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WHY ME? This probably is the most asked question by people with herpes. Having a virus that manifests as an uncomfortable skin irritation and blisters isn't the dream of many people. Being put inside a box and thought of as "dirty" is everyone's worst nightmare.


WHY ME? This was the first question I asked when I was diagnosed 2 years ago. I was little miss cautious. I never did anything spontaneous. I always had a schedule to follow. I was devastated that I didn't go home and slept at a friend's house. I was too ashamed to face my mom and my younger sister. What kind of a role model am I? I was convinced that I was a disappointment to my family.


WHY ME? I asked my mom. And her answer was a simple "it was given to you as a wake up call." A wake up call for what? I thought hard what she meant by that..and I realized that I was not doing anything in my life. I was contented with my job, despite the fact that I want to do something else. I fell in love with boys (yes, I don't think they are men, at least not at the time we were together) who didn't treat me right. I dated them just because I wasn't dating anybody. I slept with people that I normally wouldn't. It was my excuse for being heartbroken (my bf got someone pregnant). I was stuck and refused to move.


Herpes was a very big wake up call. It made me realize that it is time to move. That I had to stop dating guys who don't give a damn about me (sorry for the term). That I had to respect and love myself again. Two years after being diagnosed, I can say that I love myself above anything else in this world (aside from God). Before I do anything, I would ask myself if it's good for me. I eat healthier. I exercise. I learned to laugh my problems and worries away.


Herpes may be a very uncomfortable skin condition but it's not fatal most of the time. Yes, there is a stigma. But it is something that I can live with. My family and closest friends accept me with it. I had a physical exam and I told the doctor that I have HSV when she asked me if I have been diagnosed with STD. She wrote NO on the paper. So I guess, having herpes is not that big of a deal. It is mostly inside my head. That little voice telling me that I am worthless..dirty..unlovable..different..is just me running away from it. I found comfort in letting myself be swallowed by negativity. I realized that I had a choice between being miserable and being happy. I am choosing to be happy. Yes, I still feel lonely especially when I have an outbreak but I am choosing not to dwell on it for a long time. It is hard to see the silver lining for having herpes..maybe there isn't one..but I am choosing to treat it as my wake up call.


WHY ME? Because I had to wake up from the nightmare of what my life used to be. Having herpes may not have been my dream but it made me move and get my dream. My bestfriend told me "it's not the end of the world..someone will accept you for what you are and what you have..if he can't see you beyond your herpes, then he's not worth it. For the meantime, do not only accept what you have..embrace it and you will find happiness."


And now I ask, WHY YOU?

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Yes, I understand. I think this way all the time. And then I realize that I can't really. Why me? So many things have happened to me in the past that weren't fair, because life isn't fair. I've been through a lot of unfortunate circumstances and this is another one. I need to believe that I can get through the heartache and emotional wounds this creates. Yes, I did contract this virus. But that also doesn't mean it's completely my "fault", and I should feel like a bad person for it. I try to go on every day, even when I don't want to. I tried to kill myself and it didn't work. I've been through a lot, and I am going to tell myself that I deserve to live. Even if nobody wants to be romantically involved with me, I have the power within myself to override that with the happiness life brings. Life has so much to offer, I am an artist and the power of creation and learning is so strong, that a skin condition will not stop me from achieving wonderful things. I have time now to concentrate on things that mean more than sex. I will not let this skin condition stop me because I deserve a happy life and so does everyone else whether you have herpes, HIV, or HPV will never change that.

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Yes! I'm loving your contributions here, dilemmagirl! So beautiful to hear you processing through all of this. Noticing all the ways in which we can hold ourselves back is a huge gift. HUGE. And it reminds me that being a victim doesn't mean that something happened to us. It's not about the thing that happened. It's about how we treat ourselves and how we decide to see the world because of that thing. The victim mentality is powerful. And it is our decision. We don't have control over everything that happens to us, but we do have control over how we learn from those things and move forward in life. Here's a blog article on the victim mentality, by the way:


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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What a beautiful post dilemmagirl. I think we have all asked ourselves countless times "why me". I know I have once or twice. It is so beautiful to read how you are processing through it and coming to the realizations of "why you" and the beautiful gifts it gave to you. I have heard a saying along the lines of sometimes life's gifts or God's blessings don't always come wrapped up the way you'd expect them to. Herpes is one of those that most of us would love to "return to sender" but looking back it has been the catalyst for making our lives so much richer and giving us the gift of ourselves. It has forced me to really recognize my gifts, recognize that dammit I AM lovable and "good enough" and it has opened my eyes to a whole new reality. I am expecting more for myself, learning to find my voice, am becoming much more confident and reaching for my dreams, allowing life to flow through me and expecting miracles. Like you, I was drifting along, choosing men that were absolutely wrong for me but fed my need to be needed and to prove my worthiness by completely self-abandoning and throwing all I had emotionally, financially and spiritually into "saving" them from themselves, all the while throwing myself under the bus. I have healed so many wounds, discovered wounds I didn't even see and have met such amazing people. And all because of herpes. Sounds like an ad for herpes! "Get herpes, change your life" :)


Thank you so much for sharing your process and your journey. I am so excited for you and ellemell to see where this journey takes you both. You two truly inspire me!

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