I mentioned in my 'Shameful Secrets' post last week that I would write more about my issues surrounding STD tests in the future. I'd like to write about it now.
To date, I have never had an STD test. Sure, I have had physicals and blood work done over the years, but I have never been specifically tested for HIV or any of the others.
During my past session I told my therapist I had been sexual w/ over a hundred people, mostly men, and that I had had some sort of intercourse w/ over 70 of them. Sometimes I was safe and sometimes I wasn't. Even though I have not had any oral, anal, or vaginal sex w/ anyone besides my wife since being married (over 8 years now), my therapist still suggested I go and have the full gamut of STD tests done for a) peace of mind b) obligation for the health of my wife and myself c) to prove personal strength and courage and my ability to overcome and conquer my fears d) necessary step on my road to recovery.
I commited to her I would go and have the tests performed before we met again. I made an appointment w/ the health department directly after our session as I sat in my car.
My appointment was this morning, and while I was partially at peace knowing all would be well, I still had so much fear and apprehension. But, I faced one of my longest, deepest, and strongest fears head on this morning and went in for my tests.
I am happy to report my HIV test came back negative but I won't know the status of the other STD test results (Hepatitis, Gonorreah, Syphylis, etc) for another 2 weeks. Still, I feel immensely relieved, blessed and proud that I was finally able to conquer this 15 year old fear of mine.
2 things this experience taught me:
1) I will never put myself in a situation that will lead me to fear in this manner again. Never! This translates to: I will never have any kind of sex w/ anyone except my wife.
2) When I do the things I fear, then the death of fear is certain (Ralph Waldo Emerson). I attest to this fact.