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Staying Connected

Back in the day, when people were said to have connections it had nothing to do with the internet or the modern world of connectivity, where we are almost all involved in being connected to some kind of social media like Facebook or Twitter. Connections meant that you had some special friends or acquaintances that could provide you with some advantage, product, or service. To be honest, I always thought it was a bit pretentious and was reserved for wanna-be big shots. I was never connected with any big shots or had any special advantages.

Having Connections Takes On a New Meaning

Well, now connections and being connected has a whole new meaning, and it won’t provide you with a get out of jail card or special treatment. Staying connected is, for the most part, a good thing. As I have seen and experienced first-hand, we can tend to isolate ourselves when dealing with hep C. I think there can be lots of reasons for isolating ourselves. We all feel like we need space, and that is not a bad thing as long as it doesn’t become an all the time thing. Like some of you, I have done it myself, with some not so great results.

Feeling alone and feeling like we can’t function well around others is absolutely not a very good feeling at all, I know. Fear is often a companion. Fear is not a thing that we all describe in the same way, but I think anxiety is the best way for me to describe the feelings that led to my own isolation. It was just easier, less difficult, or so I believed, to disconnect. Does any of this sound familiar to you? Like I have said, again and again, we are all different despite the common things we share. Something I have noticed as being common in our hep C community is varying degrees of anxiety. In some of us, it is a short-term condition caused by finding out we have hep C, while some of us like myself lived with it for years. I wondered why a million times; why did I have these feelings and what was the cause. For me, it was the main cause for my disconnection from friends and family.

You Are Not Alone

In the midst of all the anxiety and resulting social isolation, it was impossible to see a way out or an end to the dread I felt. I only mention my personal experience because I want you to not feel alone in your own struggles if you are experiencing or have felt the same or similar feelings. We are peers in that we have lived experience, and for me, this realization was probably the most significant change that helped me to overcome chronic isolation. We are not alone and we are not meant to stay alone for extended periods. Connecting with others is generally a positive thing, even if we don’t agree on what is the best path forward, the act of being connected is healthy in general.

If you are, like I was, inclined to isolate yourself, please try to reach out for support and to stay connected with others. That is being connected.

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