Patience Grasshopper: Surviving and Thriving The First Year With Herpes

Pretty much every day I read the same plea on the Herpes Opportunity Forums where I am known as the Forum Mom …

“I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago…. when is the pain going to stop? When will I get back to normal? When will I be happy again? My life is OVER!!!!!”

Now, I get it. For many, the day you got the news that you have Herpes was probably one of the most stressful, painful, and frightening days of your life. And I know that some people have some pretty tough primary outbreaks. But lets put this into a little perspective:

The average person will live about 4,000 weeks. So 3-4 weeks, or even 3-4 months, is basically a speed bump on the timeline of your life. Or as one H (Opp) member put it so well….

“Herpes is no more than a speed bump you hit at 70 mph when you should have been doing 25 mph. Sure its one hell of a jolt at first, but after you come a complete stop, catch your breath, and possibly need a change of underwear, you get on with life”

As a Massage Therapist, I hear the same words uttered by clients who are dealing with difficult issues like Frozen Shoulder, Bulging Disks, Whiplash, and the like. Within a few short weeks of the beginning of the injury, they are already believing they will never, EVER be the same again. This is, I believe, in part because we have some to rely on Modern Medicine to “make us better” with a pill or an operation. We no longer know how to live with the physical challenges that life brings us. Illnesses and conditions that people would have just taken in their stride as part of life 50-100 years ago are now a huge “tragedy” that we believe is ruining our life and we can easily think it will never, ever go away. And most of the time, with time, things heal and get better and life gets back to normal….. a “new normal” sometimes, but a very livable and often even BETTER normal than before the accident/illness.

If you are recently diagnosed and are struggling with the physical and emotional fallout, take my words that things WILL get better. One of the first things you should do is to find someone to reach out to for support. The H (Opp) Forum is a wonderfully safe place to go to talk with people who are ahead of you on the Herpes timeline. Find a family member or friend who you trust with your confidential story and to just support your journey without judgement. Find a local Herpes support group near you. Whatever you do, don’t go it alone, because you are NOT alone. 80% of the people around you have at least one type of Herpes. One out of five have Genital Herpes. So odds are your friend will already know someone with H, if they don’t actually have it themselves.

Get educated. But also, get out and LIVE YOUR LIFE. Don’t lock yourself up and hide away in fear and self loathing. You are STILL the beautiful person you were the day before you got your results …. you are just “Virally Enhanced” now 😉


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