29, female. Living in Miami. Recently diagnosed with HSV2.
It’s been a rough week to say the least. I’ve cried so much I’m surprised my body can still produce tears. In what feels like the blink of an eye, I’ve transformed from this once vivacious, independent, successful woman, to a shell of the person I feel I used to be.
I’ve always been outgoing — true “Leo” personality. The girl who had a million friends, was always the one to provide a shoulder to lean on and all the advice in the world, and super successful in my career at such a young age. Admittedly, I was a force to be reckoned with— a true perfectionist who never settled for less. And here I am now feeling as though I’ve lost everything. I’ve become a “victim” to an arbitrary stigma—a stigma that while I know is unfair after I’ve researched all the facts, etc., is still a stigma none-the-less that isn’t showing any evidence of disappearing. (despite wonderful efforts I’ve witnessed from this community alone.)
It still HURTS. And sucks. I’M NOT THIS PERSON.
I don’t recognize myself right now. I need to get out of my bed of self-loathing, but I can’t. I don’t want this to be my reality. I don’t want to admit it. I keep praying that this is a dream I’m going to wake up from. As I type this I realize how dramatic it sounds, but this wasn’t supposed to happen to me! These weren’t supposed to be the cards dealt to me. I know there are SO many worse things that could have happened to me, and for that I’m grateful. But I can’t help but scream at the unfairness of it all. No one deserves to be dealt an incurable virus, and in my case I’m furious that it’s the result of a rendezvous I took part in, in order to “get over” a douchebag ex of mine who did me so wrong. If anyone deserves this HE DOES. Why did it have to happen to me??
I’m lucky to have supportive friends and family in my corner, and I’ve been using them as a sounding board as much as I can. But as soon as I’m alone with my own thoughts, I completely break down. I’ll have bursts of moments where I feel like I may be able to stay positive, and navigate this disease and the rest of my life with confidence, but then I’ll hear a story of how another close friend of mine is engaged and moving forward with a happy life, and I can’t help but be fearful that I’ve now caused my life to stand completely still.
I’m terrified at the thought of the day I decide to re-enter the dating scene —a scene I used to own. My friends would always joke that I needed to write a book detailing all of my crazy stories and encounters over the years, and now it looks as though this new chapter should be the book’s forward — a warning that we’re not invincible, and that you shouldn’t be so trusting of those you don’t know so well. It’s an awful realization to come to terms with.
Vulnerability has never been a friend of mine, and now I need to figure out how to befriend it and utilize it to my advantage. Sharing something so intimate about myself scares the shit out of me. I can’t help but wonder if I’m still going to be desirable. If I’m going to be “worth the risk,” no matter how small, to someone I’m getting to know. I’m afraid my personality and charm can only get me so far. The dating world is scary enough. Throw in the fact that I live in Miami, where the Bumble game runs rampant. There’s so much “opportunity” here when it comes to dating, and I’m heartbroken at the thought that I may be considered damaged goods. The idea that there are great people out there who may love me regardless is not lost on me, but this isn’t an obstacle I want to climb. I know I’m an amazing catch despite “this,” but the fact that I now have to test that truth with thick skin and an optimistic heart is terrifying.
I miss the girl I used to be. That fearless girl. Right now it feels as though she’s gone for good, and I never thought it was truly possible to attend your own funeral.