Signed in as:
Signed in as:
As a public Herpes Activist, I stand and advocate for the dismantling of the Herpes Stigma through introspection, support, and emotional intelligence. By sharing our experience with courage and vulnerability we create a more deeply connected world and simultaneously heal our shame.
At some point, we all get faced with a diagnosis that challenges our view of ourselves to the core. Whether we learn of a mental health condition, an autoimmune condition, or another way we have been confronted with being human, we are not alone in the way we feel. You can interchange this diagnosis for another and at the core it is all of the same feelings. If you choose this time as an invitation, you can begin to experience the most intimate relationship with yourself. Below is a broad synopsis of how it personally transpired for me. This in no way is a guarantee that it can happen for you with or without support but the intention is for a glimpse of hope.
After being diagnosed with HSV2 I went through the Stages of Grief without being aware of what was happening to me.
It wasn't until a few years of denial, isolation, and abstinence that I finally began to make some slow progress toward acceptance. My journey started with my attempts to get back into the dating game and then being met with the realization that something fundamentally changed for me regarding not only my worth, but the value that I brought, and the feeling that I was most definitely far from perfect.
As a recovering perfectionist, I sought help to fix my broken heart and heal my defeated sense of self. Years of therapy, ACA 12-step work, and far more self-help books than I can keep count of; it wasn't until I met my very first Life Coach that I started to learn more about myself than I ever imagined possible.
A well-trained Life Coach reflected back to me my blind spots and supported me through the range of emotions I was experiencing that I could no longer bury with food and avoid my favorite distractions.
This painful journey would give birth to now what is one of my biggest passions and areas to support others with: Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.
I speak and understand emotions on a raw level that all can hear. Often times we may not stop to consider that the virus itself is not as big of a deal as the STIGMA that surrounds it. The stigma alone evokes more emotions than we may have ever stopped to process. The emotions attached to a diagnosis can really color your experience of navigating life with Herpes.
My commitment to you is that there is so much possible now that you are here where you are. This diagnosis can be used as a catalyst to crack you right open and give you access to a new part of yourself. How will you choose to use this opportunity?
Contracting Herpes has become one of life's most profound gifts. Had it not happened, I would have continued to live my life like everyone else wanted to. Instead, I have found and reinvented myself. I have shed all the tears and layers of me that no longer served me. I have found the courage to fight for what I believe in and the strength to tenaciously stand in my own radiance.
The best part about this all is that your variation of facing adversity and coming out on top of it all is possible for you too!
For additional resources such as but not limited to podcasts please visit: https://www.spfpp.org/
For more statistics and information please check out: http://projectaccept.org/
To learn more about finding a cure and how to help make that happen: https://pennycampaign.net/
How Emotional Intelligence Supported Me In Disclosing On Stage In Front of 300 Women
Herpes and The Power of Vulnerability
Interviewed by Aaron Sager, Australia