Living with herpes. Man, that’s a tough one. Sometimes, it is the most inconsequential part of my life. I practically forget that I have it, because doesn’t make too many guest appearances.
Then, one day you wake up and your back and testicles have this dull ache in them, like you got punched in the kidneys the day before and you know the storm, it’s a-comin’. Only, even then, it’s not the worst thing in the world. A couple sores that resemble pimples. They just last a little longer and end up itching. No big deal.
I have had this for over three years and I can honestly say that the most embarassing/painful/shitty part is the stigma. The worry that no one will ever be able to get past that with you in pursuing a new relationship. That your friends & family will find out. That your life is over. I am here to tell you that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND EVERYTHING WILL BE OK. Sure, I still get depressed sometimes over it and it is incredibly easy to feel like damaged goods. An STD means you’re a slut and a stupid one, at that, right? WRONG. An STD just means “shit happens.” Honestly, think of how much worse it could have been!
As for the relationship thing, it might be the best thing that ever happened to you. It’s an immediate litmus test for weeding out people that aren’t worth your time. I won’t tell you it isn’t scary telling people about HSV and waiting for their response. It’s terrifying. But like anything, it gets easier with time. Plus, you learn to love yourself. You take better care of your body. You eat healthier. You learn that you don’t need anyone else to feel complete. You learn that if someone immediately decides not to be with you as a result of this, their feelings were not reciprocated and they would have bailed eventually anyways. I have been single for six months and have grown by leaps and bounds since then. I appreciate myself in a way that I never did before.
I feel like I’ve started rambling and lost my train of thought. So, I will end with this: You are not damaged goods. You have value. You are beautiful and everything will be ok. And if you ever need to talk, my inbox is here. Have a great day/night/life!