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Your Thoughts Matter


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Your thoughts are incredibly powerful. Thoughts dictate how you feel about yourself-directly impacting self esteem. Thoughts also impact our relationship to others. The Bible tells us to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, and are of good report. We are encouraged to think on things that are worthy of praise. Your thought life is important. So today, when you feel like dwelling on your diagnosis or some other negative or depressing thought intentionally change the channel of your mind. Make yourself think about something good-something smile inducing.

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I'm pasting this from somewhere else (H-ype). Part of a a poll on stigma this lovely man did a few years ago. It's long (for the abbreviated social media age) but worth reading to the end.

I caught herpes 5 years ago to the day, and since then have made myself very knowledgeable about the subject, right down to cytological levels. I have spoken to many people at length on the subject and have stood back to study how people act and react. I looked at myself and how I reacted to herpes and how step-by-step I realised certain patterns of emotion emerging that I could identify with.


I would also argue that the oft overlooked and major crippling symptom of herpes is the psychological impact, and really that is the crux of it. And I argue that this symptom is what hurts anyone. More than any blister. And this symptom CAN be cured and life will be better for it.

I see people going through these phases and they are very similar to the Bereavement Process.

DENIAL – That can't be a herpes blister. I have always been very careful. Not me!

DISGUST – You have just been diagnosed with herpes. You know you have it. How could you have been so foolish? Didn't you know? Maybe you deserve it from karma, after all there was that time when.

DESPAIR – Nobody will love me now. I am unclean, the leper of modern society. I must ring my bell and cry 'Unclean! Unclean!' in the streets of dating and love.

FEAR – I'll definitely give it to someone and anybody I love or sleep with. I'd hate myself if they got it from me. I'm alone. I am vulnerable. I am afraid. I am different.

GUILT – I must have deserved this from karma, I'm so sorry World for bringing this disease to you. My lovers beware that they share my suffering. If I had been good and pure and clean I wouldn't be like this...I am so sorry. I have learned my lesson! Honest!

ANGER – Why me! I don't deserve this shit!Bloody Muggles too! They all hate me because I have herpes! They don't they know the truth about it! They won't accept me! Society is bad because of how They treat me. I said sorry goddamit! They stigmatise me because of herpes. (They? What They? Name some people. Try that now. Name them. Not as many as you think?)

DEPRESSION – I seem to be getting nowhere with this. Got to take this pills all my life. I can't find a date or can't tell my date about herpes. I'm so loneley.

OPENING – I started telling my mates, which was easy enough. Now, I'm not that bothered talking about herpes, something that was hard before. Told a few dates, most of them stayed. Well, the ones that were properly interested. One or two teasers used it as an excuse and fucked off but who cares

ACCEPTANCE - Herpes doesn't define me. I am who I am, a perfectly normal and healthy human being. I tell dates, they don't mind and if they do I trash them. I couldn't be with anyone that closed minded. If they can't accept something purile like herpes, where will it stop!

ENLIGHTENMENT – The stigma that I thought the Muggles had was in fact my own. I took my guilt and anger and projected it onto society. When I went looking for it, there it was. Right in front of me where I put it. My immune system kills herpes every time I get an OB. I can't loose the infection but really am I suffering from herpes? Occasionally inconvenienced, but suffering?


So, I think perhaps the answers to my polls reflect this. That the stigma of herpes is our own negativity, (and particularly the guilt we feel to ourselves) that we project.


So how does this all relate to a 'cure'. Look at a definition. “To restore to health”. Most people are perfectly healthy with herpes, and get an occasional OB. “To relieve or rid of something detrimental such as an illness or bad habit”. I suggest that once people forgive themselves and rid themselves of their guilt they will rid themselves of an important symptom of herpes as an illness, namely their own projected stigma. Their own “ mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on  reputation”. It is also a bad habit people get into! To cure herpes, we need to look at what we are letting it do to our hearts and minds and cure that. Then we won't be a herpes sufferers, we will be somebody that is occasionally inconvenienced.


Until we overcome this wall, herpes will forever affect us and cause us the greatest suffering that this virus can cause, i.e. The self induced psychological trauma.


Sadly, it's not easy to see this wall. It will be easy to miss it and many can't see it or are so trapped they won't allow themselves to see it. Unfortunately (and with all respect to management here) H-ype is also a self-fulfilling prophesy. Those of us who care, are sensitive or class ourselves as sufferers are to be met here. After all, if herpes was such the big deal in society, we'd have thousands online all the time. You are likely to meet very like-minded people that have also got to climb this wall completely, or come on day visits to the other-side of their own walls.


So, what is my remedy for a cure? What would I advise?


Firstly, get used to telling people. This I would say is a golden rule. You will then see how little it matters to your friends/family/colleagues. Most of them will know someone they already love (parent, friend, sibling former partner etc) that gets some kind of cold-sore. You will find liberation in that. You will find acceptance in people very quickly, and you can't project your own guilt or fear.


People you love will be no different and you will find telling potential partners much easier if you are cool about the topic yourself. By giving the Talk, the recipient will automatically wonder if it something they should worry about. If you are loaded with guilt and fear, then you will be emitting hundreds of clues in your body language; tone of voice; eye contact; gestures etc. People pick up on these subliminal signals very well, and if you seem afraid then so will they be.


Secondly, see herpes as the tool and not yourself. A lot of you reading this may have stories of how some bastard sleeping around gave it to you and they never loved you and cheated etc. Well, unless they already have herpes, you have a great acid-test for a person. If they care for you, it really won't matter. If they are not that serious or just playing the field, then it will. So herpes helps you sift the wheat from the chaff in your love life. I know one girl that gets rid of over randy admirers in clubs by pulling the herpes card, now that takes some front!


Above all, do what you can to rid yourself of guilt and fear. Recognise each stage and find your path through it, without getting trapped. There is no blame and nothing to fear. It may be a difficult path to get there and only you can walk it but it is worth the walk. You will emerge as a better person in general for it and you will feel great about it, I promise.


Don't be a herpes “sufferer” any longer.

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