Hearing the words, “You have herpes” is devastating. I remember what it was like when I was there and I got off the phone with my doctor. All your wishes, hopes and dreams flash before your eyes. Then there’s the fear that sets in and leaves you wondering how your life will ever be normal again.
Does this sound familiar? I bet.
But here’s the truth getting herpes empowers you to take action. I’m being serious. This is actually good news. With a herpes diagnosis you can either go down with the ship or you can empower yourself.
Before I share how getting herpes can be a good thing I want to also share that I did not wake up the next day with a bundle of positive energy. No, it took about 2 years for that positive energy to really show up. I was going down with the ship and was in a very unhappy and miserable place. I fell into the stigma too. It wasn’t until I was turning 30 and realized that I was going to be an old maid if I didn’t turn this ship around.
So now that you have herpes you’re probably wondering if every itch, tingle, tickle, or anything for that matter is another outbreak popping up. Yep, been there and from time to time I’ll still go there. But what I want you to remember is that your body is alive so it’s supposed to feel itches or tingles or twitches.
Our skin is alive and it’s moving around. What happens is you’ll start to know if what you’re feeling is the beginning of a herpes outbreak. Personally I get a hot spot that is painful to the touch and that's how I know it’s an outbreak. Everyone’s symptoms will be different so you’ll have to get to know your body and know yours. If you're wanting to know what general herpes symptoms are you can go here.
Here’s the other part aside from feeling feelings down there you’ll begin to listen to your body more. When you’re worn out and exhausted or if you eat something that can trigger outbreaks you’ll start to listen to your body. Maybe you’re body is telling you to slow it down, maybe your body is telling you to change your diet, maybe your body is telling you to change up your lifestyle.
All of this can be good news and can help you improve a relationship with your body. At the end of the day our bodies tell us things all the time like, that hurts when you do that, or you’re not getting enough sleep or I can’t digest this when to eat to much of it. In stead of looking herpes as I can’t do this any more look at it as wow my body is telling me something and I need to listen so I don’t get an outbreak.
We’ve all heard the snarky comments about STI’s and of course about herpes. I mean, I’m guilty of telling them and laughing at them before I got herpes. The truth is we’ve all made a joke about some stigma and not realized the hurt that it can cause someone. But when we hear something we don’t like or we’re in a situation we don’t like stand up for yourself.
Having herpes does not mean that you’re weak, a peon, or a second class citizen. If you don’t feel comfortable standing up for yourself and talking about herpes, yet, I totally understand. But you can stand up for want you want in other parts of your life.
One of the ways I began to get over the case of poor mes and get out of my dark spot was I began to make changes in my life that I know I could change. I made a game plan to pay off all my credit card debt, I decided to change my diet and eat healthier, I cut out toxic people from my life. The list goes on and on. What I’m saying is stand up for you and make little changes to better you. Nobody else is going to make the changes for you except for you.
I know this one is going to sound like a stretch. I know when you get diagnosed you feel like nobody will date me because I have herpes. Yes, it is true that people will not date you because you have herpes. I’m not going to sugar coat that for you.
But the truth is people might not date you because you are too old, young, too heavy, too thin, not enough education, too much education, don’t make enough money, make too much money, are too attractive or not attractive enough. Seriously this list goes on. People are not going to date you for their own reasons and that’s ok.
Instead of looking at this dating thing thinking that your numbers are limited, look at it as I get to decide who’s worth my time. If someone doesn’t want to date you because you have herpes then good riddance. Seriously, if herpes is that big of a deal to them then you need to look at the bigger picture.
They’re not that into you or this person is using your herpes diagnosis as a scapegoat. The best way to look at this is having herpes only means that you get blisters here and there. It shouldn’t impact who you love and your relationship. There are far bigger things in life to worry about in life. And at the end of the day you want someone who says “Hell Yes' ' instead of “yea you are ok”. Having herpes lets you know if that person is worth your time or not.
Ok I realize that it’s easy to get stuck down a bad path and especially easy to go down the rabbit hole of my life is over. I was there for 2 years, remember. But in order to forgive and move past your diagnosis it’s important to learn how herpes can truly empower you. It empowers you to stand up and connect with your body and most importantly choose who you date. As you move through this you’ll see other positive benefits.
If talking about empowerment and how a herpes diagnosis can truly help improve your life is something you want to hear more on I want to encourage you to check out our recent Life With Herpes Podcast. One of our Secret Society members, Jenna Robert’s was on the show and she talked about her herpes diagnosis changed her life for the better. I’d love for you to check out her interview here.
Something I always like to talk about is our Community Membership. So many people in their share their empowerment stories and share how they’ve begun to overcome the stigma or move on from an unhealthy relationship. I’d love for you to check it out and come see what we're talking about.