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Hello all! I hope everyone is well, happy, and healthy. I am sitting in my yard right now staring at a large rose bush in my garden. While some see this plant as a plant with pretty pink and white flowers, I see it as a reminder of herpes. The not nice ex who gave me herpes and was not respectful to my body or feelings gave this rose bush to me on Valentine's Day of 2019. The next month I would get herpes. I was 19 at the time. One day I came home and saw my mom had planted this rose plant in the garden. At first it reminded me of the trauma, the tears, the blisters, the embarrassment or walking around my college campus waddling like a penguin, the holes in several pairs of my undies because of the giant rough sores from my first outbreak. However, seeing this rose bush grow into a large blossoming plant has helped me come to peace with herpes. Through struggle we blossom. Through suffering we rise. We are so much stronger than we realize; so much more than our HSV. I hope that this helps people see the light at the end of the herpes tunnel. Love and blessings to all! Let your soul bloom and your spirit blossom ❤️