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Feeling panicked, scared and alone

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Hello. I’m new here. I’m 45 and I was diagnosed 2 weeks ago with hsv2. I’m not promiscuous by any means. In fact, I lost my husband 3 years ago and just started seeing someone last year. We were exclusive but I’m pretty sure he’s the one who have this to me. I had some symptoms last Jan. But was told it was a tear by my gynecologist. I had him swab me just for peace of mind and it was negative. Our relationship has been over now and the last time we had intercourse was August. So now recently I had 2 ulcers appear in my vaginal area. I went back to my doctor and now tested positive. I am having a roller coaster of emotions. I have read nonstop and feel like I can’t take in any more info. I know you all say this gets better but it is so hard to see any kind of silver lining right now. I feel like this is really adding to my grief and I just wish I could process it all. I just want to be happy again. How long before you all got there? What helps you get out of that negative thought process of never feeling like you’ll find love or be ok with intimacy again? I know there are worse things that people go through and survive. I think I just need some inspirational stories right now. Thanks all. Appreciate anything you have to offer.

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The amount of time it will take you to find some peace varies for everyone.

We all have different factors that contirbute to the difficulties.


Remember that herpes isn't going to be the biggest thing you have going on for long. It will barely be a footnote soon.

You have some work to do to get yourself there. Primarily, you probably need to regain your self-image and your sense of worth. Essentially, you have to earn your own respect all over again.

It sounds tough, but there is a formula to it.

You need excitement for the future, a feeling of being valuable, and to know that you have good things to offer others.

To regain those things, start by making a plan to do something fun for yourself soon. It will give you something to look forward to. Give yourself permission to be excited about it.

Seek opportunities to help people close to you. It doesn't have to be big stuff. Helping with dishes, or to listen when they need a sympathetic ear is enough to get a little gratitude and to remember that people still appreciate you for being around.

And do things rhat make you feel accomplished and fulfilled. A hobby you have always enjoyed. Don't let that stuff fall to the wayside.

When you feel like you need proof that nothing has changed about who you are, look back at those things and you will be assured that you are still you. Maybe just better at washing your hands, haha!


You'll notice that your recovery happens in a shaky trend toward wellness. Some days will be harder than others, and feeling a little less awesome tomorrow than you did yesterday is not failure, it's part of the process.

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Thank you for that advice Regular Guy. I know that self love is very important for many reasons not just a herpe diagnosis. I’ve learned this going through the years since my husband passed away. I guess I have just forgotten to make it a priority again now that this is happening. I really hate when I get into these self pity phases. I did this to myself and I need to deal with these consequences now. By the way, funny you should say that about a hobby- I was just looking into guitar lessons! And you made me laugh about the hand washing comment too. Thanks again!

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It's alright to see injustice that happens to us. It's alright to know somethings that happened didn't hapoen because we are evil or because we deserve it. That can make us question whether we did deserve some bad things that happened, and cause us to lose sight of how good we are. That happens when we hold on to anger and sadness for too long.

You seem to be ready to remember how to love yourself, accept yourself. You've done it before and you probably will need to learn again eventually. It seems to be a constant endevor for me, personally. And that's okay.

Kudos on the guitar lessons! I hope it becomes a fulfilling process!

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Most people feel panicked when they get diagnosed. Every story of how it was contracted is as unique as the person who got it. No one is exempt. I've heard stories from a virgin who got it from receiving oral sex from her husband to someone with many sexual partners who didn't get it until after years of enjoying their sexuality. And yet, we all feel a little bit like we got hit over the head with a baseball bat when we hear, "herpes" from the doctor.


During my primary outbreak I kept telling myself this will be the hardest one, both physically and mentally. So far I haven't had a second one so it's hard to say how I'll feel but, at least it won't be as shocking as the first! Accepting this has been a series of tiny corners that I keep turning. There are a plethora of reasons why I felt terrible and bit by bit all my reasons are broken down. I felt like I had failed my children (I didn't), but when I woke up to my child puking on me I realized I'm still the same mom I was a week before. I worried I'd be diseased and in pain, infectious to all who touched me. As I learned about HSV I realized that's not how it works.


Life will go on, because it doesn't stop, and you'll just have to move along with it. Your work still expects you do be there. Your job still needs to be done. Your kids still need someone to puke on. Your friends still need someone to get coffee with. And there are lovers out there who need someone to be with.


With 70 - 90% of people who have HSV1 or 2, and 80% of those folks don't know they have it, anyone sexually active should assume they'll have it soon enough, if they don't already. It's such a mild virus that most people have no noticeable symptoms. That's probably one reason for its success among humans. If you don't know you have it, you don't know your spreading it. I know it can have serious consequences in a rare minority but for the vast majority it's only herpes. A virus with a stigma that is far, far bigger than the virus itself.

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Username, I like what you said about how the second outbreak won’t seem as shocking. I believe that I will feel the same- as long as the symptoms are truly milder. It’s been about a month since the onset of my OB and I’m still feeling “uncomfortable “ in that area. Hopefully things will calm soon. Also, being a mom I had the same feelings about my children- like I had let them down by not being a better role model. I mean they don’t know I have this but I honestly feel like they would think differently of me. I know deep down they will love me no matter what but I did have a hard time with this. I couldn’t stop crying about this when I was diagnosed and they sensed something was wrong. My daughter asked me the other day if I had cancer like her dad. That really woke me up. I need to get a grip and change my perspective on this. I really am trying to look at this like a skin infection. Something that flares up occasionally like psoriasis or eczema. I’m trying to count my blessings and not dwell on this and let it define me. I go back and forth with that- being ok then devastated again. I appreciate your comments and perspectives on this. I am taking it all in. I think for me not knowing what is to come is the most worrisome part. I hope in a year I can reread this thread and Know I am in a better place with accepting and living with this. I am going to take some time and just focus on my self like Regular Guy suggested. Thanks Username for your insight too. You make a lot a sense.

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It can be difficult to remain positive. I have HSV-2 and I'm just so lucky enough that when I break out, it's on my face. I've had this for about 18 years now. I don't know who but I know when, because a co-worker told me once what it was and how I could treat it, and I denied what she told me for years. I was officially diagnosed about 10 years ago. It was tough, but not as tough as the emotions I would feel with a breakout. I still have those emotions sometimes, to be honest, but only with a brekaout happening. Otherwise I don't even think about it anymore. It's just the thing that happens sometimes and with suppressive therapy (1 G a day of Valacyclovir), they're so much smaller. Sometimes I just cover it with bandaid or it's become small enough to just be perceived as a pimple. I have about one or two small breakouts every 4 years. I actually am becoming more concerned about the long term effects of the drug than the disease itself. Anyway, the point is, I've been living with this for 18 years. I have an active romantic life with my hsv negative partner of ten years and he always tells me it's so much worse in my head than it is to everyone else. So if you think you can't have romance, or you think people will reject you always, I'm a living case that that isn't true. Just think of it as something that might be a turn off. Some people don't like red hair, some don't like HSV. But whatever someone says "no" for isn't about you, it's about them. You're who you always were and who you always will be, and there will be many many people in your life who you will tell and they will say "ok, so what? No big deal." One day you will be one of those people saying it to yourself.

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