Awe, thank you. I appreciate that. I know how hard it is at the beginning. I remember how much I struggled. Just know it gets better. :)
I was diagnosed in March of 2014. Like every other person who first has an outbreak I was terrified, ashamed, disgusted, and completely distraught about what was going on with my body. The usual, I went to an urgent care facility, got checked out. They gave me meds and I was on my way. It took me 4 days to go to the doctor because I was so frightened, but I did and it was hard. At the time I was in what I thought was a committed relationship. My boyfriend at the time never told me he would get cold sores until after we had sex plus I didn’t have a clue that cold sores were herpes. He went down on me and bada bing bada bang, i got herpes. It sucked. I cried. I was so upset at myself for allowing it to happen. I was so mad at him for not telling me. I was a GIANT MESS. When I first got tested, it came out negative so I was relieved. I was like, “Fucking yes! I don’t have herpes.” Little did I know that there was such a thing as false negatives.
My boyfriend and I continued dating. And of course, not all my worries were crushed because now I knew he would get cold sores and a part of me knew it was herpes. But yeah, we continued on for about another 9 months. And then he did something unforgivable so that ended that. And I was left with no real answers to any of my worries. I proceeded to get tested again, (better late than never, right?) and found out I was GHSV+. My worst time was after the break up and having to deal with getting diagnosed (again) alone. He didn’t care and he just continued on his life.
I went down a bad path. I was drinking a lot, super depressed, wasn’t eating, sleeping constantly, and just purely miserable. My mother and my ex were the only people who knew for a long time. But then I joined the Herpblr community and it opened my eyes to so many things. The confidence came with time. I have always been a strong, self-aware person so I mean a lot of it just resurfaced. Once I stopped seeing myself as a girl with herpes and started seeing the amazing human being that I am, it got better. It does take so much time though. And I have my days, don’t get me wrong. I may be confident, happy in my body but there are days where it gets to me. And it gets to everyone. But in the end, the good days outweigh the bad.
All in all, it probably took me about a year to come to terms with it. Given I was in denial for MONTHS. It was so unhealthy. But I finally did. I’ve told my mother, I’ve told close friends, and I’m almost close to possibly disclosing for the first time since my break up. I love myself. I’m stronger, I’m more confident. I’m alive for the first time in my whole life. In a way, herpes gave me something to stand for. I didn’t realize how many people struggle with this on a daily basis and now that I do, it’s like WHOA. Shit needs to start changing. Yes, it’s scary and yes, it’s a long road, but once you get there; once you accept it, it only gets more beautiful. Opening your mind to that fact that herpes is not the disgusting, gross, shameful thing you were taught it was growing up makes things so much easier.
You’re not different. You are exactly the same person with herpes as you were without it. You’re beautiful, bright, clever, funny,etc. All those qualities didn’t go away because you have herpes. They are there. You are still that lovely person, you just need look under rubble first. Dig your way out, you’ll come out shinier and better than ever. Herpes is not the end of the world. There’s still so much to do, and see, and learn about everything. Let yourself grieve, that’s important. But don’t allow yourself to stay there, get up and move forward. Forward is the only way to go.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. All of us have gone through it/are going through it, and it’s always great to have somewhere to go where you feel not so alone.
Thank you again for saying what you did. You’ll get here too someday. Don’t rush, take your time. It’s a process. xo.