Episode 24: Lose Yourself Inside Yourself to Find Yourself
Lauren just moved to Japan, had a new life starting for her teaching English and then BAM herpes. She finds herself being diagnosed by a Japanese doctor who just goes, "WOW" after visual confirmation of genital herpes. After a negative swab test, Lauren suffered from symptoms but couldn't get anyone to give a final confirmation with a blood test and treatment of the virus. She literally had to almost beg to have her vagina looked at (by a medical professional of course).
Lauren was in a relationship with someone who was misinformed about herpes. Her ex said she had herpes once but it went away. Now, most of us who listen to this podcast are aware herpes doesn't just 'go away'. Lauren's now ex girlfriend may not have used the proper terminology at that point in time. Visibly, yes, herpes goes away but the virus doesn't leave your body.
Herpes for Lauren was a huge blessing. She originally thought this would fix her relationship that had many other issues, one of which being abuse. Herpes made it easier for her so she tried to make it work, but it just delayed the inevitible. Lauren says herpes saved her life. She found herself feeling alone, engaging in self-harm, drinking to fall asleep, even cutting herself. Lauren has stepped away from those behaviors and has incorporated many positive habits into her life such as exercising and cooking. She began to find her own identity outside of that relationship she was in or allowing those relationships to define her.
Lauren's advice to newly diagnosed people is to write love letters to yourself. Lose yourself inside yourself to find yourself.
My biggest takeaway from this episode is Lauren's openness so soon after her diagnosis. I love how open she is and how willing she was to disclose to people close to her for this being so new. We all have different experiences in life and I think she's had some in her life that prepared her for dealing with her diagnosis way better than a lot of us could have or will.
If you like this or any other episode, please don't hesitate to leave us a review. Please continue to support the show by rating/subscribing and letting people know about it. This is turning into so much more than just a lighthouse/resource connecting newly diagnosed people to resources available to them for support, this is changing people's lives ya'll. Mine especially because it gives me a new found sense of purpose. I appreciate all the guests and all the listeners for supporting the show on top of all the brave souls who put themselves out there constantly being rejected but still doing the right thing in hope of finding love. Thank you all.
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