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Going through the motions.

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I have been feeling very fearful in the way I have been thinking and in the ways in which my behaviours have changed since being diagnosed with this about 2 months ago.


I just turned 24. Before this happened, I was free, happy and really starting to become comfortable with and love myself. I finally felt ready to be with someone. My life felt magical and nearly perfect, I felt like I was on the right path (constantly reading about how to improve my health, become more spiritual, and how to contribute and be a positive influence in the lives of others). I had big dreams of how I would make the world a better place. I was so happy and so excited about everything in life. I was completely zen and smiled all of the time for no reason. I was grateful for everything and everyone that led me to where I was. I just graduated university. I followed a very compassionate, clean, healthy plant based diet and felt like I was truly becoming the change I wished to see in the world. I didn't consume any addictive substances (sugar, caffeine, wheat, dairy, alcohol, etc). I ran a marathon. I travelled to the other side of the world on a work holiday visa. I was improving and growing in so many ways... And I could really see that the people around me were benefitting from my positivity and strength. I am not saying any of this to brag, but just because it really feels like part of my story.


While travelling I met a person who told me he loved me the week after we met, and without even really stopping to analyse and think logically about it I told him I loved him too, even though deep down, I knew it wasn't right. But he said he loved me and at the time I couldn't see the harm. No man has ever said it to me before. Him and I never exactly agreed to be exclusive, and he was much older than me so I didn't really know how to communicate that with him without scaring him off. I assumed that because I was open and honest about everything, that he would be too. Long story short, in between times with me, he slept with another girl and being the naeve girl I was, I never even suspected that. He says she's the one who gave him herpes, which was passed on to me, but I think he knew he had it all along. To make it all worse, he just took off back to his home on the other side of the world after my diagnosis (while I was still sick with the flu symptoms no less) leaving me an open-wound here with a broken heart, far away from my home, family and friends, with so many unanswered questions and "what ifs?". I was such a fool for thinking that when he said he loved me, he meant he wanted to be with me when that wasn't the case at all. I am mortified.


The outbreaks were pretty bad at first, and although they've quieted down for the time being, I just can't seem to shake this feeling of complete and total sadness and regret. I feel as though the hopeful, joyous person I was becoming before this happened has died. I was a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, but I guess this time I am having a lot of trouble seeing the silver lining, and I've sort of let go of that empowering belief... which makes me even more angry and sad, that a good person with a healthy world outlook that had so much to offer is now essentially dead because of his mistake, his irresponsibility, his lack of integrity. I've started eating poorly and have lost interest in things I use to love. I no longer feel sexual at all. I feel I am no longer in control, which is a scary feeling because I had so much control and was previously very selective with my partners (I can count on one hand the number of people I have been with) before this happened and just let my guard down the one time because I wanted to believe the love was real so badly. I have been gaining weight and no longer feel at all desirable. Flirting is out of the question. Songs with sexy or romantic lyrics now just make me feel sad and sick and act as a reminder of the piece of me that is now gone. I can no longer daydream about having flings or romances.


And while I am smart enough to know that I shouldn't let a stupid stigma dictate how I feel about a harmless virus that for the most part can be a non issue in my day-to-day life if I choose to let it be that, I still can't seem to shake this overwhelming feeling of sadness, embarrassment, anger, fear, worry, disgust, etc. the burden of it all just seems so unfair. I read stories about people who have been living with these feelings of intense resistance for so many years, and I just can't imagine going on like that, being unable to accept myself or what has happened. It just isn't fair to the people I love to be around someone so sad and negative.


Telling my story does offer some relief... but at the end of the day, no matter how much relief I feel, I still have herpes. No matter how much and for how long the symptoms quiet down, I still have herpes. No matter how healthy I become in mind and body, I still have a condition that is irreversible. Doesn't matter that I've never been promiscuous, or that I got it because I just wanted to love and be loved by someone. The reality is that I have it, and that should I choose to open my heart enough to love someone again, there is a chance that I might tarnish that person's heart, soul, and body even if they choose to be with me regardless of the infection. That being said, I also don't want to limit myself to dating only others who share with me the commonality of a virus. So I've been finding it kind of difficult to be positive with these things always playing in the back of my mind. Love is so, so important to me... finding it is really the only thing I've ever looked forward to in life. I feel like everything I've ever done in my life has been in preparation of finding that special someone to love. And now that everything has been for nothing.


I guess I am wondering if anyone has gotten through to the other side of this, I mean REALLY gotten through and found everlasting peace? If so, can you offer any perspectives on how to move forward from here? Is that even possible?

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Wow, Heart of Gold ... what an apt name you chose for yourself on these forums. I can tell that you cherish love. You love love. And that inspires me. A heart like yours isn't meant to be held back in the world. Just because one man didn't appreciate your heart, didn't respect your heart, doesn't mean that you can't still unleash it on the world.


Interestingly enough, when I got herpes, I was on a SUPER HIGH of my life, too! I was reading Power of Now, getting totally inspired, overcoming my shyness in approaching women, loving myself and accepting myself more than I ever had before. Life was awesome. And it was at that peak that I got the news. I believe now, looking back on that timing, that it was perfect. From that time on, it started a process of introspection for me, of knowing myself on an even deeper level. And that beautiful process continues to this day. And my heart is bigger, deeper and more expansive than ever. I have learned to be with myself in ways that I don't think would have shown up if it weren't for getting herpes (I know, I know, sounds crazy, huh?)


Also, consider this: You cannot have super highs without super lows. You can't have yin without yang. This isn't some cliché thing; this is a fact of the world. In this valley, if you fully explore it and live in it without numbing out to it, you can have access to that kind of peak, too. It's all one.


And what about you? Where are you in all of this? You said "I feel like everything I've ever done in my life has been in preparation of finding that special someone to share love with. And now that everything has been for nothing." That floored me. Is your heart so big for others that you will only do for yourself in preparation for someone else's benefit?


You ask about people who have REALLY gotten through and found peace from herpes? You're lookin' at him. ;) And everyone who has gone through the weekend seminar has — Check out what they say about it here: http://bit.ly/10yleq7 ... Because connecting to yourself on a deep level (which it sounds like you already have access to) has a magical way of bypassing any sort of anxiety around herpes. Let yourself have your feelings right now. Don't overanalyze it and try to figure out how to get past this. I get that you're super smart. And when it comes to feelings, you can't apply intellect to them to wash them away. It is what it is right now. And for whatever reason, it sounds like it feels heavy, ominous, sad. Let yourself feel those things fully. They are okay. You are okay. Your feelings and you deserve to be here. As @obladi_oblada said, those are your teachers now.


When you are ready to be with someone else in relationship, you will know it. For now, be with yourself. I have no doubt that all of that beauty that you had found before will be found again. It is not gone. Just waiting to be uncovered again. And when you do, it will be beautiful. I promise.

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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Hi Heart of gold,


I have no words of wisdom as I am new to this as well. I just wanted to thank you for your beautiful post, it's raw honesty and open vulnerability. I too love to help people, do my best to be kind, compassionate and eat a plant based diet.


I can totally see how this can floor you. Take some time to process your emotions. If possible see if you can get some counselling where you are. Some communities even have counselling that is income based if you cannot afford it.


Welcome to the forum,


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Thank you so much for your post. You get it. And you really know the way to my heart - through song. "Ob-la-di, ob-la-da" has been playing on repeat since I read your message. :]



I don't want to be down in the dumps. I don't want to feel sorry for myself, to feel like a victim, to be a person who suddenly needs to be counselled. I don't want the added burden of telling someone I have herpes when dating is already hard enough as it is. I just don't want any of it.


I want to know how I'd feel and where I'd be and how I'd see that beautiful sunset and talk to that cute guy and what I'd be daydreaming about right now if none of this ever happened. I want to live my best life, to love every part of my life. And suddenly, I don't know how.


I don't want to be throwing a temper tantrum over something I know I can't change, especially over a common fucking skin condition that doesn't need to be thought of as anything more than an occasional nuisance.


But I AM throwing a temper tantrum because this DID happen and this IS the reality and I'll never know what MAY have happened otherwise.


So I guess the next step in putting myself back together is to ask "what now?" instead of the torturous "what if's" that have been haunting me since this happened.




Thank you for reminding me that it is okay to feel my feelings, however dark and heavy they may be, without trying to think my way out of them. You are right when you say that the low times are just as important as the high times, as they can show us new strengths we never knew we had.


I think what makes this particular situation so difficult is that my typical coping mechanisms don't quite work this time around. I can't laugh it up as a stupid one time thing I did that's now over and done. It's not a funny story I can tell all my friends, or even a beautiful story about falling in love and getting my heart broken. I can't find comfort in the fact that "a year from now, this problem will mean almost nothing" because a year from now, I'll still have herpes, and the problem will still mean something. Can't deny it, and can't just forget about it or pretend it never happened and move on. While I know I will eventually be able to forgive myself and the person who gave it to me, and that will help, the fact is that it ain't goin' anywhere. It's a lot to process.


All this time I have been thinking that I already knew it all, so what could I possibly have left to learn by getting herpes that I wasn't going to learn otherwise?


I'm going to try to be open to finding a deeper meaning here. Maybe it's deeper compassion, humility, empathy. Maybe I needed something to show me that I'm not perfect or invincible, and that I too, am prone to deep sadness and heartbreak. Maybe this will prevent me from getting mixed up with the wrong men in the future, because maybe this would have happened eventually anyway, at a time when I would have been less equipped to deal with it. Or maybe this will teach me to better communicate my needs in intimate relationships.


Maybe someday I will see the lesson clearly and will find the peace and clarity that you inspiring individuals seem to have found. But for now, it really just sucks.




Thank you for your kind message. I am still overseas and am considering counselling for when I do go back.


Look forward to talking more with all of you.



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Heart of Gold,


Here is my take on things - one thing that jumped out at me is your anger with your past partner. In order to heal, you need to forgive him and his betrayal of your heart. Now, forgiveness does not mean you say "hey, no big deal. You broke my heart, gave me herpes for life and now I get to remember the hurt every single day because herpes is on my mind every freakin day. Thank you SO much!" I get that honey. I got my gift from a man who was only with me because I was his meal ticket. He was the same - "I love you" fell out of his mouth very quickly. I believed all his lies and in exchange I got the gift that keeps on giving. What I learned is first of all I had to release my hate and anger at him for how he hurt and used me. And I had to release my resentment to him for giving me this virus. Once I did that, that is when the healing began.


The other thing I have learned in 48 years on this planet is that when you are growing and learning and becoming this person you want to be, and intellectually you have it all figured out, that is when life says "oh really??" and gives you real life opportunities to see whether you really have it at a heart level. All that growth and expansion you had was preparing you for this herpes opportunity. All that you learned can now be used in a very practical way to overcome one of the biggest challenges you have had so far. How exciting is that!! You now get to use all that knowledge and enlightenment in a very real way "in the field". You can use all you learned to now take care of yourself and help yourself heal and become an even more amazing version of who you are right now! I have been through the trenches myself, been through the H Opportunity weekend, read all the books, done the meditation, taken the courses, etc. and I can tell you, I LOVE who I am now. And none of that would have come my way without this amazing virus.


Keep reaching out my dear. Go back to what you were doing before. Pick up those books that so inspired you before. Look at that diet that made you feel so awesome. Get back to those marathons. Pick youself up, dust yourself off and say "This is NOT how it is going to end". Don't give that guy the power to dim your light. He obviously didn't deserve the jewel that you are but what he left you with could be the biggest opportunity of your life. Only you can decide!


Hugs and many blessings my dear,


Brenda xoxo

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Hey Brenda,


Thank you for your message and advice, it really means a lot to me.


The funny thing is, is that I knew as soon as this happened that in order to move forward, I had to forgive him (and myself) first. Tony Robbins quotes were running through my head ("when you're stuck in blame or shame, you can't make any progress" etc.) Ironically, just before my diagnosis I was reading "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay (incredible woman) and one of the things she talks about is how non forgiveness can manifest as dis-ease in the body. So I sent him a message, telling him I forgive him for not being what I want him to be and I set him free. He was grateful, and wanted to continue talking to me "in a loving way." But the more I talked to him, the more I just wanted to make him feel miserable that this happened... and suddenly I was back to feeling angry and resentful. Louise Hay also says that the person you need to forgive the most is also the person you need to let go of the most. So that's where I am now, working towards letting go.


I hope I do get to a point sometime in the near future where I realise that I am worth doing those things for ( running, eating well, finding strength, etc.) and not just to MAKE myself feel worthy of being with someone ... if that makes sense.


Thanks again for your message. You are inspiring. :)



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Hi HoG,


I am SO glad you have been able to read Louise' book. She IS amazing, isn't she? And so wise but she is like us, the wounded healer. What she says is from some hard lessons she herself had to learn along the way, which makes what she says so much more amazing and relevant. I think you are wise to walk away. You can forgive, you can let go but then you need to disengage. As you are realizing, this is nothing to be gained by keeping in touch with him. You only end up hurting yourself. He wants to keep in touch, I suspect, because it makes HIM feel better and less guilty. You don't need that.


I was talking to my girlfriend about an idea she heard about. It is Japanese concept of and I can't remember what she called it but the basic idea is this. If you want to make changes, you make really small, achievable changes in your life. Say, if you wanted to start being more active again. Decide what small thing you can do today that you can do for a week. Say, walking for 5 minutes. Can you do that everyday for a week? If you can, then you do that. Then maybe the next week you might want to walk 10 minutes a day. And you do that. You can see that it doesn't seem like much, but over time, you are making small achievable steps towards something even greater. As the saying goes, even if you are making slow progress, you are far ahead anyone else doing nothing. Just a thought. Make a list of the things you would like to get back to and then pick one very small, but achievable step that you can make.


Here are some ideas. If you like Louise Hay, then she has some little books that have a positive saying for the day. Maybe get one and everyday (which is what I do) just randomly open a page and read one of her quotes. That will help you get your positive spirit back. Louise also has an exercise where you look in the mirror. Look yourself in the eyes in the mirror and say "I love you". That will help you start to love yourself more. When you go to the grocery store, park a little farther away and enjoy the walk to the store. That will get you on your way to getting more exercise. When you get up in the morning, have a full glass of water. That will help you to get on the path to start eating better. And chart your progress. Maybe get a package of fun stickers and every single day that you achieve your goals, put a sticker on your calendar. At the end of the week, plan a special treat for yourself. It doesn't have to be grand gestures. Don't get caught up in "all or nothing" thinking. Imperfect and done is better than perfect and not done. :)


If you want to be accountable to someone, I certainly don't mind being the person you can report back to. :) Sometimes it just helps to have someone who cares who can help you celebrate your small but consistent victories.


You are on the road my dear! Just keep moving forward, one baby step at a time. Sure and steady wins the race!


Hugs and much love,


Brenda xoxo

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Hey Brenda,


Thank you for the support. I think I'm just about ready to say "enough is enough" and to start working on putting myself back together.


Sometimes... I wonder how I allowed myself to be SO affected by something so minor. The more I think about it, the more I realise how little it actually has to do with the herpes itself. Every insecurity that I've ever had, that I've tried to just cover up or find quick fixes for are suddenly screaming at me.


Maybe this really will be an 'opportunity', after all, to TRULY love and accept myself from the INSIDE out, rather than the outside in? To find what really makes me tick. To not constantly be seeking approval from everyone else, as I've been doing all of this time. Maybe this doesn't have to be so depressing after all?


I'll let you know if I need an accountability buddy. :)


Love (a fellow Canadian!)



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I enjoyed reading this thread. I can relate to a lot of it. I saw that you guys read some good books and I'm in need of a new summer read. Can you recommend anything inspiring/uplifting for me by those authors or anyone else?

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Awesome HoG. :) These are the realizations I had as well. Herpes was like a "gateway" to understanding and healing myself. It really was a "gift" and an "opportunity". Had you told me that when I got the diagnosis, I probably would have thought you were a tad off your rocker, but now, having lived with it and having had the changes and growth, wow. I totally get it now! And it sounds like you are too. :)


sjj - I am not sure what sort of book you may want. My library is chock full of books. Let me see what I have and see if anything jumps out at me. That is also what I do when I am looking for something to read. I browse the books in the library or bookstore and see what seems to grab my attention or what really stands out for me. I have found some great reads that way. :)


Love to you both!


Brenda xoox

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Where to begin...


At the moment I am reading "Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist" by Michael J. Fox. So far, I am really enjoying it. The optimism he has through his situation and how he handles living with Parkinson's disease really helps me to put this all into perspective.


I also recommend Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom and The Last Lecture by Randy Pauch if you haven't read 'em yet. I have been thinking of their inspiring stories quite often lately.


Anything by Eckhart Tolle is good too (The Power of Now and A New Earth are ones I've read. I've heard Stillness Speaks is another good one to have on hand.)


Also, as Brenda and I were discussing earlier, Louise Hay's book is also a good resource. It's been a huge help.


I'm also a huge fan of Tony Robbins...


I could go on forever, but that's a start. :) hope it helps!




HoG xoxo

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Trying to constantly repeat to myself a quote of his: "It's not about the cards you're dealt, but how you play the hand." (Randy Pauch).


Will H be on my mind 24/7 for the rest of my life? Or does that go away eventually? This is getting ridic! I don't even have any symptoms. What gives?



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Does anything EVER stay the same, HoG? Nope. Things change. And our relationships to other things change. Whether those things are people, situations in our lives, our physical body, our beliefs and feelings ... or herpes. And the more accepting we are, the more we give ourselves compassion and love, that change will most definitely be for the better. Know that. Allow yourself to notice all the times herpes comes into your mind and then allow it to float out of your mind, too. You don't have to dwell on it and worry. Another good quote: "Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum." (Baz Luhrmann, Wear Sunscreen)

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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  • 4 weeks later...

Since you are my new minted H Buddy (lol) i feel the urge to say;




I felt apalled when I read "i am no longer eating healthy, training, blabla" WHAT?


This is the poorest excuse i ever heard from someone with pimples in her skin!


It's like, "heyyy jaime, whasup brah, I've got this bad acne while sleeping so I can't spot you in the training today" WUUUUUUT


What the hell? Since I was diagnosed with the H, I ran a triathlon, swam 5ks in open waters, joined a cross-fit community, play several soccer tournaments. And in the meantime I even had time to torn my ankle and my shoulder for good, got a head concussion that almost made me drown , suffered a cardiac problem, bust my spine doing dead-lifts and get a nice discal hernia (bulged disc) that kept me bedridden for two months pissing in a bucket :-))


I mean, I almost got handicapped for life because of my reckless yet obsessive love for all the sports that humans created, and now you are telling me that we can not enjoy our bodies as we used to do?




I don't want to spoil my up-coming controversial discussion called "Having herpes is a blessing, no f'real, it is"


But yeah, having this condition made me more aware of my body, my sacred temple, I feed it with good stuff and I take proper care, like the precision machine it is.



It's been a few months for you, you do not need to be ready. Grief is a phase that you should pass. The good news is it will pass. IT GETS BETTER, MUCH BETTER.


I can tell you my own experience. At the beginning when I got diagnosed I didn't give a flying damn.


I believe it was one year later when I started to feel desperate, down, paranoid. Then I rocked bottom, and from there it's been all the way up with some downs.


What I learned is that my mind (and probably yours too) plays nasty tricks. I used to stress myself with petty things. Before there were no any probably causes to put the blame on for that unusual stress.

Since I got H, I tend to blame it for stuff that made me angry/sad/anxious. That's a mind trick, the brain needs to find a culprit. My poor, harmless H got scolded and take the blame because of its nasty past (ohhh you came here from sex you filthy H) All the bad thing that are happening in my life is because of the H. Yeah, that's the reason why I am so miserable. F^*&K YOU HERPES, I HATE YOU!


I am learning to control my head when plays its games. This is a learning process and I believe I am much better now than 5 years ago.

I am starting to know myself. I am getting stronger, more perfect, I am stars' dust, atoms linked in a flawless and virtuous way. I am Mother Nature's unsullied child


The good news are that you are too :x

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OMG!! I love you. Reading that made my day. You're freakin' badass! I think we will get along just fine.


My problem has been (and you're going to laugh at how much sense this doesn't make) that because I treated my body like a sacred temple before, and that didn't protect me from herpes (I met the person who gave it to me at a vegan yoga retreat centre...figure that one out) that I just sort of threw in the towel after the diagnosis and said "what's the point? I'm damaged now.. may as well damage myself some more since no one's ever going to love me anyways!" Silly, I know. My brain's been doing some crazy things the past couple of months. Nasty tricks, like you say.


Looking forward to chatting with you H buddy.


LOVE, Mother Nature's unsullied child :)

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It's weird but I get your point.


I got it, seriously. You are taking special care of your body and even so you get infected, by a vegan nonetheless! see? eating lettuce can't be good! haha just joking!


Sorry for what I am going to do now with you but I am going to put you in a emotional corner, I am gonna blackmail you and sucker punch you in the soul....


I read about those marines who are sent to the stupid war in middle east. Young, handsome military boys that suffered the worst war injuries and yeah, you can really tell they are damaged goods, really.


I read a lot about how inspired they became after the traumatic experience, their bodies practically burnt, limbs cut off, terrible.


And yet, those guys are there to tell us they don't give up. They love and they are being loved more than ever.


I used to think about myself like a piece of rubbish. A sack full of virus. Some disgusting human being no worth being loved.


Was that true? No it wasn't. That was my low self esteem jumping into conclusions. My judgmental self deciding on how others should be seen me.


Oh dear, that was so unfair for me and my people...


Every time I hear "i am damaged goods" I no longer feel compassion but a bit of anger.


We can not feel like that. WE JUST CAN NOT. Because its not fair, because people who are, in theory, way worse than us are giving us lessons about self love.


That's why if you don't do it for yourself, do it for the rest of us.

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HereComesTheSun, you sound like an awesome person. You are young and yet somewhat of an old soul. You are right about this being a nothing little virus. The only reason it bothers me is because I have OCD so things get exaggerated in my mind.


It looks like you've come a long way in the last few months. Kudos! Stay strong!


There are many stories of people finding relationships on this forum and other forums and Facebook. I have been on a mission to spread hope for a vaccine or cure some day. I recently found some very interesting articles. I'm no longer seeing this as a forever thing. I plan to post the articles.


Right now, I am dealing with head lice. I got it from my niece. We think she got it from our relatives' foster children who visited for a week. I started to get all OCD'd out about that too. My sister-in-law is going to put the treatment on my hair today. Bye-bye lice!


So see, there are other things in life that happen too and we deal with them.


Keep us posted on your journey! You are interesting and a great writer!


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Takes an awesome person to recognise an awesome person... A thank you :)


I am an old soul for sure. Thank you for taking the time to read my long winded story. HSV, although harmless, just bums me 'cause I spent a lot of time daydreaming about my love story and how the universe would conspire to bring it about. Throwing this into the mix sorta takes the innocence and beauty out of it all... or so I keep telling myself. Maybe I'm wrong though, and it will actually bring me to something even more beautiful in the end... who's to say? Guess we'll just have to wait and see how the whole thing plays out. For now just gotta focus on controlling the controllables.

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