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.
After being diagnosed with HSV2 I went through the Stages of Grief without being aware of what was happening for me.
It wasn't until a few years of denial, isolation, and abstinence that I finally began to make some slow progress towards 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 blindspots and supported me through the range of emotions I was experiencing that I could no longer burry with food and avoid with 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 colors 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 this is possible for you too!
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