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Me and my herp a derp


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It was a year ago almost today that I sat outside an urgent care center with the words "well it looks like herpes but I'm not the right doctor to tell you that" going through my head on repeat. This urgent care center was my last stop of the day, my local planned parenthood being closed that day and the one OVER AN HOUR AWAY that I had driven to refused to see me because I wasn't a patient there already. I sat in my car and screamed and cried, bashing my fists off the steering wheel because my life was over. This was it. 24 years old and now I was condemned to this life of sores and itching FORVER. No one was gonna love me everyone was going to find out and my life that I had grown to love was over. Right?

 

I couldn't have been more wrong. And what I didn't know is that I was in for one hell of a ride!

 

With the worst semi diagnosis a doctor could have given I charged to google...determined to know what was happening to my body...it's my body I better figure this out!!!! I wish I would've found this site...I did find useful information though. Enough to slow down my tears for the night.

 

Next day up finally get in to planned parenthood woohoo! My outbreak is at it peak of horrid icky pain...boo!!!!! Once again my tears start up in the exam room as my doctor walks in. She sits down and looks at me and says "ok so we are going to find out everything today but before we go ahead and say yes or no to herpes, before I look at anything, you need to know something: this isn't the end of the world. You're fine. You know what herpes is? A skin condition in an embarrassing place. So no more tears I haven't even confirmed it yet and if it is herpes ITS NO BIG DEAL" the shock of her statement threw me into silence. Herpes no big deal?! WHAT?! I couldn't believe it. Well I left that day with a cdc pamphlet and the knowledge that I had herpes...but I had stopped crying. I called my mom and had one of the hardest conversations to date with that woman...and she helped even more. She told me to look at this as life's way of telling me to slow down and take a different approach to dating. To use it as something positive in my life. And I became hell bent on doing just that.

 

I disclosed to my two closest friends and they were only ever concerned with how I was feeling emotionally. They were mad that the person I got it from didn't give me a choice in the matter and they helped. Knowing that there were people in my life that love me for me helped more than I can ever express in words.

 

I had to disclose to my best friend of six years whom I had started falling in love with. Yea...start falling for your best friend and find out you have herpes in the same week...I was on a winning streak -_-;

 

That relationship didn't last and while I know it's because he wasn't looking for anything serious and I was part of me still thinks that without H things would've gone differently.

 

Fast forward a few months (and a few failed drunken disclosures) and I finally meet a guy I want to start seeing. Uh oh...but I have herpes!!! How's he going to handle this? The other guys I told I didn't care about but if he rejects me I don't know what I'll do! So I don't say anything and just make sure nothing too physical happens...including spending the night with him and sleeping in my jeans haha I was silly and scared. Well it gets to the point where I HAVE to talk to him and HE brought the talk up. How? He says to me one day "you know you've been acting weird and I know you have something that you want to tell me but you are nervous to. Well you might not be as alone as you think." And I met my first real life person with herpes...who was a hottie I might add haha ;) and over the next couple of months he helped me so much. He opened my eyes to seeing I shouldn't live in shame and shouldn't hate myself and herpes wasn't a big deal. He then turned into a big jerk and taught me that stigmas go both ways...herpes doesn't define a person.

 

I disclosed a few times after that...they each deserve their own post hahaha disclosing was what I thought I was going to have the most trouble with and in all honestly it's not! Nerve racking sure but my herpes is a better judge of character than I have been so far in life. And I've faced the fear of being outed for having herpes...one guy I disclosed to decided it would be a good idea to post on my Facebook "WARNING SHE IS HSV-2 POSITIVE FOR HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS 2. Thank GOD I didn't catch anything" thanks there jerkface just what I needed in my life!!! Well if anyone did see the post before I deleted it no one said anything about it...so there's another fear taken off the list yay!

 

Now here I am a year later. I've met someone who is H negative and we'd both prefer it stay that way (let's face it...herpes isn't a big deal just an uncomfortable one but no one wants to discomfort the ones they love) and while we haven't done the no pants dance yet....I'm gald. I disclosed and he gave me the response I didn't know I'd been looking for in wanting to know me know herpes and go slow. Herpes has forced me to slow down my life and take a different approach to love. I've learned to love myself I know my body better now than ever before and I have a sense of self worth that I don't think I would've found without herpes. Is this the best thing in the world? Nah. But it's lead me to an amazing life.

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Thanks for sharing your story! I couldn't agree more about the healing happening on so much more deep of a level if there are people who love you for you during this post-diagnosis phase. It can be so lonely stuck in our own mind when we first get herpes. The stigma runs rampant ... But if there are people in our life who we can turn to, tell our story, not be judged, but be loved instead — THAT is true healing. Healing of the heart. When we get loving reflection back from those who love us deeply, we get to learn how to love ourselves deeply, whether it be going through a herpes diagnosis or anything else in life that might show up as a difficult time to love ourselves.

 

I love your outlook and positive, bubbly nature. It certainly helps to put it in perspective as a simple little thing as opposed to a huuuge scary moooonster! ;) (Case in point: you calling it "herp-a-derp." Actually, funny story ... during the last H Opportunity weekend seminar/workshop, one of the most memorable lines was when one of the participants called it "Herpes-Schmerpes" ... classic.)

 

I also love the last few lines of what you posted. I agree. We're not here to glorify herpes. We're here to find the opportunity that lies in each of us. And it can be the turning point to us loving on a deeper level than skin deep. Loving ourselves and then loving others. I've seen that shift happen time and time again. We get to stop looking skin deep and see a much deeper take on what's possible with love and acceptance.

 

Thank you for adding your awesome energy to our community! I'm loving it so far. :)

Note: This is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis.
I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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Green eyes it's not the trials themselves that make us better people...it's what we take away for those experiences. That is what I meant by "herpes doesn't define a person" I had switched from self loathing because I couldn't let go of a silly social stigma to over correcting and believing everyone with herpes to be a god send of sorts. In truth people are just people...we all love, hate, make mistakes, we all LIVE. Some of us have brown hair, others blonde, mine is more often than not a lovely shade of blue! And some of us have a skin condition in a very embarrassing place...these things don't make us better or worse as people...but what we take away from these life lessons can help mold us into the people we wish to be...the people we are meant to be. And for me...well I want to be a strong confident person...I've always lived life going against social norms (body modification and I are quite close) and once I realized that herpes was just another silly label society was trying to force on me it got a LOT easier to deal with

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