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Hi,

I was just diagnosed today. After a week of trying to convince myself that the outbreak was just really bad razor burn aggravated by sex, I finally went to the doctor. My symptoms appeared two weeks after an encounter with someone I met on tinder. Sore throat, shall pimple like things around my genitals, swollen thyroids. I attributed The pimples to razor burn, and the rest to a case of strep throat. Took some antibiotics that I had left over from a dental thing a few weeks back. The pimples got worse, and turned into painful sores, that I covered with neosporin, thinking they were infected. But my mind instantly went to something sexual. I spent days looking a pictures of various STDs, convincing myself that what I had didn’t resemble any of them. But then they wouldn’t heal, the weren’t scabbing over. I knew I had to have them looked at. The day I went the doctor took a culture swab, which was accompanied with searing pain, and a lot of shame. She then told me, that there was no doubt in her mind it was herpes. Prescribed me some meds, and sent me on my way. I broke down in the car, sobbing. Terrified that my life would never be the same. This has already been the worst year of my life (lost my fiancé of six years, lost my son, got left with all our debt, and then child support.) The whole car ride home, all I could think about was driving off the road. (I would never hurt myself, but the thought are there). On top of having to wait for my test results, the thought that I had to tell someone with whom I’d had an intimate encounter with before my test, that she needed to be tested scared the hell out of me. I really like her, will she never want to see me again, will she sue me, will she tell everyone I know? Well, she did freak out and said she’d never talk to me again. Who knows, what else she’ll do. I’ve never felt this hopeless, this scared, or alone in my entire life. 

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@DL527 — I see your courage and heart in coming here and sharing all that. It's a lot. And just the fact that you can come on a forum and pour your heart out like this shows me that you are one resilient human being. When you can speak it all out loud, it has less power over you. The thoughts, the worries, the worst-case scenarios ... You can start to see your path more clearly when you let it all out. And damn, life can sometimes kick us while we're down, and then it takes our lunch money. I hear you. And I see you. You may feel broken right now, but I see you as so strong of heart. Give yourself the gift of time. Time to process. Time to heal. Time to develop a positive and empowered mindset about who you truly are, as this phoenix rises from the ashes. You can do this. And you will. 

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