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What We Have In Common

What we all have in common is a vast topic to undertake in a few words, but I believe we all have much more in common than not. There are the obvious things like we are all human and we share this world with many creatures and other natural living things. It doesn’t end there as we are all aware, and no matter where we travel we see much more commonality than most of us would ever know. I am lucky in that I have been able to travel to many places in our world, and I came to realize at some point that we all basically want the same things. We want a safe environment for our families, including food and shelter, good health, and a better future for our children. Basic things to some in our fast-paced modern existence but they are at the core of who we are in essence.

The Importance of Community

In the context of the community of people living with and at risk for hep C, we share some things unique to us. This is not to say that we are special and deserve special consideration, goodness knows we have had no history of any special attention.

Is there an expectation of special treatment? No, and in fact, I have found that most of us are humble and only want to be well again so that we can be free of this hep C virus. I recall my own feelings and just how many people I have met who share in a great desire to be hep C free. For most of us, we knew little about HCV when we were first diagnosed, and fear surrounded our days like a blanket. Wrap that with the stigma associated and it can be devastating for some. I know it was for me at first, like most people.

Speaking to the positive side of this experience which many of us share is the growth of community and the outpouring of support from the members who continue to help the new members in the ways that only peers can. This is not to say that all the wonderful support from family and friends as well as kind and generous professionals who provide support is any less valued. There is a knowing that comes with sharing a challenge like hep C in our lives, whether it is as peers or as caregivers, partners, spouses, friends who step up or an agency tasked with providing services.

Your Peers in the Community Are Here to Help

I talk often about the value of peers, and without question, we are positioned to provide a special kind of support that goes beyond knowledge of the medical issues. Shared experience goes a long way to helping and can provide support that others can’t if they haven’t walked in our shoes. This was crucial for me when I was new to hep c, and I cannot imagine how much more difficult it would have been without the support of peers. Seeking out this kind of support from the community is my best advice to anyone who is diagnosed with chronic Hep C, bar none.

It can open doors that otherwise might appear shut to you, and give you the understanding which has the power to make us stronger in the face of a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. You can overcome this too, and we all have that in common.

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.