Step by Step or One Day at a Time
In history there have been many versions of what these words mean, and here in the context of dealing with HCV we use them also. Several examples can be found in popular language, and they are all fundamentally saying the same thing. Taking it one day at a time or taking baby steps, learning to walk before running, and any number of similar idioms.
Some are more akin to acquiring knowledge while others speak to getting through the day or some other measure of time. I like to say “moment by moment” because we can tend to worry or become anxious about what might be coming around the next bend and that bend can be just a moment away. We can never predict with precision what lies ahead, so why worry?
There is another saying that goes something like “ignorance is bliss” and this may be an over-simplistic view but there is some wisdom in this statement, albeit obscure.
“What you don’t know can’t hurt you” is yet another saying along the same lines.
All of these are at times applicable to living with HCV or having someone close to you who is.
Things change, and they can change in the strangest of ways as I have discovered. This is not only true with hepatitis c but it has been the focus of my writing here and a part of the lives of those I care about.
If you have experienced changes in how you feel outside of any pain or physical discomfort attributed to hepatitis c, you are not alone. How we feel emotionally can affect our physical well being, so it is often hard to separate the two. Any changes in mood can occur over a long period of time as I understand from personal experience, and can creep up on us almost without notice.
Anxiety is something that crept up on me over a period of years until it showed itself in the most awful ways. I had full- blown panic attacks that had me questioning if I was losing control of my mind. These are not the words of a clinician, as I am not a Dr. of Psychology, but the words of a person with lived experience like you perhaps.
If you are fortunate enough to have never experienced anxiety or anxiety attacks this will seem alien I suppose, but some people who have lived with HCV do experience it at different times in their journey.
I will leave the biology involved to the medical experts. All I want to do is let people know that they are not alone in this experience and that there is hope. There are pharmaceutical aids, and counseling with a good psychologist can help as well. No one thing is the answer for everyone. I used both and they were helpful for me, and learning ways to deal with these feelings made a big difference. Awareness and understanding helped, and there was no bliss in ignorance. Being free of hepatitis c was singularly the biggest step towards ending my own anxiety, which had been with me for years. I am not suggesting that this is true for everyone. One can have anxiety outside of HCV without a doubt, but it looks to me like there is a strong connection, and with time, and taking things as they come-step by step, you can potentially manage it.
Quality of life can be measured in many ways, and living free of worry and fear goes a long way in the right direction. You can take steps, and eventually run as well.