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I feel like I've been robbed of my youth somehow

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I'm 18, after being in college a week I found out I have herpes.


I know it's not the end of my life, but it feels like the end of being young.


Like this will ruin college for me, I'm losing any opportunity to sleep around. I know of course that sleeping around is bad and I really didn't have much intention of doing it, but now that I know I don't have the option, I miss it. From now on every time I sleep with anyone it has to be some big, long, drawn-out, emotional ordeal in which I have to basically ask this person to risk their health to be with me. I miss simplicity. I miss being your average teenager and I mourn that fact that I never even got a chance to be a normal college kid. It's so depressing. It's like a challenge to wake up every morning and try not to feel bad about myself. I feel like everyone should have had some chance to make completely stupid mistakes as a young person that they learn from. I guess this is the only one I get to make, now I just have to grow up.

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You know that's exactly how I thought when I found out. I was 18 or 19. I figured I should get used to no sex cause it was never gonna happen. And no more sleeping around cause who would want to? And you know what. Just because you have it doesn't mean you can't have the same fun. It just means that the people you're with have to accept you on another level for who you are than just superficial ones. I thought I would never find anyone who would accept me and now I have. I'm not saying its easy but it's nothing you can't overcome. Life will begin to feel normal and you'll put it behind you. I'm only 20 now so it hasn't been that long for me. I feel like a stronger, more open minded and better person. As long as you explain to the people you're with that it's not a life ending disease it's a skin condition that happens very rarely. And if you use protection and preventative medication like I do then the risk is super ultra low. I feel like I'm rambling to you but just know that this website is full of amazing people and their stories which helped me a lot. I hope you know that the skin condition doesn't make you a worse person, infact I think you end up becoming a better one :)


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Thank you for sharing yourself here, Kath_R! Welcome to our community!


Your story is the perfect example of how a self-fulfilling prophecy could easily come true if you believe it enough. Do you see that? Do you see how if you truly believe in your heart of hearts that all those beliefs of yours are absolutely true that you will start to act as if they are true? Then *poof* they become true. And you look back on your college days and think that it was because of herpes that you didn't have fun, didn't sleep with anyone, didn't take any chances ... when in reality, it was YOU who held yourself back from all that. Herpes just became the excuse to make all those beliefs true for yourself. And I DON'T want that to happen for you. DON'T waste your college days on false beliefs. So it's imperative that you get that right now that it's YOUR DECISION whether you believe all those things about herpes.


I agree with jubejube. The world is STILL your oyster. No herpes is going to change that! Yes, sex changes. (That's the only constant in this world as a whole: Change.) Yes, you will have the herpes talk. Some people will say yes. Some people will say no. And isn't that what dating is about anyway? Whether you have herpes or not, some people will say yes, some people will say no. Take this as an opportunity to know yourself, Kath. No herpes or other people's opinions will change that.


Here's a quote that ties in nicely: "Never lose your happiness. Problems will come and go, problems are an external situation which have come from others, and they will come and go. Happiness is your own property and you always keep something that belongs to you."


Enjoy your college days, Kath, and please keep checking in with us if you need reminding. :) Much love!

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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Kath, I can relate completely! I'm 20, found out about H about 4 months ago. Initially I felt like so many doors had been closed to me - no experimenting, no adventure, no hanky panky anywhere on the horizon. But I already fully accept that, no, my youth hasn't been robbed away from me. Yes, we'll have to be more mature when it comes to sexual health. How can that be a negative?


As the months go by, and I find myself ending off dates with a cheeky kiss, and nothing more, where previously I might have taken things further, I'm beginning to realise that really, this might be the biggest blessing in disguise. Yes, there is a monumental number of seemingly terrible things to go with H - having that conversation; dealing with outbreaks; it goes on and on, BUT I'm suddenly owning my own sexual health in ways that I never would have pre-H. In the great scheme of things, this is just a skin condition - it won't cause more serious illness down the track, or impact fertility etc etc. I consider myself lucky not to have caught something with much more serious implications. And the obligation I feel towards future partners as far as disclosing goes, also makes me feel like I am allowed to ask after their own sexual health status. Pre-H, I never felt able to ask.


This is my latest little epiphany as far as H goes, and I think it's a pretty big one.


Kath - there is so much fun to be had! Don't you forgot it!

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  • 5 months later...

I was 20 and in college when found out! And thats exactly how I felt. I'm 28 now and some of my friends are still sleeping around and Im not. They all wonder why I don't sleep around or have one night stands like they have. It sets me apart from them. It always has but I now look at it in a good way. I have morals now and get to know a guy on a deeper personal level before having sex and in turn over the years have gained a respect for myself and my body that I never had before. I hope you eventually feel the same and never stop having fun. I have more fun now at 28 than I ever had at 18 and know it will only get better :)!

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Just reading these comments are inspring me so much and making me feel even better about the situation. I always say some people have to go through pain to change their ways, some people have happiness. This doesn't neccassarily mean you were a bad person before it just means that you didn't give yourself enough credit, you weren't the real you and you know I believe in God so I believe God thought that only something like this could get you to understand that you are better than what you were before and when you can start excepting that you will be happier than ever.

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I'm so glad you found this website!! I'm 22 and found out I had H in September and its been the biggest blessing in disguise for me. I know what experience your talking about I have had many of those when iwas 19 to 21 and eventhough its fun at the moment but having H has made me a stronger person ihavnt slept around with people my giver and me were together 4 months and icontracted it the first time we had sex together. It's been a long road but ibroke up and got with my ex that ihad before my giver and he was very accepting that ihad it and didn't care. You can still have fun just like marinamelody said. Just take your medicine and use condoms but your young life isn't over ipromise you!!! Its just started. When ifirst had my OB a lady on here lelani helped omw so much and one thing she said to me was that "its just a skin condition that flares up once in awhile". After repeating that go myself for so long and loving myself today I forget I even have it anymore!!! Ican honestly say H was the best thing ihave ever gotten!!! Ihave told a few people in my life and guess what? They never judged me or anything for it most of their responses were "so?? IRS not a big deal!!!" I was really taken back cuz this is the one thing in life ihad always feared of getting but now that ihave it iknow there is so many other people in the world who Yvette it beside me. 1 out of ever 3-4 people have it and in college its the same!!! Keep your head up girl and remember to always love yourself your going to get threw it and your young life isn't over :)

Big hugs


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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm so glad I read this today having a rough day the guilty pity feelings. But it's true this H thing is no biggy we make it so much worse in our heads life is still pretty amazing. We have good days and bad days but I think H has overall made me a more compassionate and loving person. I'm finally loving and taking care of me. You're all wonderful were all wonderful!!! Glad I stopped in today!! xoxo

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