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Having A Hard Time Socially With Herpes

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Hi, I'm a 26 year old female with hsv2 and since having this my social life has greatly changed. I just want to be alone most of the time and I hate talking about myself with others. I love my job right now but that seems to be all I'd ever talk about and even that's tiring to talk about because I want to socialize about other things besides work when I'm away from work. I only feel like socializing if it is in a setting where there is another activity or hobby involved so I can talk about that activity most of the time, something that takes the attention away from myself. That's when I feel free, but it feels impersonal still because ppl don't really get to know me as I'd rather just talk about that thing instead of myself.


I also shut down when it comes to talking about our love lives, I will try to not say anything that would open the door to someone asking about my love life because it is pretty non-existing right now or just full of dates that didn't work out so I just don't want to get in to it and I act completely Vanilla and uninterested to talk about dating, guys and relationships. It makes girls night out difficult cuz I cannot relate to other girls anymore so I avoid going out on girls nights now. It makes me really uncomfortable.


It sucks cuz all I mostly do is have small talk with others cuz that is all I can handle right now but it feels so unfulfilling and trivial. I like having deep meaningful conversations and I feel like I can't get in to that unless I mention I have H in the process cuz it has honestly shaped me differently now and affected almost every part of my life which is bad but it has. I try to talk generally so no one will figure out my secret but it just feels unfulfilling. I really enjoy being able to talk about anything with my friends and my most fulfilling relationships are the ones where I've told those friends, but I don't want to tell everyone. Therefore, I am not very fulfilled or interested in my other relationships cuz I can't talk openly and about life with them so I just have very few friends right now and a bunch of aquaintences. I mostly filter out many things too when talking to ppl now and it sucks that I can't just be open or socially free.


Does anyone else struggle with this? If ppl do ask me if I'm dating right now I just make up an excuse like "Oh no, I'm just focusing on myself right now", but honestly I am interested and wanting to find someone and how long am I going to keep saying that excuse? It's hard to talk about details about why your previous dates didn't work out when you don't want to reveal why dating is so difficult for you. So how does everyone deal socially with this? I really miss having girl talk or talking about love and relationships and to some extent I still can, but it's very restricted now and I don't share much cuz I can't relate as much.

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Hi Vanessa,


From your picture you appear to be a very pretty girl, and I am sure you get plenty of looks from guys. Accept and cherish those looks, you get them for a reason. If I lived in your city, and if I wasn't soon about to cross into "old mans land" (40), I would have asked you out on a date. ;)


I do tend to now avoid talking about sex as casually as I used to. I used to be very comfortable taking about sex, now a bit less so. What it has done though, is to force me to look at how sex is actually only a small, albeit important, part of a relationship. I am at the age where a having a family is definitely a priority, and I know once there are kids involved my sex life will be less important still. There won't be as much time, or energy, left over for sexy times. Still important, but less so. At 26 you may feel differently.


What I am trying to say, in a fumbling way, is for you to think about how much of a day in a relationship you are having sex, versus the remaining time where you do other activities where having H means absolutely nothing. You must not only focus on the physical aspect of a relationship, but focus on the general part of it. Easier said than done, but try at least. Sexy times will take up only a small part of your time in a relationship. If you talk to a guy who is willing to give up on seeing you because he feels he can't have as much sex (which is not necessarily true anyways), or that he is afraid of H, then maybe he is not for you anyways.


Happy thoughts!!

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I don't think you're adjusting to H, but probably the knock-on effects it has on your happiness. I thought I was mentally bulletproof until H came knocking.. Then the stigma, back pain, tiredness and previous 4-year breakup compiled and caused some depression (but luckily only for a few weeks) I randomly started tearing whilst driving me and my brother to work, and then whilst at work too - I actually like my job, sort've! Didn't want to do anything, stayed in bed for whole weekends.. The worst question was just 'how's it going?' since it pops up so many times a day. Then quickly deflect and switch the focus to someone or something else. Distraction, self-improvement and relief that it wasn't something worse pulled me back. Also, someone told me that people pray for the things you take for granted - Well, I was praying for H on those test results.


So I guess not wanting to talk about yourself is normal if the topic of yourself is not in good shape. At least you're taking steps to build on that, picking up new hobbies and what not... There's probably a lot of people that want to know you on a deeper level, so keep building for the day you're ready to open up.


Do deep conversations always have to involve sexual health though? Beliefs, politics, existence.. No, stop right there - I've got herpes. There are people out there who may want to properly know you before diving into the sex ballpark.


I've only been here 6 months, but my way of dealing with the social aspect will be try to shed as much shame as I can and be open and honest with close people. I'm confident they will at least be sensible about it, maybe learn something new too. That leaves the regular colleagues and friends on a night-out.. I'll take a back seat, forget about problems and enjoy the atmosphere if nothing else. I can still have a laugh, but do feel some resentment when the topic becomes about casual things.

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I feel you and could relate all my friends love to party and meet people . Before h I was always willing to party & " mingle". Years later in still finding myself holding back . I always make excuses and flake on almost every attempt to be social . Yes I know it's hurting me . But I always think like if I do go out and meet someone around my friends . I get this feeling in my stomach to automatically push them away cause if I get too deep they will out my secret . I know it's paranoia & probably won't happen but I can't chance it . I have forced myself into situations & it is uneasy at times . I also understand wanting to have a deep conversation with someone & too fully be open . I did have that once but it didn't work out . Mostly by my actions looking back .


All i can say is from experience start off with baby steps . If something makes you uncomftorable socially follow your instinct . Don't cut yourself off .. Cause then you will be alone with your thoughts & it does nt help . It really sucks . Right now I have like 5 people I can open up too not romantically with them but it's a safe zone for me . But ultimately do what makes you comftorable & approach things slowly .

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I also struggle with this. However ive come out to about 7 friends...my closest friends and they were all supportive and it helped a lot! I havent told any family or aquaintences though and though at times I do feel like im holding back im glad I have a few people I can confide in and for me thats okay because im sure they also have secrets they choose not to reveal and I would rather tell the people I trust and know this information is safe but the feeling does suck. Maybe one day i will get to the point where im okay with others knowing but for now this is what im comfortable with. In ref to dating, I find that when some men approach me I do not even consider the possibility of dating them because I want to avoid the stress of it all but if we never try or take a chance we will never know what the outcome could have been of a party or a date or a trip and so forth. Recently I went on a trip and really considered canceling it at the last minute bc of my h depression and even came down with an ob 2 days b4 my departure. I was bummed and cried the first 2 days of my vacay but it healed quickly, it stopped consuming my thoughts, i met some great people, became more in touch with myself and I had such a great time overall and in retrospect am so glad I didnt chicken out due to my depression stress and fears. Im still not fully over this diagnosis and experience and may never be but it will get easier for us and we should try not to pass up on potentially great experiences because of it. Hope this helped.

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I agree with Sil that deep conversations don't have to revolve around sex. There are many controversial topics out there. I hope this doesn't come across as rude, because I don't mean it to be, but are your values and intelligence any less now that you have herpes?


As for sexual conversations.. this is where I'm different. I don't think it's anyone's business what is going on in your pants but yours. Do you divulge every time you have a yeast/bacterial infection? Ingrown hair? etc..


If someone asks why you don't have a relationship you could simply say you haven't found someone you've felt you've connected with. You could say that you've started rethinking casual sex. Isn't that partially the truth? You could also use those sex conversations to educate (without telling them that you have it) if the topic were to come up.


I understand H throws a spin on our sex lives. We have to wear protection, take antivirals, and worry about transmission/disclosure. But sex is still sex. The parts are still the same, and the mechanics are still the same. What you like/dislike hasn't changed. Dive into the next conversation and enjoy it.

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Hey there sweetie..... let me tell you something. You are letting something that doesn't "really" exist, hold you back. And that is the Stigma that you have bought into. Is Stigma a REAL thing? Nope. It's not a fence, or a rope, or a wall. It's a thought in your head that creates the biggest wall of all for anyone. And that is FEAR. Fear will paralyze a being into not doing anything ... it causes a deer to freeze and not move until it's too late to outrun the wolf, and it's stopping you from getting out and LIVING life.


The only way to get through fear is to face it. If you can get some therapy, I'd start there... because you sound like you are dealing with depression. I went on antidepressants for 6 months once in my past because I felt I needed to stop the shitty thougts I was happening so I could get my head screwed back on right ... and that's exactly what I did. I took some personal growth courses and worked on getting my mojo back and at the end of the 6 months I was ready to take full control of my life back without chemical help ...but I was thankful to have it to help me to stop the repetitive negative thoughts ;)


In the meantime, try some of these things:


1) Journal... put all these fears on paper. Put all the possible outcomes on there too. All the good and all the bad. Realize that even the worst ones won't kill you.


2) Join a Meet-up group ... go out with people you don't know who have a common interest that you can focus on... maybe one of the groups could be a philosophical group (they have a group for EVERY interest). Yes, those questions may come up ... all you have to say is you had some things happen that have had you choose to take a break from dating.


3) Find one *small* thing every week that scares you and face it. Doesn't matter what it is. Sing Kareoke, run a 5 K, whatever. Get yourself into an uncomfortable situation and deal with it. Realize that no matter what, you WILL survive.


And watch your words... because words have power. You say:


unless I mention I have H in the process cuz it [herpes] has honestly shaped me differently now and affected almost every part of my life which is bad but it has.


which sounds like you are saying Herpes has shaped you differently ... when in fact, Herpes only has caused you to have OB's ... the rest is YOU allowing your brain to buy into the stigma. You can choose to dig out or dig in.


Remember... we believe in the Herpes OPPORTUNITY... you are dealing with something that can either make you, or break you (emotionally). YOU have the CHOICE about how you will face this. You can CHOOSE to learn, grow, and gain strength from it, or you can give in to it and live a sad, lonely life.


I can tell you, Herpes doesn't do one thing to stop me from living my life. Even before I was out, it never stopped me. I had to make up a few white lies about why my daughter was born by cesearean and such, but otherwise it didn't keep me from having a complete and full life.


Kirsty Spraggon Ted Talk “You are only as Sick as Your Secrets



http://herpeslife.com/herpes-forum/discussion/3546/watch-this-now-the-prison-of-your-mind- Sean Stephenson Prison Ted Talk





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