Episode 32 - Support is Closer Than You Think: Disclosing to a Friend
In honor of STI awareness month, we're releasing every episode as they are recorded. This episode features my friend Brynn, one of the first friends I disclosed to that I have herpes. Her deer in the headlights facial expression was misinterpreted for being surprised at my disclosure. After finally revising that day recently after deciding to record this episode together, it was in fact because of the moment of WHEN I decided to disclose to her. This disclosure was done out of a few different feelings, one being annoyed that she always gave me shit for having such a passive dating life, and then to just end my own mental misery that came from the strain of having to dismiss the encouragement to start dating again. This meant lying to myself and making excuses at least every Wednesday for happy hour margs and tacos and then Saturday nights for about 2 years.
I am fortunate to be surrounded by such great people in my life, but I wouldn't have known how great they were until having to test that. The best way to test the strength of a connection or open the door for it to take place, is to really allow yourself to be vulnerable to someone. They will either support you or reject the idea of providing support to you. In that case, you know where they stand and then you have to decide where you stand. After my disclosure to Brynn, our friendship grew and I earned the confidence to tell more of my friends, then everyone who knows I do this podcast. This is a great example of just how close support is for us during a challenging time, we just have to use it.
On top of her sharing her experience of thinking she had contracted herpes, Brynn has Type-1 diabetes which I think is an important element to consider here as to how supportive she was to me when I shared something I was secretly so emotional about at the time. We talk about how easy it is to be seen as handicapped because you just have to do some things a little different than most people, and not everyone will be okay with that. Which is fine because that goes to show you how they respond to you when things get challenging.
I'm on social media @HonMyChest
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