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Can't even look at myself in the mirror

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I was diagnosed with Herpes about a month ago. The outbreak was the most excruciating pain I've ever felt in my entire life. I ended up in the ER because I couldn't walk, or sit, or even go to the bathroom. It was absolutely humiliating. I'm doing a little better now, but I still feel so alone. I feel like I'm standing in a crowded room screaming, and no one even looks up. I couldn't look at myself in the mirror for a week after I was diagnosed. Who will EVER want to be with me? What have I done to deserve this?


I am a 24 year old female and I contracted it from a coworker who is twice my age...how foolish I am. I had everything going for me. Now I feel like everything has been ripped away from me in the blink of an eye.


My friends have been really supportive, but it's not the same. They don't know what it feels like. I don't know where to turn.


I absolutely LOVE(D) being single and enjoying all the things that come along with that...if you catch my drift. Now I feel like this will never be possible. Why would someone risk getting herpes just to be with me?


I don't know which way is up anymore. I feel so alone.

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I'm sorry you're feeling so down. You are not alone. Genital herpes is very common, especially among women. I know it doesn't seem that way because most people who have it don't know it, and those who do know it tend to keep it private, but it extremely common.


I wonder if you might find this talk by Ella Dawson helpful:


She also has a blog at https://ellacydawson.wordpress.com/herpes/


As for people being willing to risk contracting herpes, you might find it comforting to keep in mind that roughly 80% of adults have herpes of one type or another (HSV1, HSV2 or both), and whether they have it orally or genitally, it can potentially be sexually transmitted to an uninfected partner, so this is a risk most sexually active people take frequently without really thinking about it. The difference with you is that you know your status, so you can make choices that meaningfully reduce risk of transmission based on the knowledge of your status if you so desire.


If you poke around the site a little, you'll see many disclosure stories. My own experience so far has been that my HSV2 status has *not* been a deal breaker for most prospective partners. I'd guess about 80% were fine with it and 20% respectfully shared they were not comfortable with the risk. Sometimes this happens in waves of lots of acceptance and then a couple disappointments in a row, and I will admit I can get a little down when the trend is not going my way, but it is fleeting, so I try to take care of myself at those times, maybe take a little break, then put myself back out there.


Many people feel as you are feeling now upon diagnosis. Lots of people seem to benefit from educating themselves about HSV, sharing their feelings, and just taking some time for emotional processing and self care. It sounds like you are doing all those things and now it's a matter of time passing until you find yourself feeling better. It will happen. (((HUGS)))

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