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Angie23

13 Months later...It gets better!

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Life Lessons Learned:

1)      Get an electric razor. Life changing. I’m pretty sure what I thought was 50 outbreaks was my body rejecting the new development of untamed wildlands digging in my healing skin.

2)      Sleep. Can’t say that enough. I was getting 5-6, and working until I feel asleep. I prioritized sleep and starting de-stressing before bed. It made a huge difference. Your immune response doesn’t really recover until 6-8 hour window…at night….with no lights on.

3)      Stress. Herpes became like a stress first responder. I never realized how bad for my body and mind so many things in my life were until herpes. I literally weeded out so many draining aspects, and had time to put things I really cared about or wanted to do in.

4)      PH balance. Epson salts, baths, diet…medications…all can change the internal balance of your body. I focused on inflammation reducing teas and diets, increased probiotics, and began using a tip I heard in the oncology lecture: live culture yogurt inserted vaginally. Initially sounded gross, but life changing. I realized baths were causing yeast imbalance, and used it regularly. I think a lot of my initial issues were related to yeast infections from antibiotics and extended baths.

5)      Holistic health. Never one to include this, but I will never go back. Acupuncture and Chinese tea for immune system response had the most significant improvement on my outbreaks.  I went to 1 a month after starting it, and now haven’t had one in 3 months.

6)      Mindfulness and yoga. Really wasn’t much for including this, but herpes made me so tuned in every little sensation or feeling in that region, I felt like every movement was an impending outbreak. It became important to teach my mind to disconnect from that awareness. Put an app on my phone, and do it before bed or if I start getting super tuned in to it.  What feels like an outbreak starting is often just normal feelings you were just never aware of before.

7)      Being my best self. I just made a list of everything that I wanted to do or had always wanted to try. Taking dating off the table made this room for being my ultimate version of myself. I became healthier and happier, I met people that were interested in the things I was enjoyed. You want to put yourself in this leprosy island category, but don’t. Focus on having a fulfilling life, and dating comes more naturally.

8)      Dating. Although feeling despair at never having sex again, I realized there weren’t all that many people I wanted to have sex with in normal dating before. So I just started dating as normal. I used online dating, and told people that I wasn’t getting into casual sex to stay open to a substantial relationship. A few never called me again, and they prob wouldn’t have called again after sex either. A lot of people thought it was great, and felt prioritized. It became a lot easier to weed out a better quality of dates. I planned fun dates, and had a list of things I wanted to do with one. I always had suggestions open, and it became easier to find people who were interested in what I was.

9)      Vitamins: Take them. Take Vitamin C and immune response vitamins. Exercise. Keep your body ready to fight crime.

You always picture your path to enlightentment to be something you can post on Facebook, like holding Koalas or climbing some large mountain. Herpes was basically the opposite of anything I envisioned, but it really did end up having a positive impact on my life. While not something I would choose to have, I want to encourage anyone who is going through negativity over it.

Diagnosed a little over a year ago, my first traumatizing outbreak happened 2 weeks after a non-penetrative sexual encounter (that did follow a bikini wax). I would also discover I had a raging bacterial infection that wiped out my immune system.  Herpes with no immune response is essentially hell. The fatigue and constant pain led to pretty out of control depression, isolation, and hopelessness. Updated New Year’s Resolution: Find more ways to wear sweatpants in professional settings.

The fatigue was almost worse than the constant outbreaks. I couldn’t work out, take baths, wear thongs, drink coffee…drink anything….essentially everything made it worse, and I never realized you could think about a vagina so much with so little positive outcome. Shaving and deep tissue massage triggered it. I had finally felt ready to date after a long absence, and was excited about the experience. I felt robbed, and genuinely grieved the loss of my former life. Everything felt like a sham, even down to buying underwear or wearing makeup. Always private, it was isolating. You can’t exactly tell your boss the reason why you’re exhausted. Every time my friends told me to stop being picky and go date more, I wanted to scream about Herpes.

I finally got really tired of depression and herpes consuming the life I had worked for, and decided for an overhaul. Although convinced I was now dying alone, I decided I would at least use my newly solo forever life to complete a bucket list….starting with an international dream list trip. It served a 2-fold purpose: 1) dream trip would inspire my new solo life, and 2) a full credit card would inspire me to continue going to work.

Traveling alone for the first time, it felt amazing to not have to worry about anyone else or put on a front. I slept when I wanted, ate what I wanted, I walked for no reason, got a massage, ate cake for dinner, and essentially stopped thinking about my angry lady bits for a few amazing breaks.

I realized that I had so many things in my life causing stress, very few that were giving back something positive. New evaluation method: Is this worth a outbreak? In most cases, the answer was no. I re-evaluated what I put my time into, and focused on my health and doing things that made me happy (still “making peace” with forever single).

I attended an oncology lecture regarding holistic approaches to chemotherapy recovery, where they discussed increased yeast infections and herpes outbreaks. Much of my life lessons learned came from that lecture, and rapidly improved a lot of my issues.  

 

Although I hate dealing with Herpes when it comes up, my life is infinitely better and more fulfilled than before. I’m healthier, I take care of my body, I have more fun, and I prioritize better. Relaxation and sleep now get integrated with the same importance as meetings. I have higher expectations about who I want to have sex with. If I can’t discuss my health and request more foreplay, then I’m not interested. Ultimately, that’s how it should always be.

 

I did finally meet someone I wanted to have sex with, and he was essentially unphased at my disclosure. I phrased it as a health condition, and waited until I could say it and be ok with either response. It was terrifying, but his response was worry over me not upset and my overall health. He researched it and my insistence (remained unphased), and was so happy when we finally had sex. It has literally never been a thing. I don’t know where it will go, but it felt great to have that positive experience. I finally told several of my friends, and weirdly enough…most of them also had it. I've also had a lot of discussions with male friends on the topic, and really, all unphased. 

I occasionally have issues, but the last outbreak was completely painless and lasted one day. I also have stopped stressing the prevention and constant prodromal focus. I just live my life, and if it happens, I rest and amp up the vitamin C. I use the yogurt, and take a lot of probiotics. It’s really helped.

 So focus on strong body and expectations, and it gets better!

Edited by Angie23

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Haha, thank you for sharing your transformation.  I especially liked your New Year's resolution to find ways to wear sweatpants in more professional settings and the part about thinking about your vagina so much (especially in this context).  I know what you mean! I had the same thought! xD

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I felt like my new daily mantra was "you're not the boss of me"

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Wow, this post really spoke to me! I just jumped back onto HoneyComb after awhile not being on here. I am at the 15 month mark with having Herpes Type 2 and I couldn't agree more with what you have said.

It does get better! I am struggling to de-stress my life, and my problem tends to be not realizing how stressed I actually am but taking it out on those around me, doing sloppy work, or just being a less than ideal me. Honestly Herpes type 2 can be my "Oh crap, you are stressed and your body is letting you know!" warning. So even though I'm still working on finding ways to be more responsive to my stress levels I've found having a warning bell is a huge help.

You rock and I love all of your suggestions. 

 

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Hi @Angie23. What a great post! I laughed. I teared up a little. I agreed 100!% with the things you said. It was amazing! Thanks for sharing your story. Glad you're doing so well! Have a wonerful day.

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I wish I could use herpes to more advantages. "i'm sorry, I won't be at that meeting today. Just the thought of how horrible it will be is causing an outbreak."

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