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First Day and Trying to Stay Upbeat

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This will probably be my final post in this thread for updates.


Day 24:


It took a couple of weeks to start feeling like myself. In some ways, I won't ever feel the same: every time I see someone I am attracted to, I think about how herpes has changed things for me.


Herpes in no way limited my abilities on this work trip. It was turned out to be extremely stressful by nature of the problems and circumstances I faced, and there was a witch hunt initiated for a couple of days that I had to be careful not to place blame on anyone else, and to assure powers that be that I was doing the job the right way. I was able to put in at least 13 hours a day, and use stress as fuel. In the end, I continue to br able to pursue goals to the fullest of my ability. The trip ended up being a major win for my team, with me leading the charge. I am very glad I didn't let concerns about my diagnosis stop me from giving my best. I even managed to do all of my homework, two quizzes and a paper while traveling (mostly in the airport during a long layover). Herpes held no power over me in any way in those pursuits.


So, rest assured that you are who you have chosen to be. The challenges herpes presents are mostly psychological. If you continue to chase down goals and work hard, you will achieve success.


I learned something very important while away.

Diligence, will power, and determination are everything. A friendly attitude helps, too. But no matter the challenges you face, if you pick it up with your own two hands, and own it, you will be better off than if you had given up or ignored it. 100% of the time.

Own that you have herpes, decide what you're going to do about it and do just that. Then keep chasing the goals you had before you knew, and keep finding new ones.

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Thanks for the support while I dealt with a really stressful and volatile few weeks. I am certain that reading about other's experience and advice has been, and will continue to be, a major factor in my continuing efforts to regain my sense of self.

I want everyone who reads this to know that my intentions have not been to brag, or to garner sympathy at any point. The only intent here was purging emotional overload, documenting some of my experiences, and laying out a loose set of criteria for myself to gauge my own mental state.

I would like to think that someone else who has shared similar moods, emotions, and contemplations could find some assurance that they are in fact not breaking apart, and that their purpose both for themself, in society, or in God's eyes hasn't changed a bit.

And good words for anyone in any situation, do your best to make plans for the future that excite you! Use those plans as a point to focus on, and let yourself occasionally indulge in the feeling of anticipation. It will keep your well for internal conflict deep, and your personal resilience strong.


Thanks to those who read and took it with a grain of salt.


If you find yourself back tracking in mood, that happens, it's okay to feel down.

If you find yourself having trouble setting aside thoughts of anger, or shame, or self-loathing, reach out to someone you can trust like family, friends, or therapy.

Do things that make you feel genuine pride in yourself. And feel proud again!

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Day 45 Update:


I am actually doing pretty well these days.

I still feel guilt and shame when I think about sex sometimes, which I guess gives me some perspective on how people raised to be ashamed of their sexuality must feel. It's totally lame and not awesome in any way. Sex used to be good times all the time.

Stupid virus.

My girlfriend has been awesome in helping me deal, but I know she feels bad when I turn her down for sex. I don't offer any explanation about it, but I know I should. At least so she knows it's not a lack of attraction.

I'll have to have that conversation eventually...


Other than that, I have been helping my brother deal with his schizophrenia a lot lately. It has been hard on him. He has very real, very traumatic hallucinations that include visual, audio, and tactile.

I think he is dealing with some post traumatic stress, and that is making his disorder more difficult to manage.

I am grateful that he is not like the other schizophrenic people I have met. He has good hygiene, cleans up after himself, takes care of his own medication doses, and keeps his apartment neat.

But it is an absolute monster.

It certainly puts herpes in perspective.

Unfortunately, it has me absolutely exhausted from stress and lack of sleep.


Aside from that:

College degree is in the bag.

Work rolls on, annual raise is on the way next month.

Girlfriend remains a really great lady.


I think that focusing on being there for the people close to me and chasing goals has made dealing with herpes less shitty.

It is a stupid damn virus, and infuriating that it is so epidemic (or pandemic?)!

It still angers me that I contracted herpes while in a monogamous relationship after having known each other for months with a really great girl who is smart and responsible.


But none of that defines me. It's just stuff that happens.

Bottom line is, I'm doing alright.

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@RegularGuy I have thoroughly enjoyed reading m this entire post. I can relate to every single thing you felt, aside from the gf part. As a single, 40 yr old woman, I was mortified to find that I had contracted H, especially since I am not sexually active and haven’t been in quite some time. Even when I was, I always used protection. YES, I am 2 mths in from learning I am H+. Some days I feel “normal”, other days I feel unbearable guilt and disgust about myself. It’s a daily struggle, but eventually I’ll get the hang of it all.


Thank you for such an inspirational post, even if you didn’t mean for it to be.

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I think many people share similar things when they find out they have herpes. It has been reassuring to me to know that others have had similar experiences. More so that others have had it longer and feel less of the negative stuff.

I'm glad you feel like you are on track for getting the hang of things!

Keep being your kick ass self, herpes doesn't make the slightest difference in who you are!

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Day 46 Update:


I shaved my pubic hair about a week ago, despite a huge deal of anxiety about spreading the virus via razor.

So far, no problems. However, it will probably be a couple of months before I'm confident that it's relatively safe to keep shaving.

In an attempt to be safer about it, I shave the area around the shaft, and the shaft itself last because that is where I had sores during my first outbreak.


Thankfully, I have not had any follow-up outbreak. I have gotten some itching sensation, but it's hard to tell if that isn't just mild razor burn. I'll have to wait to see what happens in the future.


Overall mood is back to normal.

Discontinued medication in light of a lack of symptoms.

Able to use stress to perform as fuel for achievement.

Able to steer thoughts away from guilt and depression pretty effectively.

Grateful for a bunch of stuff!

Thank God!

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Day 54 update:


Being there for my brother, who has schizophrenia, really puts herpes in perspective.

His ability to steer his own train of thought, to manage anxiety, and depression is incredible.

Not only does his disorder cause these negative things directly, he also deals with a lot of the same feelings of shame, fear, and feelings of loss of identity that we do.

He is by no means the Hollywood example of crazy, though. In every way, he is more rational and responsible than most.


I have realized that being there for him has made me feel like myself. We talk about similarities and differences in our situations a lot.

He clearly deals with a much higher degree of social stigma, anxiety and shame. But he uses similar tricks to feel like himself and to solidify his resolve:

Looking forward to the future. Doing things that make him feel accomplished. Steering his mind away from negative things. Reminding himself that he is the same great person he has always been.


I don't want to minimize the situation anyone else is in. But I do want to underline that doing the basics to make yourself feel accomplished and whole is the key to gaining the resilience necessary to push forward, especially through depression.



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My advice is to stop looking for "well at least I don't have..." situations.


Herpes is nothing. At the same time don't always think about what's worse etc. who knows, maybe one day you will get cancer. Then thinking "at least I don't have cancer" goes out the window.


I wouldn't even put herpes in the same book with either schiz or cancer or any of those heavy duty life situations. It's another world

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Yeah, that's kind of what I was trying to say. Not "at least I don't have", but more "enjoy what you can while you can."

Also, it's good to help people close to you, even if it's just showing up and being a true friend to them. It makes you feel like you're doing something meaningful and positive with your life.

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Figured I'd follow up again, just for my own sake.


First, if anyone is curious:

I held off on shaving my pubic hair for probably 2 months after I had fully healed from my first out break. I wanted to be confident that I wouldn't cause the virus to spread while my immune system got a relative handle on it.

I don't shave every day, only when I am sure I'm not feeling any symptoms at all, and never within a week of the last time. So far, no evidence of spreading. No evidence of a follow-up out break.

I consider myself extremely lucky in that.


I still get angry sometimes.

I still get down on myself about having herpes.

It's nothing too terrible, but it happens.


It's all too easy to hold on to anger, but no good comes from it.

It's all to easy to feel depressed, but it only holds me back from being who I want to be.


I still think about herpes pretty often. In the shower, when I see someone I am attracted to, or when I get intimate with my girlfriend.

She sure as hell does not understand, and that is frustrating. But, I do my best to keep things even-keel with her, despite some internal conflict about my self-image.

I never had to consider that angle before. I used to be very proud of my sexuality. That's not completely gone, just a little more complicated.


Hope it passes with time.


In some ways, I benefit from a small degree of humility. I don't really like it though, I like my narcissism (at a loss for a more accurate word at the moment). Maybe I'll get it back, maybe I will live with a bit of humbleness.

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Thank you so much for sharing your story. And thank you so much for updating so often. I just found out about this less than a month ago. Some days, I feel like me, other days, I get defeated. Just the other day I was feeling really down because my ex seems to have gotten back together with a girl he was briefly dating after he broke up with me. He broke up with her and maybe they're back together. Whatever. Not my problem. But it made me so sad because I saw a future with him.


I'm on H dating sites now and hoping that I click with someone so I don't have to deal with the shitty social parts of this infection. I am learning though not to feed off stress (I used to just let stress wash over me) and I'm trying to take better care of myself, though I do admit I haven't been eating that much lately. Maybe that will change soon.


Hang in there, and keep us updated!

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Fortunately, time is our ally in a lot of ways.

Time to look at ourselves objectively, and see our flaws, beyond herpes. But also time to see our redeeming qualities, too! Time to find someone who means what they say, and does not simply offer lip service. Time to put anger and depression into perspective, and find that there is ample reason to feel both satisfaction and gratefulness.


I understand your struggle in regard to not eating so much. Stress suppresses my appetite as well. While in the short term, it did help improve my cardio, it has become unhealthy. Compounded by the fact that I lack the interest and the will to exercise, I have to admit that I am letting myself slip.

However, I don't take it as a defeat. In becoming a balanced person overall, I have been focusing more on creative hobbies like writing. So it's a wash in my mind for now.

Similarly, you may find your interests changing somewhat. Considering the timeframe of your diagnosis, certainly steer yourself into as ideal a state as possible. But, don't fall prey to the mindset that every change you experience is inherently negative.

Look forward to the future, because it is definitely in your hands for the vast majority.


I think I have said it before, to take initiative 100%. I should modify that by addin the caveat: If something is working for you, don't be too quick to discount it.

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Thank you again for responding! I totally agree, this whole thing has made me look at everything differently. I feel like in some ways I'm more confident about myself as a person, even though I do feel in many ways insecure about my h.


It's a very strange place to be indeed, but I feel as if there is good to come. Today was a very positive day for me. I'm choosing to remain that way and not get caught in a cycle. With this new obstacle, I'm even more determined to make it a nonissue. There are days when I'm down, but not today!



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3 month update:


Unfortunately, I'm having another out break.

This time around my anus, and it is very painful.

I am somewhat certain that this is not a result of shaving, as I had not shaved for about 2 weeks before the out break began showing symptoms of general itching in the whole butt-crack area.

It's been about a month since I stopped taking my daily suppression medicine (1000mg valacyclovir), and the timing seems to suggest that the virus found nerve pathways to move along.


I am back on valacyclovir 1000mg once a day, and will continue for at least a year at my doctor's recommendation. Likely, I will stay on the meds for the rest of my life, as this out break has caused a small, but noticeable amount of depression.

My girlfriend remains supportive, and understands that the out break as completely ruined my libido. Even if it hadn't, I would still insist on abstaining anyway.

Thankfully, my girlfriend is very much onboard with doing things together that will help take my mind off herpes, and with the holiday coming up, I couldn't be more grateful.

I'm not drowning in a pit of misery, and I'm not falling apart from symptoms of the virus. But it is shaming, and I am uncomfortable most of the time.


I don't think this outbreak will last as long as my first, and the general cold-like symptoms are much less this time. But I would recommend to anyone that has contracted herpes recently to consider staying on medication for a year to help prevent possible recurring out breaks. I would also recommend waiting longer than I did before shaving pubic hair, as there is a possibility that I accidentally spread the virus. Giving more time to let your immune system compensate is probably a good idea.

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Hi @RegularGuy, I was just diagnosed on Thursday Dec 21 and have been distraught ever since - crying on and off all day. Like you I'm a bit of a perfectionist, I've never faced something that couldn't be fixed with sheer will power and determination. Reading your posts have helped me feel a little better and I'm so thankful for them.

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Thank you for the feedback! I never thought my own rambling would make any difference.

Terrible to have so much inner turmoil going on during the holidays. Not that it's much easier any other time of year. I'm sorry to hear you're going through all this anyway.

I am definitely familiar with the sudden bouts with depression. I found myself feeling like I never knew what thought or what circumstance would bring me down.

Rest assured that you will regain your pride, and you have tons of achievements and success ahead of you. Constantly seeking self improvement inherently comes with a lot of disapointments, but if you live that lifestyle already, you are familiar with facing the bitter reality of your own abilities (or lack thereof). I took a lot of comfort in realizing that there are many things I will never achieve perfection with in my own mind, and this is just another thing I won't attack and destroy.

Think of it more like managing cardio: there are things you can do to help, but you're never going to be perfect all the time (age, illness, lack of getting outside and running every day).


Just don't take it as defeat.

I am fortunate in having a very kind and supportive relationship, if I can find that, anyone can.

For me now, only a few months after finding out, I still get down about it sometimes however I have so much success and good things to look back on already!

You'll see, it won't make an ounce of difference in the long run!



Update on the second out break:

I'm still uncomfortable most of the time, but it isn't painful. It might be more psychological than physical at this point, though.


If you have symptoms in the anus area, I'd recommend staying away from spicy foods, haha!


Anyway, I had a really awesome Christmas with my girlfriend, and I spent the holiday sharing good memories and reflecting on all the many things I have to be grateful for.

Herpes is no longer a major subject of thought for me, but it has changed some things. I chose not to let it define me, and it doesn't!



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I hope you won't mind if I use you as a sounding board, for some reason through all of your posts here I feel fairly comfortable to do so. I finally had some positivity come through yesterday, day 5 into my life with GHSV1. I've realized that much of my agony comes from my own judgments that I didn't realize I had, rooted of course in the judgments of my family. It truly does bring me comfort to see that someone else, a few months into their journey with genital herpes, has regained some control over their feelings and the virus hasn't completely taken over their life. I finally started to show myself some kindness instead of being so harsh and picking apart my brain for the 'how did this happen'.


I am actually in a relationship with someone right now, and similar to yours when you were diagnosed it is quite new - about 2 months old. It's unclear if I acquired this from him or my ex - I've only had 2 partners in my life. At first we were fairly certain I got it from my current boyfriend, but upon realizing he'd confused cold sores with canker sores he's decided to get tested to be sure. He's been wonderful - hasn't exhibited an ounce of judgment or anger or disdain. He told me that regardless of whether he's positive or negative, he wants to continue to pursue our relationship. There's the toughest part, the clearest example of my self-loathing - I haven't been able to believe him. It's inconceivable to me that anyone would be willing to take the risk.


That being said, like I mentioned earlier in this post, I found some positivity yesterday. I've begun to understand, in no small part due to your postings, that this doesn't define me or my worth as a person/partner. Any disease or illness of my body should invite gentility and kindness from myself instead of anger and self-punishment. And plus, exhibiting more love toward myself has certainly been far less painful than the other.


Regarding your second outbreak:

I'm happy to hear it isn't too terrible, my first outbreak was unbelievably mild and healed within 5 days of the treatment. I'm somewhat fearful that since I got lucky the first go around, my second will be much less forgiving. Of course, everyone is different and I know I can't predict my experience based off of others' but still, I'm glad to see it isn't affecting you too badly. I am going to take your suggestion and speak to my doctor about taking suppressive medication for the first year, especially if it turns out my partner is negative.

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It's good to know you are so aware of your mental process! Your strong resolve and positivity will absolutely have a big impact on your relationship!

I have mentioned before, but it bares repeating that you should also be aware that the first person that accepts you as you are, knowing your diagnosis generally is the subject of a skewed level of gratitude. If things are good in all the important aspects of relationship for you, give yourself permission to enjoy it! However, if you find yourself balancing controlling or malicious behavior on their part with the fact that they accept your condition, take a step back and evaluate if the relationship is a good one. I went through a couple of weeks of uncertainty with this, but the woman I am with consistently demonstrates so many positive qualities, my doubt was quickly dissolved.

Your decision to seek suppressive therapy is a good one in my opinion, fear is a very powerful thing, and has a big impact on daily life. Fearing the next out break is a real problem at this stage for you, and the security blanket style peace of mind offered by medication (in addition to all of the other benefits) has been a consistent help for me personally. I think most people who first get diagnosed would benefit from gaining a little comfort from "at least doing something about it" by taking a daily pill.

Regarding your boyfriend's test results, it may help to decide that either way, you won't hold on to anger or fear. I was admittedly upset with my girlfriend's results, and it caused more anger and doubt than I can describe. But she remained honest, supportive and thoughtful, regardless of the tough line of questions I had to throw at her. Since then, we have made it a point that it is okay to talk about herpes, but that it should not be a defining facet of our day to day. We seem to naturally balance herpes conversations with intentionally turning the subject to something positive and fun before we part ways. This is a really good system, it can be as simple as pointing out something about the other person that you really like once you have concluded your venting about the disease.

Overall, I have to tell you that I am impressed, and I know that you have all of the tools and abilities you need to steer your thoughts in a positive direction to get yourself feeling "normal" again. When things get tough, and you begin to despair, remember to imagine the future and to make it a future where you have herpes, but it doesn't stop you from being the awesome person you always have been!

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Update on the second out break:

What I thought was herpes round 2: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Edition

May actually be something else entirely.


The only reason any of this might be relevant is whether it is indeed a follow-up out break, or if I simply assumed and my assumption prevented me from seeing a doctor sooner.


Bottom line up front:

If stuff starts happening, see a doctor, don't just assume herpes is being different.

Had a surprising amount of blood in my stool today. I don't think herpes tends to bleed, and I am concerned that it may be some sort of cancer like issue, as my family has a consistent history of cancer, polyps, tumors, precancerous cells, etc.

For those who aren't familiar with the connection here:

A tumor, polyp, or cancerous mass may develop in your colon. It can cause itching, discomfort, pain, and eventually develop blood vessels in it which are prone to breaking and causing bleeding during a visit to the ol' throne room.


Going to the doctor either today or tomorrow to get it checked out.

I seem to have a knack for developing life-threatening conditions around the beginning of the year. Last time was 2014: infected tonsils that progressed from perfectly fine to emergency surgery overnight. Apparently the little bastards were going to kill me via sepsis in a matter of hours, if not for the hero of a doctor having driven an hour out of his way, on his way home after a shift in the pediatric hospital, through a rainstorm, to come perform surgery while I sat upright in a chair with local anesthetic and I coughed blood back at him uncontrollably every few seconds, and no assistance from the emergency room staff.


If you ever wondered where a appreciation for life, and a need to make the most of each day comes from, that would be one way to get it, haha! I marked my calendar, 1/1/2014, RegularGuy died today, if not for a highly skilled surgeon.


Seems like I'm not going through anything so immediately deadly, but I'm not exactly "in fighting shape". It's enough that I would not be surprised if the doctor informed me that I was being scheduled for surgery right away, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they tell me it is in fact just a symptom of herpes and send me on my way.


I'm not too terribly stressed about it because even if it is something cancerous, it's not as sudden a death as sepsis from infection, but it ranks as faster than heart failure from age, so I am not taking it lightly.



Hope everyone had a decent new year celebration. The girlfriend and I went to dinner at a nice place, and I passed out at home on the sofa before the ball dropped at midnight, successfully disappointing her, haha! Oops!

Well, you won't do everything you meant to, and a lot of the things you do won't be perfect. It's still worth trying.

Happy 2018!

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I think you might be right that it could be fissures. That is one of the effects of herpes out break, which is why I suspected. It seemed to get better, then subsequently worse. That got me concerned.

We are experiencing a snow and ice problem in Charleston right now, so I have to wait on seeing the doc, but I will follow up after.

If it is herpes related, I will explain the symptoms better so others can know what to look out for. But, it stands to reason not to assume too much. If anyone gets similar symptoms, see a doctor.

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@RegularGuy, your post has helped me tremendously as I just found out this morning and told my partner hours after I found out. The only difference was that I didn't mention when I first experienced my symptoms because it was so crazy to me that I just knew it couldn't be that. I was praying for some rare case of yeast infection that caused this.


I can't say I've received the same support. He hasn't mentioned leaving, but it's also not clear that he will continue to be here as he has over the past few months. My main concern is praying that I didn't give it to him. I had my first OB a few days after being with him for the first time. It was unprotected of course. A part of me almost hopes that he doesn't want to be with me so that I can just be alone and not held responsible for his sexual health even if he doesn't have it and we continue to have sex, which I already know will already take a while to get back to for his and my own reasons.


I hadn't even thought about the shower situation, so now that's on my mind. I've literally by Lysol-ing every door know, faucet, handles, etc. I'm nervous about towels and sheets when I'm at my moms. Or accidently sharing the soap. This is all a mind fuck.


I'm happy to read your growth. Maybe in 45 days I'll feel the same. Maybe this is a lesson I needed for so many reasons...


I hope all continues to go well!

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Thank you for the positive feedback. Sorry to hear that you've joined the club. I understand that you have a million things going on, and then there is also herpes. It makes participating in a relationship challenging, but it is worth the extra effort to persist with your s/o if herpes is the only thing that makes it difficult.

Because soon you will feel like it's -just- herpes, not the monster it feels like now.


You should throttle back on treating it like the flu, and that your very breath carries plague, because it simply isn't that nefarious.

Realistically, just washing your hands seems to be plenty of precaution.

I would encourage you to adapt to handling and washing towels thoughtfully, as there is some doubt in the medical community. Warm, wet environment and all that noise.

But overall, if you pay attention to your body, and don't panic about things, you will be able to handle it just fine.


Regarding sex, there is nothing wrong with abstaining temporarily, especially while you have symptoms. Your partner should understand without much need for convincing. Nobody deserves to feel guilt or shame in the bedroom!


I know you probably have a lot of introspection going on these days. Take the opportunity to practice steering your thoughts toward positive ideas of how you will meet your near future! Is the person you are with right for you? Is now a good time to use some vacation time to do something fun? Do you have any hobbies or projects you can do that make you feel accomplished, especially if the thought of leaving the confines of your home is stressful? Remember what you dreamed you would be doing next year? Is there anything you can focus on doing to help get you there?

These are the introspective questions that are hiding just behind all of that fear and sadness. This could be a tine for anxiety and strife, but you have the power not to let it be!


Good luck!

Welcome to the community!

Please reach out to someone close, or us here on the forums if you find yourself struggling!

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Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! I’m completely ok with abstaining and taking necessary precautions, my challenge has been not puttin too much on my partner too soon. He now wants to slow down, no longer sure about children, having sex in general, etc. We seem to be better today but my personality has always been to get all the answers now and I realize I can’t force him to be OK with this and the simple fact that’s he’s still here, is effort in itself. Was there a period that your partner was doubtful and she eventually came around?


I’m slowly getting to a place where it is just Herpes. I hope that gets easier as I understand my body. I feel like this is a life lesson, tough lesson, that God has shown me as a way to one take care of myself (no stress or horrible eating) and to stop making sex such a huge center (I haven’t always been the most responsible). I wish this lesson had been presented before a boyfriend came along, but hey. Everything happens for a reason.


Thank you again!

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