Next Level Human

Herpes, Healing, and Helping A Story of Resilience and Purpose with Alexandra Harbushka- Ep. 245

December 13, 2023 Jade Teta Episode 245
Next Level Human
Herpes, Healing, and Helping A Story of Resilience and Purpose with Alexandra Harbushka- Ep. 245
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you ready to embark on a transformative journey? One where pain becomes purpose, hurt morphs into help, and stigma is replaced with self-discovery? Our conversation with the inspiring Alexandra Harbushka gives a compelling insight into just that. Alexandra shares her deeply personal narrative of living with an unexpected and stigmatized STD diagnosis and how it became a powerful catalyst for personal growth and social change. Her story reflects the incredible human capacity to convert life's challenges into opportunities for evolution.

When faced with the harsh reality of her diagnosis at 30, Harbushka hit rock bottom. Yet, it was in this abyss that she discovered a pathway to self-love, acceptance, and the redefinition of relationships. She also speaks candidly about a terrifying experience aboard a plane, a wake-up call that propelled her on a transformative journey. It’s a testament to her resilience, and will inspire anyone grappling with their own struggles to find strength amid adversity.

We also explore the taboo topic of living with herpes, dismantling societal stigmas and reinterpreting them as an opportunity for self-discovery. Harbushka's insights extend beyond her own experience, offering support for anyone navigating life with herpes. She emphasizes the importance of connecting with a supportive community, and shares practical advice from her 21-page ebook on outbreakremedies.com. So, tune in for an enriching journey of acceptance, growth, and love. Discover how to transform life's struggles into purposeful, positive experiences.

Connect with Alexandra
www.alexandraharbushka.com
@alexandraharbushka

Connect with Next Level Human
Website: www.nextlevelhuman.com
support@nextlevelhuman.com

Connect with Dr. Jade Teta
Website: www.jadeteta.com
Instagram: @jadeteta

Speaker 1:

Welcome. This is the Next Level Human podcast. I am your host, dr J Tita. Today we are talking to someone who I find extraordinary, and this person is launching one of the types of episodes that I'm going to be doing. You know, one of the things that I do here at Next Level Human is we talk about the four jobs all of the time right Health and fitness, career and finance, personal relationships and romance, and purpose and meaning. One of the things we talk an awful lot about is the idea of turning pain into purpose, suffering into meaning and our hurt as a way to help. We learn the most when we hear other people's stories of triumph, when we can hear the stories of other people's struggles and how they made meaning out of their suffering and how they turned their pain into purpose and how they took their hurt and turned it in a way to help. These stories are incredibly awe inspiring to us humans. In fact, research shows that other people and the way that they go about their business in dealing with suffering is one of the most awe inspiring things that we humans encounter. In fact, when people say what they're most in awe of, they will talk about watching other people overcome their suffering more than they will talk about seeing the Grand Canyon or a beautiful sunrise or anything like that. Now, isn't that amazing that we humans are most awe inspired by our fellow humans. We learn, we grow, we are inspired. We take the example and the experience of other people's stories, and so I want to start highlighting those stories Now. We're gonna start today with the first episode in this series, with Alexander Harbushka, who, in my mind, is just one of these next level humans who dealt with her own struggles and suffering and turned it into something immensely beautiful, simply by accepting it, realizing that this was a growth potential and a way for her to grow herself, enrich others and evolve the world, which, from my perspective, is that imperatives that we always talk about learn, teach and love, and I just fell in love with her, fell in love with her story and just really wanted to share this with you. I hope you will enjoy these series of episodes where we highlight real people who are going through real things and are turning them into magic for growth, for themselves, to enrich others and to evolve the world. So, without further ado, let's meet Alexander Harbushka and hear her story. Welcome to the show, everybody. I'm your host, dr Jade Teter. I have a special guest today. I'm very excited about this guest because, as you know, the next level human podcast is really all about what I like to say turning your pain into purpose, taking your suffering, making it a source of meaning and using your hurt as a way to help. And I really want, in this podcast, to begin to highlight who I would consider heroes, people who have dealt with things that we all might consider difficult, and they turn them into something that grows themselves and riches others and really evolves the world and the conversations in their area of expertise. And so today I have Alexander Harbushka with me, and she is a wonderful sort of lesson in this idea of being a next level human, taking our hurt and owning it and helping other people with it. So, alexandra, welcome. Thank you for being here, and what I want to do is I'm just going to let you start wherever you want to start with your story. Help us understand yeah, you're hurt, you're suffering, you're pain and this beautiful purpose that you now have.

Speaker 2:

All right, well, I'm excited to be here, jade, and thanks for having me. And yeah, we're going to talk about hurt, because it was something I never thought was going to happen to me. And before I share exactly what it is is. You go out in life and you have this idea of what your life's going to be like, and typically it's bad. Things aren't going to happen. They don't happen to me, they happen to other people and you're invincible when you start off in life when you are a teenager 18, 20, 25, whatever and so for me, I never truly believed I would get an STD. That just wasn't in my deck. That was not going to happen. And the reason why I thought I wasn't going to get an STD was because I slept with boyfriends. I wasn't promiscuous. It was those people that got it right, not me, and so I ended up getting a lifelong STD and I ended up getting genital herpes. And even saying that word genital herpes or herpes is just such a cringy word. It's a word that people freak out when they hear it. They don't know what it is. They go oh, herpes, ooh, we don't want that, and a lot of times we don't even know what it is. So I will get into that in a little bit, just do a little herpes 101. But back to my hurt. I was 28 years old. I at that time I was dating somebody and he didn't know he had it. So he didn't know he had it and I ended up with it. I ended up with it about six weeks in and all of a sudden, one day, you just wake up and you're like something is not right, something's not okay, something's not right here, and I already had known that this wasn't the right guy for me. Like, I had started dating him and I'm like gosh, you know, this just isn't right. So my body already knew before I knew and it was like, boom, let's just send Alexandra herpes because she is going down a path that's not her path. And I was trying to mold, I was trying to stick to it, I was trying to make it work, and so I believe that this really happened in order for me to wake up and become the person that I was meant to be, the person that I was supposed to blossom into. But back to that day in 2011,. It was terrifying, it was isolating, it was. It was like you feel like a stab, like your heart literally shattered, not because of a broken heart from the person I was dating, but a broken heart to myself, like I have just done this to myself. I have just, you know, growing up, you'd see those commercials just say no to drugs. And you'd see the people you know diving into a, diving off a diving board, into a pool with no water. Or you'd see people crack an egg on a cement saying this you know this was your brain on drugs or whatever and I literally think, was thinking to myself, like I just did this to myself. I literally just dove into a pool without water Because in my mind, this was a life altering diagnosis, especially at 28 years old, and my beliefs were I was never going to be able to fall in. I was gonna fall in love, but it would never be with the person I was supposed to be with. I would have to settle with who I was going to marry. I would have to now move into like a certain group, like, oh, I have to put myself in the corner. I could only date these people in the corner. I believed that all my accomplishments, you know, going to college, getting a good job, all those things that I, the good choices I thought that I made no longer mattered. So it was this whole. You used the word earlier rebirth. It was this whole rebirth, it was this entire journey, and thank God it happened because I was really on a path of people pleasing, of trying to become something else for other people, of conditional love. I have to act this way in order for somebody to love me, or have to look this way for somebody to love me or Not truly loving myself, and that was the biggest purpose here. I kind of jumped to the the punch here, but that was yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, you know. So let me, alexandra and I spoke a little bit before we came on live everyone and I was telling her a little bit about what you all Know about me and my hurt, my affair, my Infidelity my mind, my cheating, your wake up.

Speaker 2:

That was your herpes diagnosis. That was your personal 9-11.

Speaker 1:

Yes that's exactly what I was gonna say. So and and, and. I don't know how you feel about this, Alexander, but I think all of us at some point in our life, Get this, Whatever it is, whatever are sort of awakening. You said rebirth, awakening. You know we were talking about this. We get this awakening. We have this choice to make and you know it's interesting. You know this mindset right. I want to unpack this with you because I think it's just gonna be telling for people what we all go through difficult stuff and, like you said, we have these assumptions going in. Life is not. You know, life is gonna be fair. You know I'm gonna, my life's gonna go a particular way and all of a sudden do these things.

Speaker 2:

I'm gonna follow this course, I'm gonna check these boxes off, and if I do these things then therefore, those bad things aren't gonna happen to me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and you hinted at this idea that somehow, through this process, though, right, what did you say? You said something like the life I was meant to live was shattered, but then there was a hint that, oh my gosh, actually the light that I was meant to live is this. And so there's this turnaround that happens from when you get this hurt and this disbelief, and then I want to unpack how that happens. Is it a, is it like a living into the answer and an understanding? Oh my gosh, this is who I really am. Is it like? How does it happen? Is it a mindset switch? Some people might say you know, you're just convincing yourself of things are good and we humans can make meaning out of anything. I certainly don't believe that it's the whole point of this podcast, but I'm wondering how do you get there? Because a lot of people might say I don't know how to make sense of my hurt.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. I am also a true believer, I'm Christian, so I also believe that God doesn't give you a hurt or a problem or a speed bump or whatever that you can't handle. So, and it's also okay, this is what you, I tried to, I threw little pebbles at you. I keep, I kept throwing on, I kept telling you this isn't right, or gosh, is that really what you want? You know, those little feelings in your tummy, or those little you like have a little message that you hear. Are you hear a song? Or you you think about it. Ah, nah, that's not right. Right like, oh no, this is what I'm supposed to do, this is the course. I'm not listening to anything else. And so, finally, I believe that this was thrown at me to say wake up, wake up. You need to get out of the fog and wake up. I Call it my Eor phase. You are from Winnie the Pooh.

Speaker 1:

He has a lot of right.

Speaker 2:

He has a rain cloud over his head. He's ho humming along. Life is hard, he's depressed, he can't get out of his own way. His friends are trying to get him to hang out and do things and he just can't get out of his own way. And that was me from 28 to 30. I stayed with the guy. It was not a great. It was an awful relationship for both of us. I stayed with him because I believe that was all I was worth. I Believe that he's the only person that would would now accept me. I believed that Nobody else would accept me and I just didn't have that confidence to go do my, to go out, to go live life, to enjoy my 20s, to go do the you know, do those things. And you know. I go back and look at pictures of myself and you know, like there was no pink in my skin tone, like there was no color, there was no life. I had awful acne, it was hard to get out of bed every morning, everything was crumbling around me and I Decided I was turning 30 and I thought I am not gonna turn 30 and still be this way, because this is not how I want to live my life. And it was probably like 29. I kind of started thinking about it and then, 29 and a half, I was like, oh, I have six months, I really got to get this show on the road, but I, just, I just I'd no longer want to live this way and I don't want to be single, I Want to be married, I want to have a family. I want these things. I don't want it with him, but I'm gonna keep attracting the same guy with a different face. If I don't start to change myself, if I don't start to look at myself differently, if I don't, if I, if I don't start to look at myself as the prize, if I don't start to start Start investing in myself, I yeah, you know it's interesting.

Speaker 1:

You said a couple things and I just want to walk you through this. Obviously, we want to get to educating people, because part of taking your hurt and turning it as a way to help is to help people who are dealing with the same pain figure out some of the things they may not know, which I know is your mission. But before we get there, I want to ask you about some things that I see as sort of similar in people's trajectories, and so one of the things that I want to ask about is you're making reference to this idea that you were getting signs. You were getting, you know, sort of these repeated patterns, what I would call repeated struggles, recurrent obstacles, stuck emotions, you know. So here's Alexandra, sort of in this relationship, and it sounds like leading up to the relationship, you were getting a lot of these, you know things, and then life has a way of whispering in your ear, then tapping on your shoulder and then kind of kicking you in the balls, so to speak, to be like wake up and this happened. But then it seems like from 28 to 30, this two year sort of fallout period where you're dealing with this, and I guess this is your. You know sort of when I think about trauma in the hero's journey, there's this resistance phase where you blame, complain, distract and I all of that stuff, and then something must have woke you up. So now I'm wondering what. What happened in that as you were approaching 30, was it just simply that things just started getting worse and worse and worse? Where the signs, where the repeated struggles coming up again and again? You just got fed up. What was it that finally made you go?

Speaker 2:

no. One of the things that was happening is I was still dating him and we had a trip planned. And I remember thinking I, you know what, I want to break up with it. It's just I this is like the struggle was real and I thought, no, we have this trip, I'll go on the trip and then we'll just kind of figure out what we're going to do. And, and I can remember a couple of days leading up to it, I felt like there was a corset around my my, my waist or my ribs and I couldn't breathe. And leading up to it, I was like I just felt like I couldn't. I couldn't breathe. And as I kept getting, leading up to it, leading up to it, leading up to it, you know, like it just kept coming. And so we're on the flight, and it was across the country, it was LA to New York, and we're on the flight and still feel like I can't breathe. I can't breathe and I get up to go get a glass we're sleeping, it was a red eye and I get up to get a glass of water or go to the bathroom or whatever. I got up to go do to basically breathe, and I passed out on the plane I fainted I had because I couldn't breathe, and they lowered the plane. They lowered the that they had. I was a code red. It was like it was a big deal. You know, not very often are we on code red planes. Then I was the cause of a code red for an entire plane and I just remember going all right, I got it, like it got the message, you know, and it was truly that I couldn't breathe, like I just it was such a suffocation and it was such my body was now telling me you hear the messages, you feel them. But now it was like no, you got herpes. You kind of listened but didn't really you can't breathe now. Like let's, let's, let's figure this out. So it was shortly after that I really started making the changes. But that was a big, huge, like my body physically said this you can't do this anymore.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, let's stop here for a minute, alexander, because I think this is critical. When we talk about, you know, the hero's journey, the heroine's journey and or the healer's journey, however you want to describe it, there's always this lead up of of, you know, repeated obstacles, recurrent and stuck emotions and, in particular, if we're listening to Alexander, she's explaining this like she's having this like almost like full body anxiety, the fact that she's so tightened down she can't even breathe and eventually, and God forbid, you know, good thing, you're okay, but like I can't even imagine that, right, so you're, like it must have been so constricting that you pass out. And then you have this thing where you know, of course. Then there's the embarrassment of, okay, now the whole plane has to alter their plans because I've passed out. And then you say you finally got it, so. So I oftentimes talk about this idea that we're in the resistance phase and, by the way, sadly, many people stay in the resistance phase their entire lives, right? Then we get into the realization, and the realization comes and you finally go enough. And this airplane constriction moment of losing your breath and passing out was it. And now we move into what I would call the road, this thing where now, okay, you're doing something different, but you still it's still not necessarily perfect. It's kind of like what am I going to do now? How am I going to figure this out? But walk us through that, because I'm going to. I'll tell you my way of looking at this and then I want you to just go yeah, jade, not for me, or no, I don't agree, but my way of looking at it is, all of a sudden, when you make this turn and I'm just curious if this happened for you then, instead of repeated patterns, recurrent struggles, stuck emotions, you start getting synchronicities and you start getting serendipities and you start getting opportunities and you start getting major insights about things that you may have never thought about. And so I'm wondering is that how you see it, or what started happening to you? And especially, how did you make this turn that you would use this trauma to to start helping people?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I feel like my story isn't isn't unique. You know it's. It's not unique. It's obviously unique to me. It's, it's my story, but everybody has it, not everybody. Most people, when they are diagnosed with herpes, they have some sort of literally a rock bottom moment, and that may come the day of the diagnosis, or it might come five years later, or it might come 10 years later, whenever they're ready to actually hear the message. So what I started to do, what I started to try, how I started to see it, how I started to make changes, was I realized I didn't. It's actually funny. I signed up I found it for a course on love. It was. This was back to that. Well, this is probably what 2011, 2012, I don't know exactly when I did it. So they weren't like we have today. It was not a Facebook group. I didn't exist. Like I kind of just found there was a book and then there was a course and I just kind of bought it and it was learning love and it was learning what it meant ideally to find a partner. But what I didn't realize going into it was it was all about my own self journey, my own self work and learning my self worth. And so, little by little, I started changing my mindset and changing my tune. So, leading up to that, I had been heartbroken. Leading up to that, I felt betrayed. Leading up to that, I felt resentful. Leading up to that, I felt that true love no longer existed. It was a fairy tale, it was a story of the past. The way that it was today is just kind of. It just wasn't gonna be the same. No one was truly gonna love me. And so I realized, okay, I gotta change that ASAP, because no one will truly love me if I think that, if that's what I think, then that's who I'm gonna date. So I started listening to Wayne Dyer you know DuPak Chopra, that was kind of big then and also this course on love. And what I decided was okay, I'm gonna fill myself up with love because clearly my love tank is empty and I'm gonna pretend that I'm a care bear. And, as we know, care bears have they have their little rainbow, or they have their heart, or they have their lightning bolt, or they have whatever they have. I can't remember their names. But I thought, okay, I'm gonna pretend like I'm the heart and in order for my belly, my heart, to shine like a care bear. I have to fill up myself because right now there is literally nothing in there. And so in order to do that, I have to continue to tell myself and see love and visually see it in other people, and see it in life, and see it in nature, and see it throughout my day. So one of the things I thought this is you're gonna laugh. So I thought, okay, the most romantic thing I could think of right now is Shakespeare, but okay, romeo and Juliet. It doesn't get more romantic than Romeo and Juliet. I remember I sat down the first day and I thought, okay, when I eat my lunch at my desk at work, I'm going to literally I'm gonna read Shakespeare and I'm gonna read love and I'm gonna pour love into my body as I eat. Like that was the only way I could think of it. And so I pull up Shakespeare and whatever. I'm trying to find a sonnet, it's something. And I start reading it and I am livid, I am pissed off, I am angry. I can't even get through a couple lines because I get so pissed off that I'm like love doesn't exist. This girl is gonna just die for Romeo. Like, please, like, come on, he's not. Like this is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of right Guys. All they do is stand you up, they cheat on you or they give you herpes. She's just gonna die. For Romeo Like this is so. That didn't go well, and I was. I remember I got an outbreak immediately because I was so angry. I thought, okay, I have to fix this. So, little by little, I think I gave up Romeo and Juliet for a while, but little by little, I would find little quotes or I would put pink salt on my food and I would literally put the love in my body, so that filling up my cup was what I started to do. And then I would. When I'd see people, I thought I'm a care bear, I'm gonna give them love, and this is not lust, this is not anything other than genuine love. Like just, I have appreciation for you being right here in front of me. I have appreciation for you holding the door open at Starbucks when I walk in. I have an appreciation for you whatever the person that Trader Joe's checking out. I have an appreciation for whatever it was. So that's how the change started happening.

Speaker 1:

I love this because oftentimes talk and this is like in manifestation work, which I do a lot we talk about, you know, you have to feel this, and most people do this as a visualization. They don't get the feeling, or they do it as a thought, they don't get the feeling. We know the law of attraction. Right, it's like just think it and you'll get it. But what I've always said in this is that any manifestation work I've been successful with has to do with feeling, and you seem to do that. But I have a question that I wanna dig into this a little bit, if you don't mind, because one of my thoughts on manifestation work also has to do with the idea that we have to clear old wounds, and I'm wondering. The question I wanna ask is that this seems like this journey was really your journey, if I'm reading this right, your journey in love. And so, before all this happened leading up to the event where you got herpes, what was love? Always a challenge? Was there childhood developmental stuff there, or was that the thing that brought it out? Cause I'm just curious on how this all came around, because somehow you had to. Was it the trauma that destroyed your trust and love you had to rebuild, or was there always something there that needed to be considered?

Speaker 2:

So I think there was. I think the turning point was in my 20s when I started dating I had. I grew up in a wonderful household. My parents are still married. They've been married for 55 years. My grandparents are still like they're deceased, but like divorce isn't in my family Great family, big family, lots of cousins and things like that so I never saw I didn't have a broken home, so that wasn't the case. With that being said, I had the fairy tale idea of love and I thought that you meet someone and you fall in love and that's that like you meet them and that's gonna happen. And so I dated. I had my first big I guess heart, disaster, heartbreak, whatever at 26. And I dated this guy from 22 to 26. And that shattered me and so I thought-.

Speaker 1:

Formative years, for sure.

Speaker 2:

You took him through a tough relationship. Right and I thought, well, this was supposed like I was supposed to like, this was supposed to be my husband. This was what I. He was tall, he was dark, he was handsome, like whatever. We went to college together. He had a job, whatever you know.

Speaker 1:

The tall, dark handsome.

Speaker 2:

Right, it was what I was. It was the box of the vision that I had of the fairy tale that I was supposed to have, and that didn't happen. And then I had someone else that I dated, and then he cheated on me and then I had, you know, like. So it was like, well, why is this happening? But really so, it wasn't necessarily love with a partner, it was love with myself, cause I realized I was trying to look a certain way, or I was trying to. You know, if a guy said and this is I'm using this example but if a guy said, oh, I like it, I only like it when you wear your hair down, and I'd be like, okay, so I wear my hair down, okay, got it Opposed to why don't wanna wear my hair down, I wanna wear my hair up. And that's a silly example, but it really isn't. Because I was not true to who I really am and I wasn't. I was, I think, held back. My true personality was held back to fit into a mold of who I was supposed to be with, if that makes sense.

Speaker 1:

It makes sense and I'll offer this. And you can tell me no, jay, that's not it at all, but I sometimes phrase it like this, this idea. I sometimes see people when I go. We can't outsource our sense of self-worth or our sense of love to others, and it seems to be a human condition for a lot of us that we have to unlearn. Where we do, that we take on the culture level, mindset of I'll present myself a particular way for popularity and status. And so it seems like, if I'm writing this, that you were essentially believing in this fairy tale, believing that I have to sacrifice my own authentic nature and I also needed to outsource this sense of love, and it seems like you begin to discover that, well, no, I have to find this sense of love in myself and then attract it. Is that accurate, exactly?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, and that was a really important journey. I needed to learn and always stay true to yourself. And thank goodness I learned that because my husband, he's like I never wanna hold you back, like I want you to be you, I want you to do you, I want you to do it. And I would have never appreciated that, nor would I have ever, I think, wanted that if I had met him at 22. That makes sense. I wouldn't have understood the importance of that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So it's almost like you found out how powerful you were and, let's face it, many men who would deal with you know sort of a brilliant badass like you would basically be like, yeah, no thanks, or try to stifle it, but by you owning that, you found someone, you attracted someone. That's like, oh nah, babe, you're just the bomb. I love you and go.

Speaker 2:

Go, do you.

Speaker 1:

Exactly, I love this so much. So let's talk a little bit, then about then. How does now moving forward right, you know, with herpes and this mission, because obviously this is now. This is a whole other thing that you know. I think of self love. You know a lot of people be like, okay, yeah, self love's great, but not this part of me, however right, but not this part, I'm not gonna love this part. So your lesson in life is like self love, and then you have to sort of, you know, walk the walk, and for you it's like, yeah, self love, and I love all of these parts of me and I'm gonna own all these parts of me. And in our trauma there's a sense of ownership. So now I'm like tell us about that, because did that come right away? Was it as soon as you began to find self love? How fast afterward did you just go? Oh, yeah, all of me and I'm gonna own this and I'm gonna do something of value with it.

Speaker 2:

I would say it's still a journey, cause you peel back one layer and you're like I got this. And then something else pops up in your life. You know, now I'm down the journey of motherhood and I'm learning life through the eyes of a three year old and I'm like whoa, that, like it's just so. Anyways, I think that we're never done with that journey. I think that it continues to just to grow and grow and grow. But back to what you're saying. You know, as far as manifestation or however you wanna, law of attraction, you do have to clear out the cobwebs. You do have to clear that out and you can start. You can clear it out and still learn the journey. It just doesn't affect you. It's more of a like oh, that's funny, like this song used to trigger me Wow, that's so funny. I can listen to it now and you can think about it and it you go oh man, that was such an interesting time in my life. But it doesn't like no hatred for this person or no resentment or no anger. And that was what I was doing, basically law of attraction. I didn't know I was manifesting. I didn't know that, I didn't know what it was. But I looked at Newton's third law, which is for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction, and I thought so I'm acting in a way that is attracting this and this is not what I want for my life, and I know this is not what I want for my life. So I thought I was like we need to find things that I want in my life. And so people asked me a lot like what did you go date? How did that work? Were you nervous to date? And it did take me two years to break up with him. So, yeah, I was nervous, yeah, I was scared, yeah, I wasn't ready, yeah, but I have to do this. I'm turning 30.

Speaker 1:

I don't, I don't want to stay here.

Speaker 2:

And I went out with everybody I didn't, I didn't. I decided. You know what? Again, every actions and equal reactions. So if I keep saying no to a date because I don't, for whatever reason, don't think that he works, then I'm Saying I don't want, I don't want to date. And that wasn't. That wasn't the case. I wanted to date and I wanted to find somebody that it was wildly, madly crazy in love with. So by me saying no to dates Was gonna just stop the date, that the cycle of it.

Speaker 1:

Yes, it was kind of like saying no to love and in that way, and it sounds like you had to. You know, I oftentimes hear this theme as well, and it's the way I phrase it, but I'll just put it out there. It's like you know that old identity. It's like we have to kill off that old identity before we can create the new one. And then you're mentioning this thing of like yeah, there's no part of me that seems to be holding on to a bunch of stuff from my past, because those are old Identities of Alexandra that really don't exist anymore. You're it sounds like you're just a whole new person, would? Yeah? So would that be accurate?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. And then I guess the journey continues and there's new phases that I learned and new, new things, and and I go. Okay, I need to reset and you to acknowledge it. Okay, cool, now how do I clear it? How do I move forward?

Speaker 1:

So one interesting thing about that when you make that awakening in one area of your life, oftentimes when you wake up to something, it's very difficult and you go, wow, I never would have seen, all of a sudden you're able, it seems to be able to cross over. Not that it's that easier. We have to deal with our pain, like the emotional pain. As humans, we have to deal with what it does seem to be like. Okay, here's another opportunity for me to remake my assumptions and and sort of learn.

Speaker 2:

With that being said, what I've noticed because that's what happens when I talk to people being diagnosed with herpes and and they go through this journey and I get so excited for them and they're, like you know, crying and it's like the worst day ever. I'm like it is the worst day, but it's so exciting. This is gonna be awesome, we're gonna go on this journey, but but what I want to say, what I've noticed Through working with people, is three. There's three areas in our life that we have issues with. It's sex, money and food. When you boil life down, there's an issue with One or two of the things, usually not three. But you may have someone that has like their financial shit together and their love life, but they're struggling with some sort of health or or Eating, or their weight, or they don't feel comfortable in their own skin. Or you might have someone that's like I got the rocking body, I'm great and I'm making the money, great, but I can't find the right person in my life, right. So there's, there's usually it, and they're all connected and again, it's just continuing to go deeper and pull back that onion, that awakening.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's funny that you say that, because every time people listen to this podcast we talk about the four jobs. The jobs are health and fitness, fitness, finance, personal relationships, and you know purpose and meaning and so but I oftentimes say the health, the finance and the personal relationships are like three legs of the stool. And the purpose is the seat, you know sort of of the stool, and so a lot of people need that seat and I think when you find it, you know that purpose. It starts to allow yourself to. You know You're never that, you're never on all all three stools. You know the stools always sort of moving a little bit like this. You never, but as long as you have a seat to sit on, you can sort of rock that back and forth. So it's interesting that you broke it down into those things too, because I would agree, those of the and we know it's interesting too I'm an entrepreneur that's where everyone spends their money online as well right, it's either gonna be in financial, education, personal relationships, health and fitness and then, of course, purpose and meaning, which is a lot of the work you and I do now. You're doing that work where it's like, hey, use this as an opportunity To find purpose. So I love that you say that. I would love for you, for the people who are listening to this and being like I'm so inspired by Alexandra. I'm dealing with the same Issue that she's dealing with. She's found a way not just to own it, but to love it and embrace it. What do? And for people who are, you know, who still look at this as a stigma or look at it is you know, what is it that you want these people to know? What it would walk us through your brief education of how you would Begin and want people to begin seeing this and dealing with this and any, all your tools. I mean, you're, you're, you're sort of brilliant and wise in life in general, but with this particular situation, walk us through what you would want people to know and educate.

Speaker 2:

Know that, number one you're not alone. The majority of people have herpes, which is unbelievable to think, because we're not tested for it when we go for STD testing. So if we're not tested for it, most people are asymptomatic. So they again don't know they have it. Or they get an outbreak, you know, once every five years and they think, oh, that was just a bug bite or whatever. They don't, they don't realize they have it, they don't know they have it. So if you have herpes number one, you're still not alone. So many people have it and it's okay. You're not gonna go through life as a leper, you're not gonna go through life Like, you're not gonna miss, you're not gonna lose a limb, you're not. There's no, there's no like big H on your head saying you have herpes. People don't know you have herpes, it's, it's. You can do everything that you want to do in life. You don't need to be held back. So that's number one. What happens is it's a story that we have believed. So the stigma is a story that we've told as a society. We believe it, we feed it. I've told herpes jokes in the past. I'm sure we've all told STD jokes in the past and we've all fed it. So it is a story and it's up to you to decide if you wanna believe the story. And there's proof out there that, whatever your limiting beliefs are on herpes or being diagnosed with an STD or being diagnosed with a lifelong STD you have limiting beliefs. And when you start to realize that, well, that's not true for that person and that's not true for that person, and well, that person isn't having that issue, so why is it true for me? So you start to then rewrite your story and realize, well, actually I thought this was true, like I was. Maybe your thought processes. Well, I'm the only one in the world with herpes. You're not, I guarantee you, someone in your family has it, you just don't know it right. And there's someone that you love unconditionally that also has this that you don't know about because the person is scared to tell you. So when you start to realize these things, you realize, wow, this was a story that was poorly written. And I hold the pen to rewrite the story for myself and I can change it. And I can rewrite it Going forward. I can change the path. I don't have to stay down this herpes stigma. I'm a shameful person and I have to live in shame. I can rewrite it and go this way or that way or whatever way I want to go. So I think that's the key and that's really the key for anything. My story is herpes, but for everybody else they have their own story and again, you don't have to fall into the bucket of whatever that bucket is, for that stigma attached to whatever you're going through.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know it's funny. I posted something recently, you know, because I'm an author and I'm in this world, obviously next level human and one of the things I said was that you're hurt really is a hero, in a sense. If you want to know the shortest path to the beginning of purpose, it's to begin to humbly and honestly, you know, tell your story of suffering. Because when you do that, like think about all of us listening to Alexander right now. She owns this, like you know, and her she's rewritten the story, so this story doesn't apply, it's a culture level story, it's not the actual, true story. So she doesn't buy into the culture level story and as such, she frees herself from that and by telling her story, guess what? She's healed herself. She's also beginning to heal all of us, even those of us who don't suffer from this particular condition but will suffer from something. So by telling her story, she becomes the hero, and the only way she can become the hero is to have some type of hurt, like, in a sense, what's a hero? It's just a person who's been hurt, decides to help people, and in helping people they heal themselves, they enrich others and then and they also evolve the world and so, for all we know and I truly believe this by Alexander beginning to tell her story this way, so openly, so brave, so like this is not a big deal she changes the cultural narrative. All of us start speaking about it differently, and maybe because of Alexandra, in years, long after she's gone, by the way, perhaps this is gonna be what it should be, which is just another thing that you know. We all have to deal with something, and it's not something that is what people think it is, and so that's the way I see this, and that's why I was so excited, as you know, as soon as I saw you. I saw you on another podcast and I immediately was told my friend whose podcast it was. I said I have to have her on my show, she's absolutely amazing, and so I just love that, and I hope you can feel that, because we're not always told that, alexandra, I mean I'm sure, sometimes you are, sometimes you aren't, but I just wanna tell you like, seriously, from the bottom of my heart and like you know, thank you for what you're doing in the world. Is there anything else that you would like to? You feel sort of intuitively compelled to share with everyone that they should know?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, just basically, don't hold yourself back. Don't whatever you think your handicap is it's not a handicap and it's potentially a redirection in your life and figure out what that redirection is and if you need help, find help. You need a support group, find a support group. But don't let whatever your handicap is hold you back.

Speaker 1:

So, alexandra Harbushka, why don't you tell us where people can? I know you have lots of resources for people. I'm sure people are really gonna wanna hear from you and some of them may need some of that acute help that you offer. So tell us where they can find you, keep up with you, and what things you have to offer them.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely so. I created Life with Herpes. It is a community, it is a website, it is a YouTube channel. It is everything that you could ever possibly need If you are diagnosed with Herpes. I have thousands of videos up on YouTube. I have years worth of blog posts, so definitely head over there. If you have Herpes and you are wondering like, where do I start, I do have a 21 page I had to think 21 page ebook for you. It is outbreakremitiescom. You can go there, you can download it and it really is. I revamp it every few months and it just gets longer and longer, but it really is great. It definitely will help you get through your diagnosis. It'll help you get through an outbreak. It'll give you information like oh, I didn't think of using this or think of that. So it's great, go to outbreakremitiescom and I'm excited to see you in my community if you have Herpes.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm just so blown away by you and thank you so much once again for being here with us. And do me a favor, hang on, I'm gonna go ahead and end the show here. Just hang on a second so we can make sure this is uploaded and for all of you. I hope you loved hanging out with Alexandra as much as I did, so we will see you at the next episode.

Speaker 2:

Thanks.

Turning Pain Into Purpose
Overcoming Challenges and Finding Love Again
Journey of Self-Love and Personal Growth
Overcoming Stigma and Finding Purpose
Herpes Support and Information Ebook