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Category: Dating And Prevention

How Herpes affects Women’s Sexuality

aloneHow Herpes affects Women’s Sexuality

Contributing Author: Stephanie

Many anthropologists, sociologists, and feminist theorists have explored the reasoning behind women’s sexuality, or rather the reasoning for the almost absence of women’s sexuality in today’s society.  Because women’s ability to have sexual desires based on their own personal desires, and not those of a man, is frequently discredited by mainstream society, women’s sexuality automatically becomes discredited as a whole.  The idea that sexuality is socially constructed based on things we learn from media, religion, schools, and other great institutions is a common theory.

Scholars in this area have also taken specific interest in the way that an STD diagnosis might affect how a person experiences sexuality based on the social construction and meaning on the diagnosis.  

Women’s sexuality is already invalidated, so an STD diagnosis simply invalidates it further based on her supposed deviation form the female sexual norm (having sexual desires, acting upon them, and being diagnosed with an STD because of those actions).

There are plenty of articles and scholarly works out there discussing this issue from an outside perspective, but I would like to share my personal experience of dealing with my new sexual identity after being diagnosed with herpes. I would like to emphasize that my perspective is very heterosexual, for lack of a better term, but I believe there will be plenty of parallels for those who identify elsewhere on the spectrum.

As I feel many young women believe when they first begin to experience their sexual selves, my sexuality was based solely on what I thought my male partner wanted.

Neither the media, school, nor my parents had ever taught me what sex or intimacy should be from a woman’s perspective.  It was always based on heterosexual male pleasure.

That being the case, when I learned I had herpes I felt I could no longer fulfill those sexual desires for someone else again because I was no longer desirable to men based on my new label as a “sexual deviant.”

I would like to break down my experience into stages that coincide with Dr. Kelly’s “Stages of Grief” in her book Live, Love, & Thrive with Herpes in hopes that many of you can connect to one, a few, or maybe even all of them as you begin to find sexual freedom after your diagnosis.

Stages to Sexual Freedom:

  1. Avoidance
    • Reference Stage One: Trauma and Denial, and Stage Two: Feelings of Rage from Dr. Kelly’s “Stages of Grief”
  2. Settling
    • Reference Stage Three: Profound and Prolonged Sadness
  3. Fear of Control
    • This stage triggers Stage Four of the “Stages of Grief,” Communicating and Reaching Out
  4. Freedom
    • Reference Stage Five: Surrender and Acceptance, and Stage Six: Empowerment

Avoidance (Trauma and Denial/Feelings of Rage)
When I was first diagnosed I had an irrational fear of spreading herpes to anyone I had any sexual contact with at all.  I say irrational, because as I learned more about the transmission of the virus, I discovered there are plenty of ways to reduce the likelihood of transmission as well as ways avoid the possibility of transmission completely.  

Because of my fear, during this stage I completely avoided any situation that could lead to sexual desire, including dating.  

Trauma and Denial, as Dr. Kelly emphasizes in her book, played a huge role in my avoidance.  The trauma of my diagnosis as well as my denial made disclosure impossible at the time.  I was not ready to disclose my situation with someone, and I knew I had to do so before becoming intimate again.

Settling (Profound and Prolonged Sadness)
Looking back on my journey, this stage brings me the most sadness, which directly relates to Dr. Kelly’s explanation of Stage Three in her book.

During the “Settling” stage my mind set was to “take what I can get.”  If a man said he loved me or that he found me irresistible despite my herpes I thought I had to reciprocate those feelings.  This is because I thought it was so incredibly rare for a man to feel these things about me after my diagnosis that it might be my only chance to find love or intimacy again.  

After going through this stage, my blunt advice is that this is NOT TRUE.  There will be many men or women that love you and find you undoubtedly sexy not despite your herpes, but almost by virtue of your herpes and the woman it has created.

Fear of Control (Communicating and Reaching Out)
This stage was by far the longest of the four because it took me so long time to understand my thought process during it.  

As women we already sometimes feel a lack of control with our sexuality and sexual decisions based on the submissiveness we learn from society.  After I began to seek intimacy again after settling for men I did not necessarily desire, I found it… but on someone else’s terms.

I believed that I no longer had the right to share my opinions about what I desired sexually because it was unfair to ask someone to put himself at risk for my pleasure.  What I learned after verbally expressing my thoughts to loved ones was that I have just as much control over how I experience sex and intimacy as I did before.  

I was afraid to take control of my sexuality again because that could mean putting someone else at risk.  What I didn’t realize is that if I had disclosed my diagnosis and shared the transmission risks with my partner I had done my part in keeping him safe.  

This is where Dr. Kelly’s stage on communicating and reaching out becomes so important.  Without my ability to do so, I may not have allowed control back into my intimate experiences.

Freedom (Surrender and Acceptance/Empowerment)
After effectively communicating and finding the ability to reach out and seek advice from friends and family, I am finally able to enjoy my sexuality and be at peace with my diagnosis.

I have accepted that I cannot have spontaneous sexual encounters without putting others at risk, and I now understand how that is not at all a curse; it is actually a true blessing.

I have accepted that I need to be at a more intimate level with someone before I share my sexuality with them in order to feel comfortable and in control of the situation.  Once again, this has proved to be a huge blessing in my life.

Finally, I have accepted that my herpes diagnosis has not hindered or tainted my sexuality in any way, but rather it has forced me to embrace every piece of my self in order to find true intimacy with another person.

I encourage you all, as I always do, to find the silver lining in situations where you feel that your herpes might have given you the short end of the stick.  I can guarantee that once you start searching, you will find all the amazing ways that herpes has allowed you to grow as a woman in every way, including your sexual being.      

Let’s Talk About Sex- Ladies ONLY Party

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Let’s Talk About Sex- Pure Romance Passion Party

Has your diagnosis of herpes or another STD ruined your sex life?

Have you lost your sex drive and feel like you are dirty, damaged goods?

Do you forget what it’s like to enjoy your sexuality?

You are not alone! These feelings and experiences are common amongst women with herpes and other STD’s.

The good news is that you can get your sex life back and feel like a confident, sensual woman again. There are ways to still enjoy that side of life and have FUN with it.

Pink Tent™, LLC and Dr. Kelly Martin Schuh has teamed up with a local member of our community to host a Pure Romance Passion Party. This isn’t about sharing or discussing anything, but rather empowering ourselves, meeting others and maybe learning a few new things and laughing….A LOT together.

While this isn’t your mother’s tupperware party, this is a classy, educational Pure Romance Party led by a Pure Romance local consultant.

Everyone must be 18 or older! Your confidentiality is protected and ordering is discreet. All orders will go directly to your house with no one knowing what you ordered. 

Come join us at a member’s home (Sheila, our host) in Littleton, Colorado for an evening of laughter, silliness and fun in a totally confidential and safe environment.

This is a double treat as 20% of the total sales will be donated to Habitat for Humanity’s Women’s Build.

So come over, have some fun, meet other women, and help a great cause. Light refreshments will be served.

Sign Up Here!

Our Consultant, Katie

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Registration Required

Date: Sunday July 24th

Time: 1PM MST

Fee: Free

Location: Littleton, CO (address will be revealed after RSVP received)

Are You Ready To Reclaim Your Health And Happiness?

If you are a woman living with herpes, I wanted to also invite you to a FREE 30 minute one-on-one coaching session with me.  I will show you how to transform your feelings of Victimhood and Reclaim Your Health and Passions For Life!

  • Are you afraid no one will ever love you again?
  • Do you ask yourself, Why me?
  • Are you worried you’ll never have children or a healthy sex life?
  • Are you in shock or dealing with physical pain?

You Are Not Alone!

Sign up today and receive a FREE Reclaiming Your Health and Happiness one-on-one session with me.

In this 30 minute session you will…
– Get Clear. As specifically as possible, decide what you want. Want to learn to Manage Your Symptoms, Rebuild Your Immunity, 10X Your Love Life, Feel Normal and Happy Again? The clearer you are on what you want to have in your life, the more likely you are to achieve it.
– Get Perspective. Many of you have never shared your story or struggles with anyone! Get a perspective from me: a woman, doctor, and HSV carrier.
– Get Support. Very few people (if any) achieve anything great alone. Receive the love and support you so deserve.

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Dating With Herpes

Happy Anniversary! 7 Years In Love Despite Having Herpes

7 Years In Love Despite Having Herpes

 

This week I am celebrating my 7th wedding anniversary and I feel like the luckiest woman in the world! I want you to know that it is all still possible for you as well. If you are a woman with herpes, you can still find love and live happily ever after.

If you CHOOSE to love and you BELIEVE in yourself that miracles can happen every day, then it can happen to you as well.
My daughter is getting ready to turn 6, and there’s a story I read to her called Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster. I encourage all of you to read it, because many of you are asking questions like “What if he doesn’t accept me?” or “What if I am rejected?” or “What if I live alone for the rest of my life?”

I challenge you to ask better questions like “What if the man of my dreams is right around the corner?”, “What if I can find love and live happily ever after?” , and “What if I can have the family that I always wanted?”

Choose to believe that you can find the love that you have always wanted, and don’t let having herpes define the brilliant, beautiful woman that you are. Decide to not listen to the Whatif monsters that are holding you back!
Please share your story and let us know how you found love or how you are deciding to not listen to those monsters. You will be celebrating your own anniversary before you know it!

 

Navigating Your First Herpes Outbreak in a New Relationship: The Talk After the Talk

Navigating Your First Herpes Outbreak in a New Relationship: The Talk After the Talk

By Contributing Author Stephanie 

For those of us who are singlherpes outbreake and living with herpes, “the talk” is something that is usually on our minds.  I was under the impression that once I had given the talk and successfully proceeded with the relationship, the anxiousness surrounding the subject would disappear.  I was wrong.

I started dating fairly soon after my diagnosis, because I knew that it would never get easier unless I put myself out there.  After dating four different men long enough to have “the talk” with each of them, I finally found one that I really cared about.  When I told him about my diagnosis, his response was the best yet as he said, “you’re just you.”  His loving response was comforting and helped me feel more secure in our relationship, until I started to imagine herpes outbreaks coming on out of fear of having “the talk after the talk”.  It was at this point that I realized there isn’t only one talk that we have to have with our partners. This “talk after the talk” I’m referring to is telling your partner for the first time that you are experiencing a herpes outbreak.  

The initial talk of disclosing your diagnosis can be extremely intimidating, and once it’s over there is certainly a sense of relief; but I did not anticipate that this intimidation would continue post-disclosure. When the time came and I was having my first herpes outbreak in my new relationship, I will admit I did not handle it very well.  I avoided seeing the man I am with to the extent where he felt the need to ask me what was going on.  As soon as he asked this question I realized how unfair I was being to him and to myself.  My avoidance and withdrawal was unfair to him in that the open communication we had was suddenly compromised by my insecurity and unwillingness to give him the benefit of the doubt.  It was unfair to me in that I was not allowing my relationship to thrive because I was scared to face the reality of navigating my rel ationship during a herpes outbreak.

The experience of dating with herpes becomes a bit more realistic at the point of disclosure, but it still might not seem completely real to you or your partner until the virus is actually showing its face during an outbreak.  In hindsight I realize that my hesitancy to share my outbreak with my partner was rooted in the reality that came along with it.  After reflecting on experiencing my first herpes outbreak while in the relationship I plan to take the following steps next time:

  1. I will tell my partner right away (for my and his sanity)
  2. I will NOT avoid seeing my partner
  3. I will NOT talk down to myself about my outbreak
  4. I will acknowledge my ability to be a great partner by practicing open communication
  5. I will openly share the feelings I have surrounding the outbreak with my partner

I hope that when you all go through this same experience, my reflection of my own experience is helpful for you.  Remember that your partner is with you for a reason, and you should give him or her the benefit of the doubt in situations such as this.  I usually get down on myself during an outbreak, as I’m sure some of you do as well.  Now I realize that my partner may have the ability to help me pick myself up if I am open with him and give him the opportunity to do so. Good luck to you all as you navigate your own relationships and don’t forget to give the important people in your life the opportunity to support you during the ups and the downs!  

MPWH: The New Tinder-like Herpes Dating App

Meeting People with HerpesMPWH: The New Herpes Dating App

By Contributing Author: Stephanie

Have you heard the news? Apparently there is a new herpes dating app that works somewhat like tinder.  I would like to use this blog to start the discussion on what apps like this mean for our community.

As I’m sure many of you are aware of, online dating and dating apps have become increasingly popular over the last decade.  Different sites like Positive Singles and Herpes Singles  are designed specifically for people seeking the online dating experience who have been diagnosed with herpes or other chronic STDs.  The new app, MPWH, stands for Meeting People with Herpes.  Although this runs as a website, there is also an app free for downloading on iOS and Android systems. I have never used online dating apps, or herpes specific dating apps, but I have given the concept a lot of thought.  I am going to lay out the pros and cons of using herpes dating apps and websites to the best of my ability, but I would like to hear from you all about your own experience with the world of online dating with herpes!

Pros:

I personally believe that the herpes dating websites have a lot to offer, especially for newly diagnosed individuals.  In my experience, it was extremely scary to start dating again after my diagnosis.  I was constantly worried about how and when I would have “the talk.”  For some reason rejection got a lot harder when it had to do with my sexual health status. Being able to date without worrying about “the talk” would have made the traumatic shift in the perception of my love life a bit easier.

I also think that an app like MPWH could be beneficial just for the sake of what I will call sexual sanity.  Just because we have been diagnosed with an STD does not mean that we do not have the right to enjoy casual sex if that is what we desire.  These websites could be a great place to meet someone to have a casual dating relationship with, without having to worry about transmitting the virus.  So long as the person you meet has the same type of HSV as you, and they do not have any other STDs, these websites give you access to have freedom and safety in casual sex.

One last pro is the way that these apps and websites show the prevalence of genital herpes in the world.  A herpes diagnosis can make us feel completely alone and unwanted if we allow the virus to make us feel like a victim.  These websites show the surprising amount of people who are living with the same virus as us, and that can be extremely comforting in times of loneliness!

Cons:

The first con that came to mind when I began to think critically about these websites and apps is the possibility of transmitting different types of the herpes virus back and forth, or even contracting another STD.  Many sites are herpes specific, but sites like Positive Single target anyone with any STD.  I urge you all to be smart when using these apps and websites for the sake of your own health and other’s health.

Although I agree that dating within the herpes community can be a great start to getting back out there after a diagnosis, I also argue that this can be limiting to a person’s dating life.  Sometimes I wonder if only dating other people with herpes can hold us back from seeing our true potential as an intimate partner.  It is inevitable that some people will not be accepting of our diagnosis, but it is also inevitable that some people will!  I think it is great to challenge ourselves to move outside of the herpes community to find love and support.  I think you will surprised with what you find!

Now I would like to hear thoughts and opinions from you all on the pros and cons of: 1) herpes dating websites and apps, and 2) only dating within the herpes community.  Feel free to ask me, Dr. Kelly, and each other questions.  I am looking forward to hearing about all the different experiences each of you have had!

 

About Stephanie

Hi Everyone! My name is Stephanie.  I was diagnosed with HSV-2 in April of 2014 when I was 22 years old.  Right now, almost three years later, I am a doctoral student in the sociology department at Purdue University.  I recently completed my MA in sociology at the University of Northern Colorado where I explored the role of stigma in the process of disclosing a genital herpes diagnosis.  With that said, if anyone is interested in reading what I discovered in my project, I am happy to share that with you! I plan to continue advocating for our community, as well as studying the social factors that influence sexual health in order to understand how we can create a world that is easier for people diagnosed with STIs.  I really enjoy writing for the Pink Tent community and am excited to be able to share some of my experiences and thoughts about living with genital herpes with you all.

Valentine’s Day- Living With Herpes

Valentine’s Day 2016- Living With Herpes

I can remember sitting all alone, wishing that I had someone to love on Valentine’s Day. While other women were going out on dates and relishing in their boxes of chocolate, I sat alone in my one bedroom apartment wishing that my life was different. 

free coupleWhat was wrong with me? Even though I knew I had a lot to share and give, I was living with herpes and thought that I was damaged goods.

So, how did my life get back on track?

I started to learn how to love myself unconditionally….loving all the parts of me…the good and the bad. I was human after all and realized that within the imperfections there was beauty and grace. There was vulnerability that at times brought me to my knees. 

Up until that time, I could hide behind my accolades and accomplishments in life, but deep down inside I thought that…

I wasn’t ENOUGH 

I wasn’t worthy of Sacred Love

I so much wanted a man to love me and to accept me for who I was, but there was a part of me that kept myself armored and protected. As soon as someone would get close enough, I would get scared and push them away. 

While I felt like I could be a warrior and make it on my own, I secretly wanted a man that I could totally surrender to… NOT one who controlled me, but one who would be there for me to lean on when things got shaky. I yearned for my “rock”. Not just in the sense of a diamond ring, although I could hear wedding bells in the distance, I wanted a MAN. A MAN of the 21st century. Gentle and kind and yet responsible, strong and stable.

valentinesAfter coaching women from all over the world, I have come to realize one main thing. We all desire to be loved and cherished, yet deep inside we think that we are unworthy of this love. So, as women, we often push our potential mates away in fear that we will be rejected. The short term pain of being alone is way more comfortable than exposing who we really are at the risk of being rejected. This is true whether you have herpes or not!

What if you are rejected? What does that mean?

It means what you tell yourself it means. Said another way, whatever you believe is true. 

Rejection can be looked upon as an opportunity for growth or an obstacle to love. 

You get to choose what it means and whatever you decide, it’s true.

Either you can date with herpes and find everlasting love or you can’t. YOU decide! Whichever you decide, your right!

Now, if you think that you can, but you don’t know HOW, I can teach you.

I know the SECRET FORMULA for dating successfully with herpes, but you have to take the next step.

Give yourself the gift of certainty that next Valentine’s Day, you can celebrate with someone you LOVE. Someone who is CRAZY about you.

Give yourself the gift of Love.

If I can find my SOUL MATE, get married and give birth to an amazing child, then so can you!

Live out your dreams today by deciding to embrace love this Valentine’s Day.

You are NOT a victim to your circumstances.

 

How Stigma and Emotions Trigger Genital Herpes Outbreaks

How Stigma and Emotions Trigger Genital Herpes Outbreaks

By Contributing Author: Stephanie

The Stigma Of Herpes
The Stigma Of Herpes

As a sociology student who lives with genital herpes, I find particular interest in the stigma of the virus. The term ‘stigma’ was originally used by the Greeks to describe an abnormal or immoral trait in an individual. The term was brought back into context in the 20th century by sociologist Erving Goffman. Goffman uses this term to refer to a trait that is deeply discrediting to an individual’s identity (Goffman 1986). I am sure we can all agree that a genital herpes diagnosis certainly fits this criterion.

Because of my background in this area I automatically made a connection between research on stigma in the field of sociology and the section titled “The Impact of Our Emotions on Symptoms” in Dr. Kelly Martin Schuh’s book: Live, Love and Thrive with Herpes. In this section, Dr. Kelly, as she is known within our community, discusses how constantly worrying that symptoms might show up ironically can trigger an outbreak. I have also experienced this phenomenon as someone who is dating with genital herpes. One of the many pieces of research connecting these two topics is a 2009 study by Rao and colleagues. The researchers in this study were aiming to develop a stigma scale for chronic illness, as opposed to short-term illness. Simply put, the study found that when an individual is diagnosed with a stigmatizing illness, he or she goes through what is called the “Self Stigma Process.” A person goes sequentially through Steps 1 through 5 and experiences the Self Stigma Process in steps 3 and 4

How Stigma Affects A Person With Herpes

  1. Enacted Stigma
  2. Felt/Perceived Stigma or Stereotype Awareness
  3. Stereotype Agreement
  4. Self Concurrence or Internalization
  5. Self Esteem Detriment/Psychological Distress

During this process individuals will become aware of stereotypes about their illness, begin to agree with them, and eventually internalize these ideas, which will finally cause them psychological distress (Rao et. al 2009). In other words, awareness of the stigma brings about stress, and as we all know stress can trigger outbreaks. As I reflect on how the “Self Stigma Process” relates to my own experience with herpes, I find it to be a good fit. When I was first diagnosed I became much more aware of the social stigma that such a diagnosis holds. I then began to understand the negative stereotypes that create the stigma, and I even began to believe those to be true about myself. I finally internalized those negative beliefs and began to feel extreme shame and guilt towards my diagnosis, which I believe caused an increase in the physical symptoms I was experiencing. As Dr. Kelly, I, and I am sure many of you have experienced, dating with herpes brings all those negative stereotypes associated with the virus to the surface. The thought of having to disclose your situation with someone can cause extreme distress. The irony of this situation is almost humorous, but I know first hand that it can be very traumatizing.

Although I have begun to reverse some of my internalization of those negative stereotypes, dating still brings me back to them even if it’s just for a brief moment. So, how do we stop this vicious cycle of dating, stress, and outbreaks? The good news is that awareness of this connection is the first step to controlling it. Once you know that this particular thought process could actually make your symptoms worse, you can start to change that thought process to control the situation to your liking. It may seem to be much easier said than done, but the answer is much simpler than you probably imagine: affirmations. As Dr. Kelly’s book Live, Love, & Thrive with Herpes illustrates, affirmations begin to develop new neurological pathways in the brain to enhance positive self-concepts. An affirmation can be thought of as creating a truth about yourself through your words.

Affirmations: An Exercise

  1. Write some positive statements about yourself and why you are so incredibly dateable and lovable, and then say them out loud. Some affirmations I have made include phrases like:

My skin is flawless I am sexy My body is strong, healthy, and beautiful

Once you hear the thoughts out loud you may just start a new process that we can call the “Self Love Process.” With this information I hope you all can start more positive thought processes when it comes to dating and looking for love! Purchase Your Copy Here Live Love and Thrive with Herpes

References:

  • Goffman, Erving. 1986. Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. New York, NY: Simon and Shuster Inc.
  • Rao, Deepa, Choi, Seung W., Victorson, David, Bode, Rita, Peterman, Amy, Heinemann, Allen, and David Cella. 2009. “Measuring Stigma Across Neurological Conditions: The Development of the Stigma Scale for Chronic Illness.” Quality of Life Research 18:585-595.
  • Schuh, Kelly Martin. 2012. Live, Love and Thrive With Herpes: A Holistic Guide For Women. Pink Tent International, LLC pg. 27-28.   

 

StephanieHeadshotAbout The Author

Hi Everyone! My name is Stephanie.  I was diagnosed with HSV-2 in April of 2014 when I was 22 years old.  Right now, almost three years later, I am a doctoral student in the sociology department at Purdue University.  I recently completed my MA in sociology at the University of Northern Colorado where I explored the role of stigma in the process of disclosing a genital herpes diagnosis.  With that said, if anyone is interested in reading what I discovered in my project, I am happy to share that with you! I plan to continue advocating for our community, as well as studying the social factors that influence sexual health in order to understand how we can create a world that is easier for people diagnosed with STIs.  I really enjoy writing for the Pink Tent community and am excited to be able to share some of my experiences and thoughts about living with genital herpes with you all.

 

Herpes Diagnosis: The One Secret To Discovering Love

Herpes Diagnosis: The One Secret To Discovering Love

 

 

Hope After A Herpes Diagnosis- A Day Of Celebration
I awoke this morning at 6:30AM to the sun piercing through the leaves of our apple tree and the birds chirping to a song all their own. While my husband and little girl lie sleeping, I quietly slipped out of bed to ponder life and sit in silence on my hot pink meditation cushion. This day already felt different. Six years ago, I married my best friend and soul mate.

 

My heart was bursting with gratitude for the life that I am living. I have so many things to be grateful for and in the next 48 hours, I will raise up my hands, dance, sing and give thanks for my husband Richard and our beautiful little girl, Madeline.

 

 

Hopes Shattered By A Herpes Diagnosis 

DSC_0064 (1)Over the past several years, I have had the unique opportunity to coach women with herpes. Who would have ever thought that this would be my niche. I mean REALLY…who would ever sign up to be in the limelight as the doctor with herpes who decided to share her story as a vehicle of hope and support for other women?

The truth is, I would do it again in a heartbeat. Has it been a challenging journey? Yes! But what has made it challenging, is not the full blown exposure of everyone knowing that I have herpes; rather, it has been the heartache of realizing how many women out there are suffering. Their hearts and hopes shattered by their herpes diagnosis. Just last week I was working with a woman who shared with me that all she really wanted in life was to feel loved again. She felt that after her diagnosis, she could no longer give and receive love as she had done before. Her whole self concept was being challenged! As I sat with her, I felt her pain as if it were my own and yet I knew the love that was possible for her IF, she was willing and able to move through her grief.

You see, there are two types of pain that we women with herpes must learn to deal with.

1. The Physical Pain of herpes symptoms
2. The Emotional Pain associated with the stigma and our threatened self concept, self worth and self esteem.

While the physical pain is a whole conversation in and of itself (there are several strategies from antivirals to natural remedies), the Emotional Pain can often be the number one thing that barricades us into a world of isolation, shame and fear. What I have learned from the women I have worked with and those I have read about is that the difference between those who discover love again and those that don’t is one and only one thing. What might this ONE Secret ingredient be? HOPE Close your eyes and feel into the love that you deserve and know that there is someone out there who will love and support you just the way you are. You must know that you are Loveable Capable A True Catch Even if all hope seems lost right now, I promise you that it doesn’t have to be. You get to choose the thoughts that you tell yourself. If you truly desire a loving partnership after your herpes diagnosis, you must first start by unconditionally loving yourself. You are worth the love that you so desire AND that love is just waiting to dive into your heart. LOVE THYSELF How?

Write a love letter to yourself Take yourself out to dinner Make a collage with the visual reminders of all the things you love about yourself and your life If I can find love…so can YOU. Just BELIEVE! I am no different than you. If I can find love…so can you. Use your imagination in the beginning of imagining the man of your dreams and focus on that NOT on NOT having that yet. I send you my blessings and faith that I have in you to overcome this herpes diagnosis. Please share your story and allow the women of Pink Tent™ to support you.

 

Brene Brown’s Top 3 Things To Overcome Shame

Brene Brown’s Top 3 Things To Overcome Shame

 

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Dr. Kelly Martin Schuh shares what she learned from Brene Brown on overcoming shame. Women with herpes are following these same easy steps to overcome their herpes diagnosis.

1. Talk to yourself like you would a loved one– Dr. Kelly adds to this tip. If you find yourself speaking like a “gremlin”, say “cancel that” to yourself and replace it with a positive thought

2. Reach out to someone you trust-  Dr. Kelly also advises NOT to choose someone who is known to be judgmental.

3. Share your story this is truly the first huge step to overcoming the emotional burdens that a herpes diagnosis brings. As Brene Brown teaches, shame grows exponentially in the environment of secrets. When you can share your story, like women do on Pink Tent™, you can begin to shine a light on your deepest, darkest secrets. This is a huge step for women who want to overcome the stigma and shame so closely linked to a herpes diagnosis. For women who really want to dive in and learn how to have a happy, healthy sex life and to embrace wellness, they should check out her online Foundations Course© Herpes Support Course for WomenIn this 4 part multi media training, women are learning how to overcome their shame and start living and loving again. In this intimate, safe environment, women can ask her anything about herpes. In addition, women no longer feel all alone because they are able to “meet” other empowered women who are no longer victims to their herpes diagnosis.

Registration is currently closed for the Secrets To Success: Foundations Course, but if you want to start your journey to a happier, healthier you, sign up for a free one-on-one call with Dr. Kelly!      

Genital Herpes Diagnosis? 5 Top Things You Must Know

Positive Genital Herpes Diagnosis? 5 Top Things You Must Know

Are you a woman who was just diagnosed with genital herpes? If so, be sure to watch this video where Dr. Kelly explains what you must know. As a woman, doctor and 15 year carrier, she understands the stigma and shock of a genital herpes diagnosis. Need more support? Have more questions? Check our our new online Foundations Course©, which is complete private! You can be a student AND remain anonymous on your terms and on your time frame to learn. . Herpes Support Course for Women

Don’t wait until your next outbreak or heartbreak to -Learn how to naturally manage your outbreaks -Reclaim your birthright to a happy, healthy sex life -Learn the top hidden herpes triggers that your doctor never told you In addition to all of these benefits…… you don’t have to feel all alone anymore! Join our community of Women Supporting Women With Herpes and become part of an intimate group of women who are committed to living a vibrant, happy, healthy life….despite their having genital herpes. Reclaim your self-esteem and sex life today!

Live. Love. Thrive.

Dr. Kelly

P.S. If you are screaming in silence and feel that you have nowhere to turn, this is the course for you. I am committed to your success if you’ll just leap and have faith that you can learn to live and love again. You deserve it!

P.S.S. Our Pink tent™community is committed to serving you. Please share your story on our forum and receive the support you need. It’s FREE!