Feeling Hopeless.

by Emma

I am 18 years old. I was diagnosed with genital herpes (HSV1) within my first week of college, before I had any relations with anyone. I don't know where it came from. In high school I was not that promiscuous, and I only had a few partners, who were mostly virgins. When I found out that I had herpes I was at first extremely heartbroken and could not go a day without crying. I immediately felt better when I went on Valtrex, because I couldn't see the outbreak so therefore I assumed it was okay.

I went to parties and behaved like a normal college student in their first semester. Basically, I flew off the handle. I think I was so upset that I had herpes that I didn't want to accept and I wanted to behave like anyone else because that's what felt fair to me. I slept with people I had just met, and never told them that I had herpes. In my mind, I thought it was okay because if I was on medication and taking a pill to suppress symptoms, there was no reason to talk about it. So I went on like that for months.

Now I'm going through a lot of emotional pain, things that I've suppressed throughout the last 4 months. It was brought to my attention from my counselor that if I hooked up with someone, and didn't tell them I had herpes and then continued to really like them and want to date them, how could I ever tell them that I had herpes? How could I expect them to have any respect for me or trust if I couldn't have been honest with them from the start?

I've been thinking about this for a while. In all honesty, I don't want to stop having sex with people, and I really don't know how to have conversations with them. Especially when you're in the heat of the moment and you're not in the right state of mind to talk about herpes. It is such a complicated situation and I feel like I've already messed myself up so much that I don't know how to fix it.

What can I do to start fixing my behavior? How can I learn to be okay with myself and learn some self control? I would like to be in a place where I don't want to have sex with random people, I just don't know how to cultivate that self control and that want to be abstinent.

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