It happens to many people these days. They go to the doctor, whether for a routine checkup or because they’ve been experiencing odd symptoms, and they find out they have an STD. This diagnosis, whether for herpes or for some other illness, is at first devastating. Through it all, maintaining your self esteem with an STD can be the hardest part.
You should start by learning as much as you can about your STD. You’ll most likely have many questions that you should ask them! Asking questions and educating yourself will help you realize that this is not a debilitating condition and that you can live with it!
After the initial shock, it’s easy to feel sad and even dirty, as if one has done something wrong. But one doesn’t have to be promiscuous to have contracted an STD. Perhaps your partner brought this into the relationship. Perhaps you had a few relationships and aren’t sure about who could have given you this STD.
Through it all, you have to remember that you’re the same person you were before you received the news. This diagnosis, however, can be a wake up call that says you want to value yourself as much as possible. Talk to your partner if you have one, but do so with a sense of self-respect. If you’re not in a monogamous relationship and are dating, hold your head high and value what you have to offer, but let them know that you do have an STD.
Part of developing your self esteem is doing what’s right. You should not sleep with someone when your STD is especially active. This will be something you feel guilty about later on. Rather than having sex, take the time out to get to know your partner, to form a deeper relationship. Talk and laugh about some of the interesting things so you stay positive as long as you can. Do not let the disease control who you are, enjoy yourself and keep your mind of it.
If it seems to be leading to sexual intimacy, here’s your chance to explain yourself without groveling. Just tell the facts, tell how you’re taking care of yourself, what you know about protection, and see what the other person’s reaction is.
If you’re not valued enough by that person to give you a chance, then perhaps you’re better off with someone else. Remember, don’t see yourself as diseased or as the disease. See yourself as one of the many people in the world today who are conscientious and smart but have contracted an illness that can be managed easily with some thought and care.
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