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new to life with herpes

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Hello everyone,


I just turned 21 in March, and as a birthday gift I had my first outbreak of herpes. I am studying abroad and had to do this all on my own and in French and it was a really really difficult time for me. I am doing a lot better, and miraculously found these websites quickly, but I am still struggling from time to time. Neither of my partners in the past 6 months seem to have it, but also I'm not sure they did the right tests. I like to be giving but in this situation I'd rather be the receiver because I would hate to have given it to the guy I'm with now, we get along great and he is supportive but so far we haven't had sex since I got diagnosed and had my outbreak (beginning of April). --the one I am with will get another test, the one before isn't being as cooperative--


Well, I don't exactly know where I'm going with this but I just feel so young to have this forever and everything here is very supportive but there are moments when I feel so alone. I was talking to a friend of a friend and I don't know how it came up but she said that she would rather be buried alive than have herpes...Now, I know that is extreme but it scares me because it does represent the social stigma that is very prevalent in relation to herpes. ...


So, my happiness and self-strength comes and goes in waves, and I look you all of you for support. I have support from my parents but I haven't told any of my close friends yet because I am abroad and wanted to talk in person...

Thanks for everything and I admire your strength!


Much much much love


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Wow, a herpes diagnosis in French! That had to push your whole immersion experience a bit further than expected. ;) Thank you for reaching out here. There's a lot of support for you here regardless of the language (although I tend to understand English best). All kidding aside, I'm truly sorry you went through that. I imagine that felt pretty lonely ...


Remember that even though you will have herpes for life, it doesn't mean you'll feel the same as you do right now for your whole life. ;) Change is the only constant. Your feelings about what having herpes means will change if you allow them to. Be open to healing and things will shift for the better. But that's the kicker to healing: In order to move on, we must fully feel what is right here in front of us, at our core.


It is a practice to hold your own view of what herpes means to you, even amongst the societal stigma that seems to be surrounding us. We are the ones who get to dictate for ourselves what it means to us. No one else gets to tell me what my experience will feel like. I appreciate your waves of happiness and self-strength, and the other waves of sadness and loneliness, to ... All of these are meant to be and natural. There's nothing wrong with how you are feeling right now. Remember that. Love yourself through the feelings that you are feeling in this moment. That will allow yourself to heal.

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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Emma, my experience has been that initially it seems really overwhelming to imagine having "HERPES" for LIFE. But now that I have actually lived with it for the last year and a half, I have come to realize it's not a big deal. Honestly, in my everyday life, it's not even on my radar. Yeah, when it comes to meeting a potential new partner, then it becomes a bit more front stage and can be a bit more of a "live issue" but once I get past that, it goes back into the background like anything else that "just is". It's like having the flu - annoying at the time when you're sick, but once you get well you just move on with life. Once you come to terms with it, herpes is just one more thing that makes you who you are. I can honestly say that herpes has made me a better person. I have learned so much about myself since my diagnosis. It has forced me to really look at my life and to heal those parts of me I had been trying to ignore all my life. Society may have a stigma about it, but we each get to decide whether we want to accept that or not. There are stigmas around so many things - height, weight, race, how much money you make, what you do for a living, etc. At the end of the day, each of us has our own struggles and we each have a choice in how we are going to deal with them - victim or victor. It's our choice. I am so glad you have reached out and you found this forum. Welcome!!


Love, Brenda xoxo

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Oh Emma! I feel for you. I was also abroad when I was diagnosed...it was the toughest time of my life to date, but that was two months ago and I already feel SO much better about it.

The social stigma really makes my skin crawl but now I look at people that say such callous remarks and feel embarrassed for them because they sound so ignorant and immature. I am still an amazing person; herpes did not change the person I am and it won't change you. Stay strong, girl. I know it's hard right now, but I say all of this to you from a place that I did not think I would ever get back to after my diagnosis. Life goes on and it goes on splendidly, I promise. *hugs!*

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you everyone for all of your love and support. I am still figuring things out, but I realized I don't think about it every day. I don't know if that is good or bad. Because except for those miserable 2 weeks it hasn't affected much of my life. I still am with the guy who unwittingly gave it to me (he has never had an outbreak let alone knew he had the virus) and life goes on. But soon I will go back to the states to finish school and I'm scared that is when all the rough stuff will start. I appreciate your help everyone!

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