Everything Happens for a Reason
by Helpful Advice
I really hate anonymous blogs but one of my friends thinks that my story could help certain people in similar situations, which is why I am typing it. I am a 20 year old girl, go to a midwest college and am in a sorority. I've always felt confident about my appearance and would consider myself well liked and known around campus after coming from a large in-state high school that directly feeds into my University. I did the whole party thing and did what a lot of people do in Greek life at my school by getting really drunk and hooking up with a few random guys over the course of a couple of months.
After deciding that I was over random hook ups (ironic), I began to have an incredibly itchy feeling down there. Within a couple of days I broke out with a TON of painful bumps, it was hard to even walk. After wasting a solid 5 hours of my life on Web MD I went to the school health clinic with one of my sorority sisters & when the doctor looked he said it looked nothing like herpes. Said it was folliculitis and prescribed me medicine. About a day later I got a call with lab results that said I had Gardnerella vaginalis
, which is essentially BV. That concerned me because BV is usually caused through sexual contact.
I went immediately to CVS and picked up medicine for that. The next day I was getting ready to give a group presentation in class, when I got a call from the health center. I stepped outside of the class to receive the phone call, a nurse answered the phone and informed me that my lab results have come back positive for HSV2 (genital herpes). I had that feeling where my entire body felt like it was on fire. I coud've just dropped dead right then and there. In my head I thought there was no way that this could happen to me of all people.
Unfortunately because I was part of a group project, I had to go back into the class and present for 30 minutes, along my group mates. I can honestly say that I don't remember a single moment of the presentation. I initially told two of my best friends in the house. I'm the type of person who is an open book and tells everyone everything and needs to talk it out if something is wrong. I thought that getting herpes meant my life was over. I would never be able to hook up or date anyone ever again. AND I didn't know for sure who had given this to me which was (and still is) the most frustrating part of it all.
But this is what I do know for sure. I read a ton of these stupid blogs online. Some of them helped, but for the most part I had trouble relating to any of it. So many of the posts referred to girl's boyfriends giving it to them which I certainly did not have, nor was interested in having at the time. Basically I felt like no one could relate. I sulked and felt sorry for myself for about 2 weeks (which is completely acceptable given the circumstance).
But then I read a certain post that stuck with me. It said, "herpes doesn't define who you are, unless of course you let it." After reading that I really put it all in perspective. It is a skin condition. If you are unlucky you may have a couple of really bad break outs, but for the most part people have a couple break outs within the first year (usually not as
bad as the first) and then are basically done. You can take a preventative pill to reduce breakouts, which I highly suggest. It makes you feel like you are doing something productive.
The ONE thing holding you back from meeting a guy is having to tell them what you have. Before I tell you the best part of my story, I have some advice for anyone reading this that feels like they are in a similar situation. Don't tell more than a select few people that you really trust. I have made the mistake of going out (alcohol a factor) and telling certain friends that I normally wouldn't have told soberly. As for telling previous partners... it is the right thing to do. I did tell the guy who I most likely got it from considering the timing of it all. I stopped there because that was enough emotional distress. I am new at this and certainly don't have all the answers.
Here is the best part of my story. I found out that I have genital herpes around 2 months ago. The day before I received the phone call one of my friends set me up for a date party with a really cute guy in a good house which I agreed to go to. Clearly I cancelled on him for obvious reasons after receiving the news and had one of my friends take my place instead.
This guy though, was still very interested in getting to know me. Spring break was only a few weeks away and me and this guy (along with the rest of our school) were going to the same place. We had texted the whole week before but I remember being nervous to meet up with him, I figured that if he tried to seriously hook up with me I would tell him that I was on my period (which actually happened to be true).
So, the first night at the bars I saw him from across the room and went up to him. From there I had one of the best weeks of my life and had never hit it off with someone so quickly. We still hooked up just no sexual contact. Towards the end of the week, I decided to tell him. Which by the way is the biggest challenge of all. He obviously was freaking out and probably needed to think it over, but at the time told me he didn't think any differently of me and it doesn't change how he feels.
Since getting back to school we've been inseparable. I spend the night multiple nights a week (yes, we have sex) and we have recently decided to become official. Here is the thing. The way I look at it, it took getting herpes for me to meet someone who makes me 100x happier than I was before getting diagnosed. I don't know where I would be if I hadn’t gotten herpes. Absolutely everything happens for a reason. I didn't have to downgrade or lower standards because of this. Neither of us were looking to be in a relationship, but it just happened.
Someone will meet you, who likes you enough for who you are and won’t let something as small as herpes get in the way. Don't get me wrong it is a big deal, I really wish I didn't have it and the fact that it may still get out worries me all the time. But in the scheme of life, things could be so much worse. Hope this helps someone even if it's just one person. I would have loved to have read this at the time and would've been able to relate. P.S sorry this is basically a novel.