In 2009 I was diagnosed with HSV-2 and thought my social life would crumble away. I went through denial and became a binge drinker, so much so that I couldn’t make rent and had to move home with my parents. After a few months of living there I decided it was time for me to deal with it and I told my first person… my mother. Little did I know that she actually married a man who had it as well. He happens to be my step dad and a man who has made a tremendous positive affect in my life since I was 16. I figured it couldn’t be all that bad then, if they were happily married and still very much living. After receiving that information, I reached out to the lovely Craigslist. There, I met someone who also had it. He introduced me to a handful of people who also had it and the next thing I know majority of my life was spent with these amazing people. Jump forward to the summer of 2011. I left my life in AZ behind and moved to WA. Labor day weekend I woke and knew that I had to do something new. I wanted to help people just like all those amazing people in AZ helped me. So, I started a private Facebook group just like many of the ones other people have started. In just under 3 years we have over 500 members. Granted I don’t personally know all 500 of them, but I know a lot of them!!
What having herpes has taught me: you are really never really alone. Some where out there someone is dealing with it just like you are. and maybe not in the same fashion or in the same order of coping, but they are dealing. Also, take care of yourself! If you don’t, no one else will. Have self-respect. And mostly, be accepting and forgiving. Accept things you can not change and forgive yourself for the choices you make. If I hadn’t gotten herpes, it could have been worse because I was not making very good choices. But… now I have herpes and I have amazing and accepting friends, a new lifestyle that I am loving and mostly, a humbled heart. Thank you projectaccept.org for being there for people when they need it. For educating people with and without the virus. For taking time out of your normal every day life to reach out to the people.