two people have a friendly conversation

An Open Conversation on Hep C

Sometimes all it takes is sharing openly. A few weeks ago, I went out for dinner with a newer friend of mine, and we started to chat about our past. It eventually got to the question of “what first got you so interested in health,” and I knew the time had come.

While I filled her in on my history of interest in wellness and, ultimately, why (i.e., having my body deteriorate from hep C), I could see the confusion in her eyes. She started to ask more about hep C but stopped, and then started again with a halt in her speech.

“But how did you get it? Isn’t it shared through, like, you know …” and that’s when I calmly interjected.

“Hep C can be transferred in a lot of ways. Unfortunately, the media has only ever covered the not-as-great side of the story.”

Hep C stigma

I went on to explain that being diagnosed and living with hep C can happen to truly anyone and that the stigmas surrounding it are dated. We continued to chat about it for a little while longer, and it got me thinking about these types of conversations.

How often do we hide this part of our story, this part of ourselves, because of fear of judgment?

Part of my journey with Hep C and recovery has been pushing myself to share openly because of that very question. I don’t want to dim my light and live in fear of what others might think.

Granted, it’s not always easy, but the more we can talk about it, the more we can educate others in our lives and the more free we become. Our health does not have to be our identity, but it is an important part of our evolution as humans and our life story.

The fear of being judged by others

So, how can we stop hiding from the possibility of judgment and instead start accepting ourselves? Regardless of what others think?

I think it starts first with looking within and accepting ourselves if we have an unwavering appreciation, love, and acceptance of ourselves.

No one else can take that from us. Once we’re firm in our worth and self, it becomes much easier to stand up, show up, and own our truth.

Therapy, journaling, meditation, and open conversations are all great ways to look within and work on this inner peace. From there, we’re set and ready to live our life separate from this fear of judgment.

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