I have Herpes and I'm Doing Amazing

My name is Crystal, and I've had genital herpes for over 10 years. I was infected with this virus from a man whom I loved and thought I would spend the rest of my life with. Brent was my fiance's name. We had a wedding planned and were looking forward to our bright future. At his bachelor party, he did some things he couldn't take back, and his careless actions led to me contracting the herpes virus. In the beginning, I did not notice any symptoms. I felt fine and had no reason to be alarmed. Two days before our wedding, I noticed what looked like a pimple on my fiance's lip. I would later find out it was a cold sore. I asked him what happened, and he said he didn't know. At this time, I still had no reason to be alarmed. The next day, I felt sick, in a way that I had never felt ill. I couldn't ruin my wedding day, so I went ahead and scheduled an appointment to be seen to make sure my wedding and honeymoon would be just as I planned. The results were in, and I had herpes. Although there is a herpes treatment, at that time, I was not thrilled. I felt ashamed, dirty, and unforgivable. I immediately informed my now ex-fiance' about the news I just learned and called off the wedding. That was one of the hardest things I had to do in my life. Learning to live with this disease was the other part. At first, there were days when I wouldn't get out of the bed or leave my home. I would not eat and didn't care about anything. I knew my life was over, and I didn't want to talk to friends or family members. I knew they would make me feel worse than I already did, but my plan failed. I had to tell them something because the wedding was less than 24 hours away. I didn't care about all the money I had spent on this dream wedding. All I could think about was the virus that would always have a home in my body. I had no choice but to tell my family. I told all my friends and family the news one at a time. I didn't want to overwhelm myself. I had enough to deal with. Everyone wanted to know why, I didn't think about that part, but I told the truth. To my surprise, everyone was mad at him and not me. They didn't look at me like I was a strange specimen that needed to be examined. They hugged me and became my biggest support group. Little did I know, my mother had been living with the herpes virus for years. She never looked sickly at all. That's when the events in my life began to change. I knew for a fact I wasn't alone.

I started attending classes with my mom. They talked about HSV1 and HSV2, what it meant to live with herpes, and the treatments that were available. I then felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders. I then knew that I could live a normal life with this STD. I learned how to deal with outbreaks and how better to care for myself. I conducted a lot of research, took my medication faithfully, and joined every support group that I could find. I was empowered because I could now share my story and help men and women when they have little to no hope. I got a better paying job, have a nicer home and car. I didn't let the stigma of having this disease wear me down. There are worse things in life. I still have life, so there is still hope. Having the herpes virus is unfortunate, but it turned my life around so I could be a better version of myself. You don't have to let this virus control your life. Sure, some days will be better than others, but everyone has good and bad days. Don't beat yourself up about what has happened. You can still have a bright future and achieve many great things just as I did. It's your life. Having this virus does not change your character or other great things about you. Don't let the herpes virus control you. It's not a death sentence.