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Is my life over? (20 year old newly diagnosed)

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I’m a 20 year old girl who’s already graduating from college. I’m very smart, have worked as a model for years, people have told me I’m pretty (yet I’ve never believed it, still don’t do, I have terrible esteem issues), I have lots of friends and I’m overall okay. Well I was, until like 3 weeks ago. 

 I’ve been careful, I’ve been so careful. Only have had 3 sexual partners, always used condoms and somehow I still got the virus. Never saw a cold sore on any of my partners and I’ve always been okay. I got my first outbreak 3 weeks ago and the pain and burning made me cry daily. As soon as the sores appeared I went to a gynecologist and he immediately knew what was going on. I used Valtrex for a week (which helped A LOT! The first day I used it I saw improvement the next day) and the whole OB lasted 2 weeks. I have been a week or so maybe 4-5 doing good and feeling so much better. But I was diagnosed and I feel like my life has fallen apart. I feel dirty, incomplete and even feel like I’m not worth anything. I’m paranoid that I might get another outbreak and now everything I feel down there I think it’s that it is gonna happen again and I get the flashbacks and terrible anxiety.

 Excuse my language, but I personally feel like shit.  I’ve read so much about this and I have not found one positive page. Everything I read is basically telling me that my life is over and I’ll end up completely alone fighting with this pain. I have so much questions and no one to talk to about it. I told it to my best friend, and she basically made me feel like I was a walking infection. So I was hoping to see if any of you could tell me your experience with it. And tips and tricks on how to survive this and how to get my life back. I know I’ll never live the same, but there has to be a way to live okay with this. 

How’s dating? Is my sex life over? Is my social life over? Could I ever drink alcohol again (I don’t drink much, but sometimes socially I drink 1 drink or a shot only)? Will I end up alone? Is my life really over? 

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No, your life isnt over.  Im not the most qualified person to help u, as i didnt have a breakout until i was partnered up and late in life.  But i know there r millions of young people with herpes who are looking for fun and for a partner.  There r plenty more (like maybe your "friend" even) who may have it and not know it.  Dealing with the stigma is a struggle, i know.  You will have to be braver.  Hopefully, some of the young people on this forum can tell you how they deal with dating.  If u read around this forum, u will find where some people have already shared how they deal with it.  I am glad the valtrex is working for u.  It doesnt work for me, but i have altered my diet a little and rely on some supplements etc that help.  I hope you eat healthy and get a decent amount of sleep.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important to living with a long term illness.  Because you are so young, surely there will be a cure in your lifetime.  But dont wait around on it--u have to begin living with this illness now.  Herpes would shake anyone's confidence, but you need to work on not selling yourself short.  Everyone has insecurities, everyone.  

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Hey there, I am by no means an expert on herpes and I haven’t had it very long myself. I have had it about 4 months now and I can tell you that it slowly gets better. The first month I was having bad anxiety throughout my day (something I’ve never experienced before in my life), I wasn’t sleeping through the night, I lost my appetite and lost about 5lbs. All things totally uncharacteristic of me. It’s funny to think that was only a few months ago because I feel much better and back to my old self almost. I still think about the fact that I have herpes everyday so I am by no means completely better but as time goes on I feel like I am improving everyday. I haven’t started dating again yet but I think it will come with time. 


So I just want to say to give yourself time. It will get better. I am 28 so a little older than you but still young. The only person I have told about this is my roommate and he acts like nothing has changed with me. Don’t let your friend make you feel bad you are still you and the great person you have always been, remember that.

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Had it for 8 years - have I ever been rejected for having it? No, not even once. The first step is to realise that this thing won't wreck your health and that it is a benign disease that just has a bad rep for being embarrassing. Your diagnosis is on a need to know basis and you don't have to tell anyone unless you're planning on sleeping with them. Communication with future partners is key and you must tell them beforehand and explain how you want to have sex with them safely. Remember, sex is no less riskier than it was before - you're giving your future partners a good choice and you're more in the know about your body. Flair ups vary from person to person but if it means withholding from sex once every 6 months then no biggie. 


Good luck to you!

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Try a Lysine supplement for cold sores

  • The Hive is Thriving!

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