Wait! What? I’m hearing you over here. Yeah you! I know you read that Blog title and you are now thinking “WTF is she SMOKING?” LOL … it’s ok! Read on.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, one of my themes here is learning to look at things from a different perspective. A POSITIVE perspective (Fancy that!). Because in the end, we have the choice in the end to stay attached to the negative and to feel miserable, or to look for what we have to learn from each life experience and to figure out how we can grow from it. So below you will see some of the “Positive” things I and others have gained from being H+ :
“The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.”
― Oscar Wilde
1) I KNOW I’m positive, unlike 80% of the people who have H. So I can protect my partners from getting it. I can give them choice as to whether they take the risk of getting it. The VAST majority of new cases of Herpes are from someone who had either no idea they had it, or who were not informed/aware (often thanks to their Dr’s advice) about asymptomatic shedding and/or the limited protection you get from condoms. I’m willing to bet that most of you reading this got it that way. Yes, a few will get it from a malicious person who exposed them to it intentionally, or from a loved one who tried to protect them with Anti-virals, but by far and away, most of us got it from someone who were ignorant of their H status. So the fact that you know you have H, that you have (or are in the process of) become educated about how to protect your partners, makes you, in a way, SAFER than most people out there.
“We begin to learn wisely when we’re willing to see world from other people’s perspective.”
― Toba Beta, Master of Stupidity
2) Once you have H, and you have become informed about just how common it is, you have the opportunity to realize that we are all dealing with our own inner battles. Herpes can and does help many to become a lot more empathetic towards others AND towards yourself. You have the chance to see others through a new filter: compassion. And that is a beautiful thing.
“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”
― Og Mandino
3) Herpes often becomes a magnifying glass on our soul. All the negative things that you believe about yourself or about what makes a good or bad person come up and slap you in the face. Many who have done therapy to deal with these kinds of self-deprecating thoughts find themselves right back where they were before they went into therapy (which leaves one to figure that perhaps the issue wasn’t really dealt with in the first place, but repressed). An outbreak becomes a physical reminder of just how unlovable, dirty, and broken you believe you are. AND, that isn’t such a bad thing, because now you can’t repress it any more. You can’t hide from it. You really have to face it and deal with it. Because all those things you think about yourself are just the result of past experiences that you chose to interpret as a reflection on you and who you are. Those who do the work, who use their Herpes diagnosis as a place to really face their demons, who stop and realize that perhaps they got there because they were looking for validation and love in all the wrong places have the chance to re-write their story and to learn and grow from their experience.
“The difference between hope and despair is a different way of telling stories from the same facts.”
― Alain de Botton
4) You have the opportunity to use your experience to educate and inform others. Now I know that most of you don’t want to come out like I have. But many of you will confide in your best friends and family about your status. Your experience and knowledge can help to keep them from getting H. Your new-found compassion can help them to understand that it’s not funny to crack Herpes jokes because you don’t know who in the room actually has it. When you hear about a friend who is having unsafe sex, you can point them to reliable, accurate websites and information. When your friend tells you that their child was just diagnosed with Herpes and they don’t know what to do, you can help them to realize that it’s not going to ruin their child’s life, and how they can support them in a “positive” manner. If everyone who was diagnosed with H helped to educate just ONE person, and asked them to pass the information forward to ONE more person, imagine how we could diminish the stigma that H holds over people!
“What people in the world think of you is really none of your business.”
― Martha Graham
5) Herpes is a GREAT Wingman. Those who love you unconditionally will still be there after you disclose to them. So many people as so afraid of how others will “see” them if they find out about their H status. Well think about this. Why would you want someone in your life who would go from being a “friend” to being judgmental and ugly just because you happen to have a very common virus in your system??? The way people react to your disclosure (ESPECIALLY when they are not in a sexual relationship with you) tells you a LOT about them. Want to clean up your friend list? Come out. The toxic people in your life (who probably are already talking about you behind your back) will quickly reveal themselves and you can delete them from your inner circle. Yes, it may hurt at first, but realize that you are actually creating a healthier life for yourself.
These are just a few of the “positive” things about being H+. So I’d love to hear from you, the readers. What have YOU found to be a positive outcome from being H+? Share your Positive stories below in the comments section 🙂