I honestly would not have believed anyone if they would have told me that my healing/soul searching/finding myself moment would start after catching an STD, but here I am at almost 25 with a completely different perspective on life and myself because of that. Yes, catching an STD changed my entire life physically, mentally, and spiritually. It all started the spring of 2016. I have had my fair share of partners and hook ups, but never had any problems. Until he came along. Now, this tale isn’t about me trying to raise awareness against reckless, risky behavior or to preach the importance of getting tested. It’s not even about me crying “victim” because I got burned. What I want to share with the world is that catching an STD is NOT the end of the world or your life. How do I know? Because I have been through it.
At first, I was terrified, humiliated, and disgusted with myself. I also resented and demonized my partner for being so reckless and not getting regularly tested. This experience also taught me the meaning of forgiveness. To this day, I know that I will always have infinite love for him. We’re human, a flawed species. We make mistakes, but society has conditioned us to believe that people with STDs are dirty, promiscuous, unworthy of love, and a boat load of other qualities that make you feel less than human. At least, that’s how I felt.
I won’t go in to detail about what disease I caught, but I will shed light on a few things I learned about physical health. Believe it or not, I healed myself naturally. I was diagnosed by a doctor after about 3 weeks of not feeling right “down there” after my first sexual encounter with my new partner. I chose to seek alternative forms of medicine although the doctor had given me the option of getting put on prescription pills. I learned about what types of environments viruses and diseases thrive in, what herbs can fight against them, and how to strengthen my immune system. I spent endless hours at the health food store and online researching. Who knew a college drop out would soon transform into a biologist/chemist/witch doctor all within a few months? I’m not a licensed doctor and can’t promise that natural remedies will cure anything. However, after I shared my story with some herbalist and took their knowledge and applied that information to my life, I had a miraculous outcome. I went back to a doctor to get fully tested and examined and I was told that I had a clean bill of health. If you choose to partake in holistic health, it is still vital and necessary to go to a doctor for testing because you can never be 100% sure when it comes to STDs. Most people don’t even know that some STDs require blood test to diagnose. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
This situation was definitely the most soul shattering experience that I have ever been through and at the end of the day, I’m glad it happened. I learned a lot about myself. I became more spiritual after the death of my father in 2014 and in 2016, this incident really taught me a lot about spirituality, sexuality, and how the two can tie in together. I took this situation as my higher self forcing me to wake up and heal. I come from a history of childhood abandonment issues, low self esteem, codependency in relationships, and the latter. Before catching an STD, I didn’t really value sex. With those components, it’s easy to guess that someone may not be the most emotionally mature person to be having sexual activity. Considering this, I chose to become celibate. Celibacy has taught me not to rely on sex in relationships, how to value myself, and how to weed out partners who genuinely care about me and not ones who just want sex.
After dealing with this situation, I can wholeheartedly say this happened to me for a reason. I needed to learn about who I am, why I am the way I am, how to heal from that & grow in to the woman that I am supposed to be. I promise you that if you ever are in an unfortunate situation where you do catch an STD, it’s not the end of the world. No matter what society tries to tell you. Learn from it and grow. Also, regularly get tested and always use protection. Take care of yourself and take care of others by making sure you don’t put them at risk. Get better.
Written by Liz H.