Since announcing to my friends that I was going to disclose my HCV status the most used descriptor has been “brave”.

“You’re very brave.”
“That’s so brave of you!”
“I don’t know if I could be that brave.”

I don’t feel brave. I don’t know that what I’m doing is brave. If we accept the definition of brave as “ready to face or endure danger or pain”, I’m pretty sure that’s not me. I hate pain.

It doesn’t require bravery to be able to live with people judging you. It requires a thick skin. Or a lack of hearing (both of which my father has in droves).

i can think of plenty of other words to describe me. Foolhardy. Compassionate. Crazy. Thoughtful. I live at a slight angle to the rest of the universe and that’s fine. But brave? If I deserve that descriptor we all do. I’m no more or less brave than anyone who, faced with this virus, gets up in the morning, puts one foot in front of the other and faces the day.

Perhaps bravery is getting up, day after day, knowing what this virus does to us, or has done to us, and getting on  with life.