If I Were Diagnosed with Herpes Today: 3 Things I Would Do Differently
I was diagnosed with herpes in 2011. That doesn’t sound like it was too long ago and that we haven't had to many changes but really, when you think about it we’ve had a ton of technological changes. Let me take you back to 2011. There was google, but it wasn’t what it is today. There was Facebook and Instagram, but neither had the impact that they have today. So what I’m trying to say is that there wasn’t the information out there that there is now. When I googled herpes, or who had herpes back in 2011, the only information that came up was something very sterile from either WebMD or Planned Parenthood that just gave the facts about herpes but didn’t help with the stigma. I think I logged off feeling worse about myself than when the doctor told me about my diagnosis.
Basically, what I did was do some googling and learned nothing and then I shut down and went inward. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it. I call this the Eyeore phase and this is the last thing I would want you to do or feel.
In other words, here’s what I would do differently now if I were diagnosed today:
- Find a community - like I was saying earlier, I completely felt alone. When you are alone, you can go into a dark spot that can lead you down a spiral. We lose our connection to people, we lose our hopes and dreams, we just suffocate and don’t move forward. Feeling lost and like you can’t talk to anyone can keep us in the dark. This is why I created the Life With Herpes Secret Society and I love when I see and hear from people who join with in the few hours after being diagnosed. It just allows for hand holding and support from people who know exactly what you are going through.
- Educate myself - okay, so google is probably not the best thing to do. There are lots of very scary pictures and tons of misinformation about herpes and what it’s like to live with herpes. It’s so easy to go down the rabbit hole and end up completely terrified about the herpes virus. The best thing I would do is spend the time on www.lifewithherpes.com and try to learn what you can. There is a ton of free information there and I have a download that will tell you everything you’ll want to know when you are just diagnosed.
- Take an Epsom salt bath - When I was diagnosed I bought a bottle of wine and a bag of peanut MMs. Knowing what I know now, that was probably the worst thing I could have put in my body when I was coming down with herpes. So back to what I know now is that our body needs some TLC and an Epsom Salt bath is the best way to do that. The Epsom Salts will help relax our nervous system and the herpes virus lives in our nervous system so we want to do everything we can to help calm it down. Also the salts can help with wound healing and they help with the itch and tingle. I like to add some essential oils so that they can also help set the mode and assist with he outbreak.
With all this said, I don’t want you to feel like you are alone. Because trust me, you are not. There are 2/3 living with HSV1 and 1/6 people living with HSV2. This is a ton of people and the majority of the population. The thing is that because of the stigma we don’t talk about it and we don’t find support. Sending you lots of love and big virtual hugs. I hope to see you soon in the Life With Herpes community.
We have a product line that we created called Secret Society Wellness. The products are made for people living with herpes to help soothe, speed up recovery and support us along the way. We have an Epsom salt soak called the Recovery Soak that will change your life. There’s CBD + essential oils and lots of other soothing and hydrating oils. Anyway...