Anyone else notice how dusty, generic and robotic advice sites for herpes seem? I had a huge issue when I was first diagnosed with genital herpes because 1) I didn’t want to tell anyone; 2) I had no idea what having herpes meant and I was petrified; and 3) I was convinced it was the end of the world; so I resorted to Google to be my confidant and provider of advice.
That can go extremely well if you’re led in the direction of sites like the CDC or anything equally reputable.
It can go extremely poorly if you’re led in the direction of Yahoo! Questions.
And everything in between feels like it’s coming from a ninety year old man who has no recollection of what sex with or without herpes is like, and probably doesn’t even have it themselves to begin with.
There is a huge lack of relatable advice on how to handle the varying emotions having herpes brings. The moments of absolute despair mixed with the hopelessness that we’re undateable. The longing for your old “normal” life pre-herpes mixed with the bitterness and denial that this is in your life forever. The shame you’re made to feel when people speak down to you or make fun of you for having it, or the fear and isolation we feel when we’re too scared to tell anyone at all.
And what about sex? And dating? And our friends? Family?
How much or little should we share with them and what do we do if they abandon us in this process and leave it to us to figure it out on our own?
Part of what actually helps that we can’t get in real life all the time, is talking to people that understand firsthand what this entails and getting what feels like a more personal answer catered to our specific questions, as opposed to general textbook-like information we find online. Tomorrow is going to be the first, of hopefully many, reader stories I’ll be sharing from someone that found the blog and had the same issues finding relatable advice. Having other people share their stories and experiences will help immensely compared to me just lecturing you about what I’ve gone through. I hope you’ll all stick around and check out what some of the readers of the blog have to say about their life living with herpes, tomorrow and in the future as well!