Hi Dr. Kelly, I found out that I had HSV2 a year ago at the age of 35. My boyfriend and I had broken up for 8 months and I had dated a couple of different people. It wasn’t until after I was single again and starting to work things out with my previous boyfriend, that my first outbreak occurred. I had one sore. It was different from anything I had experienced before. I panicked. It went away and then 3 months later another one appeared. I knew at that point something was definitely going on. I immediately scheduled an appointment with my doctor. She took a culture as well as blood and both came back positive. I don’t know who I got it from and I’ve never tried to go down that rabbit hole but have been honest with my current boyfriend since the beginning, but it has been very difficult. I felt ashamed, dirty, regretful, angry, LONELY, and full of fear. I felt like I was a walking contagion and experienced frequent panic attacks and anxiety . I lost a sense of my sexuality. My boyfriend and I are never intimate with each other and I hate being touched. He does not have HSV2 to my knowledge and has been very patient with me, but it has been hard. I have been managing my symptoms with a healthy lifestyle and stress alleviation exercises, energy healing and meditation. My boyfriend is also a chiropractor so I work with his methods of treatment as well and try what ever he recommends. I also went on an extreme detox for 3 months. I went from having back to back breakouts to having one every 2 to 3 months at this point in time and the sores (1 to 2 at most) are very small and heal quickly. I am working towards having even less breakouts, but I’m being patient. I knew as soon as I got herpes that this was the next big event in my life that would push me to become a stronger person. I have learned to have more compassion and understanding towards other people. I have also decided to go in to health coaching and started school this past February. This week I have been processing allot of emotions. It feels as if I’m shedding old layers and old beliefs and habits. It is a process of letting go. I feel like I am being pulled to help women with herpes in my future practice as a health coach but the first step I feel I must take is to share my story and not hide. I want to be a role model and a support to women and you are my inspiration Dr Kelly, as well as all the other women who have stepped out of the darkness. When women leave their doctor’s office with the prescription in hand, I want to be there to pick them up and hold their hand the rest of the way and show them the way to true health and healing. I want to help them heal and redefine their lives. If you are a woman who was recently diagnosed, know that it is normal to feel all that you are feeling and let yourself experience those emotions so you can release them. Do not hold them inside. In time, these feelings will let up and you will start to move forward and upward. The best thing I did was join support groups like this and in my community. I felt less lonely. Herpes has made me redefine my life and notice what is really important. I am still working through the emotions of having herpes. I am not sure if the relationship I’m in will last. I may step away from it and take some time to myself to heal some more, we’ll see. I’m still working to regain my sexuality and am doing allot of self-educating. I believe I will find strength through knowledge. Finding Pink Tent has made me very happy and I can’t wait to meet the women in this group. Other than that I have so much that I am grateful for and feel truly blessed.