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I haven't received my swab test results yet bu the GP told me its almost certain that it's herpes. She couldn't get me out of her office fast enough and when I asked questions she just told me to read the fact sheet she'd given to me. It was an awful experience which left me feeling disgusting. I've got pain, itchiness and flu like symptoms so I've been missing work for 2 days. I hate lying to my family, friends and work pretending I don't know why I'm sick. I can't tell anyone about this and really wish it hadn't happened. I know that I'm still me and that in time I'll come to accept this and move on but for now I feel so terrible emotionally, psychologically and physically. My headache is bad and I just want to sleep. The worse thing is that i can't tell a soul.

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Right off the bat, let me tell you that you have people you can talk with about this. If you don't have a local herpes support group, please come to an upcoming herpes virtual support group over the phone. I'd love to hear your voice on the line so we can all support you! (if you want to get in for 75% off, just put in the code VIP75): 

And, I want you to hear that I totally understand where you're coming from. Unfortunately, I've heard many stories where the doctors/nurses don't take the time to educate/console new herpes patients. They have a schedule to stick with. Their view of herpes is that it's simply "not a big deal" (which, physically/medically speaking, is very true), but they don't understand the mental implications of getting diagnosed with herpes. Our society's stigma on herpes may have us feel like we're outcasts, like we might just be lepers 2.0. It's simply not true, and it takes talking with people who understand and who have lived with herpes for a while. The more shame that is suppressed, the greater the shame grows. (See the Brene Brown talk on TED for a great explanation of how shame works.) So sharing with a supportive and understanding group actually lessens the shame; it shows you that you're still okay. 

Notes:

  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
  • This content 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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