You know what?

I have an edgy secret confession ... You ready? It's a doozy, so I hope you're ready for it.

I love you.

Yeah, I love you.

And no, it's not one of those superficial, shallow, toss-away kind of loves. It's not. It's real. It's a real, deep, profound love. I care about you. I care about how you feel. I care about you wanting to be happy, wanting to be loved. It doesn't matter if you're a man, a woman. Doesn't matter. I love you. Like a brother, like a sister ...

Okay, so why all this love talk?

Because I know how much of a struggle it can be having herpes. I've been through it. I know how depressing and lonely it can be. I know all those horrible things that are running through your head trying to convince you of all of those horrible things about yourself.

So yes, I love you. I love you for all of those great things that you think you're not. I love you for who you are and not what you have. I love you for all the pain and suffering that you've gone through and the fact that you're still right here, right now. I love you even when you're convinced (and trying to convince everyone around you) that you're not lovable. I'm here to tell you that you are. I know it.

And you know what, while I'm at it ... I'm here to tell you something else, too: Stop holding yourself back. Stop it. Stop telling yourself that you're not enough. Stop telling yourself that you don't deserve love. Not just from others, but from yourself, too. Stop judging yourself so harshly. You don't deserve it. Start treating yourself with some compassion. You have an amazing life to live. And I'm here to whole-heartedly support you in that.

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