Getting Rejected Because Of My HS
Recently, I went on a first date.
Now for some people this isn't huge news. But for me, it was BIG. I am not embarrassed to say that it has been a few years since I was in a relationship, and a while since I went on a date. It was exciting and I really enjoyed it. I thought my date and I had a lot in common and had some great chemistry. But the HS conversation always comes up eventually.
It's usually awkward
Whether you have had the conversation before with a potential new partner, or if it's something you have planned for the first time, know this: it's usually always awkward. And when the reaction is less than ideal, it really stings. But in my case I thought it went well. My date seemed to take it well and accepted my diagnosis.
But after that conversation, the text messages were fewer and the conversations we did have were lackluster. The thing I feared came to life. Rejection sucks. It stings. And rejection for something you can't control, like a chronic illness, really hurts.
I'm not going to deny how much it affected me. But I found that some things really helped me.
Listing the positive qualities about myself and things I am proud of
Working on self-love and self-confidence has been an ongoing journey, something I have worked on for years. No matter what happens, I know my worth and that I am worthy. I still have more work to do, but what I have learned has helped.
Listening to uplifting podcasts, reading my favorite books, and listening to empowering music
Doing the work towards self-love has led me to many wonderful podcasts and books to learn from. Listening and reading empowering and educational materials helps me understand myself and others more.
Realizing it didn't hurt as much as I thought it would
Accepting and acknowledging my feelings, even the hurt, is helpful so I can move on and try again, even if it is scary. But after so much time dedicated to myself I found that the rejection wasn’t as bad as I thought I was.
This one is difficult for me, but I try to remember how blessed I am in other aspects of my life. I have food to eat, a roof over my head, a challenging job I love, and a supportive network to hold me down.
HS is just one aspect of my life
HS is just one aspect of my life, and the other person has the right to not have to go through it with me. I do have to accept their decision, even if it stings. Ultimately, I know I want someone who can be empathetic about my HS.
But I will not be defined by my chronic illness. I also have the choice to believe that someone else will accept me, HS and all. I am choosing to be optimistic, and even a little romantic. By having HS, many choices in my life have been decided for me. I did not choose to have this disease and to be rejected for it. But I can choose to move forward on my own terms, and choose to have in my life. That is how I take my power back.
On an average day, how would you rate your anxiety related to HS?