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Friday, March 30, 2007

Please.....Do NOT Feel Ashamed!!

How ridiculous when I hear people feeling as though they need to be ashamed for having contracted herpes. I do remember at one point in my herpes journey that I did not feel as I do now and it's certainly a path we all have to take. For me, it was 10 years in denial, then 3 years of trying to "tell" someone which was totally emotionally draining, but I needed that. Then I discovered the internet and it's been all up hill since then. I have vowed never to sleep with someone again without having the talk and so far so good. We are all at different places in regard to "the grieving process".

A place where we all eventually, hopefully get to where we are "at peace" with ourselves and having herpes. I personally have finally found that peace. Attending the social gatherings, both on a national and a local level is the very best thing that any of us could do for ourselves and for each other for that matter. I simply can not describe how surrounding yourself with others who have this virus, empowers you!!

You have to go just once to understand what I'm talking about. When you leave a gathering or even standing around chatting, you almost want to say (or this is where I'm at in my journey) "I'M SO FRIGGIN GLAD I HAVE HERPES!!!" I have met so many wonderful people. And you know what, someday you will get to that point too, believe it or not. You have to learn to accept and love yourself as the saying goes, before anyone else will accept and love you in return. I find that the more people I tell, the easier it gets. Mind you, I haven't resorted totally to telling every single person in my life, but there's a time and a place for everything. Herpes only consumes my mind and time, because I want so much for the stigma to go away. In fact, there are times when I even look for the moment to open up the STD topic. You can start that topic with anyone and you don't even have to out yourself in the process. Just simple dialogue is all that is needed to spread awareness.

It's amazing how if it's a one-on-one conversation, they voice their fears and then I in turn say to them, but if you really really cared about that person, would you totally disregard them as a partner? It really makes them think. And if that's all any of us can do is just spread awareness, open up a line of communication, then that's a good thing.

I received an email from a classmate about a year ago and someplace through my emails, she gathered that I like to "spread sunshine". That really made my day that she was able to pick up my positive vibes about life. As others have said, Herpes does not define who I am. I am happy in life, love my family, love my friends and love meeting new people (which includes my herpes family too). I look forward to meeting more of us who live with herpes. It truly is a good thing which comes out of our shared situation.

I personally am proud to know so many wonderful people with herpes.

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