Last Updated on June 4, 2020 by Valinda Riggins Nwadike, MD, MPH
They say, ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemon-aid,’ and in the land of all things STD – here at The STI Project – we like to make everyday sayings like that work for us. So, along the same vein, we believe a positive, inspirational message is a great way to make lemon-aid (or if you’re feeling fiesty, make it a lemon drop)!
STDs – How to Live with Them
The truth of the matter is, living with an STI/STD can suck. There’s no real way around acknowledging that having an STD is not always easy. The actual infection itself is often just a minor blip on our daily radars, but the stigma we encounter is what really gets us down.
After 14 or so years of living with genital herpes and having had other STDs as well, I’ve heard just about everything negative there is to say about people with STDs – you name it, I’ve heard it.
As a result, overcoming those harmful perceptions – read: slut, whore, dirty, promiscuous, trashy, damaged-goods, etc. – has been no easy feat. For a while, I even believed some of those things were true – I figured, if that’s what everyone was saying, it must have been true – I was so naive.
When I was first diagnosed, there weren’t a lot of resources out there telling me that all of the stigmatized myths and misconceptions I heard were incorrect. Eventually, I decided to buck those social constructs – I no longer believed an STD defined me. So, I had to be creative and look for support and inspiration from wherever I could find it: music, historical figures who had surmounted incredible obstacles, and a myriad of other motivational tidbits along the way.
I figure, I should also share those inspirations with you – after-all, together, united we are able to help one another. We are not alone, and we definitely do not have to let an infection dictate who we are or who we will become!
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Recently, I attended a local TEDx event – a day-long event featuring speakers, new ideas, and loads of inspiration. Amidst the plethora of amazing people imparting their ideas on the audience, one video stood out as being profound. I think you’ll see why I found it beautifully uplifting and totally relevant to living with an STI/STD.
Share Your Inspiration!
Has a movie, a historical figure, a song, a sport, a piece of artwork, or something else helped you overcome STD stigma and/or the emotional struggle which often accompanies an STD diagnosis?
We’d like to share your inspiration with our readers as well, because it might inspire them too!
Send us a short message via the contact form with links to a song, a bio of a historical figure, a video, or anything else that’s helped you overcome those challenges, and tell us why it was inspirational.
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Did this post inspire you or make you feel better about your diagnosis? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!