Aug 132014

There’s so much anger, hate, and division in the world. It seems to be growing every day. Sometimes it’s difficult to stay positive, to stay focused, to believe in a happy future – and if you’re been diagnosed with herpes, it can sometimes seem like the final straw in a life filled with problems.

But it’s not. It really isn’t. The herpes viruses are insanely common. BILLIONS of people have HSV1 cold sores. BILLIONS. And tens of millions have HSV2. Most people don’t talk about it. And, unfortunately, herpes – genital herpes – is the brunt of many jokes and misinformed and ignorant statements on TV, in books, magazines, and on social media.

So yes, with all the hate out there, it seems sometimes like it’s one of the worst things you can experience. To have an infection that will never leave your body, and to be the butt of jokes, the object of derision, is painful indeed.

This is why it’s important to do whatever you can to shore up your self-esteem. A happy mind creates good chemistry in your body that can also help reduce outbreaks, so it’s beneficial physically as well as emotionally.

To go from despair to happy in one jump is unlikely. So just do small things, a little at a time, and keep moving forward the best you can.  Give yourself small gifts of appreciation every day. Come up with a positive mantra, watch a funny movie or TV show, read a good book, put on your favorite music, dance, sing, talk a walk, run, swim… anything that gets you moving, gets you thinking about something other than herpes, other than anger, other than sadness. The effect may be temporary, but the more you do something good, the more good you will feel for longer periods of time.

And get support! There are many people who’ve been through what you are going through and made it. Many people for whom herpes is a small, inconsequential part of their lives now. Find those people, connect with them, ask for their help.

You are not alone – far from it! Just reach out, and help will come.

If you are in immediate need of someone to talk to, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Or via TTY at 800-799-4889.

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