Lots of uncertainty comes into play as a diagnosis is pronounced. I know for myself, my thoughts immediately turned to, "Can I give this to my children? Over time the worry turned into fear. I was afraid to die, having witnessed my own mother die from this nasty disease. It controlled my everyday thinking. I could not function as I was worrying too much about death. A massive depression set in. I could not see color in my days. I was going through the motions of being a mother, a wife, and business owner. I was a deep dark pile of self-pity and destruction, as I focused on my own mortality.
As I look back now, the first day this all began I could feel the deep dark mass overtake my body. I can tell you exactly where I was, what I was doing but what I can’t tell is why. Why did I allow this to over take my bright sunny personality?
When does worry become a problem? I have researched this over and over through out my years of fighting hepatitis C. I see countless number of individuals struggling with the “dark side” of hep C. I may not have known them prior to diagnosis but I do know them fighting through this disease. Worrying over every aspect of this disease is a constant battle within the support groups we sponsor through The Bonnie Morgan Foundation for HCV.
We are worried if we are eating the right things, or if we are drinking enough water, should we throw away our razor blades, are we going to relapse after treatment. What if ??? What about??
It is has come to mind that when this diagnosis is handed down that we all get a one-way ticket to gloom and doom. How do we stop this from happening? Is all this worrying OK? Can we survive this battle without worry?
The answer I have found is YES...I know those reading this are going, “ya right Kim, what white unicorn did you just ride in on?”
But it is true. You can fight this battle of hep C positively. It doesn’t have to be a gloom doom diagnosis. Now I am not saying the fight will be easy or without pain, but if we change how we VIEW this disease and our diagnosis we CAN fight a strong more positive fight.
Here’s why I say this.... What do we really gain from worry? Do we get some sort of gold token for who worries the most throughout the day? Does our daily pain and frustration go away? Or how about a boss that says...“hey Kim, you looked overly worried today. How about taking the day off.” Truth is, there is no golden ticket for spending a day in misery. We only become secluded with our own thoughts and those thoughts become fears. These fears then start to run your life. Pretty soon you can’t leave your home because you are afraid. You then lose the joy of living. Being around those of your family who are living..the connection with them is being torn apart as you are more focused on dying and they are living.
I learned this over a period of 6 long dark months until finally a memory of my mom broke through the dark clouds of my head. “Kim, you need to STOP this right now. This is not what I wanted, or what you wanted to live your life. Get up and go FIGHT. Stop this crazy self-pity party and go get yourself cured.” It was a deer in the headlight moment for me.
I can tell you this... there is no miracle way to come out of darkness or worry. It takes a strong will and a whole lot of fight within yourself to get pulled back to your feet. Sometimes it is reading a story like mine or another mentor you have that has been through what you are feeling to help pull you to your feet again. I will say this... I have several people I can contribute to my positive success with this disease. Many already know them through this site on Hep Mag. But four very special ladies I would read their blogs and their facebook pages and sometimes...two or three times a day if i needed to. But these women really inspired me to be strong and to know its OK to fall but I must get back up. I must get back to my feet and fight.
I doesn’t matter who you find as a personal mentor through this disease but find someone who truly knows and understands this fight. It takes a lot of patience, understanding and compassion with yourself to get through this. It is OK to worry. We all do... but it is NOT OK to let the worry turn into FEAR. Fear runs lives and Fear keeps us from growing. Don’t allow fear to take over your FIGHT for a CURE.
Remember... we all are different and we all have different ways our bodies will respond to diagnosis, treatment and cure. Focus on yourself...stay positive and find that person to help you gain strength when you need it. Sometimes we all need a little help from our FRIENDS.
Get up and start FIGHTING AGAIN...the battle is not over it only has begun..
Not Without A FIGHT!~HCV~(C)
Kimberly Morgan Bossley