3 faces, one nervous, one crying, one angry

Feeling Down with Hep C

I had my heart set on living to at least 80 without a lot of health problems. Then, we discovered that hepatitis C was causing my liver to fail. A lot of emotional upheaval followed. It was like I was in a storm on the raging sea and had been thrown onto land. I was too tired to feel anything at first.

Feeling knocked down

Getting treated for the virus was like getting battered by a round of waves. While gulping down air, I realized that my liver was still sick with cirrhosis. My face landed back in the sand and the waves kept coming. A cancerous tumor was on my liver. Spitting out sand, I tried to scream, but it felt like no one would hear. Why even try?

Many of you can identify with the relentless pounding of the waves. We all take a beating, both physically and emotionally, with hepatitis C. Let’s take a look at those feelings that can get us down. One way that I deal with negative feelings is to name them:


Anger can swing from being annoyed all the way to rage. It’s the easiest emotion to express. When we are raging, we feel strong. It’s just a trick, because it doesn’t give us any more power. Anger can help you to set a boundary with a member of your family or medical team. Use anger sparingly, as it can also work against us. It can become a wall we hide behind, leaving us lonely and isolated.


Fear is not easy to admit. If we simply act tough, we feel less afraid – and it works for a time. But it’s ok to be afraid of illness, medications, and death. Call it what it is, accept it, and move on.


Shame is when we feel we have failed. Guilt is when we make a mistake. Many people feel a mixture of both when they have liver disease. A simple way to think of it is this: I have failed to eat healthy- guilt. I am a failure- shame. It’s okay to feel guilty just long enough to change a behavior. It is never ever okay to feel shame. We make mistakes. We are not mistakes.


Sadness is when we expected one thing, and got another. Find a way to express your sadness. Tell a trusted person. Write it out in a letter or comment. Once we truly feel our broken hearted sadness, we find it easier to let it go. Feeling sad is okay, but hanging onto sadness can lead to depression.


Envy hits when we look around and see others leading a healthy life. We wish our body was stronger. Thinking about it too much can cause feelings of jealousy. That may rob you of other positive emotions.

You are not alone

If you are experiencing any of these feelings that can get you down, it’s ok. You are not alone. We have all felt them and get knocked down by them on a daily basis. Feel the pain and then move on toward positive emotions.

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