Outside Criticism

Outside Criticism

We have all had that time in our life when an outsider (friend, family, Facebook friend) made a comment that set us back. You know, that comment that digs deep, like “You don’t look sick” or “Why are you not working?”. For someone who is struggling to keep their life together through a health crisis, these comments are beyond difficult.

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Self-esteem struggles

For me, one of the most sensitive issues I fight, and certainly do not talk about, is my weight. I have found it extremely hard to maintain a good weight (a weight where I feel good about myself). I don’t “look bad”, but I am not where I want to be either. My weight fluctuates about 10 pounds daily. I am not joking here. I have those pants with elastic in them for the mornings I wake up feeling bloated and full. The elastic bands in those pants allow for me to be comfortable without trying to squeeze into designer pants. This issue, for a woman and especially for me, takes a toll on self-esteem. Not knowing what we’ll feel like and actually look like from day to day can be brutal to one’s confidence.

Recently, comments about my weight were mentioned. I am sure it was innocent, but I took it to heart, because these people do not know my daily struggle with this. It pierced my soul. I sat and cried over this. Feelings of being ugly and unattractive came rushing in.

A friend’s perspective

Finally, I had to get with a girlfriend of mine to help me gain perspective again. Her comments to me were:

“Kim, you are fighting end-stage liver disease… are literally still fighting to live. Your focus should not be on your weight, but om your liver health. There is nothing glamourous about what you’re fighting, and if these people cannot see this or try to understand it, that is their issue and lack of knowledge. Not something you need to internalize and worry about. Focus on eating healthy and exercising and the rest will come when it is due time. I know you wish you were normal, in a health sense, and you know if you could help this, you would be doing all you can to get where you are happy. But you are fighting a demon working against you right now. Stop focusing on pleasing others and fitting into their concept of ideal.”

As I write this blog, I get what my friend was telling me. And I am here to share with you that, yes, I too have my own insecurities and doubts from time to time as well.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HepatitisC.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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