5 Ways We Use Our Herpes Diagnosis to Hold Us Back

5 Ways We Use Our Herpes Diagnosis to Hold Us Back - Alexandra Harbushka

Herpes Is Just an Excuse to Not Get What We Want

I’m going to jump right to it and just say it. We use our herpes diagnosis to hold us back and keep us in the corner. 

Don’t agree with me?

When I was first diagnosed back in 2011 I can remember feeling all of my hopes and dreams just vanishing. I can remember thinking to myself, why’d I even bother going to college, why do I work so hard at work, why should I take care of my body and my health, there’s no way I’m going to marry the man of my dreams and my list went on and on. 

Does any of this feel or sound familiar. You might not have had the exact same thoughts but I’m sure you had some pretty harsh words with ourself.

I held myself back for 2 years. From what I’ve gathered from talking to other people in our Secret Society that’s pretty normal. I’m always jealous of the people who are over it in like a month, lol. I stayed with my ex because it was comfortable, I struggled big time with my career, I looked awful and had horrible acne and was struggling with my weight, I was in debt and had to live with my parents. I can go on and on but I was using my herpes diagnosis to stay in this dark space. I call it my Eeyore phase and just like Eeyore I felt like there was a dark rain cloud following me wherever I went. 

Fast forward and I’m out of the dark rain cloud. However I know that if I had a community where I could grow and feel connected and know that herpes was normal then maybe I would have been one of those people who gets over it in a month 

At the end of the day it’s up to us to make the changes and get out of our funk. Unfortunately, nobody can do it for you and you have to go through the steps. To support you with this and help you find some reasons why you’re in your Eeyore phase here are 5 ways we use our herpes diagnosis as a scapegoat to hold ourselves back. 

  1. Fear

We ge so caught up with fear. Fear can be a great thing and it can be a not so great thing. For example, it’s great when we’re in a situation when our lives are in actual danger but not so great when it comes to getting over your herpes diagnosis. A major thing we’re scared of is the fear of rejection. We’re so scared that we will automatically be rejected because we have herpes that we never put ourselves out there. Another big reason is we get so worried about other people knowing we have herpes that we won’t open up and go on a date. 

In fear’s defence it’s just doing what it knows how and what to do. It’s trying to protect you. But what fear doesn’t know is that by holding you back from dating and ding things you love it’s just keeping you in an up and down roller coaster. 

  1. Holding on to guilt and shame

Herpes is associated with guilt and shame. We feel like we are the worst thing in the world and we’re bad people and this is why we have herpes. When we hold on to this guilt or shame we totally hold ourselves back. I mean why would someone guilty of something so wrong be happy? A shameful person doesn’t deserve their dreams to come true, right. These are things we tell ourselves in our minds. What's not true is the shame and guilt but what is true is that it will hold you back.

In order to get over your diagnosis you need to learn how to get rid of the shame and guilt. 

  1. You are stuck in comfort mode 

Stability, Comfort, and habits are all good feelings but they don’t push us to the next journey in our life. So whatever is comfortable in your life and you know that you need to push it to the next level you’re going to blame your herpes diagnosis on it.You can’t break up with your girlfriend because nobody else will love you with herpes, or you can’t apply for that job because you’re afraid that your health insurance will find out you have herpes or you can’t get in shape because if you workout you’ll get a herpes outbreak.  

Get out of comfort mode and get into the driver's seat. It will get uncomfortable but it’s totally worth it in the end

  1. We don’t let ourselves be happy

How can someone with a herpes diagnosis be happy? You’re life is over because you have herpes and can never be normal again, right?  All of this is probably sounds logical, especially if you’ve just been diagnosed but the truth is it’s just plan silly. Why would you let a virus decide if you should be happy or not. It sounds as silly as giving your happiness power to frying pan. The frying pan can’t decided if you are happy and neither can a virus. I get that the herpes stigma is what puts your happiness flame out but it’s a stigma. 

It’s important to reflect on what makes you happy in your life. And yes, there is something you can find that is happy. Perhaps it’s that you have eyes to read this blog post? Start finding ways that you are happy and stop letting a herpes virus decide what makes you happy.

  1. Self sabotage

We feel like we don’t deserve whatever comes our way and so we then self sabotage it. This is so classic and I hear it all the time when members of our Secret Society get into a relationship with a great person who is totally into them and doesn’t care about their herpes diagnosis. Now guess what happens next, the person with herpes pushes them away or breaks up with them because they have herpes and believe that nobody would want to be with them. Self Sabotage is our way of getting out of our comfort zone and reaching success in whatever capacity that looks like and then bam, we do whatever we can to disrupt that success because it way more comfortable to be where you were before. 

Letting your herpes diagnosis be your reason for sabotage is a self defense mechanism and somewhere you’re not comfortable with your diagnosis. You’ve got to let that go to keep from holding yourself back

We’ve all done these 5 things and we’ll continue to do them again in our lives. What breaks my heart when I see and hear about people holding themselves back because of having herpes. I get it, I was there for 2 years. What would have helped and gotten me through this faster was finding a community. That didn’t exist back in 2011 anything I found on herpes was super creepy or game me the slimy feeling. That’s why I created the Secret Society.

It’s a  safe online community filled with people from all over the world who all have herpes. People there are feeling empowered, are experiencing growth and are making friends. All because they have support and an outlet to continue on their journey of dealing with their diagnosis.  I’d love to see you there, if you’re not already. It’s a monthly membership and there’s so much offered like live weekly video chat calls with the community and Alexandra as well as 24/7 hand holding and people who get what you’re going through. 

Join The Life With Herpes Secret Society


I interview one of our Secret Society members on the Life With Herpes Podcast. Jenna Roberts talks about how getting diagnosed with herpes changed her life and how she wouldn't change her diagnosis. To listen to the the entire podcast interview click below. 

Podcast Interview

Watch Life With Herpes


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