I was listening to a podcast by Juliet Allen (Authentic Sex podcast, Secrets of a well fucked women episode) she talked about how important being all in with sex is, so you don’t end up with a shame hangover.
The idea of a shame hangover really resonated with me because after getting HSV I felt so much shame. I found out I had HSV2 on the way to go celebrate my birthday. Birthdays are a time where I should have been getting a real hangover, instead I ended up with a shame hangover that lasted two years. It wasn’t having HSV that caused this shame hangover. It was the stigma surrounding it. I couldn’t find reliable information. I couldn’t find a support group. So having herpes became very isolating. The only way out of a herpes induced shame hangover was to sit with it and process all the emotions and all your preconceived notions about it. It helped that I discovered herpes advocates and sex positive accounts on Instagram. These accounts helped me crawl out of my shame hangover into self-acceptance. Seeing a therapist regularly was also instrumental in my shame recovery. HSV is never going away, but how I feel about it has changed.
Ideas on how to get out from under your shame hangover
Free write your feelings about your diagnosis
Follow herpes activists and sex positive accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook
Talk to a therapist
Talk to your friends and family
Join a support group
Make sure to continue doing the things that bring you joy