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Where Do I Start? Part 1

In life, trying to explain liver disease and all of the symptoms, side effects, and simply what all it means is complicated. It took me years to come to grips with it and understand fully what it means. Learning how to share with loved ones is difficult enough, but what about starting a new relationship? How do you share your story that is so very personal, or begin to explain the bad side of this disease? In part one of this blog, I’ll talk about explaining lifestyle differences. Then, in part two, I’ll focus on the more difficult aspects of sharing the emotional toll of fighting doubt, fear, and other insecurities.

Where do I even begin?

Recently, I have been blessed to be reunited with a long-ago love. Prior to reconnecting again, we had been friends on Facebook for many years. From a distance, he saw my fight with hep C, all the doctor visits, blog postings, and so on. But, he does not have firsthand experience of what I went through on a daily basis, and doesn’t have that “inside knowledge” that my kids experienced through the past decade. So- how do I begin to share all this with him?

There is really no starting point

As I am learning, there is no starting point. We are learning as we go, learning to share, and to just be open and honest with each other. For instance, I had to explain basic things, such as differences in diet. I follow a strict diet of very low amounts of red meats, limited sweets, and lots of fruits and veggies. That’s not his diet, for sure. He travels occasionally and even when he is not traveling, he is used to eating what he can find in between meetings or whatever he can grab in a hurry. Eating healthy has not been a priority for him, so having a partner with a restricted diet is a big change. He often asks with a smile, “What is that green thing on your plate?!”. This has been a great opportunity for me to share the benefits of a good diet!

The importance of trust

I also exercise on a regular basis to build myself back-up and try to regain some of the muscle I’ve lost due to liver disease. I am self-conscious and frustrated that my weight does not change much and it bothers me more now that I have a “significant other”. It’s hard to explain that I watch what I eat and exercise and still struggle to lose weight. I want to be that fit, attractive lady for him, while also feeling confident in myself. It takes patience on my part, and also having trust in him that his heart is genuine and that he loves me for who I am, not what I look like in any given moment.

In part 2, I talk about some of those more difficult challenges, doubts, and fears, and how we can overcome those things and continue to experience a wonderful life full of love.

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.