busted my body every week so a little more pain is endurable, besides I am a H warrior,I know how to keep a zen attitude when i feel the burning man down there LOL


The morning after the wound had spread, like a serpentine. I showed it to my mom and her words made me feel mortified.


-oops, you've got herpes -


I believe my face turned pale like a ghost.

My mom looked at me troubled...


-whats the matter?

- no-no...nothing.


HSV2 in my back? up in there? what the hell? Now my mother knows I've got herpes!


I rushed to the hospital. My doctor invited me to sit in the stretcher...


-Take your shirt off please.


And she started to touch my back without gloves, not the wound itself, but around.


-You are gonna get infected!!


I screamed. I was so paranoid about infecting anyone although I have had the TALK many times before that. For me it was more something about being filthy, full of viruses, a sack of H who's not worth to be touched while in a OB.


My doctor told me I had herpes zoster, A.K.A. culebrilla (little snake) in Spanish. Great! one more herpes for my collection haha.

I went back home dragging my feet. Defeated.


In the way back I talked to the pharmacist. When she saw the painkillers, acyclovir and the cream she knew.



-Yes m'am

-Uffff painful shit, ain't?


She told me how she had to take care of an old lady who had it. That I was very brave for not complaining (if she only knew) even-though, by that time, my "culebrilla" almost circumnavigated my whole trunk.


I came back home and my mother acted like I got an scratch in my arm. To my surprise she didn't care, she was just worry about the pain.


Obviously the herpes zoster has not the same recurrence as the HSV2, nor that it's a STD. But for me it was herpes, therefore nasty, disgusting. I felt like a monster.


But the people around me think otherwise.


That was my first wake up call. For the first time since I got the H I felt really liberated. What the heck? it's just a skin condition, people don't mind as much as we think they do.


We make a big deal of something out of our imagination. We fall into prejudgments, false assumptions and create funny theories in our minds.


Herpes is a bitch and for life, I give you that. But it's just a skin condition for pete's sake! painful spots! that's all!


I heard people that when in despair because of the heavy burden of having something like HSV for life, they think about suicide. If you are on and off depression seek for help, but do not blame our poor little herpes friends. They are mostly harmless. That's not the reason. It can't be. Dig deeper.


If you are decided to kill yourself for that, besides the pity of losing the chance of living these great times we are in, I want you to remember that when you are dead, people will remember you as the person who kill him/herslef for having pimples.


Think about how ridiculous your gravestone would look like with a:






And about my second wake up call, well, this is too long already, I will tell you later B-)

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James, you crack me up! Thanks so much for sharing this motivational story! I was lucky to find this site before I had to have the disclosure discussion with my long te boyfriend, so I fortunately had the awareness to downplay the seriousness and stereotype of herps. It helped my confidence and it made my boyfriend feel less afraid as well. You're right - take the emotion and stigma out of !!!HERPES!!! and it suddenly becomes what it really is...a skin issue, nothing more nothing less.



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thanks newlife2013, I am happy to hear that! SCORE!


You just hit the spot, downplay the issue, and set it where it really belongs.

We are energy transmitters. If we have THE TALK with moist in our eyes or tweaking frenetically our partner absorb that negative energy and freak out.


Best thing is to develop Zen monk's attitude before facing the moment of truth, or simply take as it it is; pimples!

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James, you are hilarious! I love all of your posts. You remind me of one of my good friends. When I disclosed to him and then despaired that I would be alone forever, he just stared at me, mouth agape, with a look on his face. "What the hell? Get a grip! It's only herpes."

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Yeaaaah Pacific! We need to step back and look at this in perspective.


I wonder if there is an unknown side effect of getting H that messes with our brains and made us be too full of ourselves (in the down-path way). No kidding! I heard virus can affect behavior.


It made me think, why we got soooo stressed about it?. Why we feel like shit? honestly! why?


I guess it has something to do with the combo sex/virus/heartbreak/mistrust/lies/ignorance


Who knows, I have no idea. The only thing I know is, it got the best out of me but at the end I won this bitch.

Whoever needs a H buddy I will be there, just around the corner.


Lets make it through!

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It was a month ago. I went to the hospital to retire my medical prescription. I was sitting in the STD area minding my own business, playing video games on the phone or just simply staring at the ceiling. I was just one guy waiting for my turn.


But then, I looked around and i saw others' faces. Oh no...


I saw fear, concern, people taping their fingers frantically in their knees. Poor things.


I started wondering who came that day for a H OB, my heart sunk. I saw myself years ago waiting for the results, believing that my life as I knew it was over.


I felt so much pain for them, I almost shared it with them, telepathically, I can't explain. I wanted to get up and tell them, "hey buddy, no worries"


But how could I do that? Just get up and ask straight? " heeeello are you coming here for herpes?" hahahaha no way!


That's why that day I decided to help other to go through THE PHASE. If I got this for life, let's better make sense out of it. Let's use it for the greater good and help others.


I want to be the person I needed during that phase of my life.


Sadly, here in Spain there are not that awesome support groups that you guys have in US. It would be great to be part of something like that.

I asked in the STD pavilion and they don't such thing for HSV. They do have for HIV though but that is not our fight.


There is nothing much in Spanish on the web neither, so that's how I ended up in here ;-)


English is not my mother language and I believe sometimes I make no sense, please pardon my grammar mistakes. At least I am a human being and I can share with you the pain, your concerns and I can love you back haha, believe in what I say: it gets better.


I know I am a complete stranger for you, but we share something together, something that makes us stronger and united for life!


Don't see it as a curse, please don't. We are together is this awesome trip called LIFE. We are accepting ourselves as what we really are, beautiful and flawless star dust.



You are not alone, you are being loved in this precisely moment.

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Ugh you are so freaking awesome! I can't get over it.


Have to throw a quote in here by MJ Fox that sorta comes to mind when I read the second part of your wake up call: 'unity is strength, knowledge is power, and attitude is everything.' ahh.. and of course there's another: "Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool, or you go out into the ocean."


Love having your energy here and I think you've made many people breathe easier already. I know reading / thinking about the ways you've made light of this situation has brought a smile to my face several times. Reading your posts I feel a little spark, a little light flickering inside my soul that reminds me that the part of me that was super silly and found humor in any situation isn't really gone ... I mean how could a couple of pimples take that away?


You're inspiring and hilarious; please keep the comments coming pal! :-j


LOVE, your fellow flawless star dust 'H buddy' B-)

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James - what is the perception abroad on Herpes? When I told my best friend (American) who lives in Italy, she said that it seems as europeans don't tend to think of it as a big deal. She told her Italian boyfriend what I was going through and he was like… "So?"

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I want to chime in, too! I also love your vitality, insight, common sense, zen-y solutions/attitude adjusting offerings and your ability to articulate and share all the things that seem great and minute surrounding the 'pimple' issue...


And for sharing your personal experiences putting a firm and thoughtful perspective on it.


Great theory on the 'complete' H package (new and improved! not only do you get the physical sensation and great look of H (it's its own recognizable brand like Coke) you get mental hangups and sense of despair for FREE!) It does seem like H comes with this self inflatable mental block, skewing reality, bitter looping of negativity, etc. yay! More please!


(Mini rant - ahh feel much better)

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Ok, herpes is not as well known in Spain (and Europe i guess) as it is in US.

I see there is a lot of fuss in US about it, kind of collective hysteria.

I had an american gf once and she freaked out (but accepted me and loved me anyways)

I have been with girls from other countries, (lol that sounds so douchebaggery) and the all reacted like "so?"


And here is my thoughts about 'merica. You guys live in a complete state of fear and paranoia. News broadcasts are all about influx that fear down you throat, making you feel vulnerable and under a constant threat.


H is just one of those fears that society has marked as the worst plague in XXI century -among other worst plagues lol-

It's that sense of magniloquence drama and spectacle that sells so good and make a big deal out of nothing.


I've disclosed four times, and four success. So in my humble experience, we positives, make it to look bigger and nastier than it is.


But don't get me wrong, I am ready to hear a NO. I have nothing to lose and that's give me a particular halo that makes me irresistible LOL

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... and to tack on to james81's post, herpes stigma was quite possibly manufactured so that drug companies can make a profit. Check out this blog post for more:


Note: This 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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james, you are awesome. I never would have guessed English was a second language for you and I LOVE your sense of humor and your outlook on life and herpes. You know, if we went around with the same angst about having cold sores, I am sure people would think we had lost our minds. Change locations to downstairs and suddenly people feel like life is over. My OBs are basically chicken pox marks in an uncomfortable location. The upside is that I can have an OB and no one knows. I am with you, herpes schmerpes. Whatever. In the grand scheme of things, it's a minor annoyance at best. Thanks so much for your perspective and humor.

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Hello everyone! This is a great thread! James81, your writing is hilarious, heartfelt, and very unique. I was born in Colombia but raised here in New York City. I'm fluent in both Spanish and English. And I understand you perfectly, don't sweat the language barrier. Your posts got so much heart and that is what matters here.


I wanted to address the question you posited earlier: "Why we got soooo stressed about HSV?. Why we feel like shit? honestly! why? I guess it has something to do with the combo sex/virus/heartbreak/mistrust/lies/ignorance?"


I was diagnosed with HSV2 in the spring of 2002--I had just turned 30 then and I felt my life was over. Eleven years later, guess what... Life is still going as normal with its peaks and valleys. I've dated some guys who were cool about my HSV status; others stumbled face-first into a panic... with my help, surely! Oh by the way, I'm homosexual. I use the term Gay often, but I prefer the polysyllabic "Homosexual"... I feel so rebellious saying it, for the word didn't exist in American lexicon until 1892. The word "Gay" was a code word used among closeted homosexuals at gatherings: "I don't know about you, but I'm feeling a little gay," a married man would say to another, fishing for a sexual encounter. Anyway, I've led myself astray... My point is that I believe HSV stigma rises from a great internal conundrum--which is a normal aspect of the human condition--a battle between your desire for safety (status quo) and a desire to push forward into the unknown (change). When the status quo desire is stronger within me, I stop living according to my values... I settle for less... I sell myself short. And deprivation and self-deprecation become the norm. It is my opinion that we use the Herpes Simplex Virus to reinforce the idea that we are diseased and unworthy. Soon we are caught in that great conundrum, not knowing why we feel so shitty.


I've been a strong believer that America's schizophrenic view of sex and sexual orientation were the source of this malaise. But lately I have been reading about financial recovery and my relationship to money... I came across a book that talks about the "Starving Actor" syndrome and "Under-earning". I am a homosexual actor. HaHa. And surprise! Every insight found in a book that does not mention STIs and just focuses on money can be directly applied to HSV... it all boils down to self-worth: the value we place on our spirit/mind/body.


I'm 41 and as I said, been HSV+ for over a decade. I'm amazed--and this happens on a daily basis--to discover that the source of our desires and their manifestation is within us. Adrial's method of HSV disclosure goes to the heart of this.


I've said more than what I intended... I'm on a mission here breaking through the Starving Actor Syndrome.


Sending you all much love,


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Carlos, thank you for your well thought out post. I love how you express yourself. I would love to read the book you referred to. What is the name of it? And I agree that it does boil down to self worth in most if not all areas of our life. I too have seen the sense of lack and not feeling deserving in more than one area of my life. Herpes is a convenient place to hang all that stuff on to for many, myself included. I am, however, seeing it for the trick that it is. Before herpes my excuse was being overweight. I lost the weight and guess what - life was still the same and I viewed life the same. Contrary to the diet ads, my life did not miraculously change. Same with herpes - my life didn't suddenly go to hell because I got herpes. It was my attitude towards herpes and the interpretations I attached to it. Change the attitude and *voila*, the meaning of herpes changes. It is now my greatest teacher and ally. It has helped me heal, helped me make better choices in relationships (and Lord knows that needed an overhaul!) and has made me stop and really examine my life for the first time ever.


Thank you Carlos and james for sharing your views on this issue. I always enjoy reading what you share and enjoy how your posts get me to really think and examine my own thoughts and beliefs.




Brenda xo

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