I was diagnosed with Herpes when I was 25 years old. A product of Catholic school, this was horrific news to me at the time. I had always been the least sexually active person I knew, and it felt extremely unfair. I went to the doctor thinking I must have had a yeast infection, and was completely unprepared when given this diagnosis. My doctor was out and there was an older male doctor who couldn’t have been less compassionate. He snapped at me to get myself together, handed me a couple pamphlets and a prescription for Valtrex and sent me on my way. I was literally dazed. My first outbreak was intense. I was in extreme pain (both physical and emotional) for over three weeks, and it felt like cruel punishment – as if all of the scary things the nuns told me growing up was true. I had never experienced anything so horrific, and felt like a dirty, shameful leper. My world closed in on me in my teeny, tiny Manhattan studio as I tried to imagine how this would forever affect my sex life, an area where I already felt sensitive and challenged.
I’m very close to my parents, but there was no way I was sharing this with them. I didn’t even feel comfortable speaking to my closest friends about it and just told people I was home with the flu. I’m generally the type of person who tells everyone everything, so on top of being alone – lying to my loved ones felt awful. When I finally told two separate close friends, it turned out they both had Herpes and none of their closest friends knew. This was comforting in a way, although the fact that everyone was keeping their Herpes a secret reinforced my shame. Also, both of those friends were married, so again, it felt unfair that I was the only one who had to deal with this disgusting plague in the single world all by myself. It infuriated me that other friends of mine had so much more sex than me and would never have to have the kind of (what I perceived at the time as) humiliating conversation with potential partners that I was now dreading.
The fact that there was no definitive way to identify which of the few potential partners I had gotten it from also added to my pain and confusion. Where did this come from? Was it the summer stock fling a few years ago? Should I confront the college friend I had fooled around with 6 months ago? The Mormon guy I was dating at the time who came to visit me in NY from Salt Lake City weeks prior? We’d been intimate but I don’t recall actually having intercourse with him. I was such a good girl – and I was like HIS walk on the wild side – not the other way around. So not fair!! Who gets herpes from a Mormon?
Also, when I was honest with myself, I wasn’t sure how I would feel if someone told me they had herpes. I imagine I would have still cared for and wanted to be with the person, but when I put myself in their shoes, I could understand that no matter what, this wasn’t good news.
I met someone I was extremely drawn to and had very high hopes for a future together. I very clearly remember sitting on some church steps on the upper west side, telling him my big news. He looked me straight in the eye and told me it didn’t change the way he felt about me, got on the subway and disappeared into thin air. I was extremely hurt and felt I may never recover and this would be what I’d have to deal with for the rest of my life. As if my Catholic upbringing hadn’t loaded me up with enough issues around sex and intimacy.
Thankfully, over the years, I was able to adjust and had a loving relationship. That relationship didn’t last, however, and although my outbreaks remained pretty infrequent, I still had tremendous shame and depression when I did have one. Thankfully, I found Christopher in my late thirties. I devoured his book and was moved by his profound wisdom, understanding and support. His approach is healthy, whole and humor-filled. It was like manna from heaven. He raised my awareness about the shame I was needlessly carrying and helped me dispel my fears and engage in healthy communication with someone I was seeing, I followed his protocol, and my outbreaks subsided. Over the years, trigger foods slowly crept back into my diet, but I remained outbreak free even through the devastating loss of my father, which was followed by tremendous family stress and cross-country travel. Earlier this year, probably due to hormonal changes, I began getting outbreaks again. One every month for 4 months. After a hugely comforting, informed and enlightening session with Christopher, I changed my habits substantially. Iced green tea, extreme dark chocolate, diet soda and limitless amounts of nuts and nut butters were something I had enjoyed on a daily basis for years, but my body was changing and I had to listen.
It’s amazing how quickly our bodies can adjust and get used to things. Thankfully, by following Christopher’s protocol, I’ve been outbreak free since our session, almost 3 months ago. His wisdom, compassion, humor and humanity have been an invaluable support. I have deep gratitude and respect for him, and will continue to re-read his book and book sessions with him as a way to provide the very best of care for myself.- Meghan S
Save up to $100 on August Discounts from Christopher Scipio- Herbalist
It’s August,Probably the most beautiful month of the year weather wise but sadly also on eof the busiest periods for herpes symptoms. Herpes is a disease that can put excessive heat and toxicity in your liver channel:. That combined with the hot weather and lots of sun exposure can cause outbreaks. I adjust my immune formula seasonally so the formulas I make now give extra support during the summer and fall. All of the following offers expire on the 20th so don’t hesitate to act on them if you are interested.
Save $50 on the cost of four months of Immune Formulas and Anti-Viral Sex Gels. (normal price $580, discounted price $530)
Save $100 on the cost of six months of Immune Formulas and Anti-Viral Sex Gels. (normal price $680, discounted price $580)
Save $40 on the price of a 60-minute phone consultation. (normal price $90, discounted price $50)
If you haven’t emailed me in the past two months, please do reach out and let me know how you are doing. I care! And don’t forget to use your antiviral gel at least once per day whether or not you are having sex, to help prevent outbreaks and to help protect against giving and receiving the virus.
Don’t Let Herpes Make You Into A Victim
We live in an affluent, highly privileged society. We spoil and indulge ourselves shamelessly. We consume way more than our fair share of the planet’s resources. We drug ourselves with coffee, cigarettes, alcohol and comfort foods. We distract ourselves with junk culture coming from our televisions, radios and print media. In the midst of all this the temptation is there to want to identify ourselves as a victim so we can have an excuse to feel sorry for ourselves.
There are many real victims out there: children who are being sexually abused, women who are the target of men’s rage, seniors being targeted by con artists or mistreated in nursing homes. For those of us with herpes there is no need to buy into to the victim role and feel sorry for ourselves.
Herpes is a minor sexually transmitted skin disease. It’s easily managed and you can effectively protect your intimate partner/s from being infected. Between herpes, HPV and Chlamydia alone there’s probably no one you know who has had more than six sex partners who hasn’t caught a sexually transmitted disease, so having herpes isn’t unusual- you haven’t been singled out by God for punishment, you are simply dealing with the reality of life in the 21st century, we are hosts for a variety of microorganisms, some of them sexually transmitted.
I don’t expect anyone to throw a “I’ve just been diagnosed with herpes “ party, but why all the doom and gloom? Must we really buy into this false stigma? Is it all that bad?
No it isn’t all that bad. Get down on your hands and knees and be grateful that you don’t have a real illness like my patients with M.S. and Cancer and HIV. Make peace with that little red virus inside of you and go on with you life. Love and laugh and enjoy the blessings of being in a wealthy, peaceful, abundant society. Face whatever challenges life throws at you with dignity and courage.
MY feeling is that we with herpes have no right to behave like victims. I reserve that right for the women in Africa who have endured genital mutilation, for the people starving all over the world, for the children scavenging for scraps to sell in garbage dumps, for the families destroyed by war and its aftermath. They’d all trade their fates for a simple herpes infection any day of the week.
On Herbal Medicine
In most cases getting an opinion on herbal medicine from a medical doctor is like getting an opinion on the bible from an atheist, or like getting an opinion on the talmund from an islamic cleric. It takes just as much if not more years of training and experience to become a competent herbalist as it does to become a competent physician.
Because more and more people are returning to herbal medicine because of the failure of synthetic medicine to treat their chronic health conditions, more and more medical doctors are becoming instant “experts” on herbal medicine offering their opinions to their patients without being qualified to do so. Most of their knowledge of herbal medicine comes second or third-hand since they have usually never made any herbal medicine themselves and have no clinical experience or training in practicing herbal medicine. Their training as a scientist is in complete opposition to holistic healing and the principles herbal medicine is based on.
So if you are interested in using herbal medicine to improve your health speak to an herbalist first, and if you can’t find an herbalist speak with a naturopath, but whatever you do, understand that your medical doctor is probably unqualified to speak with any authority about herbal medicine.
It’s not often I get to rave about being under the care of a herbalist who specializes in treating herpes. I’m pretty out about carrying the HSV 2 virus to most of my closest friends, and certainly to my lovers, but it’s sure not something that I wax publicly and poetic about very often. I’ve written here before about early days with my dark passenger, (specifically about What It Feels Like For a Girl), but that was years ago. And until recently I’ve been able to live quite comfortably with the infection, with fewer and fewer outbreaks over time. And thank goodness for that – it’s been over 15 years!
A lot of that comfort level has been thanks to my discovery of Christopher Scipio’s work as a skilled and non-judgmental guide along a path of personal healing and acceptance. With his help self-care, conscious avoidance of stress, and a confident approach to new relationships (sexual or otherwise) have gone a long way towards keeping me outbreak free – to a point.
But time passes. Life changes. I began to neglect myself, and my herpes infection was pretty quick to remind me of that. Even after a year of travelling outbreak-free in Asia and the US, it wasn’t until I returned home, back to regular work and family pressures, that I began to experience one outbreak after another.
Until recently I had used only Christopher’s self-hypnosis CDs (a wonderful pre-emptive tool) and protective anti-viral barrier gel (effectively preventing even one instance of transmission to date!), but last month I had to ask for help again. He recommended his Green Sun Immune Formula devised specifically to prevent and treat outbreaks, and it worked like a charm. Within 24 hours of taking the formula as a tea, or mixed up in a glass of organic juice, my current outbreak began to subside. It went from razor blades to gentle chaffing and soon disappeared altogether, at a much quicker rate than normal. I continued taking the remedy as another outbreak struggled to emerge, but it too was nipped in the bud. Think I’ll keep doing what I’m told, and take it daily…
So once again I can “thank” herpes for bringing me to my senses and for reminding me that living well is indeed the best revenge. And to Christopher – thanks to you again, too. -N. Olson